Are You Military Fit? Take These Military Fitness Tests to Find Out!
Traditionally, January has been a time to make a fresh start with our lives, resolving to reach new goals, often self-improvement. And while everything about 2020 felt like a stress test, 2021 offers us a chance to set our intentions on improving our physical and mental health through exercise.
With life more challenging than ever, it is easy to lose focus on what really matters and priorities often fall out of alignment. Consider these questions: Do you feel like you’ve been a home-gym junkie during COVID? Have you turned to junk-food to cope during the lockdown? Give yourself grace, however you managed. The new year is perfect for a new start, and we’ve got some motivation to get you moving — our armed forces physical fitness tests!
So if you’re interested in joining the military, a veteran or retired, or a civilian just wondering what it takes to pass the fitness test, check out these military fitness requirements for each branch. Let them serve you as inspirations to work toward and as reminders of how fit our men and women in uniform are all year long.
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Army Fitness Requirements
Want to be a lean, green, fighting machine too? Get ready to be all you can be with the army physical fitness test requirements — which are used from basic training and throughout a Soldier’s career.
Army Combat Fitness Test
The Army Combat Fitness Test is the Army’s current physical fitness test, replacing the Army Physical Fitness Test. The ACFT features six components which represent everything from muscular strength and power to flexibility and coordination. Soldiers earn points for meeting and exceeding each task’s minimum requirements. The components are:
1. 3 Repetition Maximum Deadlift
Deadlift the maximum weight you can three times.
2. Standing Power Throw
Throw a 10-pound medicine ball backward and overhead as far as possible.
3. Hand Release Push-Up – Arm Extension
Complete as many hand-release push-ups as possible in 2 minutes.
Conduct these five 50-meter shuttles as fast as possible: sprint, drag, lateral, carry and sprint.
5. Leg Tuck
Complete as many leg tucks as possible; maintain a relatively vertical posture while moving the hips and knees up and down without excessive swinging.
6. 2-Mile Run
Run 2 miles for time on a measured, generally flat outdoor course.
Learn more information about the equipment used in the tests, how the tests are scored, and watch video videos of how each task is performed here.
Still wondering “What’s Your Warrior?” The Army’s website has helpful tips for building your strength while avoiding injuries. Download the Army’s Physical Training (PT) guide for conditioning and movement drills, stretching techniques and information about nutrition.
Air Force Fitness Requirements
Feeling like going off into the wild, blue yonder? Then you’ll need to plant your feet firmly on the ground for exercises designed to create a physically fit Airman. These exercises — which build cardio, core and upper body strength — are great building stamina for everyday life. If you can master these Air Force physical fitness requirements, you’ll definitely be ready to fly, fight, win.
Air Force’ Basic Training Physical Fitness Test
The minimum standards for the Air Force’ Basic Training Physical Fitness Test are as follows:
1. Sit-ups (In 1 Minute)
Men’s Sit-ups Minimum by Age
< 30: 42
Women’s Sit-ups Minimum by Age
< 30: 38
2. Push-ups (In 1 Minute)
Men’s Push-ups Minimum by Age
< 30: 33
Women’s Push-ups Minimum by Age
< 30: 18
3. Timed 1.5-mile Run
Men’s Run Time by Age
< 30: 13:36
Women’s Run Time Age
< 30: 16:22
Meeting the physically demanding fitness tests is just one of the ways that Airmen prepare to slip the surly bonds of earth. Find out more about what it takes to pass muster at the Air Force’s Basic Military Training Overview page online.
Coast Guard Fitness Requirements
Getting fit like the U.S. Coast Guard also means getting wet — and not just with sweat. In its service protecting domestic and international waters, the Coast Guard responds to tens of thousands of cases annually and rescues thousands of lives. So to train like a Coastie, you’ll need physical fitness both on land and water.
Minimum Coast Guard Physical Fitness Requirements
The minimum Coast Guard physical fitness requirements are as follows:
1. Push-ups (In 1 Minute)
2. Sit-ups (In 1 Minute)
3. 1.5-Mile Run (In minutes)
4. Complete Swim Circuit
Jump off a 1.5-meter platform into a pool, swim 100 meters unassisted.
The Coast Guard offers examples of why each exercise is crucial and tips for how to train for each category online.
Marine Fitness Requirements
Looking for a demanding workout that will kick you in the boot camp? Look no farther than the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test. This branch’s requirements are intentionally demanding to find out who has the stamina and determination to continue when others quit. If you want to run with the Devil Dogs, you’ll need to be in peak condition.
Minimum Marines’ Physical Fitness Requirements
The Marines’ physical fitness requirements vary slightly by age, earning points after a minimum is met. The minimum standards are as follows:
1. Pull-ups or Push-ups
Men’s Pull-ups Minimum by Age
Women’s Pull-ups Minimum by Age
Men’s Push-ups Minimum by Age
Women’s Push-up Minimum by Age
2. Timed Crunches or Plank
Men’s Crunch Minimum by Age
Women’s Crunch Minimum by Age
As of Jan. 1, 2020, Marines have been able to replace crunches with the plank pose. Practice getting a five-minute plank post to max the test.
4. Timed 3-mile Run
Men: 3-mile run in 28 minutes or less.
Women: 3-mile run in 31 minutes or less.
Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test
Additionally, the Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test measures functional fitness and simulates the demands of battle in full combat utility uniforms. The CFT includes:
1. Movement to Contact
An 880-yard sprint that mimics the stresses of running under pressure in battle.
2. Ammunition Lift
Lift a 30-pound ammunition can overhead until elbows lock out. The goal is to lift the can as many times as possible in a set amount of time.
3. Maneuver Under Fire
A 300-yard course that combines a variety of battle-related challenges, including crawls, ammunition resupply, grenade throwing, agility running, and the dragging and carrying of another Marine.
Find detailed descriptions of the Marines’ requirements and how to best train for them online at the branch’s official website.
Navy Fitness Requirements
Water, water, everywhere, and not a lot of room to run for miles when you’re underway — especially on a submarine. And yet, Sailors must maintain physical excellent fitness to ensure the fleet stays mission-ready. Fresh for 2021, the Navy Physical Readiness Test is undergoing several changes designed to improve the physical performance of Sailors while reducing their risk of injury. Instead of “curl-ups,” similar to sit-ups, Sailors will perform a forearm plank. In addition, a 2-kilometer row has been added as an optional cardio event.
Navy Physical Readiness Test
Currently, the Navy has suspended the new PRT in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When the risk of spreading the virus has abated, the event sequence for the Navy PRT will be as follows:
- Forearm plank
- Cardio-respiratory fitness (swim, 1.5-mile run, Concept 2 Rower or stationary bike)
- An event usually consists of swimming 500 yards or 450 meters in the fastest time possible. The swim test is only authorized in a standard 25 or 50 yard/meter swimming pool.
Want up-to-date info on how to be ship-(in)shape like our U.S. Sailors? Find more details at the Navy’s Fitness, Sports and Deployed Forces Support page online or download the Navy’s official Physical Fitness Assessment app at Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Space Force Fitness Requirements
At this time, Guardians in the Space Force follow the physical fitness policies of the U.S. Air Force. Eventually, the U.S. Space Force will develop its own physical fitness assessment. Whatever that test ends up asking, we’re sure the Guardians will rock it.
Military Wight and Body Composition Requirements
In addition to the fitness requirements cited above, the branches of the U.S. military have standards for weight and body composition. We encourage you to start 2021 by tracking your fitness gains first and worry about weight later — if then. Getting your body moving more, at any level, is more important to feeling physically and mentally fitter this year. However, if you want to check out the standards to see where your routine could take you with healthy workouts and nutrition, you can check out the body composition standards for the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy online. The Coast Guard’s Body Composition Program currently measures abdominal circumference, rather than weight.
COVID-19 continues to affect some of the branches’ fitness tests, as active-duty roles and responsibilities have changed to keep military members and their families healthier. Not all requirements are being tested currently, and some exercises could be revamped when regular testing resumes. Remember, these are the general fitness standards our armed forces usually meet to be in top physical condition. Knowing how far to push yourself and resisting over-training will help you avoid injury and build fitness safely.
Fitness and Workout Music
Need some more motivation to get moving? Music has been proven to distract your body — in a good way — from some of the fatigue during workouts. We even made it easier to plug-in and pump (CLAP) you up by re-creating this playlist on Spotify. Since boredom can sometimes set in at the gym, we’re always looking for new workout tunes. Let us know some of your favorite motivational music, and we’ll keep adding to our playlist.
- ‘Till I Collapse — Eminem, Nate Dogg
- Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger — Daft Punk
- Danger Zone — Kenny Loggins
- Army of Me — Bjork
- Seven Nation Army — The White Stripes
- Survivor — Destiny’s Child
- Eye of the Tiger — Survivor
- Titanium — David Guetta, Sia
- Gonna Make You Sweat — C&C Music Factory
- X Gon’ Give It to Ya — DMX
- MIC Drop — BTS, Steve Aoki
- Level Up — Ciara
- Thunderstruck — AC/DC
- Believer — Imagine Dragons
- Gonna Fly Now — Bill Conti
Are you planning to make a healthy body and mental tenacity a priority in 2021? We salute you and wish you success for the long haul of living fitter. Leave a comment if these military fitness tests requirements have inspired you and share your own workout motivations and transformations with us too!
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.