The world of fitness has changed radically over this decade, and these changes have seeped into pretty much every walk of life. Late last year, the US Army confirmed it would be radically rehauling the fitness test it requires of new recruits. The new US Army Fitness Test is set to be rolled out across this year, and is designed to be gender-neutral. For anyone serious about fitness, male or female, the test provides a fascinating gauge your own abilities.
The new tests takes in a lot of the new advances in fitness in recent years - it's amazing to realise how limited the original US Army test was. Previously recruits were asked to prove their ability in push-ups, sit-ups and the two-mile run.
The new US Army Fitness Test is just a bit more intense.
Here's what the new US Army Fitness Test involves:
- Deadlift (minimum weight 63kg)
- Standing Power Throw - throwing a 6kg medicine ball over your head as far as you can (minimum throw 4.6m)
- Hand-Raised Push-ups - a push-up followed by lifting your arms and legs from the ground (minimum of 10)
- A 250-Meter Sprint, Drag and Carry - a combined exercise involving a 50m sprint, a backward 50m drag of a 40kg sled, a 50m movement, a 50m carry of 2 18kg kettle bells; and a 50m sprint. (minimum time 3.35)
- Leg Tuck - this involves hanging from a pull-up bar, and pulling your legs to your elbows (minimum 1)
- Two-Mile Run - your standard two-mile run (minimum time 21:07)
After recruits take that test, there is a follow-up test called the Occupational Physical Assessment Test that determines the kind of work that recruits do. It involves the following:
Standing Long Jump: this is your bog-standard momentum-free broad jump
Seated Power Throw: here you'd throw a 2kg medicine ball with both arms.
Strength Deadlift: this requires use of a hex bar, and starts at 55kg and goes up to 100kg.
Interval Run (Beep Test): these are 20m sprints over intervals timed to a number of audible 'beeps'. Here's a demo of a beep test.
According to leaks from the US Army, a perfect score on the new US Army Fitness Test requires the following:
- 320 pound dead lift
- 13.5 metre power throw
- Sprint drag of 1:40
- 70 push up reps
- 20 leg tucks
- 12:45 two-mile run
Of course, you wouldn't need a perfect score to be considered for the US Army, but you could attain perfection, it would be proof you've got an inner-soldier inside you.
If you find this kind of test daunting, you might take heart in this video from Vice, where their reporter Alzo Slade pretty much kills the whole test.