Two minutes is used as a measure for many things. There are two minute warnings in football. Dentists recommend brushing one’s teeth for two minutes. The list could go on; however, there are two minutes that cheerleaders and U.S. Army soldiers have in common. That is the two-minutes per event in the Army Physical Fitness Test, or APFT. A modified APFT, utilized by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders’ fitness director at the beginning of training camp, sets the tone. The fitness test, which measures conditioning, is comprised of three events: Push-ups, Sit-ups, and a two-mile run. Physical endurance and overall conditioning is assessed based on the number of points scored in each category. The ultimate achievement on the APFT is to score 300 points. A soldier receiving at least 90 points in each event and 270 overall is awarded the Physical Fitness Excellence badge, which may be worn on the physical training uniform. In contrast, to achieve Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader power-squad status, 280 points are required! This is not an easy achievement for most, but with proper training it can be done. The events of the APFT are assigned points based upon repetitions performed in two minutes each and the elapsed time taken to run two miles. A female aged 17-21 must run two miles in 15 minutes, 36 seconds, perform 78 sit-ups in two minutes and 42 push-ups in two minutes to earn her 300 point maximum score. For what is considered a passing score by Army standards (minimum of 60 points in all events) the same female must run two miles in 18:54, perform 53 sit-ups in two minutes and 19 push-ups in two minutes. “Maxing” the test requires not only strength and endurance, but like finally getting a stunt or nailing that tumble-pass, it can be very rewarding. For those with determination, there are some basic recommendations to increase overall conditioning. Diet is of utmost importance. To control portions, one should eat six small meals of lean protein and carbohydrates, avoiding carbs for the last two meals of the day. Watching what and how one eats will help reveal that “six pack,” most likely already there but hidden. In regards to training, variety is very important, as the body responds and adapts to any workout done over a period of time. Weight training, cardio exercise, and anything that can assist in improving balance and stability such as yoga and Pilates, will help the cheerleader achieve excellence. For best results, both cheerleaders and soldiers need a partner for accountability; it also makes the two minutes of oomph possible with someone to provide motivation. Achieving excellence is possible, and the APFT can be used by anyone to assess conditioning regularly. When preparing for the APFT, it’s important to wear the proper training attire. One of the best places to start is to select an athletic shoe that will provide you the comfort and support you require throughout your training. Campus TeamWear has an extensive selection of new cheerleading shoes , making sure you get the perfect fit guaranteed. Currently, the Nike Air Boom II Cheer has been a big hit amongst cheerleaders and is a great choice for your off-season training (or prepping for the APFT). The Air Boom II Cheer features a synthetic leather upper for support; a breathable mesh midfoot section, so you stay cool throughout your training; and a low-profile, soft sole, making this shoe an excellent choice for stunters. Regardless of what you’re looking for, Campus TeamWear has a great selection of cheerleading shoes, cheer uniforms , camp wear, practice wear, cheerleader warm-ups, accessories and pom poms at the lowest prices guaranteed! For more information on the Nike Air Boom II and to see other great cheerleading products in-stock and ready-to-ship, check out www.cheerleadingonline.com.