Achieving APFT promotion points success is an opportunity for extra promotion points to accelerate your career and get promoted to E-5 and E-6 faster.
APFT Promotion Points (The Fundamentals)
For advancement to Sergeant / E-5 the APFT provides the opportunity to grab up to 180 total promotion points while competing for SSG / E-6 can provide up to 145. This represents 23% and 18% of the 800 total available points respectively.
For an overall deeper look at the Army Promotion Point system and the different ways you can rack up points, here are two prior articles I posted:
For all of the time, energy, and commitment it will take you to equal this points haul in other categories, well….it is not a valuable trade-off. Think about this for a moment, you can gain an extra 50 to 100 APFT promotion points in less than 2-hours of your time through some intentional behaviors and basic preparation.
Are you willing to prepare a little differently to substantially increase your promotion points total?
Are you willing to do what it takes to prepare your mind and body to perform for less than 2-hours for the trade-off of getting promoted to E-5 or E-6 one-year faster?
If you answered no to either of these questions, you should probably stop reading now. I’m guessing that everyone answered ‘YES’ to both, which is (of course) the right answer!
Again, it’s nearly impossible to achieve this level of point acceleration in such a small amount of time. A few things I recommend you do in preparation for your next APFT.
How to Prepare Your Body – My Routine
Everyone is different, but I have a general rule of thumb that has worked well for me and provided me with great APFT Promotion Points Success. For the record, I have never enjoyed doing PT or taking the APFT, so I had to come up with a way that allowed me to operate at my best and capture the most APFT promotion points as possible. This is how I did that.
Caution: I am not a doctor. This is my method and what worked for me consistently in the past. You should always adapt your specific training to how your body responds to different levels of exercise and conditioning.
About a month before my scheduled APFT, I began to train my body to intentionally perform at a level to optimize my scoring in the three standard APFT events, including the push-up, sit-up, and 2-mile run.
My Push-Up/Sit-Up Preparation Regimen
Daily, from Day 30 down to Day 5 before my scheduled APFT
I complete four sets, 25 repetitions each, of 3-count push-ups at 3-hour intervals throughout the day. My daily schedule would look like this:
0700 hrs 25 reps of 3-count pushups
1000 hrs 25 reps of 3-count pushups
1300 hrs 25 reps of 3-count pushups
1600 hrs 25 reps of 3-count pushups
I would repeat this same process for sit-ups but stagger the time by an hour if possible. If that is not practical for you, then complete both at the same time, back to back. Sit-up schedule might look like this:
0800 hrs 25 reps of 3-count sit-ups
1100 hrs 25 reps of 3-count sit-ups
1400 hrs 25 reps of 3-count sit-ups
1700 hrs 25 reps of 3-count sit-ups
By completing reps on this schedule, my body would get into a zone of conditioning that would be responsive during the 2-minute timed events. My method would also condition me for completing the push-up and sit-up events in a very short time window (back-to-back).
Then, it’s always been important for me to rest my body for the 3-days leading up to the scheduled APFT. So important to let my body heal up just before I put it through the ringer and kick it into another gear!
My Method for Maximum APFT Promotion Points Success Every Time
Push-Ups and Sit-Ups
When doing the timed events for scoring, I found that going non-stop until you hit muscle failure worked for me well. My preparation regimen would allow me to do about 45 reps without stopping withing the first minute or so. Then I would get into the rest position and regroup for about 20-seconds. With about 40-seconds remaining in the timed event, I would pump out a two more sets of 10, then finish up any remaining seconds with two or three reps. This method would give me between 65 and 70 scored reps and a ton of promotion points (age dependent of course)
While doing your reps in training, count out the reps aloud. This will naturally help your body get into the cadence and zone of what will be needed when you are doing these for a timed score on the APFT.
If you are not satisfied with your APFT performance, you can request to take it again prior to your next scheduled event. Talk to your first line supervisor if you have questions or want to learn how this is possible.
My 2-Mile Run Preparation Regimen
To prepare for the speed I needed to perform well on the APFT timed event and capture the maximum APFT promotion points success humanly possible, I always focused on endurance and stamina elements, not training for speed with speed. Sounds backwards at first, until you see how it benefited me.
For me, I found that slower paced, 3 to 4 mile runs at regular intervals created the endurance for me to kick it into gear for that one-time APFT timed run, which I personally dreaded but successfully accomplished.
About 30-days prior to my scheduled APFT, my approach has always been to run my slower paced 3 to 4 mile training runs at least three-times per week. I might adjust this schedule a bit based on the amount of organized running we were doing for PT.
About 15-days prior, I would use one of my 3X weekly training runs to mix in some speed intervals, mainly to further condition my endurance level and to get into a habit of some short-lived sprinting (because I always seem to sprint to the finish line in all of my APFT’s).
Then, just as with the push-ups and sit-ups, I choose to take a break and rest my body for the 3-days leading up to the scheduled APFT.
During the scheduled APFT I have already completed the push-up and sit-up events and I’m loose and feeling pretty good about my performance. I am already thinking about how many promotion points I am gathering!
Now, the 2-mile run is upon me and I am raring to go!
For me, I start out at a measured pace to get into a rhythm, about a 7:30 to 8:00 mile pace. My stamina is high, my endurance is strong, and I am still feeling great. At about the 1-mile mark I kick it into a measured 2nd gear and begin passing those who didn’t think about how best to prepare or execute their run. Being intentional is now paying off and more promotion points are headed my way!
With a half-mile to go, I add a small burst of energy. At the quarter-mile point I can now see the finish line and can hear my heart thumping in my ears.
With only 100-meters remaining I go into a full sprint to the finish line, which gets me those last few seconds and promotion points for the taking!
The timed run is more mind over matter, I suck it up and get it over and done with. My training has paid off and I can think about the benefit of tapping into energy stores that were made possible because I trained and prepared with intention.
I would typically earn a APFT score of about 275 out of 300 possible. This would translate into a very respectable promotion point tally! The APFT was not my strong suit, but I turned weakness into strength by because purposeful and focusing in on how to maximize points, rather than worry about anything else.
My goal was not to become a world class athlete or be the best or fastest person in my Company. My goal has always been the best version of me possible and using that as a way to earn every single APFT promotion point possible.
If I could do it, you absolutely can achieve the same or even better! Your APFT Promotion Points Success is what you create for yourself. Seize the moment and take every last point you can. Getting promoted is the next step you have prepared for!
Are you ready to make the commitment to achieve excellence? Take the challenge and get promoted to E-5 or E-6 faster than you ever thought possible!
I believe you can and I would be happy to help you understand and sleigh the Army Promotion Point System!