If you’ve been keeping up the last couple of days, you know I took my first operational PT test the other day (and subsequently posted my results on my Facebook page). I was nervous and anxious because I didn’t know the procedures and because I really wanted to score above a 90. I’d been working out all summer, eating well, and avoiding sweets in preparation for this final test of summer.
The morning of my test, I showed up nice and early. The testing area at my base is called the “Fitness Assessment Cell (FAC)” and it’s located near the Health and Wellness Center (HAWC). Upon arriving, I checked in and filled out two forms that they’d use to tally my scores. We waited for the other participants to arrive and fill out their scores. When the time came, the FAC staff checked our IDs (don’t be that person who leaves their ID in the car) and began taking our height and weight measurements. After height and weight, our waists were taped by a member of the same gender in a closed-door office. They took three measurements and then averaged the scores. They felt around for your natural waist, just below your ribs.
After everyone’s measurements were taken, we watched an informational video which was required viewing to be assessed. The video showed proper and improper forms for the pushups and sit-ups. After that, we went down to the aerobics room, which was equipped with sit-up bars on the floor. Each bar was numbered and there was a coordinating number further down on the floor. We partnered up with a same-sex Airman who’d count our reps as we traded off.
We started immediately with pushups, so it was nice to get those out of the way. The FAC staff member watched the clock and gave us warnings at 30 seconds and 15 seconds. Our partner counted each rep out loud, and a second FAC staff member reminded us to count loudly. That second staff member was there to tell you if a rep didn’t count, but he never seemed to wander down our way. Either that or we didn’t have any issues with our reps! After time was called, the counting partner would take the sheet and tell the FAC staff member how many reps were completed so it could be recorded.
After pushups, we switched to sit-ups and repeated the same process. We did have a mat underneath our butts/backs, and we used the sit-up bars. The big difference from this and BMT is that we started in the down position, rather than up.
We had a bit of time to hydrate after completing pushups and sit-ups, but we definitely didn’t have the down time that I anticipated before we hit the track for the run. We wore numbered bibs so they could identify us on the track. Sunglasses and iPods were allowed for the run, and a (non-testing) pacer is allowed, if you need (and find) one. There wasn’t time to get them between the strength portion and the run, so I grabbed them early on. I didn’t mention it earlier, but any combination of the PT uniform is allowed for testing. We were given time to warm up prior to the run, and we were asked if anyone needed to take a warm-up lap. There was a timing clock at the finish line, similar to BMT, and a FAC staff member stood down there with the official stopwatch. Another FAC staff member told us the current lap we’d finished as we ran around.
After the run was completed, we went back to the FAC office. We were called over individually to confirm our scores and sign the bottom of the form to indicate that those were correct to the best of our knowledge/experience. They didn’t total up my points there in the office, but the PT charts were on the wall, so I guesstimated my score. The official scores were posted on the PT score management system website within a couple hours of completing my test.
So, how’d I do? I got a 96.5! Here’s my breakdown: Waist – 28.5 (maxed). Pushups – 32! I shocked myself! Sit-ups – 45 (maxed). Run – 12:19 (after the altitude adjustment). I wasn’t super pleased with my run, but the difference is so minimal due to the large number of points the run is given.
I can’t tell you how thankful I was to be done with my first PT test! I definitely feel more comfortable now that I understand the process, and I’m ecstatic that I did so well and secured my “Excellent” rating. I’m taking a few days off, but I’ll start back up with my every other day running schedule. I’d like to maintain the level of fitness I’ve worked toward, as best as possible, and start training for the Air Force Marathon in 2013!