As an AS-100 in ROTC, you are developing as a cadet and as a leader, but that is not all that freshman year entails. Your AS-100 year is when you start to prove your worth and set yourself apart from your peers. One of the best ways to do this is to get a perfect score on your Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA).

The PFA is divided into four measurements. The four measurable areas are: Push-ups for one minute, sit-ups for one minute, a mile-and-a-half run, and a waist measurement. There are set requirements that must be met in order for individuals to max out the PFA. For male cadets to max out, they must accomplish at least 67 push-ups, 58 sit-ups, run a mile and a half in less than nine minutes and 12 seconds, and their waist measurement must be less than 32 ½ inches. For female cadets, they must accomplish at least 47 push-ups, 54 sit-ups, run a mile and a half in less than 10 minutes and 23 seconds, and their waist measurement must be less than 29 inches.

Cadet John Spann recently maxed out his PFA. His commitment and discipline contributed to him maxing out. He works hard outside of the required physical training sessions putting in extra time and effort to earn these scores.

An average workout for Cadet Spann consists of a two-mile warm-up on the treadmill. After his warm-up, he goes on to focus on sit-ups and push-ups. He varies how he performs his push-ups and sit-ups. One of his tenets for fitness is that you need to keep your workout fresh. He believes that you should never do the same workout twice. “Diversity is key,” he adds. After completing his sit-ups and push-ups, he goes back onto the track and then completes circuits between all three of these exercises (running, push-ups, and sit-ups), which concludes his fitness session. Cadet Spann avoids machines because he believes they are untraditional and counterintuitive to doing well on the PFA.

While some may disagree, this is a popular train of thought among many fitness trainers. The idea is that weights and machines cause imbalance in muscle proportion. These imbalances can be prevented by exercising with body movements and using your own body weight as the resistance. Using this regimen, he hopes to improve on his individual scores for the spring’s assessment.

“My goal for this upcoming assessment is to get my run time around eight minutes and 40 seconds.” Cadet Spann encourages all other cadets to aim just as high and excel with him in each category. He gives this parting advice: “Once you have identified and accepted your weaknesses, you’re halfway there. The other half is you, your desire to prove that you can do it, your inner strength to push through, and your perseverance to reach your goal.”