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.