Fitness frustration

Hi. I'm keen to join my local TA Infantry unit, i know fitness is very important due to the nature of the job. I started training to get my strength up. Sit ups and running i'm ok with, my problem is press ups, trying to build upper body strength. I might sound like a p*ssy but i really push my self and i struggle to get into the 20 mark and its p*ss*n me off :evil: . Any one got any tips on good ways to build upper body strength. Please save the sarcastic remarks, just needing sounds advice. Cheers
Tricep Dips and swimming in addition to push-ups have helped me a fair bit.

In addition the cunning use of pyramids helped as well go to your max (20 in your case) and then rest for a minute, do 15, then another minute 10 etc.

Oh and always try and push out another push in your longest set (i.e, do 21 next time, then do 22)
To be afir, for hitting the test mark, nothing beats doing the exercise. I would suggest doing them in sets and as you can't do any more, contine but do them on you knees until you can't do any more. You should find over time that you can do more full push ups!
Also you have to take it the important factor of having patience as you seem to be expecting it to come at once, hence the frustration....

You don't get strength over night and it takes weeks (depending on the level your at now) sometimes months and beleive it or not, once you get past to ego's of some soldiers and the macho man sh!te they'll tell you doing press up's is hard work and I bet half of new recruits couldn't do 2 before they joined up...Set yourself targets and gradual improvement, and as mentioned above do them in sets of 10, say 3 sets and when you feel your ready to move up to say 15 reps, do so....

I'll tell you straight mate, before I joined up I couldn't do 3 proper ones, gods honest truth and now I can push past the hundred mark in one go, and it's not as if they'll fail you for don;t need to be superman, just have a willingness to step your game up and improve all the time, your best is all the Army ask of you...

So, like already said, press ups (in sets of 10 reps), weights and watching your diet should make life alot easier for you...
Cheers people, really appreciate the feed back. I think whats got me wound up is the fact i keep hearing the numbers 30, 40 and 50 for the amount of push ups required and it's a bit demoralising when i can just about get to half that!
My mate has gym membership and can sign me in so i don't have to pay out my ears, going to do some weights and swimming. So thanks again everyone. Anyone who had any tips for adapting to the lifestyle etc tc please PM me and give me the heads up!

Just a minor point. Is it a good thing or a bad thing being quite tall in the infantry? Just wondered :?:
You just have to duck lower when the sh!t comes at you...:lol: I'm 6"3 myself and had no real dramas....
As in on parade?, nah unless your NCO is picky in which case he might, but then again he'll pick on the smartest lad to ever pass through basic for having dirty boots....even though you can see your face in 'em....

All good fun...:lol:
I was referring more to being shot at first by every "fuzzywuzzy" within range being a slighlty larger target :lol: Back to the topic, should i bother applying to my local TA outfit now or wait a bit?
Oh right :lol: well, maybe, AK47's aren't very accurate after the first shot anyways so we might get lucky..:lol:

Going off what you've said I say go for it now, Press ups and upper body strength will come, especially during training when working with the weight you carry so don't worry about it, just keep working on it and you'll be fine...
KINGO is right - building upper body strength can take a long time. I started seriously training a couple of years ago with just doing 3 sets of 25 press ups before breakfast every week day morning. At the moment, Im now doing 3 sets of 65 reps most mornings and then a further hour of cicuit training. Press ups are hard for people who arent used to doing them, but just keep at it. You should look into an exercise called "the plank" as well, as this will help keep your body straight when doing press ups; a lot of energy is often lost when people drop their hips as they get tired.

The BPFA is (I think) perfect test of a (bloke's) overall fitness. The best training plan you can do is a 4-6 week plan that involves interval training/some sprint work, chest and upper-body work (weights and circuits) and ab work (sit-ups, hyperextentions).

I'm 35 and got an excellent score on my last effort (I think it was around 285). But I'm working as a personal trainer, so I have a vested interest in this sort of crap. Send me an email to: if you want a plan doing.
Of note, be sure to do your pressups absolutely perfectly formed right down to the ground. Then when it comes to the BPFA and doing it down to someones fist youll be able to do quite a few more press ups (as in i must have been doing them terribly in my BPFA as my max went from 34 odd to 53 in my actual BPFA)

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