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View Full Version : Why Does The Army Want Me Weak?


Milktrckcopilot
06-16-2010, 09:59
Here is an interesting article written by Major Ryan Long, he is currently serving as an instructor at the United States Military Academy in the
Department of Physical Education.

http://startingstrength.com/articles/army_weak_long.pdf

MILON
06-16-2010, 18:46
Great article! Thanks for posting!

chilpyl
06-20-2010, 00:20
Great article, thanks for the post. And honestly, anyone with basic sports training/kinesiology knowledge can tell you that the army PT system is broken.

blacksmoke
07-12-2010, 10:03
"Our problems were with the skinny-fats and the sparrows; they couldn’t keep up on
dismounted patrols under load, couldn’t kick in a door, couldn’t evacuate anybody over 140 lbs, and
couldn’t intimidate an insurgent."
This is so true. HA

Razor
07-14-2010, 13:21
Great article, thanks for the post. And honestly, anyone with basic sports training/kinesiology knowledge can tell you that the army PT system is broken.

Actually, the APFT (which is not the "system", but often becomes the focus of the system because its easy to plan towards) does exactly what it was planned to accomplish--it allows for easy testing protocols that require very little equipment. Whether that design parameter is the correct one to use when creating an effective fitness program is another discussion altogether.

Brush Okie
07-14-2010, 14:29
Actually, the APFT (which is not the "system", but often becomes the focus of the system because its easy to plan towards) does exactly what it was planned to accomplish--it allows for easy testing protocols that require very little equipment. Whether that design parameter is the correct one to use when creating an effective fitness program is another discussion altogether.

Good point. As with many things in the military the checklist becomes more important than the principal behind it. IMHO a 10k ruck march would be a better test than running.

Alacrity
08-06-2010, 03:25
As with many things in the military the checklist becomes more important than the principal behind it.

This needs to be planned for in the next iteration of the Army's PT program. If rumors I hear were correct, the Army used to have an agility component of it's APFT many years ago. But I wasn't in the service then so I don't know for certain.

That article is pretty good. I recommend many of the articles on Startingstrength.com as well, they come from the sane, rational viewpoint of making strength the goal of exercise.

GratefulCitizen
08-06-2010, 17:02
I recommend many of the articles on Startingstrength.com as well, they come from the sane, rational viewpoint of making strength the goal of exercise.

They have some good stuff there.

After years of all manner of training, topped out in the best shape of my life doing mainly powersnatches and flat bench.
(oh, to be 29 again...)

Barbells are still around for one reason: they work.

BearW
08-14-2010, 06:16
I'm printing off this article and bringing it to the attention of our fitness co-ordinator at work. Great read!!

Dozer523
08-14-2010, 09:05
If rumors I hear were correct, the Army used to have an agility component of it's APFT many years ago. But I wasn't in the service then so I don't know for certain. The whispers of how hard it used to be are true, young one. Gather round the fire and I will tell you a tale of my long ago youth . . . There I was . . .
It included the Run, Dodge and Jump -- sort of a sprint to a barrier you had to run through with a left turn-right turn action then cross a little moat repeat through another barrier . . . turn around and return to the start. timed event
There was the suspended ladder -- had to hang and go hand over hand along the rungs, turn around and repeat and repeat as long as you could for up to a certain time period.
There was the crab crawl facing forward going a distance and then returning backward, timed event.
Plus the Push up , sit up and 2mi

rumors . . .RUMORS!!! now I have gone from FOG to something so long ago it is only told in legend . . . sheesh

ZonieDiver
08-14-2010, 12:26
The whispers of how hard it used to be are true, young one. Gather round the fire and I will tell you a tale of my long ago youth . . . There I was . . .
It included the Run, Dodge and Jump -- sort of a sprint to a barrier you had to run through with a left turn-right turn action then cross a little moat repeat through another barrier . . . turn around and return to the start. timed event
There was the suspended ladder -- had to hang and go hand over hand along the rungs, turn around and repeat and repeat as long as you could for up to a certain time period.
There was the crab crawl facing forward going a distance and then returning backward, timed event.
Plus the Push up , sit up and 2mi

rumors . . .RUMORS!!! now I have gone from FOG to something so long ago it is only told in legend . . . sheesh

... and we who were smaller, agile, and fleet of foot could really smoke that sumbitch! :D. It was fun to watch the big, heavy guys try to navigate the horizontal ladder. (Of course, we all had to navigate about 50 ft of it to get to chow 3x daily in Basic.)

Why do I feel like I should say these things while sitting in a rocker on the front porch of the general store as I whittled and spit!

wet dog
08-14-2010, 12:53
I agree with Razor,.

The APFT also allowed us as instructors to quickly determine if a soldier was "ready for training". In Thailand or Columbia, seeing a soldiers cross the finish line with a respectable time of 13 minutes for a 2 mile run, who looked confident enough to do it again and pull the same time. Who smiled when he maxed the push-up event in under the 2 minutes, and clicked off a few extras before the time was up. Each time a soldier presented themselves with confident attitudes, honest effort and measureable performance, I said, "We can work with that".

I used Thailand and Columbia as examples because serving in those armies meant significant risk to thier families, especially if they worked in drug interdiction.

Other countries, were service may be for economic benefits, tended to be laxed if not lazy, with the exception of Israel, (which was very motivated to kick ass), the APFT was a gauge we used to select those candidates who we choose as host nation Cadre.

Funny story, our ODA was conducting an Airborne Jump Master Course for the Thais.

One Thai soldier while doing push-ups, stopped, rested in a one arm pushup position, and reached for a large yellow-gray scorpion, 3.0" in length, just inches from where his face was while in the down position. He quickly picked it up by its stinger, and ate it whole, pinching off the stinger, discarding it with a gentle toss out of the way of others and continued with the push-up event, total time lost, 15 seconds, total push-ups, 90+.

Could I have stopped the event for braking form? Sure, would it have helped build a relationship with these soldiers? No.

His Sr. NCO, came over and asked me if his soldier needed to retake the test. I said he had made enough correct push-ups before he raised his hand off the ground, retesting would not be necessary. I informed the Sergeant to have him report to the sit-up instructor for testing.

I later learned that the soldier had been an orphan living on the streets until he was old enough to enlist. His father was killed by drug thugs up north, his mother went missing. He raised his little brother all by himself.

Sorry for the lengthly side bar story, but the APFT test is fine by me, it serves as a matrix before training begins.

WD

Actually, the APFT (which is not the "system", but often becomes the focus of the system because its easy to plan towards) does exactly what it was planned to accomplish--it allows for easy testing protocols that require very little equipment. Whether that design parameter is the correct one to use when creating an effective fitness program is another discussion altogether.

greenberetTFS
08-14-2010, 14:10
As I recall "squat jumps" were part of the daily dozen but were taken out because they did more harm than good,however at jump school in 1955 they were the next favorite to push ups when the Gorillas sentenced you............... :eek: Try and do 100 squat jumps sometime and you'll understand where I'm coming from........... :rolleyes: Another little ditty was when we would get us up at 0400,they had us do the airborne scuffle appox. 7 miles running around the base waking up every one as we went through all the various units yelling airborne cadences about who we are "airborne,and all the way"........:rolleyes:
Last but not least after the run,you had to stand in line and do 10 pull ups if you wanted to eat breakfast........ Tell me the training now is anywhere near the same. Buy the way I was 240 lbs 6' 1'" tall with a 31" waist,and the gorillas love to f**k with me because I was the big guy..........I spent more time as the "rope man" at the tower because I was bigger than most of the cadre and it was the little guys that screwed with me the most.

Big Teddy :munchin

Dozer523
08-14-2010, 16:28
... Why do I feel like I should say these things while sitting in a rocker on the front porch of the general store as I whittled and spit! Eh? EH!! whadya say? Speak up!

Blitzzz (RIP)
08-26-2010, 21:53
40yd Run dodge and jump. My time was 13.5sec
40yd low crawl. My time was also 13.5 sec.
Horizontal Ladder My count was 72 rungs (4 short of 100pts)
Grenade toss Don't remember these scores (only maxed it twice)
1 mile run my best time was 4:58 on OKI but 5:05 during basic
Anyone remember the Grenade scoring ring values?

Ronin3790
12-14-2010, 08:36
Wow! That article articulated in a way that I have failed to do for the past ten years. Good stuff! My philophosy in a nutshell!