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Army to scrap traditional pushups, situps as part of fitness test - new test rollout by 2020 Login/Join 
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posted
https://www.armytimes.com/news...this-is-not-a-drill/

A new Army PT test is on its way. This is not a drill.

Ding dong, the Army Physical Fitness Test is almost dead.

Yes, a new fitness test is here, but don’t panic: It’ll be a couple more years before you’re taking it for the record.

Army officials unveiled a new gender- and age-neutral PT test on Monday, and it’s set to replace the run/sit-ups/push-ups protocol that soldiers have known and hated for the past four decades.

The new test is expected to be rolled out by late 2020.

The reason for that, the head of the Center for Initial Military Training told Army Times in a Friday phone interview, is an upcoming year-long field study to determine how to grade the new six-event Army Combat Fitness Test, and how it will affect personnel policies like promotions and separations.

That study will begin this October, Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost said, bringing the new regimen to about 60 battalions across every unit type in the Army.

“This is a generational, cultural change in fitness for the United States Army, and will be a cornerstone of individual soldier combat readiness,” Frost said. “That’s how big this is for the Army.”

This is what the test will look like:

Deadlift between 120 and 420 pounds, depending on the individual soldier. You must do three reps in five minutes.
Two-minute rest.
Standing power throw. You’ll be required to toss a 10-pound medicine ball overhead and backward. You’ll have three minutes to make one practice throw and two for a grade. The longest distance is recorded.
Two-minute rest.
Hand-release push-ups. You lower your chest to the floor and lift your hands off the ground between each rep. You’ll be required to do the most reps in three minutes.
Two-minute rest.
Sprint-drag-carry. In four minutes, you will go 25 meters out and 25 meters back five times. Each iteration will include a different activity: sprint, drag a sled, run a lateral shuffle, carry two 40-pound kettle bells, then sprint again.
Two-minute rest.
Leg tuck. You will be required to hang from a pull-up bar and with your body parallel, then pull knees to your elbows for as many reps as possible in two minutes.
Five-minute rest.
Two-mile run on a track or a paved, level road, with a 20-minute maximum.
All told, the ACFT predicts with 80 percent accuracy whether a soldier will be effective in combat, Frost said, compared with 40 percent for the APFT.

The new test’s work-to-rest ratio is also three times that of the APFT, which was generally broken up in a sit-ups and push-ups portion and a long break before the run. Now, there will be a continuously running clock with a 50-minute limit.

“As we look at, at least maintaining, if not gaining, overmatch with our competitors ... this test will allow us to do that from a physical standpoint with our soldiers,” Frost said.

And though this is the PT test’s first total overhaul in 38 years, he told reporters on Monday, it’s not the first change to the Army’s fitness requirements.

“PT standards have been changed six times,” since the APFT was rolled out in 1980, he added.

The long road

The Army has been working on a new PT test of record for six years, Frost said, starting with a baseline soldier readiness requirements study. The effort had a false start in 2013, when the service scrapped a prospective test after completing a pilot.

But the idea didn’t go away. The service unveiled the Occupational Physical Assessment Test in early 2017, a relatively basic four-event test that recruits now have to pass to determine if they can join the Army, and what kind of job they can do once they’re in.

By 2017, it was on to the next step, when Training and Doctrine Command and Army Forces Command were tasked to each come up with a test that built on the occupational nature of OPAT for soldiers in combat.

They had freedom to design the what and how, while creating a regimen that tested multiple domains of fitness ― where the APFT had, to much objection from fitness experts, only measured cardiovascular and muscular endurance.

What they created rounds all of the bases, from endurance to muscular strength, explosive power, speed, agility, flexibility and balance. The events were meant to simulate movements under fire, loading heavy weaponry and dragging casualties to safety, among others.

TRADOC developed the Army Combat Readiness Test, which looks very much like what’s now the ACFT, while FORSCOM piloted the Soldier Readiness Test.

The SRT was marketed differently, as a test to be given at a commander’s discretion and for his or her own awareness, rather than something with individual scoring and potential career repercussions.

“Commanders have always had the ability to do more physical testing, whether it’s an obstacle course, whether it’s a road march,” Frost said of the decision to stick with an APFT-style scoring policy.

SRT was also a more field-based challenge using props like sandbags and water cans, performed in a combat uniform and capped off with a trail run in helmet and body armor.

In the end, however, senior leaders settled on keeping PT uniforms for the new test, if only to encourage soldiers to incorporate test prep into their daily workouts and prevent any injuries while doing it.

Leadership also felt strongly about keeping the run event, despite protestations from some corners that no one runs in combat.

In short, a fitness test of record has to test both soldier skills and baseline health, which is where the run comes in.

And while something like a loaded road march could get soldiers huffing and puffing enough to test their lungs and heart, it would take a lot longer than 50 minutes total, Frost said.

The next step

Now that the test itself is decided on, the Army is gearing up to kick off another round of piloting, from October 2018 to October 2019, Frost said.

There are decisions to make about how to grade the test, for instance, so units from the active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve will all try it out, with soldiers from every MOS and in every organization from U.S. Army Pacific to Army Medical Command to Army Special Operations Command giving their feedback.

Likely, Frost said, the test will be recorded on a point scale, the way the current APFT is. And now, rather than categories for gender or age, the scale might be according to MOS or unit type.

About half of the field study units will focus on MOS standards, while the other half will make suggestions about unit type.

And that standard will have to be on top of a rock-bottom score for service in general, with a new policy on whether failure will get you a discharge or force you to reclassify into a job or unit whose standards you can meet.

There are also discussions to be had about how this test will incentivize good performance, the way maxing the APFT now can get you promoted more quickly.

“All those decisions are going to be made after we look at this data through the lens of the field study,” Frost said.

And during the field study, he said, units will take one APFT for the record, then spend the rest of the year training to take a pilot ACFT, which will not be graded.

Once that wraps up in late 2019, the service will have until no later than October 2020 to start running the real thing.

One decision that’s already been made, Frost added, is that because there are no age-based standards for this test, field-grade leadership will be held to the same standards as their joes.

“You must pass the Army Combat Fitness Test to have the privilege to lead soldiers as a commander or command sergeant major at the battalion or brigade level,” he said.

At the same time, TRADOC will continue its Holistic Health and Fitness Program. While FORSCOM’s SRT only barely resembles the new ACFT, the lessons learned from the equipment and physical training support provided to units during that pilot will endure.

Starting later this year, 30 FORSCOM battalions will get a team of experts ― a dietitian, a physical therapist, a strength and conditioning coach, either in uniform or civilians ― to push out the unit PT efforts that will support soldiers in acing the ACFT.

“Part of the doctrine is at least three garrison exercises and field exercises in domains that allow you to train,” Frost said. “If you’re in the field or you’re deployed, we will have exercises that will be done in the field that will be able to replicate your ability to perform on the ACFT.”

The hope, Frost added, is that in the coming years, prospective soldiers will train for the OPAT before they join, then transition into a service-wide health culture that emphasizes workouts, recovery, sleep and nutrition, reducing injuries and attrition in the service of building and maintaining combat effectiveness.

“The ACFT is new to the Army, but this type of test is a continuation of what the new soldiers are taking to get into the Army,” he said. “This will directly connect fitness with the combat readiness of our soldiers.”



“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
- John Adams
 
Posts: 27261 | Location: TN/KY | Registered: June 29, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of PASig
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Sounds WAY too complicated.

The beauty of the run-pushups-situps PT test was that it was easy to set up and administer and pretty hard to cheat on.

This looks like it's going to be a mess. Didn't they try this like 5 years ago?


 
Posts: 23235 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
No double standards
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I remember being on bivouac near the end of basic training, was talking in the chow line, drill sgt "drop and give me 100 (pushups)". I did it, got up, kept my place in the chow line.




"Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it....While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it"
- Judge Learned Hand, May 1944
 
Posts: 29402 | Location: CA | Registered: November 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Info Guru
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quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
Sounds WAY too complicated.

The beauty of the run-pushups-situps PT test was that it was easy to set up and administer and pretty hard to cheat on.

This looks like it's going to be a mess. Didn't they try this like 5 years ago?


That was my thought as well. You could do a PT test anywhere you could measure off 1 mile (you could go out and back) or a 2 mile track.

With this test you are going to have to have a medicine ball, bar and weights, pull up bar, a weighted sled, cones for a shuffle course, and kettle bells. Yikes.



“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
- John Adams
 
Posts: 27261 | Location: TN/KY | Registered: June 29, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
outta the oven!

Picture of PASig
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And who was the genius who thought an all-black PT uniform was a good idea?

Seriously, do they have a bunch of idiots in charge these days?


 
Posts: 23235 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
It's not you,
it's me.
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IT does seem a bit complicated, but I do see how you can get a better idea of a soldier's over all fitness.

I like the deadlift component.

No chin ups??


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Posts: 4851 | Location: Philadelphia, Pa | Registered: September 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Official Space Nerd
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Isn't the Army in the middle of a manning crisis? As in, isn't this a really bad time to rock the boat and over-complicate their already over-stressed lives?

Yegads, that test sounds like a royal PITA.



No arsenal is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.
Ronald Reagan
 
Posts: 20058 | Location: Hobbiton, The Shire, Middle Earth | Registered: September 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Loooong overdue IMHO.

From a fitness standpoint, the APFT is just about useless (the 40% relevancy to combat assessment seems fair). Even worse, is that many soldiers train to the APFT events so they aren't even getting good well-rounded workouts for PT.

As for being over-complicated, it really isn't that bad at all, our NG unit went through it a few months ago. The 25m shuttle run, drag/carry event is a lot of fun and a smoker.

I always focused my fitness on upper and lower body strength, strength-endurance, and anaerobic conditioning...the things you need in combat. My APFT is always between 275-300 without specifically training for those events.




“People have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.” –Chuck Palahnuik

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Posts: 3478 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
In search of baseball, strippers, and guns
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quote:
Originally posted by RAMIUS:
IT does seem a bit complicated, but I do see how you can get a better idea of a soldier's over all fitness.

I like the deadlift component.

No chin ups??



There aren’t a lot of instances in combat where you end up having to do a traditional pull up. Pull ups weren’t a component of the APFT either


——————————————————

If the meek will inherit the earth, what will happen to us tigers?
 
Posts: 6954 | Location: Bristow, VA | Registered: July 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Deadlift between 120 and 420 pounds, depending on the individual soldier.


You're in the desert of Asscrackastain. You get shot. Do you want to look over and see Don Knotts capable of dead lifting 120 pounds or someone who can pull a tank out of a ditch?
 
Posts: 5694 | Registered: April 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Speling Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
Sounds WAY too complicated.

The beauty of the run-pushups-situps PT test was that it was easy to set up and administer and pretty hard to cheat on.

This looks like it's going to be a mess. Didn't they try this like 5 years ago?


This.

A PFT is a nothing more than a way for very big organizations to judge the basic, minimum (very minimum) overall standards of fitness within those organizations.

quote:
Loooong overdue IMHO.


I get what Strambo is saying. I even agree to a point. But I also think that different jobs also demand different standards that a service wide PFT (or any service wide test on any service wide subject for that matter) will never be able to effectively address.

quote:
I always focused my fitness on upper and lower body strength, strength-endurance, and anaerobic conditioning...the things you need in combat. My APFT is always between 275-300 without specifically training for those events.


Sounds like you are in a combat or combat related MOS. You know what you need to do and you do it. It's what make you a professional.

It's been thirty-plus years since I did Grunt stuff. The PFT was a joke. Not because it was lacking or inadequate, but because my job required so much more. Anything less than a max score on the PFT was unacceptable (no matter how drunk/hung over you still were when you ran it).

There was a video a few years back of a female Soldier from some staff/admin unit doing some kind of run in flak, kevlar and weapon. She was falling down, struggling, crawling, crying and at the finish line there were other Soldiers shouting encouragement for her to get through it. As she made her way across the finish line there were congratulations, tears and triumph. It was all very moto and dramatic.

Infantry calls that shit Monday. And sometimes Tuesday. And Maybe a Wednesday. Probably not Thursday because that's another whole special kind of fuckery called field day but hey, you never know. Maybe Friday because reasons. And if the Powers-That-Be are pissed at the world then it might also be called Saturday and Sunday because fuck your libo, that's why. Someone getting all dramatic and struggling at the finish line? What the fuck? Are you dying?

Different jobs, different requirements.

Who cares if the service wide PFT is a simple, basic standard. That's what it's supposed to be.
 
Posts: 1271 | Location: Utah | Registered: July 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Will there be any gender norming for these tests?
 
Posts: 2104 | Registered: April 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I always thought the push ups were a bit silly. I get it for fitness test maybe, but as a "drop and give me x-amount" as a discipline/punishment deal is silly. I had a buddy who had a hole in his shirt that over the course of a day(couldn't get it changed due to circumstance) cost him 600 pushups because he kept getting ganked on it by different folks. Over the years in the army(30) dude ended up with a torn rotator cuff that he swears was caused by push ups. My bet is he's not alone.



I have the heart of a lion.......and a lifetime ban from the Toronto Zoo.- Unknown
 
Posts: 4739 | Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA | Registered: November 05, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
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quote:
Originally posted by ulsterman:
quote:
Deadlift between 120 and 420 pounds, depending on the individual soldier.


You're in the desert of Asscrackastain. You get shot. Do you want to look over and see Don Knotts capable of dead lifting 120 pounds or someone who can pull a tank out of a ditch?


CORPSMAN !!!!



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 5113 | Location: Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Roll Eyes they were saying this was coming very soon when I was in. I got out 6 years ago.. we even practiced it once a week. I'll believe it when it actually happens. We even had the MP commandant visit us and swore that we were gonna get rid of the M9 and go back to .45, at least that was only half bull shit. The Army is always the last to get with the times. The Marines updated their PT/ PT test years ago.
And pushups were a fond memory in my unit after we got a fitness nut 1st Sgt. It was all about burpees and the plank position.. needless to say I never pushed my luck very often
 
Posts: 2427 | Registered: December 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
Sounds WAY too complicated.

The beauty of the run-pushups-situps PT test was that it was easy to set up and administer and pretty hard to cheat on.

This looks like it's going to be a mess. Didn't they try this like 5 years ago?


This x100.

When a large unit of 200+ soldiers is getting the test thats going to be $$ and way too time consuming.

Is the APFT perfect? No. But its a good basic measure of appropriate fitness.

Plus the new test looks way more injurious.

I agree 'enhanced physical testing' for certain duty positions / MOSs is appropriate.

---------------------------------------


Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
 
Posts: 6645 | Location: Florida | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
No double standards
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quote:
Originally posted by Graniteguy:
Will there be any gender norming for these tests?


Good question.




"Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it....While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it"
- Judge Learned Hand, May 1944
 
Posts: 29402 | Location: CA | Registered: November 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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Didn't the USMC switch to something similar a while ago? More of a "real world combat exercises" test involving running in gear, lifting ammo cans, carrying a simulated wounded buddy, etc.
 
Posts: 20768 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Based on what I found online (It would be great for a current Marine to chime in here), it appears that the USMC has 2 different tests - a PFT - Physical Fitness Test - 3 mile run, pullups/dead arm hang, 5K rowing and crunches. Then there is a CFT Combat Fitness Test that has more events like cross fit:
https://www.fitness.marines.mil/

That would seem to make more sense than what the Army is doing. A general fitness test that is easily administered and for all personnel and then a separate test, more rigorous, for combat arms personnel.



“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
- John Adams
 
Posts: 27261 | Location: TN/KY | Registered: June 29, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
In search of baseball, strippers, and guns
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At West Point on the apft we had to do our pushups on a clicker board...Arms couldn’t be wider that the board, had to go down and make it click

I am 6’5 with a nearly 7’ wingspan and I wear a 56xl suit coat to give you an idea of the size of my chest

The form I had to use to comply with that fucking clicker board was horribly painful

I have a prosthetic shoulder I got at 38. The surgeon and VA both agree that fucking clicker board is definitely one of the reasons


quote:
Originally posted by thunderson:
I always thought the push ups were a bit silly. I get it for fitness test maybe, but as a "drop and give me x-amount" as a discipline/punishment deal is silly. I had a buddy who had a hole in his shirt that over the course of a day(couldn't get it changed due to circumstance) cost him 600 pushups because he kept getting ganked on it by different folks. Over the years in the army(30) dude ended up with a torn rotator cuff that he swears was caused by push ups. My bet is he's not alone.


——————————————————

If the meek will inherit the earth, what will happen to us tigers?
 
Posts: 6954 | Location: Bristow, VA | Registered: July 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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