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Physical Fitness Training: 12-Week Preparation Program for Indian Army Physical Fitness Test

Every year, thousands of aspiring candidates take the prestigious defence examination to serve the nation with all their might. To increase their chances of qualifying for the exam, the enthusiasts undergo stringent fitness training programs to maintain the highest fitness levels to score well in the physical examination. Since the defence physical fitness exam is an essential hurdle to clear to join the Indian army, aspirants undergo various physical fitness exercises, such as running, push-ups, pull-ups, core activities, etc., to enhance their strength, stamina, endurance, and overall fitness capacities.  

12-week fitness training for Physical Fitness Test (PFT) 

Defence forces experience demanding and challenging situations on the field, including combat, patrolling, and handling heavy arms and equipment, which requires them to be in their topmost physical and mental form. For soldiers to perform their duties productively, it is paramount for them to undergo rigorous defence physical training to fulfill the responsibility of safeguarding the nation.  

The following is a description of a 12-week intense fitness training program designed to assist aspirants in starting their fitness journey from scratch and achieving their fitness goals at the end of the training program. It focuses on building strength, endurance, agility, and cardiovascular fitness. However, before proceeding, make sure to visit a health professional to examine your physical status.  

 1. Week 1-4 

The first four weeks of the fitness training program are dedicated to building a strong foundation to effortlessly proceed to advanced levels without falling short on required physical metrics.  

Day 1: Upper Body Strength 

  • Push-Ups: 3 sets of 10-15 reps 
  • Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 10 reps 
  • Plank: 3 sets of 30 seconds 

Day 2: Cardio and Core 

  • Jogging/Running: 20-30 minutes 
  • Bicycle Crunches: 3 sets of 15 reps per side 
  • Russian Twists: 3 sets of 15 reps per side 

Day 3: Lower Body Strength 

  • Bodyweight Squats: 3 sets of 15 reps 
  • Lunges: 3 sets of 10 reps per leg 
  • Leg Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps 

Day 4: Active Recovery 

  • Gentle stretching and mobility exercises for 20-30 minutes 

Day 5: Full-Body Endurance 

  • Push-Ups: 3 sets of 10-15 reps 
  • Bodyweight Squats: 3 sets of 15 reps 
  • Plank: 3 sets of 30 seconds 

Day 6: Cardio and Core 

  • Jogging/Running: 20-30 minutes 
  • Bicycle Crunches: 3 sets of 15 reps per side 
  • Russian Twists: 3 sets of 15 reps per side 

Day 7: Rest 

 2. Weeks 5-8  

Serving in the Indian army is a physically and mentally taxing process. It involves spending extended periods in the field, requiring soldiers to exhibit strength and endurance and perform long missions without breaking a sweat. Hence, from week 5 to 8, aspirants will perform exercises that will help them build strength and endurance.  

 Day 1: Upper Body Strength 

  • Push-Ups: 4 sets of 12-20 reps 
  • Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 sets of 12 reps 
  • Plank: 4 sets of 40 seconds 

Day 2: Cardio and Core 

  • Jogging/Running: 30-40 minutes 
  • Bicycle Crunches: 4 sets of 20 reps per side 
  • Russian Twists: 4 sets of 20 reps per side 

Day 3: Lower Body Strength 

  • Bodyweight Squats: 4 sets of 20 reps 
  • Lunges: 4 sets of 12 reps per leg 
  • Leg Raises: 4 sets of 15 reps 

Day 4: Active Recovery 

  • Gentle stretching and mobility exercises for 20-30 minutes 

Day 5: Full-Body Endurance 

  • Push-Ups: 4 sets of 12-20 reps 
  • Bodyweight Squats: 4 sets of 20 reps 
  • Plank: 4 sets of 40 seconds 

Day 6: Cardio and Core 

  • Jogging/Running: 30-40 minutes 
  • Bicycle Crunches: 4 sets of 20 reps per side 
  • Russian Twists: 4 sets of 20 reps per side 

Day 7: Rest 

3. Weeks 9-12 

During the peak performance week, the goal is to help aspirants reach their highest level of physical readiness and endurance. This week focuses on pushing their limits while maintaining proper form and injury prevention.  

 Day 1: Upper Body Strength 

  • Push-Ups: 5 sets of 15-25 reps 
  • Dumbbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 15 reps 
  • Plank: 5 sets of 50 seconds 

Day 2: Cardio and Core 

  • Jogging/Running: 40-50 minutes 
  • Bicycle Crunches: 5 sets of 25 reps per side 
  • Russian Twists: 5 sets of 25 reps per side 

Day 3: Lower Body Strength 

  • Bodyweight Squats: 5 sets of 25 reps 
  • Lunges: 5 sets of 15 reps per leg 
  • Leg Raises: 5 sets of 20 reps 

Day 4: Active Recovery 

  • Gentle stretching and mobility exercises for 20-30 minutes 

Day 5: Full-Body Endurance 

  • Push-Ups: 5 sets of 15-25 reps 
  • Bodyweight Squats: 5 sets of 25 reps 
  • Plank: 5 sets of 50 seconds 

Day 6: Cardio and Core 

  • Jogging/Running: 40-50 minutes 
  • Bicycle Crunches: 5 sets of 25 reps per side 
  • Russian Twists: 5 sets of 25 reps per side 

Day 7: Rest 

Takeaway 

To achieve physical fitness goals, aspirants can seek help from a fitness trainer or a defence physical training app to elevate the level of their fitness routine by modifying the routine per their requirements. Throughout the 12 weeks, candidates should make sure to maintain a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep and rest to support their training. 

Good Luck, Soldier!

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