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Finding Motivation to Train for the APFT

Soldier take a breather after completing a two-mile run

U.S. Army photo/Master Sgt. Michel Sauret

In this Article:

  • Motivation can come from a workout buddy, music, or workout gear.
  • Picturing yourself crushing the APFT can boost your confidence.
  • Setting goals and consistently exercising, either by yourself or as part of a team, will get you excited about training.

We know how hard it can be to get started with APFT training, but the work you put in now will pay off on test day. Training months (or even weeks) in advance of the test will make you more confident and help you max out your APFT score.

Convinced? Ok, let’s do this! Here are eight tips to outsmart your mind and body to get moving.

1. Get Suited Up

Oftentimes, putting on your workout clothes is half the battle. Pick up some new workout gear like shorts, shoes, or even just a new water bottle to get excited about training again.

2. Exercise with A Buddy

A buddy will support you and hold you accountable. This can be a partner, co-worker, or a fellow Soldier.

3. Play Upbeat Songs

Training with music can get you pumped for your workout. Make a new playlist and pick songs that match your workout tempo (or beats per minute).

4. Own It

Picture yourself crushing the APFT. Seeing yourself running hard during the 2-miler and pumping through the sit-up and push-up events will boost your confidence. Olympians do this, too!

5. Challenge Yourself

Set small goals for the day or week, as well as long-term goals. A short-term goal could be running four times a week and a long-term goal could working towards a promotion.

6. Work Out in The Morning

There are perks to starting your day with exercise. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual. Try going to sleep in your workout clothes to make it easier to exercise in the morning.

7. Don’t Let Weather Stop You

Cold weather holding you back? Join a gym to workout indoors or wear proper cold gear to stay warm while exercising outdoors.

8. Have Fun

Find a sport or exercise you love—and do it regularly. You’ll reap the benefits of working out and get fit while having fun.

Check out our APFT Max page for a great selection of training guides, tools, and workout plans to help you get started.

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