Considering that I love to powerlift, do CrossFit workouts, and participate in mandatory arm day every Friday, this whole quarantine situation is a dark cloud over my gym life right now. In the past few weeks, I have found myself doing A LOT more running (not my most favorite form of working out), combined with basic bodyweight workouts, including the traditional push-ups, sit-ups, and squats.

I was running down the road today and it dawned on me: The type of training I’m doing right now would undoubtedly result in some great PT test scores.

Often, people have asked me what the trick is to get high scores on PT screen tests for Special Operations. I always tell them its muscle memory. I can tell you that I’m stronger and bigger now than I was before I joined the Naval Special Warfare community. I can also tell you that if I did an NSW PT screen test right now, my scores wouldn’t be as good as they were when I first joined the Navy.

Your body is trainable, it can learn and become very familiar with movements. As much as we all enjoy going to the gym to pick up a heavyweight, just to put it back down, these kinds of exercises rarely help with improving conventional PT test scores.

The only way to increase your push-up and sit-up count is by doing more of them (unfortunate, I know).

To get better at running, you just need to run. In my opinion, running sucks. It hurts a lot and if you ask me, it’s a formidable version of torture — you can’t slow down, you can’t stop to catch your breath, you just have to keep running. And, if you’re running in order to pass a special operations screener, you better haul ass!

When I was trying to improve my running times, I concentrated on doing 2-mile, 3-mile, 5-mile runs, and 400-meter sprints. I experienced great results with these running exercises. Sprints, in particular, proved to be a great component of my workout regimen. Sprints are great for increasing your speed on timed runs, and in addition, burn fat. Sprinting is a highly aerobic workout, which results in the building of lean muscle.

Whether you are currently in the military or someone who is planning on trying out for a Special Operations pipeline, take advantage of this time and make the best of it. Dedicate time to workouts that will improve your PT test scores. Go on runs, do circuit workouts with push-ups and sit-ups. If you have access to a pull-up bar, more power to you.