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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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March 14, 2011

WOW: New Army Fitness Test

By Mark Sisson
10 Comments

Complete 2 cycles:

400 Meter Run
Clear 5 Low Hurdles
20 Meter Grok crawl
5 Pullups
40 Meter Backwards Weight Drag
20 Meter Balance Beam Farmer’s Carry
50 Meter Weighted Sprint

How-to:

Warmup: 30 second Grok Squat, three light sprints at 70%.

In last week’s Link Love, I mentioned that the US Army may be instituting a new and improved PT test, one that looks more Primal than not. We applaud this development, and to show our appreciation for the armed services, I thought it’d be fun to try our hand at a slightly altered version of the new test.

Most of these movements are self-explanatory or previously touched upon, like the Grok crawl, the pullup, and running. Clearing low hurdles simply means getting over an obstacle about waist height, either by leaping, vaulting, or climbing over it. You can use the same obstacle over and over again, since most people won’t have five lined up in a row. A Farmer’s Carry means carrying heavy things in your hands at your sides as you walk along a balance beam, or anything that requires balance (you can just walk in a perfectly straight, narrow line); the PT test calls for two 30 pound loads, but use anything that taxes your grip (dumbells, bags loaded with rocks or books, sandbags, etc). For the backwards Weight Drag, use whatever object you used in Flip that Log. For the Weighted Sprint, carry just one of the heavy objects used in the Farmer’s Carry.

If you need to measure out distances, use the “My Maps” tool at Google Maps to create a map of your area and measure distances down to the foot using the “line dragging” tool. Some conversions to help you in case Google isn’t set up for the metric system:

400 meters = 1312.34 feet

50 meters = 164.04 feet

40 meters = 131.23 feet

20 meters = 65.62 feet

Rest for two minutes after the first cycle before beginning the second.

This one is tough, but consider the fact that the folks currently protecting us go through much worse on a regular basis. We should be thankful that we can do this for kicks. Let me know how it goes in the comment section! Do you measure up to a member of the armed services?

A few things to remember:

  • Combat boots are not necessary. In fact, I advise going barefoot or minimal.
  • Weighted sprints are tough. Don’t use too heavy a weight that keeps you from moving fast and causes a ton of joint impact.
  • Grok crawl sprints are most effective when you keep those hips low. Don’t form an upside down V with the ground and try to be conscious of using your arms (pulling yourself as well as pushing), along with your legs. Don’t make it all legs, which is often the instinct.

Variations:

Perform the entire circuit while holding a stick (to emulate having to hold a rifle). To really make things tough, toss on a weighted backpack or vest for the duration. To make things a bit easier, drop the added weights (make the Weight Drag a backward sprint).

What Are WOWs?

  • Workouts of the Week (WOWs) are an optional component of Primal Blueprint Fitness that add a fractal and often fun and playful quality to the basic PBF protocol.
  • In most cases WOWs should only be completed by those that have mastered Level 4 of each Lift Heavy Things Essential Movement. Also, it’s recommended that WOWsreplace one or both Lift Heavy Things workouts or the Sprint workout (depending on the WOW) each week instead of being done in addition to the Lift Heavy Things and Sprint workouts.
  • Learn more about WOWs and Primal Blueprint Fitness by getting the free eBook. And access all Workouts of the Week in the WOW Archive.

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10 Comments on "WOW: New Army Fitness Test"

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Dave
Dave
5 years 6 months ago

What no live ammo zinging overhead???

Rob
Rob
5 years 6 months ago

As a retired member of the armed services I heartliy appluade this.
I had often have thought that a physical readiness test should mimic those things that a person in the military could be called upon to do at any given time during the course of their day. Anybody can run/swim, do push ups and sit ups; but a true test of fitness is to be able to apply that physicality to certain tasks.

Gary Deagle
5 years 6 months ago

Looks fun. The only challenge for me is going to be finding something to fill in for balance beam. Looks like a good metabolic workout for tomorrow though!

Dave
Dave
5 years 6 months ago

Try a slack line for the balance beam portion. That’s a challenge!

Alex "Dude Where's My Muscle" Siddy

I like this twist. I might have to fire up and give this a shot during the week to add a nice variation kick.

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[…] of us modern-day neanderthals can do. So today in the gym, the Gym Buddies and I will be tackling the Primal Blueprint Workout of the Week, Army Edition. Weighted sprints! Farmer carries! Drag races!! (Hmm, wherever will I find a weight to pull… […]

trackback

[…] of us modern-day neanderthals can do. So today in the gym, the Gym Buddies and I will be tackling the Primal Blueprint Workout of the Week, Army Edition. Weighted sprints! Farmer carries! Drag races!! (Hmm, wherever will I find a weight to pull… […]

Kevin Cowart
Kevin Cowart
5 years 6 months ago

Now to get the full effect do this before the sun comes up without breakfast. Preferably when its cold as hell and invite people to come yell at you and call your mother a whore. This adds a level of stress that enhances the effect and prepares you for combat situations. Then your are abiding with true military SOP.

Walt
Walt
3 years 11 months ago

This comment made me laugh out loud hysterically!!! Army SOP for sure! Thanks Mark for your Service from a former “RedLeg” 1SG. Scouts Out!

Shera
Shera
3 years 1 month ago

Kevin Cowart that is so true! 10/12/01-03/01/02 I did OSUT at Ft. Leonard Wood. 0530 hell began every day but Sunday! Lol

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