Sample Drill Weekend PT Plan for ARNG

Guest Post by Justin Long

We all recognize that physical fitness is an important aspect of what it means to be a Soldier.  As a leader, we also understand that the physical readiness of our Soldiers fall on us.  While your drill weekend may be full of training and other important tasks, PT must be included.  To assist you in your efforts, here is a simple PT plan that will be sure to smoke you…and your Soldiers!

Equipment Needed:  

-Pull-up Bar(s)

-Kettle Weights (#x 45lbs., #x 20lbs.)

-Step Up Platforms

-Dip Bars (or chairs for Chair Dips)

-Medicine Balls


drill weekend pt plan
Sample PT Plan for Drill Weekend for ARNG and USAR Units

1. Static Jumps: Stand 1-2’ from the step-up platform.  From a standing position, jump straight up onto the platform.  Once on the platform, step down and repeat.

2. Dips: Utilize the dip bars (or chair) to conduct tricep dips.  Maximum reps on this. Once you reach failure, do push-ups.  Fail there, go to your knees.

3. Mason Twists: Grab a medicine ball and sit down.  Hold the medicine ball at your chest level and twist left and right, ensuring the rest of your body stays static.  The more you lean your upper body back, the more your core is engaged.

4. Kettle Bell Squats: Stand with a 45 lb. Kettle bell in front of you.  Squat down, legs parallel to the ground and grasp the weight with two hands.  In one explosive movement, stand upright bringing the weight above your head.  Slowly bring the weight from your head to your hips and squat back down to the start position.  Repeat.

5. Pull-ups: Do as many pull ups as your can.  Vary your grips (i.e. underhand, wide grip, etc.).  If you have to, try Pyramid sets.  Do one rep, drop down for a second.  Jump back up and do two reps.  Drop down for a second, etc. until you make it to ten.  Then, go from ten back to one.

6. Plank: Get in the front-lean and rest.  Then, drop down to your elbows maintaining a straight line from your head to your feet.  Utilize your core to keep you rigid.

7. Burpees: Everyone who has been in the Army has done Burpees.  If not, shame on your Drill Sergeant.

8. Tricep Extensions: Grasp a 20-lb Kettle weight and hold it behind your head.  Pretend as if you were squeezing your head with your elbows to ensure good form.  Extend the weight from behind your head to the top, extending your arms.  Do as many reps as you can.

How to Execute: Split up your group into groups of 2-4 PAX.  Have each group start at a different station.  Start your stopwatch.  Each station will last 45 seconds.  Each group will go through each station completing one circuit.  You can go through the entire circuit 4-6 times depending on how much time you have.  Guarantee if you are doing the exercises properly and for the entire 45 seconds, you will get one heck of a workout.

Final Thoughts: Variety is the spice of life.  Your body needs variety in order for your muscles to be “confused” and grow.  Try utilizing the same circuit set-up but varying the exercises.  Or, simply increase the station times from 45 to 60 seconds.

Do you have any exercises you would add to this? Any questions? Just post them below; thank you.


About the Author:

Justin Long is an MGS Platoon Leader in the 56th SBCT PAARNG.  He has served both as an enlisted Soldier and Commissioned Officer for the last 7 ½ years.  He is from rural Pennsylvania and is currently a resident of the DC Metropolitan area where he works as a consulting structural engineer.  He is a graduate of Penn State University and Saint Francis University with degrees in Civil and Structural Engineering.

11 thoughts on “Sample Drill Weekend PT Plan for ARNG”

  1. This looks like a very good PT regimen. There’s nothing like getting done with a workout like this and taking a nice hot shower and then relaxing for a few minutes before you actually begin your day.

    I also really like the core workouts you include in this regimen. The core is often overlooked but is one of the most important things to strengthen.

    That being said, the idea of doing one more burpee in my entire life gives me nightmares.

    1. Good points Chad. Working the core is the foundation for good physical fitness. Programs like Insanity are awesome, because they focus on the core. And I agree that starting a day with physical fitness is great because you can burn calories the rest of the day.

  2. The concept of “muscle confusion” is the basis of the highly popular (and from what I’ve seen, very effective) Insanity workout. Also, the sort of core development that the exercises described here promote are crucial to so much of what we do as Soldiers. Pushups, situps, and running are great for passing the APFT, but that’s a test, an indicator of overall fitness. That doesn’t mean those three things will develop the physical capabilities so often needed in a combat situation. Running in PT uniform and running shoes is not the same as road marching 12 miles with 50+ pounds of gear!

    1. I think the key to success with physical fitness is to mix things up and add variety to your workout. Doing the same thing over and over will cause you to plateau. I’ve watched people walk or jog on the treadmill seven days a week for a year and never lose a pound! Cardio alone is not enough. You need weight training, cardio, and other things mixed in.

      On a side note, I’ve done the Insanity workout myself and can tell you that the program is tough, fun and challenging.


      1. Amy Skalicky

        You are exactly right when pointing out the importance of variety, not only for better conditioning and muscle development, but to simply keep from getting bored. I personally, cannot take running in one place on a treadmill, but put me outside,and I’ll do the Energizer Bunny.

        One tip on dips: find a bench for your feet as well. This allows for increased resistance and intensity by targeting the triceps from a different angle. With the bench, you also might place a plate on your stomach if you are really serious about increasing the intensity of your triceps workout.

        One last thought: don’t over-do it. Rest and recovery are just as important as the workout itself.

        1. Good points, Amy. I’m not a huge fan of running on a treadmill either. I like running on roads and trails so I can watch mother nature as I run. That’s what works best for me.

          1. Amy Skalicky

            Exactly! I like a variety of trails and terrain, and the foothills of Colorado are just perfect. And with spring finally here, I need to become reacquainted with them. I’ve seen many people in gyms try to watch television or even read for entertainment (which has actually proven to be rather funny) while on the treadmill, which are distractions that clearly interfere with the quality of the workout.

            1. We never do PT in our unit. Our commander says there are too many other things to worry about and get done. I’m going to send him a copy of this page so he can see the importance of it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great post, Justin. I’ve never done the burpees before, but they sound like a great workout. I think doing PT at drill weekend once in a while can be a great idea, but it shouldn’t be a top priority every drill weekend. Normally, there are just too many things to do. Just my thoughts though.


    1. I think doing PT during drill weekend is very important. It shows the soldiers that the leaders think PT is a top priority. The leaders need to come up with a PT plan that is simple, effective and doesn’t take too much time to do.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!