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Picture of PASig
posted
I have mixed feelings reading about this new "Army Combat Fitness Test" that is going to replace the 40-year-old Army Physical Fitness Test and wanted to see what other SF military vets or even current military think.

The old Pushups/Situps/2 mile run did need to be revamped for the 21st century, but my opinion is that this goes way too far and will quickly become a disaster of people either faking it or getting really hurt.

The idea that the same standards and scoring apply to 18 year olds and 50 year olds is insane if you ask me. The current test takes into consideration the age of the soldier being tested.

The new test:

-A dead lift, with weights between 140 pounds and 340 pounds
-A standing power throw, which requires soldiers to throw a 10-pound medicine ball backward and overhead
-Hand-release push ups, completing as many as possible in two minutes
-The 'sprint-drag-carry' that includes a 50-yard sprint, a 50-yard backward sled drag, a 50-yard lateral, where soldiers shuttle sideways down the lane and back, a 50-yard carry of two 40-pound kettle bells and a 50-yard sprint
-After a short rest, the soldiers do the leg tuck pullup, as many as possible in two minutes
-A 2-mile run

This to me looks like a lot of knees and backs are going to get blown out trying to max the test:



What do you all think?

Bullets on the battlefield don't discriminate': Army is developing a much tougher fitness exam that makes no exceptions for women or older recruits after complaints far too many new soldiers weren't fit enough to be deployed


 
Posts: 25199 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's something I have wondered about the test standards:
Why run the test in sweats? Shouldn't the test be administered in the gear you carry? Wouldn't that be the realistic way to test?
I have felt for some time now that our guys are carrying too much stuff, but in an earlier SF thread, I was informed that my idea of reducing the combat load was not realistic.
I cant imagine humping 100 pounds of gear in a desert environment and being expected to fight while carrying it.
My respects to those who have done so and are doing so!


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 8809 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
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It will be fine, and a good idea, if the Army provides the proper equipment to train for the test. It will be useless if units do regular PT an then have to take the test. That's when you will see injuries. I am particularly worried about the deadlift and drag portions. I think I read that the drag is 90 pounds. That's not easy, particularly if you are light yourself.

There will be a need to provide enough equipment, and time for all soldiers to do the exercises necessary to be in shape to pass these tests. Certainly, the training I did would have made some of it difficult. I had virtually no opportunity to do squats or pull-ups, and absolutely no opportunity to do the drag stuff. Now, all of that said, as a 25 yo guy in good shape, I could easily have passed the minimums, but I couldn't really have trained for it.

Is the Army going to provide enough equipment for each soldier to do each of these activities once a week at PT so that they can develop the coordination, power and balance to do well on them? I bet not. And so long as enlisted promotion scores have a component that includes higher PT scores, this will be a challenge.

Physical standards weren't what they should have been when I was in Germany in the early 90s, and I'm glad something is being done. It's way overdue. But I'm worried about execution. The Army will put in the requirement, but not support it adequately, particularly for smaller units that aren't high profile, and those soldiers will suffer for the inattention or inability of their leadership to support fitness as it should be supported.



"We may consent to be governed, but we will not be ruled." - Kevin D. Williamson, 2012

"All the citizens of this land are of right freemen; they owe no allegiance to any class and should recognize no task-masters. Under the chart of their liberties, under the law of high heaven, they are free and without shackles on their limbs nor mortgages upon the fruits of their brain or muscles; they bow down before no prince, potentate, or sovereign, nor kiss the royal robes of any crowned head; they render homage only to their God and should pay tribute only to their Government. Such at least is the spirit of our institutions, the character of our written national compact."

Charles Triplett O’Ferrall of Virginia - In Congress, May 1, 1888
 
Posts: 10074 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
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quote:
Why run the test in sweats? Shouldn't the test be administered in the gear you carry? Wouldn't that be the realistic way to test?

Injury and wear to the equipment. It's that simple. I was lucky enough to be in after they got away from running in boots. They did it, because the boots aren't designed to be running shoes for every day mileage, and they were dealing with a large number of injured and non-deployable soldiers because of foot injuries. Hence, no running in boots. Running shoes only.

Soldiers do practice some of this stuff in full gear during basic and advanced schools, as well as on field deployments, but it would be too tough on bodies and equipment to do it 5 mornings per week.



"We may consent to be governed, but we will not be ruled." - Kevin D. Williamson, 2012

"All the citizens of this land are of right freemen; they owe no allegiance to any class and should recognize no task-masters. Under the chart of their liberties, under the law of high heaven, they are free and without shackles on their limbs nor mortgages upon the fruits of their brain or muscles; they bow down before no prince, potentate, or sovereign, nor kiss the royal robes of any crowned head; they render homage only to their God and should pay tribute only to their Government. Such at least is the spirit of our institutions, the character of our written national compact."

Charles Triplett O’Ferrall of Virginia - In Congress, May 1, 1888
 
Posts: 10074 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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quote:
Originally posted by ArtieS:
[I]f the Army provides the proper equipment to train for the test.


When I enlisted in the mid-1960s the Army physical fitness test included overhead bars (ladder), grenade throw, and run, dodge and jump requiring a special course. Even the low crawl required a special pit and surface. During my first assignment to the D.C. area that equipment and facilities were literally unavailable to me, and the same was true for my next two assignments. Even during Basic Training there was little free time to actually train for those events. When I was assigned to Alaska, however, and the commander didn’t know much about counterintelligence but could run a stopwatch, I was suddenly required to do all that stuff again after literally years of not even the opportunity to practice, much less to train regularly.

As imperfect as the tests of running two miles and doing sit-ups and pushups might have been for determining all the abilities I might have been called upon to use in combat, at least those tasks were things I could train on virtually anytime and anywhere. That’s what I did, I always passed the PT tests, and I benefit to this day from doing those simple things back then. Unlike a friend who was in the infantry and blames his two artificial hips today on rucksack runs in boots.




“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
 
Posts: 39944 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I got out 6 years ago and plenty of soldiers couldn’t pass the old pt test. So they add a bunch of shit to it and then still have a 2 mile run? I for-see lots of people in fat camp.
I like the idea they have here, but they are going to injure the shit out of people. Not to mention regular pt needs an overhaul, long slow runs need to go. Run groups need to be an every day thing vs. weekly. Running slightly faster than most people walk for an hour wrecks your knees and ankles, 6 years later and my right knee still gives me shit
 
Posts: 2814 | Registered: December 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Big Stack
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I think the Army's head count is about to get a lot smaller.
 
Posts: 19039 | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think Uncle Sam is going to be paying for a bunch of knee, back and hernia surgeries.
 
Posts: 8003 | Location: The Red part of Minnesota | Registered: October 06, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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we had this discussion a couple months ago.

this was my life for 7 years in the '90s. I have no doubt I took close to 50 PT tests over the years.

this new test is unnecessarily complicated and involves too much extra equipment to administer.

simple solution:

keep the old test : PU, SU and 2 mile run.

add in a 5 mile road march - full equipment with weapon - for time. Say 75 minutes to complete. Pass / Fail.

done

this new test is WAY more complex to administer -- the old test you could test several hundred soldiers in a couple of hours...

guarantee it will be more injurious also.

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


Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
 
Posts: 7379 | Location: Florida | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The problem with this test is that it is too complicated and time consuming.

Also the standards are different depending on your occupational specialty (MOS).

This test is fine for active duty who has the equipment on post, and the various units can rotate through and train up for this test.

The problem lies with USAR and NG troops. Yes the army is spending a gazillion dollars outfitting all the units both active/USAR/NG troops, but when will these troops get to train up for the test? On their one weekend for duty.

It would be better to supplement the various equipment with ammo cans, 5 gallon water jugs, etc..

I foresee a lot of problems with the deadlift.
That is one exercise any trainer is leery of due to it being an exercise that has to have very strict control and form.

I know from experience if you do it wrong. My SI joint is jacked from years ago.
 
Posts: 1011 | Location: Leaving Richmond and heading to NC | Registered: March 03, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Too old to run,
too mean to quit!
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Looks to me like another MCF on the horizon!

I did 11+ years starting in 1955. Our PT tests did everything necessary! 200 yard shuttle run, pull ups, push ups, squat jumps, and one more I can't remember. It may have been a road march.

Makes me think of one of those experimental programs that my younger grandson got caught in.

Special unit, special program, ended up with half the group injured. Grandson with 5 damaged vertebrae, and PTSD from the abuse. He is currently rated at 60% disabled, but they are working to get it to 100%.


Elk

There has never been an occasion where a people gave up their weapons in the interest of peace that didn't end in their massacre. (Louis L'Amour)

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. "
-Thomas Jefferson

"America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." Alexis de Tocqueville

FBHO!!!



The Idaho Elk Hunter
 
Posts: 24480 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 16, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ironically, the stupid APFT sit up event is responsible for a staggeringly high number of injuries and profiles.

I have taken the ACFT and am level 3 certified to teach it. It is a good test and long overdue. The legacy APFT is garbage and worse still, soldiers only train to be good at it so they actually don’t have well rounded fitness and that is what gets them injured!

Equipment for the test-non issue. This is a big priority and every unit including all NG armories will get it paid for and sent to them by “big Army.” Equipment for soldiers to train with? Non-issue, nothing is required to be in outstanding all around shape besides a pull up bar. I scored very well on the test and I've done nothing other than body weight training at home for the last 2.5-3 years. I never had a gym membership in my life!

The test itself injuring soldiers? I doubt it. The deadlift is with a trap bar and high bumper plates and the minimum is just 140lbs. It is not nearly as technical as a straight bar deadlift.

No age or gender scales? Good! Combat (and less dramatically, the soldiers MOS requirements) don’t recognize either. Again, the minimum passing standards arent that hard and are tiered by MOS with combat arms like infantry being in the highest category. The highest minimum deadlift is just 180 lbs.

I have a lot of fitness knowledge, was at one time a certified personal trainer. Ive never trained to be good at the APFT, always developed well rounded fitness attributes and never had a problem on the APFT or now the ACFT. The ACFT event most failed is the leg tuck, minimum standard is just 1! Problem is that requires true core strength and if you don’t have it, you cant even do one. But back to the injury comments, lacking true 360 core strength is a big reason why people get injured in the first place, so lets start developing it and leave the feet held sit up in the dustbin of history where it belongs.




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

The world's a dangerous place, we can help! http://portlandfirearmtraining.com/
 
Posts: 4435 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ArtieS:
It will be fine, and a good idea, if the Army provides the proper equipment to train for the test...


Yep. If you don't train for it, don't expect to do well at it. That's aimed at the command, not at the individual. If the leaders don't provide the equipment, time, and impetus, then failure will be the SURPRISING result.


===
I would like to apologize to anyone I have *not* offended. Please be patient. I will get to you shortly.
 
Posts: 1455 | Location: The Sticks in Wisconsin. | Registered: September 30, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by YooperSigs:
Here's something I have wondered about the test standards:
Why run the test in sweats? Shouldn't the test be administered in the gear you carry? Wouldn't that be the realistic way to test?
I have felt for some time now that our guys are carrying too much stuff, but in an earlier SF thread, I was informed that my idea of reducing the combat load was not realistic.
I cant imagine humping 100 pounds of gear in a desert environment and being expected to fight while carrying it.
My respects to those who have done so and are doing so!


I'm thinking this is a test to evaluate physical fitness tailored towards the muscle groups and endurance a soldier might encounter in an on ground combat situation. Doing them in gym gear is fine as long as that's the standard. As a comparison, pro football players are evaluated at the combines doing speed, jumping and strength drills in shorts not full pads. All they want to see is a certain fitness level.



Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves.

-D.H. Lawrence
 
Posts: 9540 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas | Registered: February 07, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^^^^

This. It is testing physical attributes needed for combat such as anaerobic capacity, total body pulling strength, power generation, upper body strength-endurance, aerobic capacity, power generation, core strength and stability etc. It is not “training,” it is a fitness assessment.

Taking one’s fitness level and completing an urban raid in full combat gear would be “training” that calls on all of those attributes tested by the ACFT.




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

The world's a dangerous place, we can help! http://portlandfirearmtraining.com/
 
Posts: 4435 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think the new standards would make a good warm up.
 
Posts: 209 | Location: Bardstown, KY | Registered: December 06, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Strambo, since you're an expert on the ACFT, address the following....

1. My armory is on top of a hill. We have no two mile course to run. Typically, we move all personnel to a local high school's football field to do the APFT, then conduct the run on their track. Unless we're getting portable pull-up bars, I'm not sure how my armory (and many others who don't have a place for the run) are gonna meet the rest time requirements between events.

2. Speaking of time, we are being told that the grader will stay with the 'gradee' through all events. So that's a 1:1 ratio. We're also being told that we'll get (as you mentioned) prepackaged sets of equipment, with the number of items allowing for (I believe) 8 people to test at a time. So even allowing for staggered starts (so prior groups can finish events while letting follow-on groups not get bottlenecked) it is going to take a ridiculous amount of time to test a group of 60 (which is about our norm).

3. At this time, there are no alternate events for those of us with permanent profiles. So that's an automatic failure, even for folks in "light" MOSs.

While I agree the current APFT is not the best, the ACFT seems to me to be the result of some high ranking CrossFit Cultists with stock in gym equipment suppliers.


_______________________________

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
- Jim Elliot
 
Posts: 15331 | Location: Cross Lanes, WV | Registered: February 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Allen,

1. The equipment sets will include a portable pull up bar so you could load the gear in an LMTV and take it to the HS track and do the ACFT there, the football field is already marked so set up would be easy. That said, states are going to have to do a smart analysis on their armories and training sites to make good choices on where to consolidate the gear to set up ACFT sites where it makes sense. It only has to be done 1x per year. In OR we are looking at each Armory having 2 lanes worth of gear so they can test individual soldiers as needed, then consolidating the rest of the gear in regional locations. Wherever your state RTI is, they will also get a full 16 lane set of gear. I was told each RTI gets 16 lanes worth and then every armory will get 5 lanes worth of gear (but it probably wouldn't make sense to distribute it that way as I stated above.)

2. The test itself is limited to a max of 4 soldiers per lane. So; your throughput is defined by the number of lanes of gear you have available. A full 16 lane set can do 64 soldiers. The test takes about 90 minutes total.

3. Regarding the profiles, I have no absolute answers, but the instructors talked about how there will be a shift in profiles to them being much more thoughtful and specific, not generic like they are now. A soldier will do the ACFT events that they can do, I don't know how that will play out regarding the events they can't do and "passing." To my knowledge there will be no alternate events.

It will require a different paradigm to implement, but looking at it through the eyes of a NG officer, I'm still not seeing any major issues with it. Maybe half a company does it in the am while the other half qualifies or gets mandatory briefings then you flip-flop. Or, 1/2 the BN does it day 1 of an IDT and the other half day 2. Or, it becomes part of annual training where you have a captive audience for 15 days at a large training facility with a 16 lane set up.

The Army has always had a tremendous wealth of cutting edge fitness knowledge. Since the 80's when the APFT abomination was implemented, no attempts at fixing it have been successful until now. This isn't the product of a General who is into "Crossfit" because it is trendy and forced it down our throats. On that note; again, I only do body weight training and running at home, never been a gym member, never done "Crossfit" and I scored well over 500 on my first ACFT. It is not a difficult standard, nor does it require anything special to prepare for. It does require a soldier to first actually work out and do so in a manner that makes sense. For many years I only worked out typically just ~20 mins 3x per week. Again at home, and I was in excellent shape. There is no valid reason why not to do it that I can see.




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

The world's a dangerous place, we can help! http://portlandfirearmtraining.com/
 
Posts: 4435 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Charmingly unsophisticated
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I think (and this is from an aging SFC LOL) that while Big Army will have little issue with this, your typical NG unit is going to suffer trying to implement it. For example, my unit has no LMTVs (or any military vehicle for that matter). The Readiness NCO loads up his pickup with mats, water jug, etc. Sometimes we use the 15 pax van to ferry people to the track. And we're in a fairly urban area for WV. I do think it'll cause injuries (when we were trying out the deadlift, 'form' was all over the place) and I do think we'll see an adverse impact on manpower. Granted, after a while it'll level out. The kids I see working out in the armory nowadays are all into CrossFit or P90X or whatever. Very seldomly have I seen people working out JUST for the APFT. Me, I have shitty knees and under the current standards I just have to fog a mirror to pass. That and do the 10k bike ride. Big Grin


_______________________________

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
- Jim Elliot
 
Posts: 15331 | Location: Cross Lanes, WV | Registered: February 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Too old to run,
too mean to quit!
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by whanson_wi:
quote:
Originally posted by ArtieS:
It will be fine, and a good idea, if the Army provides the proper equipment to train for the test...


Yep. If you don't train for it, don't expect to do well at it. That's aimed at the command, not at the individual. If the leaders don't provide the equipment, time, and impetus, then failure will be the SURPRISING result.


Kind of seems to me that the troops should be training for combat situations! Functional stuff that will help them stay alive, and get the job done when in combat.

This reminds me of another social experiment, kind of like that "easy company" horse shit they did at Benning. Intentional abuse to see how much the men could stand before they broke down. Then when the word started getting out, they suddenly disbanded the "easy company". Further to cover their tracks they also falsified discharge documents! That "E" company assignment became "F" company on the discharge papers.

Of course, this all took place under the previous administration.


Elk

There has never been an occasion where a people gave up their weapons in the interest of peace that didn't end in their massacre. (Louis L'Amour)

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. "
-Thomas Jefferson

"America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." Alexis de Tocqueville

FBHO!!!



The Idaho Elk Hunter
 
Posts: 24480 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 16, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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