For those who joined the Corps a while back, you remember that we had to do sit-ups vs. crunches. Well, in the new and much more safety aware Marine Corps we do crunches. We used to have to do 80 sit-ups in two minutes. Now, we have to do 100 crunches in two minutes. It's not as easy as you may think. Well, being the motivator, I am almost loathe to admit that I did 79 sit-ups in two minutes once in my long and illustrious Marine Corps career. Of course, being the motivator, this was a blow to my ego. I can give you a million excuses why I couldn't pump out another one, but that would be useless. As I always say, "excuses only satisfy those who give them." The bottom line is that I failed to max out the sit-ups. Needless to say, I rectified the situation and I enjoyed earning the max score on the sit-ups and subsequently crunches. Well, now I want to share my techniques on how to improve the number of crunches that you can do in two minutes.

I've found that the best way to improve your crunches is by doing crunch drills. You should break your drills up into one minute, 30 second and 15 second intervals. First, do as many crunches as you can do in one minute. After that, rest a few minutes and then do as many as you can do in 30 seconds. Then, rest a few more minutes and do as many as you can do in 15 seconds. You should do this workout with at least three (3) days between workouts. The goal you should shoot for is, each time that you do the workout, try to beat the previous scores on the three time periods. For example, if you did 52 in one minute, the next time you do the one minute drill, try to do 53. Once every two weeks, attempt to do the max in two minutes. Continue this until you get to that max score of 100 crunches. After about two to three weeks you should see your score increase dramatically. Now let's move on to the mile and a half run.

To better your time on the mile and a half run, you don't have to run over a mile and a half. Actually, you only have to run a mile and a half once per week, in order to achieve the expected results. First, mark off a mile and a half trail. Next, what you need to do is mark off the one mile marker. Two times per week, Run the mile distance. Try to complete the mile in less time every consecutive time you run the mile and a half. The reason why you want to increase the time on the shorter distance is to get used to that burning sensation in your legs (lactic acid build-up) that you experience running the shorter distance at a greater speed. This also helps that last minute burst of speed that some of us like to do at the end to gain a few more seconds. Once per week, check your time on the mile and a half run. You should get faster and faster on your mile run and by getting faster on the mile, you should improve your time on the mile and a half. This workout will help on the three mile run also. Just try to increase your speeds on the mile and a half and the two mile distances. This workout helped a person that detests running (namely me) to achieve my best score of 18:38 down from a 22:30. This was achieved while I was concurrently training for a natural bodybuilding contest.

Well motivators, that's the scoop from Semper Fitness. I hope that this helps you the way it helped me. Next issue we'll be talking about protein. Until then, stay pumped, stay motivated and oo-rah!

Semper Fi!