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Passing the PT test

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Cammie Quinn
  • 43rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
The Carolina Flyer staff sat down with Master Sgt. Horace Johnson, a Physical Training Leader for the 43rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, to get the scoop on the new PT test.

Q: What are a few concerns Airmen have when it comes to the current test?
A: Passing, of course! Every Airman is different - some do not run well, for some it's push-ups or sit-ups. The problem is that most Airmen wait until right before their test is due to push hard rather than pushing themselves every day.

Q: What parts of the test do you focus on when helping Airmen?
A: Proper technique and breathing are essential. I see a lot of people doing push-ups with only their head or their butt moving and barely breaking a 45-degree angle. I suggest practicing good form for push-ups to do well on the test. The second area I focus on is breathing during the test. When coming up on a sit-up, exhale and take a breath at the top. The same goes with running. I teach Airmen to pace themselves and to get their breathing under control before they become tired. Otherwise they will never get their breath back, causing the body to shut down. These simple things can help reduce run time by a minute or get a couple more push-ups or sit-ups. It could be the difference between a pass or a fail.

Q: How often do you recommend Airmen practice the test?
A: I recommend testing each quarter. For someone more hardcore, test once a month. With the self-regulated PT program coming, it is imperative for Airmen to police themselves and do what is needed. The misconception has always been that we only test once a year, but in fact we should be able to test at anytime. The annual test is simply to record our results for the year.

Q: What are common reasons Airmen fail their tests?
A: Procrastination, laziness and pride; a lot of people will wait until a couple of weeks right before testing to try to get themselves in shape and ready. Most of the time it's too late and they fail as a result. Pride hurts those who need help, but will not ask for it. Some people need a little motivation; someone who is stronger or faster can help. It's not just the supervisor's job to help a fellow Airman, it's anyone in that flight who is capable.

Q: If people are concerned about passing their test, what are ways they can better prepare?
A: Get with a PTL or someone who is in good shape. Go through each exercise and have them critique the technique to ensure the exercise is performed correctly. The point is to take the initiative on their own accord.

Q: What other tricks of the trade do you suggest to stay in shape?
A: Be sure to eat healthy. Eighty percent of fitness can be directly attributed to eating habits. Drink more water, and less soda and sugar drinks. Fat can still accumulate even when a person follows good work out procedures but has poor eating habits. Fast food restaurants are not the place to be. Instead, cook meals at home and prepare enough to bring in for lunch the next day. Not only does this help weight loss, but it also saves money. Bake, instead of frying food, and add more fish and vegetables to the diet.