Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rest and Test

Between the Police Department and the different tactical teams I work for, I have my physical fitness / agility tested several times per year.

I feel that good PT testing is not something that can be crammed for but rather something that shows the results of positive long range (lifetime) habits.

It also is an objective means to gauge yourself and set goals.

As such I test myself on a regular basis as well, which brings us to the title of this week’s blog “Rest and Test”

Long range planning-
I break down the year into four 13 week quarters.  Each quarter I like to switch up the training every 6 weeks.  

After around 6 weeks your body has adapted to the new / different stress so you start practicing how to do the exercise as opposed to your body changing because of the exercise. 

Also it helps keep things fresh.  For me, it is easier to work hard on new workouts I am excited about than to grind out another of the same I've been doing forever.

So a 13 week quarter looks something like this:
6 weeks (lets say working the whole body 3x week)
6 weeks (Pushing muscle groups 2/week and Pulling muscle groups 2/ week)
1 week Rest and Test

On that lucky 13th week I want to recover from 12 weeks of hard training and assess the progress that training has yielded
  • Am I closer to my goals than I was last quarter?
  • What worked?
  • What didn't?
  • What should I change next quarter?

Week 12 will end on a Friday so Week 13 usually looks like this:
Saturday          Rest
Sunday            Rest
Monday           Test – Dips, Pull Ups, Leg Press
Tuesday           Test – 1 Mile Run
Wednesday     Test – Push Ups, Sit Ups, Body Weight Squats
Thursday         Rest
Friday              Depending on the next exercise cycle start week 1

Yesterday we had our annual PT test for the SWAT team

The test is structured like this:
700 pts to qualify
800 pts is maximum score (so you have to participate in all events instead of being really good at dips and skipping the run)
*If you chose to go beyond the maximum score for bragging rights / competition those scores are recorded too

Last year the highest score on the team was 907 pts.  I went back and looked but could not find my exact score from last year, but I know I achieved the maximum 800 pts

As I mentioned you can’t really cram for tests like these, but they do favor individuals with positive long range (lifetime) habits. 

And as you know since the beginning of the year I have been working on the Batman by 40 project (picking it up a notch if you will).

So this year:
1 min sit ups                            61        for 128 pts
1 min push ups                        45        for 112 pts
1 min dips                               25        for 200 pts
1 min pull ups                          21        for 180 pts
1 min body weight squats       56        for 123 pts
1 min 250 lb leg press             30        for 140 pts
1 mile run in armor                  9:45     for 120 pts

Total 1003 pts (2nd highest score of active Operators on the team)

So after 4 solid weeks of the Batman by 40 program lets compare the results to the goals

Bat Man By 40 Goals:
  • 225lbs – Actual weight 242 down 13 from 255 at the start of the program
  • 40 Min 5 mile – still needs lots of work
  • 6 min 1 mile – only 3:45 seconds to shed in 17 months J
  • 15 pull ups in one minute – objective achieved 21 pull ups
  • 60 push ups in one minute – 15 more to go
  • 60 sit ups in one minute – objective achieved 61 sit ups
  • 20 dips in one minute – objective achieved 25 dips

3 out of 7 goals completed one month into an 18 month process.
I am happy with the over all results, I’ll even give myself 5 minutes to enjoy it, but now time to move on.

Remember Batman is known as the world’s greatest detective.  Mostly because he collects information and has easy access to data.  Regular testing allows you to collect information on your self.

Based on my most recent test it looks like I need to find ways to improve my 1 minute push ups and decrease my mile run time.  Having this objective information allows me to more specifically modify the next 12 weeks of training to meet those goals.

Having that information also allows me to set the bar

Original goal                           Date achieved                                               New goal
15 pull ups in one minute        objective achieved 21 pull ups 1/23/13           25 pull ups
60 sit ups in one minute          objective achieved 61 sit ups 1/23/13             65 sit ups
20 dips in one minute              objective achieved 25 dips 1/23/13               30 dips

Ok, ok to prevent this blog from being entirely me bragging about how well I did on the PT test let’s focus on how any of this is relevant to the reader.

Set goals
Test your self to see if you meet those goals
Collect data
  • On your tests
  • On your workouts
  • On you food consumption ( I really like the my fitness pal app for your smart phone or tablet)
Use that data to adjust your training and nutrition to more efficiently achieve your goals

Train hard, Train smart, Be safe

 Here is a sneak preview of ripped I will be by 40 from a painting my sister Kay had made of my family as DC Heroes

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