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Boost Your Stamina

Be prepared for the next APFT by boosting your endurance with a few simple exercises

You might be able to carry a 50-pound ruck, but if you can’t haul it more than a couple of miles, what’s the point? Endurance training prepares you for both long-term and short-term events by engaging multiple muscles at the same time. These challenging workouts will increase cardio health (heart and lungs), improve balance, build muscle and increase metabolism. 


Start position: Stand with shoulders back, head up, eyes looking forward and knees slightly bent. Bring hands up to chest level, keeping elbows tucked into your waist.

Action: Bend knees into a near-squat and jump while reaching hands over head as if to touch the sky. Come back to start position. “Sounds simple,” you say? Just wait. 

Challenge: When in the down motion of the jump, touch both hands to the ground before returning to start position. 

Forward Lunge With Crossover Punch

Start position: Stand with shoulders back, head up and eyes looking forward. Place feet hip-width apart with knees slightly bent. With both hands, make a fist and bring them up to chest level, keeping elbows tucked into your waist.

Action: Lunge right leg forward, then return to start position pushing through your heel, not the ball of your foot. When back in start position, box punch side to side, rotating at the waist. Repeat with opposite leg.

Challenge: When lunging, touch the ground with your back knee.

Push-up With Mountain Climb

Start position: Place hands and toes on the ground in a push-up position. Place hands under shoulders. Look at the ground at all times, keeping your neck and spine in a straight line.

Action: Perform a push-up; then bring one knee at a time toward your chest, alternating legs, as if climbing a mountain. 

Challenge: Perform multiple push-ups before starting mountain climbs. 

The Complete Workout

Jump-up: 20 reps

Forward lunge: 10 to 15 reps (each leg). One rep consists of one lunge and 20 box punches.

Push-up: 15 to 20 reps. One rep consists of one push-up and 20 mountain climbs.

Run five minutes: If you want a challenge, divide the five minutes by alternating between sprinting for one minute and jogging for one minute.

Rest five minutes, then do the entire workout two more times.


Posture is critical with these exercises. As the intensity increases, you may have a tendency to round your shoulders, arch your back or drop your chest and head slightly. Remember to engage your core for stability and better balance. When lunging, don’t lean forward at the waist. Most important, keep in mind that it may take time to work up to a high-intensity workout, so be patient, and only do as much as you can. Progress each week by adding more reps and increasing the sets. And don’t forget to warm up before and cool down after this workout. A few minutes of brisk walking or light jogging will work. And remember: Always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have before commencing a fitness program. This article should not be relied on or substituted for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. The exercises presented are for suggestion only. Participate at your own risk. Stop if you feel faint or short of breath.