I know there are a few fellow veterans on here that might find this interesting. The Army is replacing the old PT Test with a new "combat" oriented fitness test. No more traditional pushups, situps and 2 mile run. From what I've just read, here and here, it's gotten significantly harder:
Army fitness officials recently released the manual for the upcoming Army Combat Fitness Test, including tips for pleasing graders on each event.
Beginning in October, the service will conduct a large field test of the ACFT, involving soldiers from 60 battalions across the active-duty, National Guard and Reserve components.
"While the ACFT is backed by thorough scientific research and has undergone several revisions, there are still details that have not been finalized," according to the ACFT Field Testing Manual released Sept. 6. "The purpose of the Field Test is to refine the field administration and scoring of the ACFT."
The six-event ACFT is scheduled to officially replace the Army Physical Fitness Test in October 2020.
In addition to test preparation, equipment lists, event procedures and administrative guidance, the manual provides advice for graders scoring each event.
"There are no test event re-starts. Incorrectly performed repetitions will not be counted," the manual states.
Here is a look at what graders will likely be looking for on each ACFT event:
This is a three-repetition maximum deadlift to test muscular strength. Graders will terminate a record attempt (which counts as one of two record attempts) if the soldier drops or bounces the weights off the ground or rests in the down position. Resting means no continuous effort is being made to lift the weight.
Standing Power Throw
This event involves throwing a 10-pound medicine ball as far as possible over the head and to the rear. The soldier must make one practice throw and two record throws. A record attempt will not count if a soldier steps on or over the start line during a throw. This is a fault, and the throw will be repeated. Two faults in a row will count as a record attempt, and the soldier will receive a "0" for that record attempt.
This event forces the soldier to go all the way to the floor and raise his/her hands before coming back up again. A repetition will not count if the index finger is outside the outer edge of the shoulder, feet are more than a boot's width apart, the soldier fails to simultaneously raise the shoulders and hips (the whole body) off the ground in a straight alignment from the top of the head to the ankles, or the soldier bends or sags at the shoulders, hips or knees while in the front leaning rest position. After a warning, the test event will be terminated if the soldier lifts a foot off the ground, lifts a hand off the ground or rests on the ground or in any position other than the front leaning rest position.
This is five different events within one event: a 50-meter sprint; a backward 50-meter drag of a 90-pound sled; a 50-meter movement; a 50-meter carry of two 40-pound kettle bells; and a final 50-meter sprint. Graders will call soldiers back to the start line or the 25-meter turn line to correct violations in performance to include: failure to touch the line with a hand and foot while sprinting or doing laterals or failure to pull the entire sled across the 25-meter or start line.
A soldier's body must continue past the line pulling the sled backward until the entire sled crosses the line. The soldier may then turn the sled. Failure to pull the entire sled across the start line before beginning the laterals or throwing or tossing the kettlebells on the ground will also result in violations in performance.
A soldier hangs perpendicular to the pull-up bar and brings his knees up to his elbows and back down again for one repetition. A repetition will not count if a soldier: fails to touch both knees (or thighs) to both elbows, swings or twists to establish momentum to lift the knees, fails to return to a straight-arm position; has arms fully extended in the down position or pushes off the post, ground or bar with back or foot to establish momentum to lift the knees. Incidental contact with the ground, post or bar is not penalized if the grader deems the soldier has gained no advantage. The event will be terminated if the soldier drops from the bar or rests on the ground.
The ACFT retains the two-mile-run portion of the APFT, which is designed to measure aerobic and muscular endurance. Soldiers must complete the event without any physical help. Soldiers may pace another soldier or be paced by another soldier. Leaving the course at any time during the event will cause the event to be terminated.
After completing all six events, soldiers must review and sign their scorecards, the manual states.
"Any discrepancies must be resolved at the test site," it adds. "Requests for reconsideration will not be permitted after the scorecard has been signed and turned in."
Full Details: The Army Finally Reveals Future Combat Fitness Test
The U.S. Army announced Monday that it will replace the current Army Physical Fitness Test with a new, more strenuous fitness evaluation designed to prepare soldiers for the rigors of combat.
By October 2020, all soldiers, regardless of age or gender, will be required to take the new Army Combat Fitness Test -- a six-event test that measures muscular strength, muscular endurance, power, flexibility, coordination, speed, agility, cardiovascular endurance, balance and reaction time.
The decision grew out of six-year effort that ended with a pilot studying an earlier version of the test, known as the Army Combat Readiness Test.
This is the first new physical fitness test for the Army in 38 years, Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost, who is overseeing the effort as commanding general of the U.S. Army Center of Initial Military Training, told defense reporters at the Pentagon.
"It's going to improve soldier physical readiness; it's going to change the Army fitness culture, reduce physical injuries ... it will better inform commanders of unit readiness and will enhance mental toughness and stamina," he said. "I personally believe that the Army Combat Fitness Test will ignite a general cultural change in fitness for the Army and will be a cornerstone of individual combat readiness for the future."
There are six events in the ACFT:
Strength Deadlift. This is a three-repetition maximum deadlift to test muscular strength; it mimics movement to safety and effectively lifting and carrying heavy loads.
Standing Power Throw. This event involves throwing a 10-pound medicine ball as far as possible over the head and to the rear. It measures upper and lower muscular power, balance and whole body flexibility.
Hand-Raised Push-ups. This event forces the soldier to go all the way to the floor and raise his hands before coming back up again, measuring upper-body muscular endurance.
A 250-Meter Sprint, Drag and Carry. This is five different events within one event -- a 50-meter sprint; a backward 50-meter drag of a 90-pound sled; a 50-meter movement; a 50-meter carry of two 40-pound kettle bells; and a final 50-meter sprint. It measures muscular strength, power, speed and reaction time.
Leg Tuck. A soldier hangs perpendicular to the pull-up bar and brings his knees up to his elbows and back down again for one repetition. It measures muscular strength, endurance and grip.
Two-Mile Run. The ACFT retains the two-mile run portion of the APFT, which is designed to measure aerobic and muscular endurance.
All events must be completed in 50 minutes or less, so there is mandated rest and a maximum time for each event, Frost said. Each soldier gets two minutes' rest between each of the first five events and five minutes of rest before the two-mile run.
Beginning this October, the Army will field the necessary sports equipment to 60 battalions across the active Army, National Guard and Reserve and conduct a one-year evaluation to work out how the test will be scored, make adjustments to events as needed and consider the policies required to implement the new test, he said.
"The Army is going to change as it starts to train and understand what is required," Frost said. "The final scales are to be determined, but we can expect something like a hundred-point scale for each event, so potentially 600 points per event, and there may be a minimum standard."
With the current APFT, "we are used to 60 points as the pass; 100 points is maximum," he added. "So, if you can imagine, 360 points can be a potential pass standard to remain a soldier in the Army, and our maximum would be 600.
"The questions will be, are there unit standards in between that? Are there occupational standards in between that? ... All that is going to be determined based off the [data] and the field test, combined with what we have looked at scientifically," Frost said.
The Army will have to adjust its fitness policies to the new ACFT, said Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dailey, sergeant major of the Army.
"What are the policies and procedures?" Dailey said. "What happens if you can't take it, what happens if you fail an event, is there going to be an alternate event? … We owe the chief of staff and the secretary [of the Army] the analysis from the field testing, so they can make the informed decisions on those questions."
In October 2019, the ACFT will be fully implemented across the Army to allow all soldiers time to train up to the new standard. During that year, the APFT will still remain the test of record, Frost said.
The current plan is to outfit each battalion with 15 lanes’ worth of medicine balls, pull-up bars, sleds, kettle bells and other equipment needed for the new test.
"To outfit the entire United States Army with 15 lanes per battalion ... you are talking approximately $30 million," Frost said, adding that there are currently 1,205 battalions across all components of the Army.
He defended the cost, saying, "$30 million over the lifespan of this equipment, which is 10 years, that's less than $3 per soldier."
Then in October 2020, the ACFT will become the Army's new fitness test of record, Frost said.
"This supports the chief of staff of the Army's and the secretary of the Army's number one initiative, which is readiness," Dailey said. "We need to assess our soldiers' ability and improve that over time. The APFT is a physical fitness test that has served the Army well for decades, but we can improve upon it."
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.
Believe it or not the old test was no pushover, you had (according to age) to do so many sit-ups, push-ups and complete the run in a certain time. You had to score at least 60 points in each of those to pass the test. Of course there were people who could blow the test away and maxed it out all the time. You had to do this every 6 months. If you couldn't pass then you had to do remedial fitness training and take it again at some point in the near future. If you didn't pass it then you were released from active duty.
Man, I am glad I don't have to do this!