The US Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) evaluate soldiers ability to do sit-ups by allowing them two minutes to do as many sit-ups as possible. The sit-up are done with knees bent at approximately a 45 degree angle, the feet held by another solider, and with the hands behind the head. Soldiers are allowed to rest during the event, but only in the up position. One count is awarded each time the soldier’s shoulder blades touch the ground after having been in the up position.

The workout I recommend for the sit-up event is almost identical to that of the push-up workout I recommend.

Soldier doing sit-upsThree times a week, or every other day, do as many sit-ups as you can within a set amount of time. The goal being to do three to five sets to complete muscle failure.

I am not a medical professional, but when doing your sit-up workout I recommend that you exercise caution with regards to the types of exercises you do. There are studies out there that say that the traditional US Army sit-up is not good for the back, and I believe them. Instead, you should consider doing crunches, which can be just as, if not more effective than, a traditional sit-up.

This table contains a sample workout plan, to be done three days a week. If the week one workout is not strenuous enough, feel free to jump ahead. As long as you’re hitting muscle failure three or more times a workout, you’re doing it right.

Week 1 4 Sets 30 Seconds Each
Week 2 4 Sets 45 Seconds Each
Week 3 5 Sets 30 Seconds Each
Week 4 5 Sets 45 Seconds Each
Week 5 4 Sets 60 Seconds Each
Week 6 5 Sets 60 Seconds Each
Week 7 6 Sets 75 Seconds Each
Week 8 7 Sets 75 Seconds Each