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The Army Combat Fitness Test has been revised to take into account gender and age in assessing fitness levels. Changes include gender- and age-normed scoring scales, a plank as the sole exercise to assess core strength, and a 2.5 mile walk as an alternative aerobic activity. The revisions result from independent analysis and soldier feedback.
All soldiers are required to pass the new ACFT, which replaced the Army Physical Fitness Test in October 2020. Active-duty soldiers will begin ACFT record testing under the new structure in October 2022 while National Guard and reserve members will begin in October 2023.
The test has six events that assess your ability to perform physical tasks you may encounter in combat conditions:
- Strength deadlift: You must perform a three-repetition deadlift with the weight increased with each repetition. The weight range of the deadlift is 120 to 420 pounds. The deadlifts replicate picking up ammunition boxes, a wounded soldier, supplies or heavy equipment.
- Standing power throw: You will need to toss a 10-pound ball backward as far as possible to test the muscular explosive power that you may need to lift yourself or a fellow soldier over an obstacle or to move rapidly across uneven terrain.
- Hand-release pushups: You will have two minutes to do as many hand-release pushups as possible. Depending on your job, there may be a minimum number you are required to complete. These are similar to traditional pushups, but at the down position, you lift your hands and arms from the ground and then reset to do another pushup.
- Sprint/drag/carry: You must run five times up and down a 25-meter lane, sprinting, dragging a sled weighing 90 pounds and then carrying two 40-pound kettlebell weights. This can simulate pulling a soldier out of harm’s way, moving quickly to take cover or carrying ammunition to a fighting position or vehicle.
- Plank: You must maintain a proper plank position for as long as possible. This exercise replaces the leg tuck, which may not accurately assess core strength among those who lack the upper body strength required for the exercise.
- Two-mile run: This is a timed run to build endurance and cardiovascular strength.
You must complete all of these events in under 50 minutes.
Scoring the ACFT test
In addition to assessing fitness by gender and age, scoring for the ACFT may change depending on your occupational specialty. If you are in a more physically demanding job, you may see tougher minimums. Check with your unit for the requirements you must meet.
Need help or inspiration to get ready for the ACFT? Contact Military OneSource’s Health and Wellness Coaching online or call 800-342-9647, and a Military OneSource consultant will register you and schedule your first session with a health and wellness coach.