The PT test is stressful. You can’t prepare for it overnight, and there’s a lot riding on the line if you fail. If you’re like me and suck at PT, you need to put the odds in your favor. Here’s how:
1. Schedule your PT test well ahead of your annual report
Do not take your PT test three weeks before your annual report is due. Take your test at least six months ahead of time. Why? If the worst case happens and you fail, you can make it up so it does not impact your personal records. If you are test right before an annual report, you leave your supervisor little choice but to issue you a bad report. This could have serious repercussions.
2. Start preparing early
You need to start preparing for your test at least three months early.
3. Work out for yourself – not for the PT test
You will get in much better shape if you get into fitness for yourself. There are too many ways to cheat yourself if you work out only for the PT test. Work out to feel better and to look good. Try to impress your friends. Set some goals. You will do a much better job if you’re in it for yourself.
4. Choose a plan and stick to it
Fitness plans, such as Body for Life, give you simple instructions and schedules that anybody can follow. I use Body for Life when I need to get in shape fast. It’s tough to stick with it in the long run, but you WILL see results.
5. Know the exact scores you need and watch them closely on test day
You should know exactly how many sit-ups you need to pass. You should come across the finish line glancing at your watch, knowing you have xx seconds to spare. I’m always surprised when I see people check the score card AFTER the test and see they failed by 2 push-ups.
6. Use a pace runner to motivate you through the run
Have a friend or supervisor run with you at a set pace. They may be able to motivate you through spots where you may have quit.
7. Ask for help
Above all, there is nothing wrong with asking your supervisor for help if you’re worried about the test. Every unit I’ve been in would gladly help someone get in better shape. So don’t be ashamed. It shows more maturity to get help and pass rather than surprise everyone by failing.