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New Fitness Rules


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On 12/8/2020 at 11:35 PM, HuggyU2 said:

True or not, that's pretty much been USAF lore since at least the early 80's (when I first heard it).  

It’s more of a high G lifestyle....

you can’t control your height. 
but you can control your muscle mass and resting blood pressure. Lots of ways to reach the goal. 
 

nicotine, bacon, whiskey, and coffee works really really well. Not the best for longevity. But can get you a 7g resting tolerance. 9+ from there is easy. 

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On 12/8/2020 at 2:30 AM, dream big said:

Come on man some of the most in shape people I know can barely pass the waist measurement.  It is archaic and in no way shape or form is a measure of physical health.  

But we spent some much time and energy "studying" it... read my lips, no more changes. 

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2015/05/28/welsh-no-more-changes-to-the-pt-test-coming/

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It’s more of a high G lifestyle....
you can’t control your height. 
but you can control your muscle mass and resting blood pressure. Lots of ways to reach the goal. 
 
nicotine, bacon, whiskey, and coffee works really really well. Not the best for longevity. But can get you a 7g resting tolerance. 9+ from there is easy. 

But what a way to go


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3 hours ago, war007afa said:

The irony is the intent of the test (beyond muscular endurance) has always been a desire to measure VO2 max. You can do that walking up to a machine and placing a sensor on your finger. 

VO2 max is best measured connected to a mask while running a full out run on a treadmill. 

Maybe you’re thinking about O2 blood saturation?

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Worse was the bike test years ago. The intent was to get your heart rate up to some benchmark and hold it there. I was a long distance runner with a very low resting heart rate.  I'd get on that stupid bike and start pedalling. Heart rate barely increases. The dude doing the test increases the resistance. Heart rate increases just a little. This sequence repeats itself for a while and by the time I get my heart rate up my legs are tired but I pass. The squadron bacon powered pudgy guy gets in there and his heart immediately increases, hits his target heart rate, and he is done. Made no sense at all. 

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7 minutes ago, TreeA10 said:

Worse was the bike test years ago. The intent was to get your heart rate up to some benchmark and hold it there. I was a long distance runner with a very low resting heart rate.  I'd get on that stupid bike and start pedalling. Heart rate barely increases. The dude doing the test increases the resistance. Heart rate increases just a little. This sequence repeats itself for a while and by the time I get my heart rate up my legs are tired but I pass. The squadron bacon powered pudgy guy gets in there and his heart immediately increases, hits his target heart rate, and he is done. Made no sense at all. 

Never smoked, did long distance bicycle riding, played sq football,softball. Worked on the flightline but never ever passed a bike test. My buddy was 2 pack a day smoker and passed it every time. My last test before they canned it I drank black coffee and smoked cigars for a month and passed it, who knew. Before that the whole Sq would show up at the base track and run a mile and a half once a year. I think you had 15 minutes to complete it then you were good for the year.

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4 minutes ago, Prosuper said:

Never smoked, did long distance bicycle riding, played sq football,softball. Worked on the flightline but never ever passed a bike test. My buddy was 2 pack a day smoker and passed it every time. My last test before they canned it I drank black coffee and smoked cigars for a month and passed it, who knew. Before that the whole Sq would show up at the base track and run a mile and a half once a year. I think you had 15 minutes to complete it then you were good for the year.

Amazing how I can show up for a PT test (mid forties) and pass the run no problem while some airmen 4 months out of tech school and 20 years old fails. Seems to be a trend now as well with the new generation 

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7 minutes ago, slc said:

Amazing how I can show up for a PT test (mid forties) and pass the run no problem while some airmen 4 months out of tech school and 20 years old fails. Seems to be a trend now as well with the new generation 

I'm jealous of people who can do this.  I suck at running and spend about three months following a Garmin 5K plan to get ready for the run every year.

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8 minutes ago, slc said:

Amazing how I can show up for a PT test (mid forties) and pass the run no problem while some airmen 4 months out of tech school and 20 years old fails. Seems to be a trend now as well with the new generation 

 

Just now, pawnman said:

I'm jealous of people who can do this.  I suck at running and spend about three months following a Garmin 5K plan to get ready for the run every year.

Your VO2 MAX is usually an amalgamation of three factors. The largest one is unfortunately one you can't change, genetics. The other two, training and body composition, seem to be able to swing your VO2 Max anywhere from 15-20 points. My personal experience is that weight loss makes the bigger difference between those two. My run time would melt from a 12:30 to a 10:00 by just dropping 25# in my 30's. Never did any cardio training to lose the weight. Only lifted weights and fasted. 

So I think this phenomena is largely explained by people who have the right mesh of genetics and a healthy body weight. Because since I've been at 165#, I too can just show up to a PT test and run in the low 10's consistently with zero training. 

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1 minute ago, FLEA said:

 

Your VO2 MAX is usually an amalgamation of three factors. The largest one is unfortunately one you can't change, genetics. The other two, training and body composition, seem to be able to swing your VO2 Max anywhere from 15-20 points. My personal experience is that weight loss makes the bigger difference between those two. My run time would melt from a 12:30 to a 10:00 by just dropping 25# in my 30's. Never did any cardio training to lose the weight. Only lifted weights and fasted. 

So I think this phenomena is largely explained by people who have the right mesh of genetics and a healthy body weight. Because since I've been at 165#, I too can just show up to a PT test and run in the low 10's consistently with zero training. 

I'm 6' and 175.  I could probably stand to lose another ten pounds, but I'm certainly not the poster child for the old dude with a beer belly.

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1 hour ago, pawnman said:

I'm 6' and 175.  I could probably stand to lose another ten pounds, but I'm certainly not the poster child for the old dude with a beer belly.

Probably just poor genetics then. Unless you have a history of smoking or something. 6 ft 175 is a very healthy weight though. 

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I think I'm also in the poor genetics camp. Typically I'm 5'8" ~160lbs. Running has always been a struggle for me - I was the kid that could never even finish a 1mi run in grade school and even into early high school. I always struggled with keeping my breath...was screened for asthma and other shit as a kid but always checked out with normal lungs and cardiovascular from a purely medical standpoint. My legs and energy level had absolutely no issue...it was literally a question of being able to breathe on a run. I probably didn't make things easier by smoking heavily all throughout college later on, but I have to do a 2 or 3 month workup before a PT test that involves multiple 1.5's per week starting at 15min/mi pacing and progressively get towards a passing time by the date the test rolls around. When it comes to situps and pushups I can absolutely dominate and easily max out my score with no more than a week or two prep but the run just kills me. On the one hand I am proud to overcome what seems to be a sort of inherent handicap purely by work ethic, but on the other hand I wish I was that dude who could just show up for a test and crush an 8min/mi pace without thinking about it. Is what it is...

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23 minutes ago, Homestar said:

I’m a 4 time full Ironman finisher and I have a 2-3 month build to the PT test too. Still can’t max the run and I’m 40+. 

Dude thats no small feat. I'm impressed! 

Yeah the reality is, even with a genetically low VO2MAX you still have a genetically increased risk for heart disease. So there isn't a lot of empathy from the AF for people who are born at a disadvantage, however we may feel about that. 

I guess the good news is, if you are genetically predisposed heart disease, annually working to keep your run time down will ward that off for several years.

 

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1 hour ago, FLEA said:

Dude thats no small feat. I'm impressed! 

Yeah the reality is, even with a genetically low VO2MAX you still have a genetically increased risk for heart disease. So there isn't a lot of empathy from the AF for people who are born at a disadvantage, however we may feel about that. 

I guess the good news is, if you are genetically predisposed heart disease, annually working to keep your run time down will ward that off for several years.

 

Being a slow runner does not necessarily mean you have a genetically low VO2Max, nor does it correlate with increased risk of heart disease.

 

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41 minutes ago, Buddy Spike said:

Being a slow runner does not necessarily mean you have a genetically low VO2Max, nor does it correlate with increased risk of heart disease.

 

This is true. Had my VO2 Max measured a couple years ago while I was in the middle of IM training and was about average for my age. Best fitness of my life and could never break sub 10:15 on the run. Needed more speed training. Some people are just strong or fast or both. 

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42 minutes ago, Homestar said:

This is true. Had my VO2 Max measured a couple years ago while I was in the middle of IM training and was about average for my age. Best fitness of my life and could never break sub 10:15 on the run. Needed more speed training. Some people are just strong or fast or both. 

That's the problem.  You get to the point that you need speed training.  I spend most of the year trying to improve my fitness in the sweet spot/upper threshold range so that I can increase my speed over 100 miles.  The problem is, when I break out to do speed training for the PT tests, it hurts my time on the bike.  It adds a ton of impact and anaerobic work which then kills my 2 or 3 hour work out rides the next day.  So I actually have to lose total fitness in order to speed up my time on the PT test before returning to a plan where I can increase my fitness.  I go out and run my 10:30 and then spend 6 weeks trying to get back to where I was before I detoured to my PT test regimen.

I would prefer a "choose your own adventure" test.  Pick 1 of 3 for each component Upper Body: Push Ups, Pull Ups, or Dips; Core:  Planks, Crunches, or Dead Lifts; Endurance: Mile and a half run, 10k run, or 30 mile bike ride.  Or something like that.  I can prove my fitness any day they want by my Watts/Kg and HR variability.  So maybe we should just have an "eye test" or a "submit your own data for consideration".  I show them the 5,000 miles I rode this year and they just check "complete".

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1 hour ago, Buddy Spike said:

Being a slow runner does not necessarily mean you have a genetically low VO2Max, nor does it correlate with increased risk of heart disease.

 

It's all probabilities man, but generally, yes it's a risk estimate according to the studies that were used to build the PFA. 

I'll explain this a bit more but your VO2Max is heavily correlated to your 12:00 pace via the Cooper Study which was a study of 1000 males and 1000 females from the US army on the 1980s. 

I was attempting to explain the phenomenon of why you have people who don't need to train to do extraordinarily well at the PT test. I do not train. I rarely train. If I do it's only for a max of 4 minutes, which some study I read out there said was sufficient to challenge an adaptation to your VO2MAX. (Running 4 minutes at max pace without stopping) I run the low 10s nearly consistently though and my fitbit estimates my VO2 without hardly any training is in the low 50s which is higher than average. 

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On 12/12/2020 at 10:31 AM, war007afa said:

The irony is the intent of the test (beyond muscular endurance) has always been a desire to measure VO2 max. You can do that walking up to a machine and placing a sensor on your finger. 

I just want to point out that this isn't what VO2max is.  You're talking about a pulse oximeter which measures the current oxygen saturation in the blood stream.  VO2max is measured through gas exchange to determine maximum oxygen uptake.  The bigger the number, the harder you can go.  VO2max is measured in mL of oxygen/(kg*min) and is measured in a lab.  It's the photos you see of professional cyclists on a bike with the sleep apnea looking mask and sensors attached all over them.  It has to be measured in a very controlled setting and is individual.  VO2max is a great "gee whiz" number to know while training for endurance sports, but in the end it doesn't give useful information without context.  There are professionals like Greg LeMond or Julian Alaphillipe had VO2max numbers in the mid 80s to low 90s.  Others have actually measured out in only the high 60s.  Your local endurance sport enthusiasts probably have a VO2max in the mid to upper 50s and your average USAF officer probably resides in the mid-40s.

All of that to say.  Measuring VO2max without context is stupid and there's no correlation with ability or fitness.  The greatest percentage of it is genetics and you can only change it probably +/- 10% from there with serious training.  And then all it's telling you is the potential you have to be elite in power endurance sports like cycling, cross country skiing, rowing, and so on.  Building a test around that metric for non-athletes who don't have specific time goals is dumb.  You can have a VO2max of 45, be perfectly healthy, and it doesn't mean you're out of shape.  It just means you aren't going to run a 15 minute 5K or ride a sub-4.5 hour century.  And that's ok, because who cares?

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Just now, Fausto said:

That's the problem.  You get to the point that you need speed training.  I spend most of the year trying to improve my fitness in the sweet spot/upper threshold range so that I can increase my speed over 100 miles.  The problem is, when I break out to do speed training for the PT tests, it hurts my time on the bike.  It adds a ton of impact and anaerobic work which then kills my 2 or 3 hour work out rides the next day.  So I actually have to lose total fitness in order to speed up my time on the PT test before returning to a plan where I can increase my fitness.  I go out and run my 10:30 and then spend 6 weeks trying to get back to where I was before I detoured to my PT test regimen.

I would prefer a "choose your own adventure" test.  Pick 1 of 3 for each component Upper Body: Push Ups, Pull Ups, or Dips; Core:  Planks, Crunches, or Dead Lifts; Endurance: Mile and a half run, 10k run, or 30 mile bike ride.  Or something like that.  I can prove my fitness any day they want by my Watts/Kg and HR variability.  So maybe we should just have an "eye test" or a "submit your own data for consideration".  I show them the 5,000 miles I rode this year and they just check "complete".

The problem is you are suggesting a test of athleticism and the program doesn't care about that. It only cares about long term cardiovascular risks. Or so the guy who wrote it says. 

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1 minute ago, FLEA said:

The problem is you are suggesting a test of athleticism and the program doesn't care about that. It only cares about long term cardiovascular risks. Or so the guy who wrote it says. 

If they are worried about that then they need to move it to the clinic and have it part of your annual PHA.  Because you can't outrun your diet.  Lots of dudes out there draining a Monster, running a 10 minute mile and a half, and then celebrating with Tornadoes and more energy drinks from the shoppette followed by a full pizza for dinner.

If it's cardiovascular risk they want to lower then it's time to discuss it in context of lowering stress, eating better, and getting an appropriate amount of exercise.

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4 minutes ago, Fausto said:

If they are worried about that then they need to move it to the clinic and have it part of your annual PHA.  Because you can't outrun your diet.  Lots of dudes out there draining a Monster, running a 10 minute mile and a half, and then celebrating with Tornadoes and more energy drinks from the shoppette followed by a full pizza for dinner.

If it's cardiovascular risk they want to lower then it's time to discuss it in context of lowering stress, eating better, and getting an appropriate amount of exercise.

I've actually been preaching this for years. However the "fit to fight" slogan was a misguided marketing campaign that misled thousands of officers to think it was a measure of athleticism to the point that it's nearly dogma at this point. It's not going to go to a sensible direction anytime soon. 

 

Anyway the science behind the PT test wasn't cosmic. They can estimate how high your VO2 max is based off age, gender and how far you can run in 12:00 (based off the Cooper study). The extrapolate the 12:00 run to a 1.5 minute run and guess you 12:00 pace. A seperate study correlated VO2max with extended risk heart disease. Since heart disease is the #1 health problem is advanced aged adults, it costs the DoD the most to treat. The PT test is mainly about minimizing tricare and VA benefits which consume an enormous portion of our DoD budget, that would be better spent on weapon systems for national defense. Or so the bob's say. 

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