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Level I Strength & Cardio-Respiratory Training Weeks 1-12

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1 Squat, Push-up, Body Row 8-10 reps, 1 set 5-10 minutes @ 60-65% MHR or RPE 5 Kneeling/Straight Leg Plank 5-7 reps of 10 sec
2 2 days per week for Weeks # 1-4 3 days per week for Weeks # 1-3  OR 2 days per week for Weeks # 1-4
3   2330 steps 3 days/week  
4   7-12 min. @ 60-65% mhr or RPE 5  
5 Squat, Push-up, Body Row 10-12 reps 3 days per week for Weeks 4-6 OR Kneeling/Straight Leg Plank 3-5 reps of 20 sec
6 1 set, 2 days per week for Weeks 5 - 8   2800 steps 3 days/week Add Bent Knee Lateral Plank 5-7 reps @ 5-7 Sec
7   9-14 min. @ 60-65% mhr or RPE 5  OR Weeks 5 - 8
8   3 days/week for Weeks 7-8 or 3260 steps  
9 Squat, Push-up, Body Row 12-15 reps 11-16 min. @ 60-65% mhr or RPE 5  OR Plank Progression 2-4 reps @ 30 sec.
10 1 set, 2 days per week for Weeks 9-12 3 days/week Weeks 9-10  3730 steps Lateral Plank 3-5 reps @ 10 sec
11   13-18 min. @ 60-65% mhr or RPE 5 OR Add Supine Bridge 1-2 reps @ 20-30 Sec
12   3 days/week Weeks 11-12  4200 steps Weeks 9 - 12

Level I Strength & Cardio-Respiratory Training Weeks 1 - 12

A. Level I Strength Training
The strength training portion recommends doing one set of the body weight squats, leaning push-up, and body rows as well as the planks and bridge exercises twice each week. Please see the details for sets, reps, and the progression of each exercise on the spread sheet for Level I above.

B. Cardio-Respiratory Protocols for Level I (Two Options)

1. Assuming there has been no regular cardio-respiratory exercise, this program starts with just 5-10 minutes, 3 times a week to begin and asks the participant to add 2 minutes to their starting duration every two weeks until they are able to safely and comfortably move for 30 minutes continuously. We are recommending a heart rate of 60-70% max HR or an RPE of 5-6 (very comfortable/conversational).

2. The other option is to purchase a PEDOMETER (a device for counting your steps). These are relatively inexpensive tools to help you measure your progress. They can be purchased at Running Shoe stores and some drug stores. Here the goal is focused more on increasing the number of steps you take each day with an initial target of 7000 steps per day. It is recommended that you first calibrate your pedometer for your personal stride length and then wear the unit for the first week to get an average number of steps taken with just your “normal” daily activity. That will establish a baseline to build from. Once you have an average number of steps i.e. 3000, start adding fitness walks each day from 10-20 minutes until you are averaging 7000 steps per day. Remember start slowly and give your body (feet, ankles, knees, hips etc.) a chance to adapt to your routine.

(NOTE) The most common MODE will probably be walking but any appropriate gait or locomotion is acceptable (swimming, bicycling, water jogging, rowing, elliptical etc.)

C. Strength/Cardio-Respiratory Fitness Goal Standards for leaving Level I

1. 20-30 body weight squats in 1 minute (to parallel thigh or appropriate chair height if physically unable to reach a 90 degree angle). 

2. Leaning Push-up at a height that is approximately half your height in inches. i.e. 60” (5 feet tall) push-up height 30 inches or a height that allows you to get the suggested number of repetitions. Body at rigid attention, up on the toes, lowering so the breast touches the bar or appropriate height object (table, bench etc.). Men to perform 20 repetitions, women 10 repetitions.

3. Body rows performed either on a horizontal bar or suspended by (a towel, rope, nylon webbing etc.) at a height approximately half their height with knees bent 90 degrees as demonstrated. Men to perform 10 repetitions, women 5 repetitions, breast to the bar or wrist to the ribs.

4. Maintain a Prone Plank position for :30 seconds, maintaining a flat back and neutral neck as shown.

5. Maintain a Double Bent Knee Lateral Plank for :30 seconds on each side, maintaining proper alignment and hips elevated and in line with the thighs and torso.

6. Maintain a Double Leg Supine Bridge for :30 seconds with proper form for the duration of the test.

Aerobic goal for leaving Level I – Be able to maintain a continuous heart rate of 60-65% max HR for 30 minutesRPE of 5 should be “conversational, could keep this up for a long time.” OR be able to average 5000 steps in 20 minutes (approximately 3-4 mph) 3-4 days per week.