MILLINGTON, TN — Here's some good news for sailors who don't like to run. The Navy's fitness program introduced the option of using elliptical trainers or stationary bikes as new ways for sailors to complete the cardiovascular portion of the physical readiness test (PRT). The elliptical and cycle tests are both 12-minute, fixed-timed tests with a direct correlation to the 1.5-mile run. The goal is to burn as many calories as possible.

Once command fitness leaders (CFLs) obtain the sailor's caloric output from the elliptical or stationary bike, they can input these results into a calculator located on the PRT website at www.npc.navy.mil/commandsupport/physicalreadiness/. This calculates a run time that can be compared to the 1.5-mile run section of the PRT instruction.

“We are trying to encourage the culture of fitness concept by giving sailors the option to test like they train. These new options, when allowed by the command, give sailors the chance to work out on a regular basis on equipment they can use to complete the run portion of the PRT,” says Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Finlayson, the Navy's program manager for physiology and fitness.

The culture of fitness encourages sailors to exercise more frequently and get rid of the “three-mile club,” which refers to those sailors who only exercise when the PRT comes around, according to a recent Navy report.

“This also helps deployed commands complete their PRT on time and gives deployed sailors more options to stay in shape,” says Finlayson.

If using these options for the PRT, CFLs must ensure sailors train on the machine and know the safety, setup/start/stop and testing procedures for that machine prior to testing day.

CFLs must obtain authorization from their commanding officer to use the elliptical and stationary bike for a PRT. CFLs and sailors should read NAVADMIN 11/07 at www.npc.navy.mil to view a list of the correct model numbers of authorized machines that are required to take the test.