I do sit-ups 3x/week. Very few SP members talk about doing them on the boards as they are pretty passé and most people prefer crunches. I do them because I need crazy strong hip flexors for my sport. I do the advanced version (on a steep decline bench with weight plates on my chest) and it didn't take me that long to get there. I believe that YES YOU CAN progress in 2 weeks.
Here's what I would do:
1) you will need a very strong something to hold your feet. If your feet have freedom of movement even a tiny bit, you will not get leverage and sit ups will be much harder. If you don't have access to a bench with a place to secure your feet, have a partner kneel on your feet for you. If you don't have a partner, stick your feet underneath something very very secure like the first step on a staircase. You may need to put a thick mat underneath yourself to close up excess space so that your feet are really secure.
2) start out on a flat bench (ideally - if you don't have one, the floor on a yoga mat) with your knees bent comfortably. Do a crunch, and when you get to the top of your range of motion, grab your knees or the back of your thighs with your hands and pull yourself upright to complete the range of motion. This is so you can give your body the experience of doing a sit up which is important for your progression. Do as many of these as you can, really push yourself, rest and then try again. Even if you have to take 5 minutes between each one, keep going, take those rests and then go again. Try to do 20-25 reps no matter how long it takes.
3) The next time (I would do this the next day, I don't think you can skip days just yet), get into the same position. This time, instead of grabbing your legs, stretch your arms as much as possible straight behind your head. Throw yourself upwards using your arms for extra leverage. This should get you most of the way up; if you need to grab your knees to get the rest of the way up, that's fine, over a 10-15 minute period (15 mins if you are taking long breaks) - try to do at least 20-25 reps. Note: all the way up = chin touches your knee. Do this as many times as you can, no matter how long you need to wait between each rep. Do this each day for the next 3-4 days - SKIP a day if you have really bad soreness in your abs/hips. Try as much as you can to do additional reps or shorter breaks in between, again within a 10 minute period (15 mins if you are taking long breaks).
4) By the 5-6th day, bend your elbows and put your hands next to your ears (not behind your head) and do sit ups from this position, touching your chin to your knee each time you come up. Again, as many as possible, no matter how many breaks you need, within a 10 minute period, or 15 mins if you take long breaks. Take a day off if your abs are really sore. You do not need to alternate days on/off with this because you're not building muscle, you're just training your body to perform this movement and you have a deadline. Do this for 2-3 days.
5) On the 8th day, you need to be ready to challenge yourself to do sets for time. Do a set of 14 and time yourself. It doesn't matter how long it takes but you need to do all 14. A set means you do NOT rest between reps, but you can go slowly if you need to. Rest for 20 minutes and repeat. Rest for 20 minutes and repeat one time. Don't be discouraged if your times are getting worse, that's expected.
6) On the 9th day, repeat day 8 but push yourself to reduce your time. Same on days 10, 11. Take day 12 off. Day 13, do 3 sets of 14 for time with as long as a break as you want (can be 30+ mins, it doesn't matter) but you are on the clock and you MUST get under 1 minute at some point. Do not rest during your sets.
7) Day 14 - take this day off. Day 15 - this is the day you take your test. (If day 14 is your test day, don't take day 12 off, take day 13 off instead.) Don't do any sit ups the day of your test. You want to be completely rested and fresh. Don't have eaten within 1-2 hours of your test (and eat only lightly before that - something that will be long gone from your stomach by test time) as anything in your stomach will make it harder. When you take your test, you will have a good dose of adrenaline to help you through. Go as fast as you can, this will allow you to get a little bounce off the bench/mat which will reduce the amount of work you will need to do. If someone is holding your feet, ask them to put their knees on your feet and their hands on your ankles, rather than only holding them with their hands - this will feel more secure and you can use your legs to pull back a little to help you get into your situp. Don't stop when you hit 14; keep going for the full minute. Let yourself feed off the energy of competing - you are there to show what you can do. Don't commiserate with others who are there to do the test or talk about being nervous with others as this will make you more nervous. And when you're done, pretend not to be exhausted.
There are probably dozens of ways to prepare for this test, but unless you find something better at least this will give you an idea of things you can do. Good luck with the test and the job! In my opinion, if you train for it for 2 weeks, it is highly unlikely that you will fail the test.
Actually unless you are doing Janda situps the muscles most involved in doing a sit up are the hip flexors not the abdominals. If your abdominals are strong enough to lock your torso then the hip flexors pull you erect.
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I don't know if two weeks is enough time. If you can't do a full situp, then you probably simply lack the core strength, since a situp's mostly about core.
You need to do more than crunches; I don't know if you can get where you need to be in just two weeks, but we can see if we can't get you at least doing more.
You need to strengthen your entire core (and now you know why core strength is so important. ;))
To add more info...I can do crunches. About 10 in a minute. It's the coming up full military style that I can't do. I just flail around and go up no further. Im a 40 year old female, if that matters any.
I've been unemployed for too long, and I found out that I can have a good paying job if I can get past the physical test. In 2 weeks I'll have to do 14 situps in one minute. Currently I can only do 1. Will it be possible for me to build up to that in 2 weeks? IF so....how?
If not, does anyone know any delay tactics for PAE tests?
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