The U.S. Army’s New Fitness Test

An updated protocol assesses combat readiness.

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA
Oct 12, 2018

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


Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at

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