The ROTC, or Reserve Officer Training Corps, has a tough fitness program, but its rigors have benefits for anyone trying to get in shape. It is a well-rounded basic training plan that is easy to understand and incorporate into your routine. By training specifically for the events that ROTC cadets are tested on, you can streamline your weekly workouts and improve your overall fitness. If you already are fairly fit, six to eight weeks of ROTC fitness training will get you in ROTC condition.
Running Test Training
One aspect of the ROTC physical fitness test is a 1.5- or 2-mile run. The run must be completed within a certain time depending on your age and gender. To get conditioned, run two to three days a week at similar distances and times as the test. If you are having trouble staying under the allotted time, incorporate speed training into your runs. Tempo training, sprint intervals and resisted running can help you get faster.
Situp Test Training
The ROTC situp test entails completing a certain number of situps in one minute. Improve your situp time by doing core work that mimics the test. Your body responds specifically to how you train it, so that means if you want to perform situps fast, then that is how you must train. Do three repetitions of situp drills for one minute each with one minute of rest between each drill. Repeat two to three times a week.
Pushup Test Training
This portion of the physical fitness test involves performing the maximum amount of pushups that you can in one minute. Combine your pushup training with your situp training and follow the same format. Form is important, so during your training, be attentive, don't let your midsection sag and keep your extremities in the proper positions. Bench presses and the like can improve your strength, but the best way to get better at pushups is to do a lot of pushups.
Acceptable Body Weight
ROTC requires that you maintain a certain weight based on your height and gender. If you need to lose weight, follow the standards set forth in the Army's weight control program. Make sure you give yourself enough time to lose the required weight. With a balanced and calorie-restricted diet and five to six days of exercise per week, a reasonable weight loss goal is one to two pounds per week.