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It is essential that soldiers must pass the Army Physical Fitness Test twice a year to ensure they are fit enough to continue as a soldier and as part of their ongoing employment agreement. Working in the Armed Forces requires a level of fitness and you must be prepared for deployment at a moment’s notice. If you fail any part of the physical fitness test, you can retake the test within three months. If you fail a second time you are flagged as not eligible for reenlistment, promotion or for an enlistment extension in accordance with Army Regulations.
The Army Physical Fitness Tests measure your muscular strength and cardiovascular breathing fitness for the US Army. Your scores come from the results of a two-mile run, and sets of push-ups and sit-ups. Each of the three areas have a highest possible score of 100 each and you need a minimum total of 180 to pass, and you must score a minimum of 60 in each area.
All US soldiers take the Army Physical Fitness Test at least twice a year. If you have a medically diagnosed illness or injury you can apply for an extension to complete the physical fitness test to give you time to recuperate and regain your fitness.
If you have a permanent injury that prevents you from completing the two-mile run, alternate activities such as an 800 yard swim, 6.2 mile bicycle ride or 2.5 mile walk are substituted. There are no substitute exercises if you cannot do push-ups or sit-ups
The two mile run tests your aerobic fitness and the endurance of your leg muscles. You cannot have help during the run and must complete the two mile course as quickly as possible. You face disqualification if you are:
• picked up if you fall
• leave the designated course
You can have someone pace you for the duration but they cannot come into physical contact with you in any way. Onlookers can cheer you and let you know how long you are taking. Once you complete the course, hand in your number and return to the designated area to cool down and stretch your muscles.
While taking the army physical fitness test Push-ups measure the endurance of your shoulder, chest and triceps muscles. When ordered to get set, put your hands wherever they are comfortable with your feet either 12 inches apart or together. When looking at your side on, your body should be in a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders.
When ordered to go, bend your elbows and lower your body until your arms are parallel with the ground. Return to the start by raising yourself until your arms are straight. Your entire body must move fluidly in a single movement every push-up.
A scorer counts the number of repetitions after every correct push-up. If one of the first 10 push-ups is incorrect it is not counted and you have to restart the test. Once you correctly perform the first 10, your test cannot be restarted if you fail to execute a correct push-up again. All push-ups must be completed correctly, and you have to complete as many as possible in two minutes.
Sit-ups measure your hip-flexor and abdominal muscle endurance during the army physical fitness test. When ordered to get set, adopt the start position on your back with knees at a 90-degree angle. Your feet can be 12 inches apart, or together, and someone will hold your ankles with their hands. Only the heel of your foot can touch the ground and your fingers are interlocked behind your head with the back of your hands touching the ground.
When ordered to go, raise your upper body to the vertical position and then lower yourself until your shoulder blades touch the ground. After every sit-up, your scorer keeps count. If you fail to bring your body into the vertical position, arch your back or raise your buttocks to help bring yourself up, that sit-up does not count.
If you stop and rest on the ground, use your hands to help you into position or hold yourself up the test is terminated. It is important that every sit-up is completed correctly and you must complete as many sit-ups as possible in two minutes.
Failing to pass three Army Physical Fitness Tests consecutively can lead to losing your job; make you ineligible for training or promotion, and suspension of privileges.