Villain Challenge #3

by Johnny Pain

“Front Leaning Rest Position….MOVE!”

OK guys and gals here we go with this, the third in our series of challenges.

This one is a special one to me. During my time in the Army, I was subject (like everyone else) to APFT testing. This test includes the pushup, the situp, and the two mile run, with the first two being done in a max reps for two minutes fashion. The standards are clearly spelled out, and there is a chart that determines a soldier’s score based on their performance (repetitions on the PU’s and SU’s, and time on the run).

At the time that I served, a passing score of 60% in the pushup required one to perform 42 pushups in two minutes (in the appropriate age category which was 17-21 at the time for me). A maximum score of 100 meant knocking out 71 good ones in the two minute period.

Being that I was never good at pushups before my service, I remember thinking I was hot shit the first time I got 50, and even a bigger bad ass when I was approaching a score of 100, completing between 62-67 each test throughout some of my earlier schools. However, once I arrived at one particular unit, I was quickly humbled and shown how inferior I was to those around me when it came to pushup prowess. All of the sudden 71 meant dick. If you could not do at least 100 in the two minutes you were a pussy, plane and simple. There just was no room for excuses, everyone was expected to do it, and more could than couldn’t. I thought that it would be impossible, but just a few short months later I did it in a test for the first time. From that point on I had little trouble repeating the task whenever it was asked of me.

This is a clear example of the “glass ceiling” idea that I frequently talk about. I had preconceived boundaries that I was unable to get past because I didn’t think it could be done. There is much to be said for someone “humanizing” the task at hand for you, showing you that it can be done. The maximum became the minimum, and the minimum wasn’t an option.

So here it is, Villain Challenge #3, 100 pushups in Two minutes (60 for women) performed to APFT standards:

-Body moves as a straight, solid unit.

-Descend until upper arm is at least parallel to the ground

-Removing of the hands or feet from the ground results in a termination of the test

-Resting any part of your body on the ground is not allowed.

The body is lowered as a unit until the upper arm is at least parallel to the ground.

This is an acceptable rest position (notice the body is not touching the ground)…

…So is this one. Just don’t rest too long, the clock is ticking.

Ok, so how are we gonna train for this one? Pushups, pushups, and more pushups. Do them frequently in sets that never reach failure. Set a goal number for the week, and get it done. Make them part of your routine. Before the shower, each time you go to the garage or basement, a set before bed, and a set upon waking. However you do it, just do it. Knock ’em out, and post it up in the board. Let’s see some video.


12 Responses

  1. Aaron

    I like it.

    I am going to post a video of me, just standing there, watching someone else’s video, simply saying “41, 41, 41, 41, 41, 41, 41, 41….looks like no airborne school for you my friend.”

    November 27, 2010 at 9:48 am

    • Make sure to have them doing the pushups in crushed stones Airborne School style too.

      November 27, 2010 at 2:30 pm

  2. Drew

    Hahahahahaha, that’s funny as hell. So, for form do your elbows have to be out like the picture or can you have them in in a “close grip” fashion”

    November 27, 2010 at 9:56 am

  3. MOA

    Drew, there are no rules on elbow placement.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:16 pm

  4. Mowgli

    Set a timer on my watch. 25 pushups every hour, on the hour. Lets see if we can’t fix this.

    November 27, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    • You’ll be there in no time Mowgli. That’s how it’s done.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:21 pm

  5. Vim

    I was going through the application process for the UK forces earlier this year – ended up having a change of plan, but i wont go into that.

    Both my careers advisor and my neighbor, both who have worked closely with US and UK special forces over the years, told me the best way to get the numbers up isnt by trying to break your max all the time. It just doesnt work, and i tried. Do 10-20 (or any number that you find easy) pretty much all the time. If you get up to take a piss, do them. When you come back from taking a piss, do them. You get the idea.

    You’ll look like a tool at work ;), but its the way to do it.

    November 28, 2010 at 12:11 am

    • You’re absolutely right Vim. That’s how we do it.

      November 28, 2010 at 1:40 am

  6. KittyMcTaco

    I would like to see how many legit, non-chicken head push ups I can do in two minutes first thing on Tuesday, if that is ok…

    November 28, 2010 at 1:57 am

  7. Cat

    JillyBeans, it’s me and you on this one! you sure as hell have a head start on this one !

    November 28, 2010 at 2:04 am

  8. Pingback: Live Long Fitness, West Ocean City, MD :: Villain Challenge #3 ::

  9. I’m going to give this a shot for the heck of it. Been crossfiting for a year, but always looking for ways to improve.

    Going to take the route of sub-maximal sets throughout the day. I work from home, so it should be easy. Starting with 15. Hoping for 20-25 next week.


    February 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm

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