Sharing my thoughts about using my experience with the Army Physical Fitness Test (AFPT) to measure my 2017 fundamental fitness goals.

You must have a minimum fitness level to join the Army and improve it by the end of basic training

In the Army, we took an initial physical fitness test, running, pushups, situps, pullups – to assess at what level a trainee entered the program. A score of 60% was required to join the service, and by the end of basic training, you were expected to reach the 80%+ range.

These three exercises are measured and scored

The first two events, push-ups and sit-ups are performed in a 2-minute set, where you try to do as many consecutive push-ups or sit-ups as possible in that time without resting. The times for a 2-mile run are self-explanatory.

My personal best, long long ago

At my very best, in 1998, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, I had the 3rd highest score out of 400 soldiers, with the following score:

  • 99 push-ups in 2 minutes
  • 114 sit-ups in 2 minutes
  • Ran 2 miles in 11 minutes 20 seconds

What do the fitness test scores suggest how someone over 40 should perform?

Below are the score charts for ages 17–41. Now I’m just a little bit over 40 🙂 but I’m going to use as a goal that performance level. You can see what it would take to score 100% in each activity as well as what it would take to meet the minimum 60% qualification.

What is my starting point for 2017 (60%)

Now, fast forwarding to today, as the charts show, for an age bracket of over 40, to just meet the Army’s minimum qualifications, I would have to do:

  • 34 push-ups in 2 minutes
  • 38 sit-ups in 2 minutes
  • Run 2 miles in 18:18

I’ll do my initial assessment this week

So that’s how I’m going to do my initial assessment this week – and it’s the run I’m most concerned about. It has been a long, long time since I’ve run at all. 30 minutes walking fast on the treadmill just don’t compare to a run like that. I’ll publish my initial results after my assessment. I also plan to do this test each month of the year moving forward to see how I am doing.

My goal is to get back to 80%

To get to a level of 80% might be a worthwhile goal to have given some serious training or a longer period of time – like this year. An 80% level for me (over 40) would look like this:

  • 54 push-ups in 2 minutes
  • 57 sit-ups in 2 minutes
  • Run 2 miles in 15:54

Scoring chart links for reference

Here are links to all of the charts by age, gender and event.

Some Ranger inspiration

Also, just for inspiration – and sharing some props to my Ranger friends – are the higher standards that the higher-temp teams maintain.

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