Greetings everyone! I hope this update finds you well. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful for your dedication and perseverance to both your education and your clients. Fortunately, the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter each day, as more people become vaccinated and case counts decrease. Most states have begun to ease restrictions and fitness facilities across the US are re-opening their doors to eager people who are looking to shed their own personal “Covid-19” weight gain.
At W.I.T.S., we always aim to provide up-to-date and relevant educational programming for our students and post-pandemic life will provide us with a unique opportunity to introduce our newest certification program: Medical Fitness Specialist. This program will focus on identifying, programming for, and training clients with a multitude of chronic conditions, ranging from anxiety through cancer.
According to the CDC, nearly 6 in 10 Americans are currently living with a chronic condition and nearly 4 in 10 Americans are living with more than one chronic condition. We can also expect this number to increase in the coming months/years as a result of Covid-19 “long haulers” and the number of people newly diagnosed with conditions such as anxiety or depression increase. A key component in training these unique individuals is understanding the unique challenges and opportunities they present and this certification course will do just that!
Medical Fitness Specialist Certification is a 30-CEC course that will spend equal parts studying core content (lecture-based) and learning hands-on approaches to training these unique clients (practical-based). When learning about each condition, students will learn about:
Common medications and interactions
Effects of exercise response and training
Recommendations for exercise training
Exercise program recommendations
We are extremely excited to offer this course and our developers are working diligently to get this course completed as quickly as possible while maintaining the educational standard you’ve come to expect from our coursework. Stay tuned for its release in May 2021!
Most people want and enjoy working-out with others. This is why there are gyms! People can socialize, receive motivation, and learn new techniques by being involved with fitness facilities.
But that does not mean that people also like to have fitness equipment at their home, for those occasions where working-out with others is not an option.
As a Fitness Professional / Strength Coach I have had numerous students, clients and athletes ask me for recommendations when it comes to purchasing in-home fitness related devices. The goals of the specific user have the greatest influence on how I respond to the question. However, there is one piece of fitness equipment that usually comes up right from the jump, from every individual.
“Hey Coach, is there a treadmill you recommend?”
My reply to this is always the same – “You probably don’t want to do that.”
It’s not that I have anything against a treadmill – I use them myself. It’s because of the things that most people never consider when having one in their place of residence. Let me explain….
Treadmills are not small pieces of equipment. So, putting one to the roof or in the backseat of a car is out of the question. A truck of some sort is going to be required to transport it to your house. They also can be very heavy, which means you will need 2-4 other people to get it out of the truck, then into your house. A paid delivery service may be necessary for installation. Other things that have to be thought of is how big is the door / entrance way, how wide are the hall ways, and are there steps to navigate to get the treadmill to it required location.
Due to a treadmills’ foot-print, you will need a decent size location to keep it. Figuring that a treadmill can be 6-feet by 3-feet (at that is a minimum), along with needing space to access it, you can figure on 28-30 square feet of space. Also, keep in mind that once its ‘there’ – its going to stay ‘there’, due to its size and weight. The type of floor that you place it on can also be of concern. If the flooring is a softer wood, the treadmill may damage the floor, so rubber matting may be necessary.
Treadmill Power Source
Although there are some treadmill models that are self-generated, which means the belts will move by the user themselves, they are not many. This means that you will have to have an electrical outlet to power the treadmill. Because a treadmill can draw quite a bit of electricity through a wall outlet, if too much electrical volume is drawn out of an outlet, that outlet can overheat and/or the circuit breaker in your home’s fuse box may trip, causing the treadmill to stop dead. This abrupt stoppage can be mechanically taxing on the treadmill and physically dangerous for the user. So, you will have to hire a certified electrical contractor to ensure the safety of any electrical outlet in your home, for your treadmill.
Treadmill Motor Strength
The strength of the treadmill motor is critical to the level of its success. Because if the motor is too ‘weak’ for how the user intends to work-out on it, it will break down.
A treadmill’s motor powers the belt. Treadmill motor power is described in terms of horsepower (HP), and you specifically want to know the treadmills’ continuous horsepower (CHP) capabilities. CHP is most useful measurement because it indicates how much power a motor can put out continuously, while in use, versus just when it is at its peak. Treadmill motors vary from a very low 1.5 CHP to full commercial machines with 5.0 CHP motors.
How much treadmill motor power do you need will depends on your type of exercise regimen and your body weight.
For people weighing up to 200 pounds, here are general recommendations:
Walking: Choose 2.0 CHP or higher
Jogging: Choose 2.5 CHP or higher
Running: Choose 3.0 CHP or higher
If you weigh more than 200 pounds, then add another 0.5 CHP
Understand that a treadmill which lists it has ‘4 HP’ does not necessarily mean it has ‘4 CHP’.
CHP means that the motor will run at that given horsepower indefinitely without burning up the motor. If you get a treadmill with a motor rated at 4 CHP, it will provide 4 HP for numerous years without a threat to damaging the motor.
If a treadmill only lists HP of the treadmill, it is really only listing the highest generated horsepower that can be produced by the motor for a very limited amount of time, prior to the motor itself actually ‘burning-out’. You can find peak horsepower ratings listed on lower priced treadmills ranging from 2.5 to 4.0 HP. So, the actual continuous duty rating of these motors is in the 1.25 to 2.0 range, which is extremely low and will not maintain a belt speed that will be very effective. The more CHP the treadmill possesses, the faster and smother the belt will speed up and slow down during a workout.
Treadmills on average are the most expensive pieces of fitness equipment in any fitness facility. Although some can be found in the $1000 dollar range; the majority of the ones that have motors required for long term usage and reliability are well above that price. I tell everyone who ask about how much to expect to spend on a reliable treadmill for home use, to be prepared to take $2000 to $4000 dollars out of their wallet.
As I initially stated, I am not against anyone using or purchasing a treadmill. I just strongly feel that when it comes to buying one for your house, there are all the points in this article to consider. It’s the job of fitness professionals and strength coaches to be helpful and informative when we get any and all questions related to our profession. If all of the issues I stated are easily overcome, I would tell the student, client or athlete who asked about purchasing a treadmill – “Have fun and go shopping.”
As a personal trainer, you will hear all kinds of excuses from people as to why they can’t lose weight, gain muscle with weight training, or stick to a workout plan. And sometimes your response will be an internal eye roll along with the thought, “here we go again!” But hold on a second because sometimes their excuse is actually valid.
Ayurveda is the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and believes that energy systems called doshas govern physiological activity. There are three doshas – Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. We encompass all three systems but usually have one predominate system and sometimes a close secondary. For example, I am a Pitta with a Vata secondary.
The cool thing is that as trainers, we can use someone’s dosha to guide their nutrition and workout programs. As it relates to exercise, most trainers that love working out with weights are Pitta body types. It makes sense because a Pitta Dosha needs to pump some iron to be healthy. A Pitta is like a Mesomorph – they build muscle easily. However, if you are training a Vata body type (think Ectomorph) and you start overloading them too quickly (or in some cases, at all), they can start to feel sick, get injured, feel discouraged and quit.
Here is a breakdown of body types and the best type of exercise for them. A Vata needs more zen-like exercise to be healthy – yoga, tai chi, brisk walking, biking, martial arts, and dancing. A Pitta does well with weight training, circuit training, biking, hiking, swimming, tennis, climbing, and skiing. A Kapha (Endomorph) needs to work up a good sweat and does well with aerobic activity such as brisk walking, jogging, running (if their joints are healthy and they don’t have too much extra weight on them), spinning, dancing, circuit training, and rowing.
As I mentioned before, most people will have a primary and a secondary. You may think the primary is easy to discern based on their body type, but this may not always be accurate. You may think someone who is carrying a lot of extra weight is a Kapha, but if they were thin children and only gained the weight later in life, they could be a Vata or a Pitta who just needs to lose some weight. A true Kapha will be those people who say they have always had trouble with their weight, even as young children. You may think that someone extremely thin is a Vata but could possibly be someone with an eating disorder and that someone muscular is a Pitta but could possibly be taking steroids. It is always best to have them take a dosha quiz.
If you figure out your clients’ doshas, you can tailor a workout that will excite them, get them results without injury, and keep them motivated. Using myself as an example again, I love to be in the weight room, and I thrive with that style of workout. However, having a Vata secondary, I know that my Pitta can become imbalanced which leads me to being highly driven with an energy level that can sometimes be way out of balance. In order to balance that high energy, I need to add some Vata elements into my routine so I have a balance of Pittas. I do this by regularly taking slow, meditative nature walks and taking an occasional yoga or dance class.
Check out a video I did on this subject at www.rhondahuff.com, Videos, Chapter D and you can find a cool Dosha worksheet that you can use with your clients in my book, Healthy Living From A To Z: The Guide To Finding Who You Really Are & Feeding Who You Were Created To Be which can be purchased on the website or, along with my first book, The Addictive Personal Trainer: The Client-Centered Approach That Keeps Them Coming Back For More at www.Amazon.com/author/rhuff.
Rhonda is currently working on a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and is an Exercise Physiologist with a BS in Fitness-Wellness and an MEd in Education. She is a certified personal trainer, a board-certified holistic health and nutrition coach, a master neurolinguistic programming and hypnosis practitioner, an advanced Frequency Specific Microcurrent practitioner, a published author, a motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur. Rhonda currently resides in Atlanta, GA, but also calls NYC, NC and VA home. Learn more about Rhonda and her work at www.rhondahuff.com.
Among the numerous exercise modalities studied, practiced, and employed within the fitness industry, aquatic exercise / pool exercises and the cadre of benefits it boasts, is often overlooked by fitness professionals.
According to a 2013 report furnished by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association entitled “Sports, Fitness, and Leisure Activities Topline Participation”, 9,177 people out of 42,365 respondents or 22%, indicated participation within aquatic exercise at least one time in the past year. Per the IHRSA 2018 Health Club Consumer Report, a biennially conducted survey, showed an increased participation rate of 5% in aquatic exercise.
The utility of aquatic exercise and its far reaching health and performance boosting benefits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to rage on in conjunction with the onset of flu season in geographic locales throughout the United States and the rest of the world, should be given closer consideration for acceptance within a comprehensive fitness program. (more…)
Injuries of the groin muscles, or adductor muscles complex, are one of the most problematic issues in a number of sports. According to a 2007 report featured in the Sports Medicine Journal, groin injuries are most common in field sports such as rugby, soccer and ice hockey . Groin overuse injuries are also relatively common in other field sports such as football and lacrosse.
The report identified core weakness as a possible underlying cause in groin pain in athletes & groin injuries, as coactivation, or simultaneous firing of the core musculature and adductors must occur during the athletic movements the adductors generate.
The adductor complex is a composed of an assemblage of muscles layered on top of one another, cordoning the inner thighs. They balance the pelvis during gait and as mentioned earlier, contribute to athletic movements, which include twisting, turning, and pivoting, they are also key players in pelvic stability, such as activities of daily living which include climbing stairs and picking up objects. (more…)
As new trends emerge in fitness, sadly, we often forget about staple equipment. Strength Bands were made famous in rehabilitation settings and are often seen in group exercise classes, but they also deserve a prominent gym spot. With results much the same as traditional weight training, they are small and inexpensive yet mighty useful.
Off-hand, you might recall quickly some exercises that can be incorporated into a client’s training routine using bands. From squats to bicep curls, the band provides versatile options for clients of all ages and training levels. When we dig deeper, you will find they provide even more innovative ways to diversify your client’s routine. Including but not limited to: (more…)
Believe it or not, dumbbell training has been around since ancient Greece. They used stone or metal that was carved to include a handle and weighed between 4 and 20 lbs. They were called halteres. The term dumbbell, however, is believed to have originated in England (Hedrick, 2020). Various types of dumbbells can be used with a single or a pair of dumbbells in a bent over row, bench press and more.
These include adjustable, fixed, and selectorized. no matter what style you use, dumbbells have many benefits, and these include:
Can be used anywhere
Suited for explosive training
Little training space is required
Can train all muscle groups
Only need a relatively small number of dumbbells
Safer than barbells on specific exercises
Easier for individuals with injuries
Easier to learn than barbell exercises
A more complex motor activity
Opportunity to perform alternating movements
Opportunity to perform single-arm movements
Adds a balance requirement which works core muscles
Stabilizing muscles are more active
Reduces the potential for injury by enhancing joint stability
Increases potential range of motion
Adds variation to the training program (Hedrick, 2020)
Now that you know why using dumbbells is essential in a workout, let us look at how to incorporate them into your program. You can either incorporate dumbbells into an existing program or design a whole new program for your client. Either way, there are some necessary steps you will want to take.
Decide on your philosophy of training.
Establish your client’s goals.
Use scientifically sound information and concrete guidelines (Hint: You can find these in a W.I.T.S. course).
Use the concept of periodization: The practice of dividing training into specific cycles with each cycle targeting a specific physiological adaption.
Incorporate training variables.
Teach proper technique. Technique should always take precedence over intensity.
There are a plethora of dumbbell exercises out there. These dumbbell exercises can work all the major muscles for the full body effect. Those exercises can work the tricep muscles, upper arms, and develop full range of motion.
Almost any exercise your client is doing on a machine can be done with a set of dumbbells. Add in simple variations on each exercise, and you have just quadrupled the movements you can do. You can work on muscle isolating movements like bicep curls or compound movements that work multiple muscles at one time, like squats. You can even put the two together and have your client do a squat-bicep curl move.
“This is the interesting part of designing training programs because it is part science and part art—art in the sense that you can use your creativity to design what you believe is the best approach to improving athletic performance. Although the art aspect provides room for creativity, the vast majority of a training program should be based on science” (Hedrick, 2020)
So take a look at the programs you are designing and ask yourself where can I add in some dumbbell training? Want to know more about programming, various exercises for upper body, weight loss aspects and more? Sign up now for the Introduction to Dumbbell Training in the W.I.T.S. Store
Check out this great Infographic about guidelines of resistance training
Hedrick, Allen, (2020). Dumbbell training. (2nd ed.). Human Kinetics.
Martha Swirzinski, Ed.D.
Martha holds an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and a master’s degree in Kinesiology. She has over 25 years of experience in teaching exercise science, health education, and personal training. She teaches in higher education and develops courses worldwide for various organizations. She has been with W.I.T.S. in multiple roles, including mentoring online programs, course development, webinars, and teaching since 2009.
As the COVID-19 pandemic transforms our society and a myriad of industries, including our own, concerns about safely continuing to pursue fitness goals have emerged as fitness instructors and the clients they support weigh the risks versus rewards during these unprecedented times.
Nationwide, cases have continued to surge in spite of attempts to temper the proliferation of the virus as government organizations at the federal, state, and local levels work to strike a delicate balance between curating the health of citizens and restoring the economy. Measures such as abridging capacity and hours of operation of multiple fitness and recreational facilities, including temporarily shuttering venues and suspending services, while disruptive, are intended to keep us healthy.
Long term held beliefs about exercise adversely impacting immune system is the functioning has been corroborated by a landmark review authored by Gleeson (2007). The review demonstrated that the inflammatory response of a singular bout of intense and prolonged exercise mirrors that of infection, sepsis, or trauma, triggering the release of inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor, and interleukins 6 and 10, C-recreative protein, and interleukin-1-receptor antagonists that, in concert, influence the augmentation of circulating white blood cells, known as leukocytes.
Hormonal secretion following an intense bout of exercise induced activity, specifically epinephrine and cortisol blunt the secretion of leukocytes and impair cell mediated immunity and inflammation, thereby increasing the susceptibility of infection and modulating the morbidity and severity of illness. Previous research established a strong correlation between a exercise dose and upper respiratory tract infection among humans. Health fitness exercise bouts consisting of a stimuli that is too novel, too frequent, too intense, and too voluminous to which the subject is accustomed have been found to increase pathogen infection risk. There has been a considerable amount of studies that have demonstrated the temporary ergolytic effects of acute exercise on immune system functioning, ranging from three to 72 hours post-exercise. Researchers and health and exercise professionals have coined this period of time characterized by temporary suppression of the immune system as “the open window”.
To simultaneously curtail infection risk and facilitate the achievement of improved fitness industry qualities or biomotor skills, one must account for life stress, energy availability, sleep duration and quality, travel, and exposure to environmental or climate extremes beyond the exercise frequency, intensity, volume, and type, according to Professor Neil Walsh, a faculty member at Bangor University in the United Kingdom, who outlined recommendations for athletes to maintain immune health.
Key guidelines among the few dozen presented are summarized below for personal trainers in working with potential clients:
Undulating training stress throughout training cycles and weeks
Incorporating active recovery sessions
Incrementally increasing volume and intensity, but no more than 5-10% per week
Minimize unnecessary life stress
Monitor, manage, and quantify all forms of stress, both psychological and physical
Aim for more than seven hours of sleep each night; nap during the daytime, if able to, or necessary
Monitor sleep duration and quality; ensure darkness at bedtime
Be cognizant of reduced exercise capacity in hotter, more humid environments
Permit acclimatization to changes in, or extreme weather
Uphold optimal or recommended nutrition, hydration, and hygiene practices
Do not engage in extreme dieting; be sure to consume a well balanced diet
Discontinue training if experiencing symptoms “below the neck” as they could be indicative of an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)
Avoid sick and/or symptomatic people
Practice good hand hygeine
Exercise evokes a hormetic effect, or dose-dependent response, meaning that moderate exposure can be beneficial, but amounts either too minimal or excessive can cause harm. This is precisely why exercise physiology scholars and health and medical professionals alike have embraced the mantra of “exercise is medicine” in recent years. Too little exercise results in greater cardiometabolic disease (aka conditions of “disuse”) risk, whereas too much exercise results in greater injury or illness (aka conditions of “overuse”). As mentioned in an earlier post, “acute singular bouts of exercise at or above lactate threshold (55% of VO2max among untrained individuals; 85% of VO2max among trained individuals) for periods of up to, or more than one hour, contributed to temporary immunosuppression. Regular exercise among individuals has shown to yield immunoprotective benefits. The takeaway here should be, exercise during this time should be regarded as a tool to reinvigorate and recover, not bury and deliberately fatigue. Sparingly perform sets to failure and limit volume at or beyond lactate threshold.”
In summary, immune system performance and overall health can be achieved through regular exercise. During times of greater illness transmission and infection risk, fitness professionals, athletes, and enthusiasts must practice both diligence and vigilance to ward off foreign pathogens. Fitness goals should be targeted and inputs, such as time and effort should be quantified to calculate training load. Rest and recovery should be as equally, if not greater prioritized.
Gleeson, M. (2007). Immune function in sport and exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 103 (2), 693-699.
The landscape of the fitness industry has changed dramatically over the past few months. A staple of most communities, fitness facilities have been ordered to close, trainers have been furloughed, and people have openly stated that they aren’t sure if they’ll feel “safe” in facilities when (and if) they reopen.
This, of course, comes at a time where the need to live a healthy life has never been more important. COVID-19 has really raised the focus on public health and, as trainers, we play an integral role in helping people! Consider the co-morbidities most often associated with complications from COVID-19: obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. These are all things that we help people with on a daily basis. We’ve been talking about the importance of battling these conditions for decades but, now that the spotlight is on them, people are taking notice and want to improve. It’s important to note that this includes potential new clients, as well as those who may have suffered from the dreaded “Quarantine 15” weight gain.
The issue facing trainers, however, is clear – how do we train our clients when they are hesitant to come to our facility or, even worse, our facilities are closed? The answer lies in improving and diversify our offerings. Trainers must be innovative and look for ways to help people outside the normal confines of a fitness facility. Both social distancing and outdoor activity are proven ways to minimize the spread of COVID-19, so seeking activities that accomplish both are essential to our success.
One exciting option for trainers is to encourage Fitness Walking. An underrated exercise activity, fitness walking can yield a multitude of benefits for your clients – both new and established. It’s low-impact, provides both physical and mental benefits and, most importantly, can be done virtually anywhere by anyone! W.I.T.S. Fitness Walking course covers proper techniques, skills, and content used in designing, implementing, and evaluating individualized and group programs in fitness walking for a variety of clients and their fitness levels. You’ll learn about nuances such as gait deviation (which can play a huge role in stride rate/length and injury prevention) and how the principles of physical fitness directly relate to fitness walking. You’ll learn about specific flexibility exercises that can benefit walkers and even some basics about proper clothing and footwear! In short, this course will give you the necessary skills to add this style of training to your offerings so you can continue to be profitable during these trying times.
As mentioned earlier, this pandemic has forced us to be innovative and there are some really fun new concepts that have emerged that would pair nicely with fitness walking, such as virtual races. Obviously, given the times, the idea of getting large groups of people together for a 5K, 10K, half- or full-marathon, is one that should remain just that: an idea. Instead, the market for virtual races has exploded since February! There are races of almost any length and many of them have fun (or customizable) themes that award medals and gear much like their physical counterparts. Think about how fun it would be for a new client to have the pride of accomplishing a goal without the usual nerves or hesitation associated with a live event. It could just be what they need to make this a lifelong activity and you’re the perfect trainer to help them get started.
Swing by the W.I.T.S. store to check this course out, as well as our other sport-based CEC offerings. Check back in often as we are beginning to develop a new line of courses specific to the current needs of trainers.
By Mark S. Cassidy, MS and Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS
Weeks ago, our lives and our society as we operate have indelibly changed. In the months preceding widespread lockdowns, the insidious and highly transmissible pathogen COVID-19, stealthily coursed the globe. This virus has infected millions and contributed to an extremely high number of deaths worldwide.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has paralyzed a continuum of industries and businesses, our nation’s great military charges on. They have assisted in erecting temporary hospitals, bolstering our nation’s law enforcement and security functions, distributing rations to displaced and needy citizens, and joining healthcare professionals on the frontlines.
And for those who have recently enlisted or are contemplating enlistment, preparation cannot cease. Just because local gyms and athletic facilities have temporarily closed, that doesn’t mean one should abandon their physical preparedness. Each recruit, irrespective of their branch, will be called upon to complete a physical fitness test.
One can adequately prepare by incorporating a full-body resistance training regimen along with high-intensity cardiovascular activities that can be performed at home with minimal to no equipment. This will ensure increases in muscle strength, lean body mass, and cardiorespiratory fitness needed to meet the rigors of basic training.
Although there are some slight variations, all branches of the military have some form of physical fitness requirement for entrance into their respective community. The following is a list of these requirements for each branch (as of January 2020). The scoring for each test is determined by the particular branch; along with the order or substitutions of exercises.
50-meter sprint (3 x), 50-meter drag of a 90 lbs. sled, 50-meter carry of two 40 lbs. kettlebells
Hanging leg tucks for 2 minutes
2-mile timed run
Service Academy Fitness Assessment
The Service Academies of the Air Force (USAFA), Navy (USNA), Army (USMA), and the Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) use the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA)
Kneeling basketball throw for distance
Cadence pull-ups for repetitions
120 ft. shuttle-run for time
1-minute of crunches
1-minute of push-ups
Although there is no direct substitute for performing any of the actual testing exercises, performing a holistic resistance training program will help with the preparation of the actual test.
The resistance / full-body workout, will hit each major muscle group. The initial program will go for 30 days (4 weeks), with 5 workout days and 2 light/rest days per week. If you do not have access to free-weight equipment, you can substitute in something else while performing the movements. (Example: therapy bands, kettlebells, medicine balls, or even bricks, jugs of water or buckets of sand could work)
It is up to each individual to determine the amount of intensity, resistance or repetitions they can handle on each day. Keep in mind that the military is a physically and mentally demanding profession, so working until a point of fatigue (or failure) can be a good guideline. However, never use a workout intensity or resistance load that causes you to become injured.
Taking into consideration any nutritional / meal requirements, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and attempting to get seven to nine hours of sleep a day, is also important during your training.
If necessary, contact a certified Athletic Trainer, Strength Coach, Fitness Professional or Health Care Provider for additional guidance.
Monday: (10 – 15 minute warm-up and stretch should be done to start the program) (The rest time between sets can be 30 – 90 seconds) Dumbbell Shoulder Squat: 4-5 sets 10-12 repetitions Dumbbell Bench / Lat Rows: 3-4 sets 12-15 repetitions Dumbbell Lifts / Back Extensions 4-sets 8-10 repetitions Dumbbell Bench Press: 4-5 sets 10-12 repetitions Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3-4 sets 12-15 repetitions
Cardio Work: 15 – 20 minute light jog / walk
Tuesday: (10 – 15 minute warm-up and stretch should be done to start the program) (The rest time between sets can be 30-90 seconds) Seated Knee Tucks: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions Wide Hand Push-Ups: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions Full Sit-Ups: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions Pull-Ups: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions Mountain Climbers: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions
Cardio Work: 10 – 15 Sprints for 40-50 yards
Wednesday: Active Rest Day 15 – 30 minutes of stretchers for the entire body 15 – 30 minutes of cardiovascular work by a light-brisk walk
Thursday: (10 – 15 minute warm-up and stretch should be done to start the program) (The rest time between sets can be 30-90 seconds) Barbell Bench Press: 4-5 sets 10-12 repetitions Barbell Dead Lifts: 3-4 sets 12-15 repetitions Barbell Up-Right Rows: 4-sets 8-10 repetitions Dumbbell Bicep Curls: 4-5 sets 10-12 repetitions Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 3-4 sets 12-15 repetitions
Cardio Work: 15 – 20 minute light jog / walk
Friday: (10 – 15 minute warm-up and stretch should be done to start the program) (The rest time between sets can be 30-90 seconds) Full Sit-Ups: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions Narrow Hand Push-Ups: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions Standing Oblique Twists: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions Lying Supine Back Extensions: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions Mountain Climbers: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions
Cardio Work: 10 – 15 Sprints for 40-50 yards
Saturday: (10 – 15 minute warm-up and stretch should be done to start the program) (The rest time between sets can be 60 – 120 seconds) Jumping Jacks: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions Walking Forward Lunges: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions Jump Squats: 4-5 sets 8-10 repetitions Side Steps: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions Depth Jumps: 4-5 sets 8-10 repetitions
Cardio Work: 15 – 20 minute light jog / walk
Sunday: Active Rest 30 – 60 minutes of Stretching / Yoga / Meditation
In the event that you would not have access to the type of resistance exercise equipment necessary to perform the movement or for some reason you found the exercise too difficult, below is a list of substitution exercises that you can utilize in any of the program’s daily workouts:
Narrow Stance Body Weight Squats: 4-5 sets 12-15 repetitions Single Leg Body Weight Squats: 4-5 sets 5-8 repetitions on each leg Stationary Lateral Lunges: 3-4 sets 5-8 repetitions on each leg Single Leg Standing Calf Raise: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions on each leg Clapping Hands Push-Ups: 3-4 sets 8-10 repetitions Non-Symmetrical Hand Placement Push-Ups: 3-4 sets 8-10 repetitions Single Arm Push-Ups: 3-4 sets 5-8 repetitions on each arm Side Plank: 3-4 sets hold 30-45 seconds on each side Bicycle Abs / Knee to Elbow: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions on each side Superman: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions Chair Dips: 4-5 sets 10-12 repetitions
It will be best to begin training 3 to 4 months in advance of the actual fitness testing date. This will allow time for a certified Athletic Trainer, Strength Coach or Fitness Professional to make recommendations on when to change intensity, time and exercise variations, to help the probability of your success.
To find out when a particular branch of the military is scheduling fitness tests, contact your local recruiting office for specific details.
Thank you in advance for your service to our country!
Mark S. Cassidy, MS has been an educational instructor with the W.I.T.S. organization since 2000. He has held professional positions with The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia 76ers, YMCA, Delaware Blue Coats, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, and American Heart Association. Mark has an Associate’s degree in Business from Delaware County Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Temple University and a Master’s degree in Organizational Development/Business Psychology from The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has professional experience as a Fitness Instructor, Strength Coach, Sports Coach-Counselor, Exercise Therapist, Sales Manager, College Professor, and Athletic Facility Director.
Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS is an educational instructor with the World Instructor Training Schools, fitness and recreation specialist at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and an adjunct faculty member at Eastern University and Chestnut Hill College where he teaches exercise science electives. Previously, Giandonato served as the Manager of Health Promotion and Wellness at Drexel University, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Germantown Academy, and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Saint Joseph’s University.