US Army to Update Fitness Readiness Test by 2020

Since the 1980s, the Army’s fitness test has been relatively simple: 2 minutes max push-ups, 2 minutes max sit-ups, 2-mile run. Officials have found that the current test doesn’t truly show a soldier’s level of fitness and readiness—either while serving, or for entry.

Known as the ACFT (Army Combat Fitness Test) will now have these events, which focus on functional fitness, rather than on the meager test of as as many movements executed in 2 minutes.

The test will now consist of:

  • Strength deadlift performed 3 times with a weight ranging from 120 to 420 pounds; each lift will have an increased amount of weight.
  • Standing power throw; soldiers will throw a 10-pound ball backward as far as possible. This is to test to test muscular explosive power which may be needed in scenarios where the student may need to hoist themselves or a fellow soldier up over an obstacle, as well as when traversing rugged ground where climbing may be necessary.
  • Hand-release pushups, which test both strength and explosive power; this movement is done by a soldier pushing him or herself up with as much strength as possible, generating enough momentum so their hands leave the ground; the soldier then catches him- or herself on the downward movement. Another push-up is then immediately performed.
  • Sprint/drag/carry; soldiers will sprint while dragging a sled weighing 90lbs, then carry two 40lb kettlebell weights.
  • Leg tuck; the soldier will lift their legs up and down to touch their knees/thighs to their elbows as many times as they can.
  • 2-mile run

(Not stated were the testing times/number of reps that will be required).

In recent years, the Army relinquished its ban on visible tattoos; enlistment numbers were falling, and the Army realized they were banning a large number of capable men and women merely for that reason.

But with this new test, given the overall lack of physical fitness many of the nation’s current youth has, it may be difficult once more to find viable candidates—visible tattoos or not.

According to the Army, these new requirements will eliminate muscular attrition, which can lead to injuries an the inability to perform needed tasks as well as reduce combat readiness.

The current test is said to only predict a 40% level of readiness; it currently appears that the requirements are universal and will not be altered for females.


QUESTION: Coach, do you have tips for getting ready for the BUD/S physical test and how to train?

ANSWER: Yes—check out this article: Navy SEAL BUD/S PST Tips.

QUESTION: It’s been really hot here in the UK the last few weeks and I want to train harder. I feel thirsty all the time. How can I make sure I’m staying hydrated?

ANSWER: Check out this article—How a Navy SEAL Stays Hydrated in the Summer.



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