How do you measure up to our U.S. military physical fitness standards?
If you’re interested in a new ‘measuring stick’ for your fitness routine, take a look at the standards that our military troops are held to.
All military members are tested at least annually through a physical fitness test consisting of both cardio and strength assessments.
How do you measure up?
First, a few disclaimers
The requirements posted below were current as of the date of the article. Please review the provided links and regulations for the most recent updates.
Don’t use these charts as a basis for preparing for military service. Check with your recruiter to learn the most recent requirements.
Military physical fitness assessment requirements
Each military branch requires their troops to complete a physical fitness assessment; some once each year, and others twice.
However, all branches expect every individual to be ready to pass the assessment at any time during the year.
Additionally, each branch requires some type of body circumference measure. This measure is included in the overall fitness score along with the other assessment.
Components of the physical fitness assessment
Each military branch requires every member to complete both strength and cardio exercises as part of the assessment.
Typically the cardio portion requires a timed run anywhere between 1.5 and 3 miles.
Strength assessments include both sit-ups and push-ups. However, services may require additional strength or flexibility assessments.
Branch specific requirements
Below are the physical fitness assessment requirements for each branch for a typical 30 year old male or female troop.
If you’re interested in the complete tables for all age groups, the applicable regulation on physical fitness is provided for each service.
Another great resource is www.military.com
The APFT is to be taken at least twice a calendar year and troops must be able to meet the minimum standards to be eligible for promotion, transfer, and to attend Army schools.
The three PFT events are two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups, and a timed 2-mile run.
The governing regulation is “TC 3-22.20, Army Physical Training.”
The chart shows the minimum requirements for a 30 year old in the Army:
Push-Ups Sit-Ups 2-Mile Run
Male 39 45 17:00
Female 17 45 20:30
The Air Force Physical Fitness Test is required once each year.
The governing regulation is “AFI 36-2905, Fitness Program.”
The test requires Airmen and Officers to run 1.5 miles, and complete the maximum amount of push-ups and sit-ups in one minute for each event.
The chart shows the minimum requirements for a 30 year old in the Air Force:
Push-Ups Sit-Ups 1.5-Mile Run
Male 44 46 13:14
Female 27 42 15:50
The Navy Physical Readiness Test is required twice each year.
The governing regulation is “OPNAV INSTRUCTION 6110.1J.”
The Navy requires its members to run 1.5 miles, and complete the maximum amount of push-ups and sit-ups in two minutes. Additionally, a 500m swim can replace the run.
The chart shows the minimum requirements for a 30 year old in the Navy:
Push-Ups Sit-Ups 1.5-Mile Run
Male 41 51 13:45
Female 17 51 15:30
The governing regulation is “(MCO) 6100.3J.”
The Marine PFT has three events, pull-ups (or timed flexed-arm hang for females), abdominal crunches, and a 3-mile run.
All PFT events will be conducted in a single session, not to exceed 2 hours in duration.
The chart shows the minimum requirements for a 30 year old in the Marines:
Pull-ups Sit-Ups 3-Mile Run
Male 3 45 29:00
Female 15 Sec 45 32:00
The governing regulation is “COMDTINST M1020.8G 5.0, Fitness.”
The Coast Guard’s Physical Fitness Assessment includes sit-ups, push-ups, and a 1.5 mile run, but also includes a ‘Sit and Reach’ assessment to measure flexibility.
The ‘Sit and Reach’ requires the member to sit with their feet and legs together as they reach for their feet. The measure is how far the member can reach past their knees.
The chart shows the minimum requirements for a 30 year old in the Coast Guard:
Push-ups Sit-Ups Sit & Reach 1.5 Mile Run
Male 24 35 15.5” 13:36
Female 19 25 18.25” 15:57
Hopefully, this will provide you an additional measuring stick when evaluating your own exercise plan.
If you want to take it up a notch, go to www.military.com and review the fitness requirements for our special forces in each service.