Physical Training

ROTC physical training

Physical Training (or "PT") is an important part of your ROTC experience. It will also help prepare you for the Air Force Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) which takes place once a semester.

How long is PT?

At our detachment, we hold PT every Tuesday and Thursday at 1600. During the warmer months, PT is held outside on the Thompson Hall lawn, and is moved indoors when the temperatures get below freezing. PT always lasts for one hour.

What do we do at PT?

Every PT is different! We may start out with some warm-up laps on the track, followed by stretches, calisthenics, and then a few stations. The calisthenics could include any number of arm, ab, and leg exercises such as pushups, crunches, and squats. We usually do this while in formation.
When finished with in-formation calisthenics, we may split into 3-5 groups where each group would go to a certain station. For example, group 1's performs lunges around the track, group 2 performs interval runs, and group 3 performs stair climbs at the stadium. After a certain amount of time, the groups will switch to the next station and do that workout, and repeat until all groups have completed every station. Remember, PT lasts for one hour, so the stations typically aren't too long unless the calisthenics section is short.
Every PT is different and they don't always follow the format above. Sometimes the entire PT will be an hour "warrior-run" around campus, a sport, an open-gym workout, etc.

What is the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA)?

The PFA usually takes place about a month into every semester.
The PFA consists of three events:
* How many pushups you can do in 1 minute
* How many situps you can do in 1 minute
* How quickly you can run 1.5 miles

Cadets in their freshman and sophomore years who are not contracted are not required to pass the PFA, but they should make an honest attempt to do so. Contracted and 3-4 year cadets are required to pass the PFA. The minimum numbers and times that must be achieved are below:

Males: 30 pushups in one minute, 39 situps in one minute,  and a 15:50 1.5 mile run
Females: 15 pushups in one minute, 35 situps in one minute, and a 18:56 1.5 mile run

To give you a comparison of a perfect score on the PFA, below are the numbers and times that will give you the maximum number of points. If you are at these, or in between these and the numbers above, you will pass the PFA!

Males: 67 pushups in one minute, 58 crunches in one minute,  and a 09:12 1.5 mile run
Females: 47 pushups in one minute, 54 crunches in one minute, and a 10:23 1.5 mile run

Do you have any advice for preparing for the PFA?

  • First, you should consult with a physician before starting any exercise program.
  • Take the entire test early in order to get a baseline for improvement.
  • Develop a plan to improve your physical fitness.
  • The plan should include exercises to improve each event score.
  • Emphasize the events you struggle with to improve overall score.
  • Make the plan a part of your lifestyle.
  • If possible, find a friend (or friends) to work out with on a regular basis.
  • Stay positive and stay with it.
  • Set short-term and long-term goals for yourself.
  • Set six-week goals, semester goals and Field Training board goals for improving individual event scores and the overall score.
  • Ask your instructor for the average scores for those programs for which you want to be selected.
  • Work the PFA exercises and running into your overall lifestyle. Use small amounts of time to improve overall fitness.
  • Break periods of study by performing individual exercises. (Read a chapter or finish an assignment and do some push-ups.)
  • Clear the mind after a long study session by going for a run.
  • You do not need to be at a gym or fitness center to improve on your PFA. Be creative.
  • Work on sit-ups and push-ups in your room.
  • Just remember that you do not need to be an athlete to pass the PFA. You just need to get in and stay in PFA shape.

For more information, visit Air Force Personnel Center, Career Management, Fitness Center