1. #1
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    Default CPAT Stepmill advice ...

    I need some advice... I am currently trying to pass a CPAT test... I have take two practice test so far and keep failing the stepmill part ( getting off before it's time.. 1st time I got off at 2:30.. 2nd time 2:55 ) Though they Let me continue with the rest of the test.. I feel great about all the other events but that damn stairmill... I am a bigger girl but am a half marathon runner and was putting in 25-30 miles a week prior to changing up my training to focus on CPAT stuff.. I have 2 vest totaling 50lbs.. I do not have access to a stairmill near me but have gone out of state just to workout with one.. But have been going to a local park with 168 stair (9 flights with landings) About 3 times a week ..Some of it is mental/anxiety ( this had been my life long dream ) But my quads are burning like hell around 2mins .. Any advice ? Thanks for ur time

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    Best advice I can give is get on a step mill with the weight. Before my Cpat I got up to 7 minutes with 50lbs. Repetition is the best I was doing the Step mill 4 times per week then would do the rest of my regular workout. Some times I would do my full work out first then do the step mill last.

    Try to find a planet fitness that has a step mill. Memberships are like 10 a month and I dont think you need to sign a year contract.
    The step mill sucks. Just keep doing it over and over and you will get conditioned to it.

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    I'm very small -- 5'3 117 pounds -- and I passed. Funny enough, the stepmill was the easiest part for me, but I think that's because I've been training my lower body at the gym for years. In addition to the advice you got above, you may want to try doing very low squats and lunges at the gym. Don't do them for reps, do them for time. Just keep going until you can't do them anymore. Do it with a relatively light weight -- not something super heavy. Then do squat jumps right afterwards. You have to build up your muscle stamina.

    Also try doing tabatas on the elliptical, treadmill -- anything. With that, you go ALL OUT for 20 seconds. Then rest for 10 seconds. You do that 8 times in a row. Sounds easy, but if you go all out, you will be DYING.

    You can do it! Just keep working hard and remember that 1/2 of it is heart.

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    What do I think about jump roping?? Need to do something other then stairs..

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    Not sure on the jump roping thing but I've trained with some other folks on getting CPAT ready and really the best way I've found to train is to just get on the stepmill with weight and do it at least a handful of times a week if possible. I've not found anything that can simulate the type of burn that you get when doing the stepmill, besides simply doing stairs. It sounds like you are already pretty darn close as it is, and really all it takes is 3:20 of your time, might as well just knock it out before a work out or something. I know it's not the greatest advice, but I've seen solid results with multiple candidates like myself.

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    Thanks! Still struggling with the dang stairmill.. :-( only have one more chance.. Been doing the stairs here in town ( 168 steps) 4 times back to back every other day.. Next day running sprints.. Gave up soda too..focused on my diet this time..

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    Have you tried adding additional weight with your vests? To try to get over the 50lb mark? Getting as close to test weight would be idea, if possible, even if you gotta strap a backpack with some books on your back. Obviously, do so while being conscious of your safety....would suck to torque something if you had it sitting wrong. But keep it up! Definitely try to get as close to the real thing during your training as you can, you can do it!
    Last edited by Jkester; 06-05-2014 at 10:24 AM. Reason: info

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    Yep did that today.. Shoved two 7lb dumbells in between my vest today do for to 64 lbs.. I will keep trying to find ways of safely adding weight... Def taking longer to get the "jello" legs so I think i am making progress.. Going one set past comfortable to get used to the burning want to die feeling hehe

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    Have you tried losing weight? What is the problem here? Do you get dizzy and fall off or just give up when your quads burn? I can't really comprehend this problem. No stairmaster? How about a hill? No hill? Lunges, squats, etc. Ditch the 50 lbs vest and grab some 35lb dumbbells to get you closer to the 75lbs used on the test.

    People are right though, try to find a gym with a stair master and just do it a ton.

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    Two parts to pasing the stairmill, cardio training if your heart rate skyrockets and your too "winded". Strength and endurance training is what you need to do if your legs are "burning out". You need to train your properly for whatever your deficiency is. If your legs are "burning out" its because you need to raise your lactic acid threshold. The burning sensation you feel is acidosis. Its the acid that's breaking down your muscles. As your legs get used to the longer endurance type of training they'll e less prone to "burning out". If you're too winded to continue - dizzy, lightheaded, eleveated HR. its because your cardio needs to be improved upon.

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    Find all the gyms in your area that have a stair stepper then use free trial. Start off by doing leg workouts hitting all the mussels. Then the stair stepper set at the same rate as cpat. Using weights until you are 10 ponds more then the cpat. Your goal is 5 minutes on the stepper. Controling you're breathing is key deep breaths in and out. It should take you a about three to six weeks if you bust your butt. Also take pre & post workout supplements.

    It took me three months I stated doing leg workout with weights and the stair stepper no weight at 7 min then progressively added weight until I did 85 pounds for five min. after this the cpat was a breeze.

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    I agree that weight training can be valuable, but do so aware of your limitations. Don't go in and throw plates around all willy nilly. Get someone to help you put together a plan if you haven't done it before. Additionally, stay away from supplements unless you're informed on them. Don't just go to GNC and ask for any old pre/post supps....a lot of beginners use supplements inappropriately and it not only wastes money but can also affect their performance.

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    here are a few ways to work your lower half if you get tired of the step mill; squats (various forms), BOSU ball squates with weights, ingle leg squat, partner squat and end with a high knee (position the partner on your side and have him hold his open alm at your chest heigt, drop into a squat position and drive your knee upward through his hand), jumping lunges

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    I don't think I can add anything new to what every one else had said. Of course if you can train on a stair mill then that would be the ultimate way to improve. Doing the exact workout over and over through repetition is the best way to improve at anything. Another thing that helps me out and this goes for any timed workout I do is I break up the time into smaller groups of time. So instead of thinking crap I have 3:20 to do on this thing break it up and say ok I have 7 sets of 30 seconds on here (ok the last set is tech. 20 sec) but instead of looking at it as a whole you mentally break it up into smaller sections. You just keep telling yourself ok 30 seconds at a time. It doesn't make the work load any less but mentally It makes the task seem more manageable. It helps me in timed workouts. Also don't get siked out before starting. Tell yourself you will pass! Your mind is a powerful thing. So keep working and getting stronger and more stamina and also get that positive thought process and you should be able to knock it out. Good luck to you!

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