It is commonly known that fitness is a part of the Army lifestyle. Moreover, physical fitness is not only essential to the Army’s career training but is also ingrained in the DNA of every Army soldier. Besides, if you want to dedicate your life to the Army, you need to be in peak physical condition throughout the duration of your training, and career.  In this article, let ASVAB Test Pro walk you through the U.S. Army Fitness Test (ACFT) – one of the periodic and important tests.  Don’t dismiss the helpful following information if you are interested in the United States Army forces. 


1. About the U.S. Army Fitness Test – ACFT


 The Army Combat Fitness Test, often abbreviated to ACFT, is the assessment for the physical domain of the Army’s Holistic Health and Fitness System (H2F), which focuses on your total health and wellness as a Soldier, combining your physical fitness with proper sleep, nutrition, and spiritual health.

It is informed that all U.S. Army soldiers must pass the new ACFT instead of the Army Physical Fitness Test (AFPT)  in October 2020. More specifically, in October 2022, active-duty soldiers will begin ACFT record testing under the new structure, while National Guard and reserve members will begin in October 2023.

Annually, the AFCT will evaluate the physical and mental abilities of enlisted soldiers and officers upon basic training and initial training, respectively. AFCT’s scores are recorded two times per year for active duty soldiers and once per year for Army National Guard members. The ACFT is administered annually so as to boost soldier unit readiness, transform the Army’s fitness culture, decrease preventable injuries and attrition, and improve mental toughness and stamina. 


2. The Components Of U.S. Army Fitness Test


The U.S. Army Combat Fitness Test is made up of six disparate events, all of which will assess physical strength, mental toughness, coordination, flexibility, and reduce preventable injuries via some physical tasks that you may encounter in combat conditions. 


2.1. 3 repetition maximum deadlift (MDL)


u.s army physical requirements
U.S. Army physical requirements – 3 repetition maximum deadlift
  • Requirement: You are required to lift the maximum weight possible 3 times with using a 60-pound hex bar and plates. 
  • Purpose: This event accesses your muscular strength, balance, flexibility


2.2. Standing Power Throw (SPT) 


  • Requirement: You must throw a 10-pound medicine ball backward and overhead as far as possible. 
  • Purpose: This event focuses on evaluating your physic power, balance, flexibility


2.3. Hand release push-up – Arm extension (HRP)


  • Requirement: You are required to accomplish as many hand-release push-ups as possible in 2 mins with proper techniques as follows: 

You start with the body face-down on the ground. After that, you push the body up as one unit. Then let’s lower it back down as one unit before extending both arms out in a T-formation without moving any other body part. Bring your arms back to the push-up position afterwards. Then, repeat again and again. 

  • Purpose: Your muscular endurance will be accessed in this event.


2.4. Sprint – drag – carry (SDC) 


  • Requirement: You take 50 – meter shuttles (sprint, drag, lateral, carry, sprint) as fast as possible using two 40-pound kettlebells and a 90-pound sled.
  • Purpose: This event will access your muscular  endurance


2.5. Plank (PLK) 


  • Requirement: You need to maintain a plank for as long as possible with proper plank form to perform successfully and decrease the risk of injury:

+ Put your hands no more than one fist’s width apart.

+ Place your feet no more than one boot’s width apart. 

+ Place your elbows directly under your shoulders in line

+ Hold the body in a straight line from the head to the ankles 

+ Don’t sag lower back or hips

+ Down your butt

+ Push up the entire body as a single unit.


us army fitness test requirements
U.S. Army fitness test – how to plank properly?
  • Purpose: This event accesses muscular strength and endurance


2.6. Two-mile timed run 

us army fitness requirements
U.S. Army fitness requirements – 2-mile timed run
  • Requirement: You are required to run for 2 miles on a flat outdoor course while being timed.
  • Purpose: Aerobic endurance will be evaluated in this event


3.  ACFT Grading Scale Based On Gender & Age


The maximum score per event is 100 points, which means that you might get a total maximum ACT score of 600. However, you are required to get a minimum score of 60 points on each of the six events so as to conquer the ACFT with a minimum overall score of 360.  However, depending on gender and age, there are different requirements that you need to meet so as to pass the ACFT. Here is a detailed ACFT grading scale for each event based on gender and age: 

us army fitness test scores
The U.S. Army Fitness Test Scores

In addition to evaluating fitness based on gender and age, the ACFT’s scoring system may vary based on your professional specialty. A job that requires more physical exertion can have stricter minimums. To find out what you need to do, check with your unit.


4. Tips For New U.S. Army Physical Fitness Test


4.1. Before the test day


Here are some ultimate tips to make you physically fit, feel more confident, and meet Army fitness standards with ease:

  • Pace yourself 
  • Slowly increase your physical activities
  • Focus on cardio, strength, endurance, flexibility, and body composition. 
  • Focus on total health and wellness via proper sleep, nutrition, and spiritual health
  • Take advantage of your installation’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs (MWR), fitness centers and swimming pools.
  • Have a fitness plan. It should be noted that you put your training plan in place at least six weeks before the test. 
  • Track your progress in writing and note where you need to improve.
  • Have a backup plan for temporary interruptions.
  • Train with a buddy to get support and encouragement.
  • Pre-test yourself weekly and time yourself on each of the events in the test. 
  • Cut down on fast food. 
  • Stay hydrated. 
  • Get good sleep.


4.2. On your test day


On the test day, you need to do your best in order to get a flying score. Here are some useful recommendations you should take into account during the test day: 

  • Don’t test on sore muscles. Relax up to two days before the test or up to five days if you’re older than 40.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat more fruits, vegetables as well as lean proteins the night before. 
  • Just one light meal on the day of your test. Eat an apple, banana or carrots, if you need immediate energy, e
  • Dress right. Wear a T-shirt, shorts and running shoes.
  • Get the hydration right. Drink two to three cups of water two to three hours before the test. Then drink one cup of water just before the test, drink small amounts of water slowly during breaks and drink two to three cups of water in the first two hours after the test. 
  • Don’t forget to warm up. Do a lighter version of each exercise, such as jogging before running.
  • Let’s cool down right after the test to help your heart and breathing return to their resting rates.


5. Frequently Asked Questions About U.S. Army Fitness Test


Below is a list of common questions about the Army Combat Fitness Test. Let’s jump into it: 


5.1.What is a good score on the ACFT?


Each ACFT event requires a minimum score of 60 points to pass, for a total of 360 points for all six events. Regardless of the Soldier’s professional field, it is a certain minimum score required for all Army soldiers.


5.2. What if I can’t complete the ACFT due to a medical condition?


If a chronic medical condition prohibits you from finishing the ACFT after you sign up, there are alternative events you can participate in for your evaluation, such as swimming or walking in place of the two-mile run. Alternate events can be used to train in case of temporary medical difficulties. But until you have a medical clearance, you won’t take the scored ACFT.


5.3. What happens if I don’t pass the ACFT?


The Army will support you, give you training to raise your score, and give you the opportunity to retake the ACFT if you fail a recorded-scoring ACFT. You could be forcibly discharged from the Army if you fail two consecutive recorded-score ACFTs.


5.4. Do commissioned officers take the ACFT?


You will take the ACFT as a cadet and every year after if you join the Army with the intention of becoming an officer.

In short, the paper has placed more emphasis on the U.S. Army Fitness Test to provide readers a brief overview of the Army Combat Fitness Test. If you are preparing for your ASVAB test, don’t forget to take our ASVAB Practice Tests.