A fitness test is a great way to measure your overall state of health and fitness. The United States military has dedicated many, many years and numerous resources to determine the most efficient and effective testing methods for health and fitness. Below is a synopsis of these tests:
- Marines: 3-mile run / pull-ups / crunches
- Army: 2-mile run / push-ups / sit-ups
- Navy: 1.5 mile run / push-ups / sit-ups
- Air Force: 1.5 mile run / push-ups / sit-ups
If you look for a common thread in the above fitness tests, they all have an element of cardiovascular endurance and a test of lower, upper, and core body strength. These may seem simple, but they are a very good gauge and test of your fitness plan. If you want a method to test your progress, a periodic fitness test similar to these can be a great way to keep your focus and measure your overall improvement.
It’s also worth noting that a military fitness test starts with a measuring of height and weight to determine if the member falls within acceptable standards (See tables at the bottom of this page). These tables approximate a maximum body fat percentage of 25% for men and 35% for women. If a service member’s weight falls outside of these upper limits, body fat measurements are taken by tape measure for a more precise determination.
The above height-weight measurement can be used for all of us. The military uses these measurement tools because they are an accurate and effective means of gauging health and fitness levels. And a healthy and fit person is a valuable asset. You don’t have to be in the military to share these aspirations. Find out what your weight range is for your height – this is a good starting point for your fitness goal.
If you’re looking to get into the military, law enforcement, or if you just want to look and feel better, a fitness test can be a great way to measure your improvement. Below are the steps you can take to start:
- Start with the Doc
Even Uncle Sam’s finest will tell you that. A doctor’s visit will help define some important parameters that you’ll want to know. What’s your blood pressure? Cholesterol? Any ailments or conditions that could preclude a vigorous exercise program? Aside from a good precaution, it’s fun to watch cholesterol and blood pressure levels improve with your fitness level
- Weigh In
We all have to start somewhere…and it’s only a number. Write down your height and weight and see where you fall and how much you need to lose to get to where you want to be.
- Go to the track
If you haven’t run before, start off walking. There’s a nice 10-week schedule on the Start Running page to help you out. Choose a distance for your fitness test. Try jogging this distance once or twice before you run it at a brisk pace for your test.
- Focus on Quality over Quantity
I know this advice flies in the face of the competitive nature of a fitness test…but who are you competing against? It’s better to get the maximum benefit from an exercise than it is to get a high score on an individual test. If you’re entering the military or other program, by all means…give it your all for score!. The Basic Exercises page has descriptions of all of the fitness test exercises, with pictures and descriptions on how to best perform them.
- Strive for improvement
It’s fun to compare ourselves to others for competition’s sake…it’s a good motivator. However, it’s more productive to focus on ourselves. Once you’ve taken the fitness test once. Continue with daily calisthenics and jogging and try it again in a month or so. It’s very invigorating to get a personal best performance!
Fitness Test: Male Height & Weight Tables
Fitness Test: Female Height & Weight Tables