Monday, December 29, 2008

SEAL PRT and the Perfect Pushup Counter

In SEAL Team, every six months all SEALs are required to conduct a Physical Readiness Test (PRT) to ensure you’re keeping your most important weapon mission ready – your body. The test is comprised of five events: pushups, situps, pull-ups, swim, and run, and time is your enemy. The entire PRT is strictly timed; it starts with pushups and ends with a three mile run. The calisthenics portion of the PRT starts with the pushups and ends with the pull-ups. You have two minutes to perform the pushups and situps (with 2 minutes of rest between each one); the pullup test is as many as you can do without dropping off the bar.

To make sure you’re getting “full benefit” (one of a SEAL instructor’s favorite sayings) from your pushups, a SEAL performs his pushups over his swim buddy’s fist. (The swim buddy is lying on the ground with his arm extended and hand made into a fist.) The reason for the swim buddy’s fist is simple - it forces the SEAL to perform the full range of motion of the pushup ensuring the maximum number of muscles in the chest, arms and shoulders are fully engaged.

The pushup test is simple – you’ve got two minutes to do as many pushups as you can do, but they only count if your chest touches your swim buddy’s fist. In SEAL Team, it takes two people to orchestrate the PRT – a timer and a swim buddy on the ground keeping the count. (Incidentally, same holds true for the situp and pullup, except the swim buddy has different responsibilities to ensure the SEAL is getting “full benefit”.)

Now that I’m out of SEAL Team, I don’t have my swim buddy around anymore and it’s pretty darn distracting timing my workouts while I’m trying to focus on “putting out” (another favorite SEAL axiom). Enter the Perfect Pushup Counter – I’d call it the Perfect Pushup Swimbuddy if I didn’t have to educate everyone on what a swim buddy is! The Perfect Pushup Counter combines a timer with an LCD counter (think swim buddy fist for the 21st century). The counter is adjustable in height from 4.5 to 6.5 inches and fits easily between the Perfect Pushup. It can count up to 9999 pushups and can be adjusted in time increments from 10 seconds to 99 minutes. Made from flexible polycarbonate and a thick cushion of rubber foam, the Perfect Pushup Counter won’t hurt your chest if your “put out” was a little more than you anticipated.

The Perfect Pushup Counter is the first of its kind, it’s next the best thing to my swim buddy during a SEAL PRT. On second thought, it might be better than my swim buddy during our bi-annual PRTs, because this swim buddy doesn’t heckle me as I struggle to put-out in the final seconds of the test. So enjoy getting full benefit from your next Perfect Pushup workout – putting out on your Perfect Pushups never felt so good.



steve nj said...

do you have a chart that shows you what fitness level you are based on the # of pushups done within the 2 minute timeframe

Alden Mills said...

Steve -- I asked my CM SEAL Teammates to share their expertise on this question. Gentlemen, take it away:

Tom Rancich: "132, maybe 143, is the best SEAL two minute record I recall."

Stew Smith: "There was a midshipman who could push out 170 pushups in 2 minutes wearing PT gear. In full uniform, 160. That being said, 120-150 was the SEAL Team standard.

Civilians: If you work hard, there's no reason why you can't ultimately push out 100 pushups in 2 minutes."

So Steve, there's no chart but this info should help. Keep me posted on your progress!