(Preparing for) NROTC Physical Fitness

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by NROTC_HOPEFULLY, Mar 26, 2013.



    Dec 5, 2012
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    Hello guys,
    I was recently awarded an NROTC scholarship (which I am very grateful for).

    I have some questions about the NROTC physical fitness standards and I must say that I am a little worried right now since I am not in the best shape.

    What exactly are the fitness standards for Navy Option Scholarship Midshipmen (MALE)? I have seem different standards in different places.

    Pushups: Where are some good places to look for guides to improving my pushup ability? I have found these two things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqHg-aaUQzI
    and they both look good but I am not sure which routine to do.

    And how many do I need to be able to do? I am the most worried about pushups.

    Running: What is the time needed for the 1.5 mile run? What sort of routine should I do? Should I run every day? every other day?, 1.5 miles as fast as possible each time?, a longer but slower run?... etc.

    Situps: I am the least worried about these since I can usually do 40 or 50 in one minute in gym class, although my form may not be good. What is the best way to practice for this? And how do I know I have proper form?

    Sorry for all the questions. I just don't really know where to start and there is too much advice on internet for me to figure out.

    Thank you
  2. gonavy91

    gonavy91 Member

    Dec 18, 2012
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    First of all, congratulations!

    Second, stop worrying. You have plenty of time right now to get into a good physical routine and diet to prepare you for your upcoming ROTC initiation.

    There isn't a best answer to any of this, since what works for some may not work for you. I myself would mix up days of running with not running. I'd work up to about 5 miles at a decent pace and then practice the 1.5 mile once a week (actually the entire PFA once a week).

    As for pushups, again just set up a routine. Try some pullups, dips and curls to help build overall muscle and definition. Try some cross fitness and even some swimming.

    But most of all, quit worrying and just develop a good routine that includes physical training, diet and sleep.

    OOH RAH!
  3. MedB

    MedB Parent

    Dec 26, 2012
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    One word for you... Variety.

    Varying your workouts can be more fun, stave off boredom, allow you to balance the "ugh" with the "wow" days, keep you motivated.... AND put you in better shape!

    For example... there must be at least 30 varieties of push-ups I can think of off the top of my head. Like...
    * Elevated PUs
    * Walking PUs
    * Spider Man PUs
    * Clap PUs
    * Soccer/Basketball PUs
    * Knuckle PUs
    * One Leg PUs
    * Jack (In/Out) PUs
    etc etc etc etc

    And you can vary even inside those! For example...
    Do a single set of Ball PU's like this:
    - No hands on ball
    - Left hand on ball
    - Both hands on ball
    - Right hand on ball
    - No hands on ball
    That's one "rep". Then repeat it 2 or more times for one "set"

    And that's just Push Ups! Imagine the other ways you can vary your workouts. The key for most is that you don't do one thing every day over and over.

    And as for running, go for distance at least a couple of times a week. Far longer than you need for the test. Then other days do different leg exercises and/or sprints. Again... variety. :)

    Hope this helps and good luck.
  4. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

    Dec 13, 2010
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    I was with you until the last point quoted above. You need to show some initiatitive / resolve and figure it out.

    There are as many physical fitness improvement programs as there are physical trainers out there. Find a program and get going. If you search this forum you can definately find some suggestions.

    The bigger issue is to find out how to do the exercises properly. This is very important as each sit up or push up you do incorrectly will not be counted. That can be very sobering the first time you take your test.

    Here is Marquette's advice to their students:
    http://www.marquette.edu/rotc/navy/documents/PT - 2012.docx

    Finally - please note that passing the PFT is VERY important. Your scholarship will not begin until you pass the test at the beginning of your Freshman year.

    Good luck!


    Dec 5, 2012
    Likes Received:

    Thanks for all of the advice guys. I just meant that I found a lot of information online, and many of the programs sounded good but there were a lot of differences and I wasn't sure which ones to pick. So it sounds like variety is the key concept to keep in mind... i'll get going on that.
  6. nroyer

    nroyer Member

    Feb 28, 2013
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    Here are some tips that helped me get to a perfect PFT (Marine, though):
    Pushups: Start each day with 3 max-effort sets. Work with pyramids, (i.e. do one, rest, 2, 3, etc... ) until you can't physically do more. Then go back down the pyramid.
    Situps: Pyramids, and practicing how many you can do in 2 minutes, 1 minute, and 30 seconds. If you've got spare time, just drop and bang out 100 crunches.
    Running: Mix in long runs (~ an hour) with sprint drills; sprint a minute, jog a minute, repeat 3 times, walk a minute. Do that two more times. This last exercise really helped me get my time down.
  7. c2m3m

    c2m3m 5-Year Member

    Jun 15, 2009
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    PRT Gouge

    For Mids under 20 you need to hit these numbers to pass: 62 situps, 51 pushups, 11:00 run. You also have to weigh less than the max for your height. You fail if you don’t meet any of the 4 numbers. There’s also a sit-reach but I’ve never seen anyone fail that. In the real Navy you can substitute exercise equipment for the run. In NROTC, you run.
    Google OPNAVINST 6110.1H for the old PFA instruction. The PRT numbers are in Appendix A to Enclosure 7. Most NROTC Units are still going by the old instruction and telling Mids they have to hit the “Good Medium” numbers. The real Navy is using the new PFA instruction, (Google OPNAVINST 6110.1J), which has no intermediate scoring levels. The weight numbers are in Enclosure (3). Also, in the real Navy, you only have to hit the “Satisfactory” numbers which are far lower than the Good Medium numbers. In the real Navy no one cares what you score is. All that matters is whether or not you passed the PRT. Your officer evaluation (FITREP) only has a block for pass/fail. Marines on the other hand spend hours talking what their score was. In NROTC, your PRT score does impact your overall score that determines service selection after your Junior year (subs, ships, aviation).
    Make sure you train using the correct situp and pushup form, ie. don’t put your hands behind your head while doing situps, instead cross your arms across your chest. You only have to touch your elbows to your knees. More is a waste of energy. See Enclosure 7 in the old PRT instruction. It’s not in the new PRT instruction for some reason.
    The 2 biggest mistakes I see sailors make when training for the PRT are:
    1: As you approach the date of the PRT, stop the daily PT (physical training) and give yourself a 3 day rest to let your muscles regenerate and be at peak efficiency for the PRT. In the real Navy, your Command has to give you a 10 week advance notice of the exact date of the PRT so you know what you’re training for. In NROTC, you might not know the exact date until a week prior. But you know the 2 PRTs will be in November and April so there should be no excuses. I had a sailor tell me, after she failed, that she did 45 situps last night but could only do 30 the next morning on the test. I had to explain to her that she needed to rest for 3 days prior. Any strength you might gain by PT’ing in the last 3 days is lost because your muscles will be fatigued on PRT day.
    2: It sounds really simple but train to the actual PRT test. Don’t do anything but run, situps, and pushups. That’s the test, so train your body to beat that test and don’t waste any effort on other activities. In many Commands, sailors who are on the Fitness Enhancement Program because they failed the PRT spend lots of time doing sprints, calisthenics, sports, etc. They do that to make it fun and “mix things up”. That’s all great, but running, situps, and pushups require that very specific muscle groups to be strong enough. So why do other activities that might strengthen those muscles when you can build those muscles by doing the actual activities that you know for sure will strengthen those muscles?
    My suggested training plan for new Mids: PT 7 days a week. Defeat every excuse/reason not to. Do 150 situps and 120 pushups EVERY DAY, then hit the road and run. You’re not a track athlete. Don’t get hungup on “programs”. Just hit the road and run as far as you can on a regular basis. You’re building aerobic lung capacity, not winning silver medals. That’s 1,050 situps and 840 pushups a week. Do the situps and pushups in sets until you get to 150/120 each day and alternate between pushups and situps until you get there. If you can only do a few situps/pushups in each set as you tire, just do more sets until you reach 150/120. The goal is to knock out the 150/120 each day. Don’t worry if you can only do 40 situps and 30 pushups at a time. Because you’re PT’ing every day, your muscles will be fatigued. For that reason, I don’t recommend “test PRTs”. However, by resting before the PRT, you’ll be able to hit the required numbers. For most people, the pushups are the hardest. But if you stick to this plan, your muscles have no choice but to get stronger in response to what you’re putting them through. That’s what muscles are meant to do. Do the program and will you will pass. Guaranteed. Sounds like a lot, but you can get your pushups and situps done in a half hour each day. Then you run. That’s the same order as the PRT.
    Make PT the most important thing you have to get done EACH DAY. You plan the rest of your day around your PT.
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 21, 2010
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    Sometimes, it doesn't matter which decision you make and action you take. What matters is that you take one and proceed.

    I agree with the variety. DS, as a Marine Option, focused on pull-ups and running but when he hit a wall started cross training. What seemed to really help him was the two mile run to the local climbing wall, climbing for about an hour, and then a two mile run home. Interval training helped really improve his run times... it's not all about distance. You might try the MARSOC workout and substitute a run for the rucks.
    You can really start at any level and just work your way up to it and no equipment is needed. Just doing the short card would be a killer and get you in shape. Variety, variety, variety.

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