PRT conditioning program

Written August 31, 2016

So, I’ve always been interested in how law enforcement operates. Something about being the appointed defenders between law-abiding citizens and the criminal element has always held some deep fascination for me. One of my other hobbies has been personal physical growth (or… fitness), so when I stumbled across a conditioning program made available to people interested in law enforcement, I jumped on it right away.

I’ll repeat the full text of the program below, but I wanted to take a few lines to discuss the more interesting bits about it. If you just want to read the program, skip down to the Conditioning Program section.

Discussion

The program makes it clear that the best way to train for the test is to do the exact same movements that will be required, and to do more than needed. This is interesting in the face of trainers suggesting compound exercises like squats replace focused exercises like sit-ups, but we’ll go with it. Any work is better than no work.

On the same topic, the program recommends training to failure. I’m highly skeptical of this, but I don’t have any real data to back it up. My intuition is that the time to heal increases more quickly than the capacity gained the closer you get to failure, but I may be totally wrong. That would be interesting to study.

There isn’t much clarity on the specifics. The program doesn’t explain how to perform the exercises, what constitutes a complete repetition, or exactly how to modify the exercises after reaching failure. There is a lot of vague wording. If I were typing up the instructions for the program, I’d include very specific details about how to perform each exercise and when to progress between levels.

Public Safety Conditioning Program

Conditioning program for the push-up test

Determine exercise level by measuring how many pushups the subject can complete in 60 seconds.

When performing pushups, be sure the subject continues until muscular failure occurs in the straight-knee position and then continues until failure occurs in the bent-knee position.

If the total number is 15 or less, begin at level A. If the total number is greater than 15, begin at level B. Subject should work toward reaching level C below.

Level A: 1 set 3 times a week for 1 week Level B: 2 sets 3 times a week for 2 weeks Level C: 3 sets 3 times a week until testing

Conditioning program for the one-minute sit-up test

Determine exercise level by measuring how many sit-ups the subject can complete in 60 seconds.

When training for sit-ups, be sure the subject continues until muscular failure occurs and then continues with his/her hands by the hips until muscular failure occurs again.

If the total number is 15 or less, begin at level A. If the total number is greater than 15, begin at level B. Subject should work toward reaching level C below.

Level A: 1 set 3 times a week for 1 week Level B: 2 sets 3 times a week for 2 weeks Level C: 3 sets 3 times a week until testing

Conditioning for the 1.5 mile run

Listed below is a very gradual training schedule that will allow the subject to work at maximum effort in the 1.5 mile run. Generally, it is recommended that the subject reach a training distance that is twice the testing level.

| Week | Activity | Distance   | Time (min.) | Frequency |
|------|----------|------------|-------------|-----------|
| 1    | walk     | 1 mile     | 20-17       | 5/week    |
| 2    | walk     | 1.5 mile   | 29-25       | 5/week    |
| 3    | walk     | 2 miles    | 35-32       | 5/week    |
| 4    | walk     | 2 miles    | 30-28       | 5/week    |
| 5    | walk/jog | 2 miles    | 27          | 5/week    |
|                 Begin sprint training                  |
| 6    | walk/jog | 2 miles    | 26          | 5/week    |
| 7    | walk/jog | 2 miles    | 25          | 5/week    |
| 8    | walk/jog | 2 miles    | 24          | 5/week    |
| 9    | jog      | 2 miles    | 23          | 4/week    |
| 10   | jog      | 2 miles    | 22          | 4/week    |
| 11   | jog      | 2 miles    | 21          | 4/week    |
| 12   | jog      | 2 miles    | 20          | 4/week    |
| 13   | jog      | 2.25 miles | 22-23       | 4/week    |
| 14   | jog      | 2.5 miles  | 24-25       | 4/week    |
| 15   | jog      | 2.75 miles | 26-27       | 3-4/week  |
| 16   | jog      | 3 miles    | 28-30       | 3-4/week  |

Subjects should continue to increase speed and decrease time for completion of a 3-mile jog 3 times per week with a maximal speed 1.5 mile run 1 day per week.

If the subject is able to adapt and advance more quickly than the schedule recommends, he/she should do so. However, be sure that the subject’s exercise program does not cause any undue muscle soreness or strain.

Subjects may also use their sprint training as part of their distance training program.

Conditioning for the 300 meter run

Listed below is a very gradual training schedule that will allow the subject to work at maximum effort in the 300 meter sprint/run.

Generally, it is recommended that the subject reach a training pace that is at the testing level.

Subjects must run 1-3 time trials to determine their current ability; the training percentage (pace) can then be calculated from that time. Retest at 3-4 week intervals.

Distances run here can be combined with endurance training.

A rest period between sprints of 30-90 seconds is recommended to maximize sprint training.

The participant should not engage in sprint training until the below level is reached and there has been at least one month of jogging training.

| Week | Activity    | Distance  | Repetitions | Frequency |
|------|-------------|-----------|-------------|-----------|
| 5    | 50% sprint  | 100 M     | 10          | 2/week    |
| 6    | 50% sprint  | 100 M     | 15          | 2/week    |
| 7    | 50% sprint  | 200 M     | 10          | 2/week    |
| 8    | 50% sprint  | 100M/200M | 5/5         | 2-3/week  |
| 9    | 50% sprint  | 100M/200M | 10/5        | 2-3/week  |
| 10   | 50% sprint  | 200M      | 15 of each  | 2/week    |
| 11   | 70% sprint  | 200M      | 10 of each  | 3/week    |
| 12   | 70% sprint  | 300M      | 5           | 3/week    |
| 13   | 70% sprint  | 300M      | 5           | 3/week    |
| 14   | 80% sprint  | 300M      | 5           | 3/week    |
| 15   | 100% sprint | 300M      | 5           | 3/week    |
| 16   | 100% sprint | 300M      | 5           | 3/week    |

If the subject is able to adapt and advance more quickly than the schedule recommends, he/she should do so. However, be sure that the subject’s exercise program does not cause any undue muscle soreness or strain.