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Phases of Physical Readiness Training (PRT)


Phases of Physical Readiness Training (PRT)
Army Physical Readiness Training (PRT) programs are designed to account for all soldiers who enter the army, and take into consideration that all soldiers come into the army with varying capabilities. If the training is focused to the level of the least fit, most soldiers will not be challenged. If it is focused to the soldiers who are in better shape, then the least fit soldiers are at risk of injury. Therefore, the ARMY has established two PRT phases, toughening and conditioning that are appropriate for training soldiers of various physical capabilities to achieve physical readiness and reduce the chances of injury. The Army PRT model begins with the toughening phase that builds on the soldier's existing strength, mobility and stamina, and progresses to the conditioning phase that will enable the soldier to achieve physical readiness and perform all expected duties.

Toughening Phase.
The purpose of the toughening phase is to develop foundational fitness and fundamental skills. In this phase, soldiers gradually become proficient at managing their own body weight. Through exercises such as calisthenics, movement drills, grass drills and dumbbell drills, soldiers learn essential skills such as jumping, landing, lunging, bending, reaching and lifting. Their stamina improves through progressive PRT activities. A variety of training events with precise standards of execution ensures that the bones, muscles, and connective tissues gradually "toughen" rather than break. The primary goal of the toughening phase is to prepare the soldier's body to enter the conditioning phase. The toughening phase also enables experienced soldiers who have been injured or inactive to recover and rebuild foundational fitness in order to re-enter the conditioning phase.

Conditioning Phase.
The purpose of the conditioning phase is to develop a high level of physical readiness appropriate to duty position. In this phase, events become more demanding. More advanced calisthenics and dumbbell drills are added to increase the resistance of fundamental movements. Guerilla drills are also included to develop functional jumping and lifting skills. Interval runs are added to further develop aerobic endurance. Circuits that build strength and challenge individual movement techniques also add variety to this phase. When you are physically mission-capable and all of your individual and unit physical readiness goals have been achieved, continued training emphasizes advanced skills and sustainment of physical readiness.

Soldiers in BCT are in the toughening phase throughout much of their training. Toward the end of BCT and during AIT, soldiers enter the conditioning phase of PRT.