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The U.S. Army’s New Fitness Test

An updated protocol assesses combat readiness.

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In October 2018, the U.S. Army began field testing a new gender- and age-neutral Army Combat Fitness Test that it plans to put into effect October 2020. The test consists of six trials:

  1. Strength deadlift. Complete 3 reps at heaviest weight you’re capable of between 120 and 420 pounds (replicates picking up supplies, heavy equipment or wounded comrades).
  2. Standing power throw. Throw a 10-pound ball backward as far as possible (replicates lifting oneself or aiding a soldier over an obstacle or moving rapidly across uneven terrain).
  3. Hand-release pushup. Do as many hand-release pushups as possible in 2 minutes. In a hand-release pushup, a soldier lifts his or her hands and arms from the ground at the bottom of every pushup.
  4. Sprint, drag, carry. Dash 25 meters up and down a lane, sprinting, then dragging a 90-pound sled, then hand-carrying two 40-pound kettlebell weights (simulates pulling a soldier to safety, moving quickly to cover or carrying ammunition).
  5. Leg tuck. While hanging from a bar, lift legs up and down and touch knees or thighs to elbows as many times as possible in 2 minutes (requires double the force of traditional situps).
  6. Two-mile run. Complete a 2-mile run after just 5 minutes’ rest following the leg tucks.

The new test is intended to provide a better assessment of combat readiness.Passing-score standards need to be developed and may depend on a particular soldier’s job requirements. To learn more, go to tradocnews.org/army-combat-fitness-test-set-to-become-new-pt-test-of-record-in-late-2020/.

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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