The military PRT, Physical Readiness Test, requires one to do a minimum number of pushups and situps followed by a 1.5 mile run.

I'm a good runner, so the main concern is my weak upperbody. A month ago I could barely do 10 consecutive pushups. Now I can do five sets of 10, which feels like good progress. However, I want to train harder.

After educating myself, I know I need to incorporate pullups for balanced muscles.
Should I do these on the same day? Also, can I follow my 'full' pushup workout (which leaves me maxxed out) with knees-down/"girl" pushups?
Or should I do more pushups throughout the day/before bed?

I'm living overseas and only have access to a poorly paved park for my runs. My jogs are followed by lunges, situps, and crunches. I'm currently working out only three times a week with the belief that rest days will benefit me more than consecutive workouts.

I don't have access to equipment or a soft surface. With that in mind, could you give me feedback?

Apologies in advance if the question isn't objective/specific enough.

  • What's the number of push-ups and sit-ups you have to complete? Also, real sit-ups or crunches? And do you have to complete this PRT or is this just a personal goal?
    – Baarn
    Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 15:15
  • It varies by sex and age. My goal is 75 pushups < 2 minutes and 90 real situps < 2 minutes. To train I've been doing a combination of situps and crunches.
    – wnewport
    Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 5:48

1 Answer 1


In the gym my family used to run, we used exhaustion style workouts with a lot of success. You would work as much as possible with the heaviest weight possible, then go down some in weight (5-10 pounds/2-5 kilos) and work to exhaustion again. Keep repeating until you can't even lift the smallest of weights and you're working with no weight at all. We typically did this with no more than 15-20 second rest periods between sets (enough time to set the heavier weight down and grab the next lighter weight). I would say that working in the same manner with push-ups or other body weight exercises would be equally effective in areas where you can somehow reduce the resistance your body offers via gravity.

You can always work different muscle groups on the same days without any problems (except maybe more limited mobility from soreness tomorrow...) You do definitely need rest days (1-2 between working the same muscle group) or you will reduce the gains you see and increase your chances for injury.

Check out the answers to this question and the answers on this question for some lists and links to more body-wight exercises you can do since you don't have access to a gym or exercise equipment.


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