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Army PT (Physical Training) Exercises 2024

Army Physical Training
Army Physical Training

Physical Training (PT) is an important component of the United States Army’s physical readiness program; it aims to improve soldiers’ physical capabilities, enhance combat readiness, and promote a healthy lifestyle.

  • Soldiers undergo this daily routine to maintain and improve their physical fitness, strength, and endurance. 
  • PT sessions are essential as soldiers’ physical condition can significantly impact their health and performance in combat operations.
  • Regular physical training sessions will help soldiers prepare for the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), pass the new 2024 standards, and achieve maximum ACFT promotion points.

Usually, PT sessions in most Army Units might include:

  • A variety of running exercises
  • Calisthenics (like push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups).
  • Strength and mobility workout exercises.

The intensity and content of PT sessions can vary depending on the unit’s mission, the individual soldier’s role, and the current training phase.

These activities improve a soldier’s cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

Structure of the Physical Training

  • Army PT usually occurs in the early morning from Monday to Friday (5 days a week) and is an energetic start to a soldier’s day.
  • A designated Physical Training Leader (PTL) leads these sessions.
  • It consists of exercises that enhance muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility.

Army Physical Training routines usually involve preparation and recovery periods, during which soldiers perform warm-up, cool-down exercises, and stretch to reduce the risk of injury.

Each Daily PT session has at least these three workout:

  • Warm-up exercises
  • Main workout
  • Cool-down exercises

Warm-up Exercises:

  • Warm-up Exercises help increase body temperature, improve flexibility, and reduce the risk of injuries. 
  • Examples include:
    • Bend and Reach
    • Rear Lunge
    • High Jumper
    • Rower
    • Squat Bender
    • Windmill
    • Forward Lunge
    • Prone Row
    • Bent-leg Body Twist
    • Push-up

Main workout:

  • A dynamic mix of exercises designed to improve cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility.
  • Examples Include:
    • Verticals
    • Laterals
    • Shuttle Sprint
    • Push-up/Sit-up Drill
    • Climbing Drill
    • Conditioning Drill 1
    • Conditioning Drill 2

Cool-Down Exercises:

  • Cool-down exercises help the body recover and reduce post-workout stiffness and discomfort.
  • Examples Include:
    • Overhead Arm Pull
    • Rear Lunge
    • Extend and Flex
    • Thigh Stretch
    • Single-leg Over

Components of PT

Army PT includes several fitness components, each contributing to a well-rounded fitness routine.

Cardiovascular Training

Cardiovascular training forms the backbone of Army Physical Training, primarily through running.

  • Distance running: Effective cardio workouts that improve heart and lung health.
  • Interval training: Intersperses periods of high-intensity effort with recovery periods to improve overall cardio fitness and calorie burning.
  • Examples Include:
    • 30:60s (30 seconds of sprinting, 60 seconds of walking)
    • 60:120s (60 seconds of sprinting, 120 seconds of walking)
    • Release Run

Strength Training

Strength training enhances muscle power, endurance, and overall body strength.

  • Bodyweight exercises: push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, squats
  • Weight training (if the equipment is available)
  • Examples Include:
    • Push-ups
    • Squats
    • Lunges
    • Heel Hook
    • Sit-ups

Flexibility Training

Flexibility exercises help prevent injuries and increase overall body performance.

  • Static stretching: These exercises involve stretching a muscle to its farthest point and maintaining that position.
  • Dynamic stretching: These exercises involve moving parts of your body and gradually increasing reach, speed of movement, or both.
  • Examples Include:
    • Overhead Arm Pull
    • Rear Lunge
    • Extend and Flex
    • Thigh Stretch
    • Single-leg Over

Army Physical Training Exercise List for 2023

Below is a list of PT exercises:

Workout PhaseExercise Examples
Warm-Up (Preparation Drill)Bend and Reach, Rear Lunge, High Jumper
Main WorkoutVerticals, Laterals, Shuttle Sprint
Cool-Down (Recovery Drill)Overhead Arm Pull, Rear Lunge, Extend and Flex
Cardiovascular Training30:60s, 60:120s, Release Run
Strength TrainingPush-ups, Squats, and lunges
Flexibility Training (Recovery Drill)Overhead Arm Pull, Rear Lunge, Extend and Flex

Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT)

  • The ACFT is the new Army Fitness Test, used to assess a soldier’s fitness level. 
  • It replaces the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).

ACFT Components:

The following are the events making up the Army Combat Fitness Test:

ACFT EventPurpose
DeadliftTests muscular strength, particularly in the legs and lower back
Standing Power ThrowMeasures power and explosiveness
Hand Release PushupsAssesses upper body strength and endurance
Sprint-Drag-CarryMeasures aerobic and anaerobic endurance
PlankTests core strength and endurance
Two-mile RunAssesses aerobic fitness

Importance of Army Physical Training

Physical readiness is crucial for a soldier’s overall performance; it:

  • Enhances soldier’s physical and mental health
  • improves the combat readiness of soldiers
  • Builds teamwork and cohesion within the unit.

Safety

The Army has put in place safety guidelines to avoid injuries and overexertion during physical training sessions. 

Guidelines that require soldiers to: 

  • Properly warm warm-up and cool-down
  • Use the correct form and technique for each exercise.
  • Hydrate and have proper nutrition as per the guidelines. Adequate hydration and nutrition
  • Make sure they have enough recovery time.

Conclusion

Army Physical Training provides a balanced and comprehensive approach to physical fitness & readiness, with a clear focus on the requirements and rigors of military service.

It ensures soldiers are combat-ready and promotes a healthy lifestyle that they carry into civilian life.

George N.