Acing the Military PFT Exams
By: Scott Alexander
Every branch of the military has different requirements
when it comes to physical fitness based on the branch
and the age of the applicant. The gender of the
applicant will also play a role. If you are planning on
joining a specific branch of the military, such as the
marine corps or the army, then it will benefit you to find
out what specific requirements exist for that service
branch. If on the other hand you are simply trying to get
into better shape, you might aspire to be capable of
passing the PFT for specific military branches instead.
The right workout information is going to benefit you
significantly. You are going to want to be able to do the same workout that someone in the marine corps
or special forces would do in order to qualify. So whether you are looking to join the army reserve or the
army national guard, or simply want to boast that you could qualify for the green beret special forces,
the following PFT fitness information is going to benefit you.
1. Become acquainted with the specific requirements of the military branch. The basic PFT test for the
army, for example, involves sit ups, push ups and a two mile run. There is a minimum score that you
need to achieve, as well as a recommended score that you should be aspiring to achieve. For example,
you should be able to achieve a minimum of 49 push ups in two minutes, but it is recommended that
you be able to do more than 80.
2. Always shoot to meet recommended scores, or to exceed them. To join the army rangers, for
example, you must be able to run 5 miles in 40 minutes, but the recommended score is 35 minutes or
less. To join the air force you must be capable of running 1.5 miles in 11:57, but it is preferred that you
run it in 8:55 for a male or 10:55 for a female.
3. Set goals and work to achieve them. Start by looking at the requirement for the military branch that
you are interested in. For example, if you are a male under the age of 30 and you want to join the coast
guard, you need to be able to do a minimum of 29 push ups and 38 sit ups. Begin by seeing how many of
each of these moves you can do on your own at the outset. If you can only do 5 sit ups and 5 push ups,
then what you will want to do is set incremental goals that you can work up to, until you reach the
minimum requirements for the military branch that you are focusing on.
4. Workout every day. Even if you are just doing a little bit every day, you need to make sure that you
are working out every single day. Try to switch up what you are doing every day, so that some days have
you focusing on cardio activity and other days have you focusing on strength training. By switching
things up and keeping yourself active, you will be taking the most important steps in preparing your
body for this type of physical fitness exam.
5. Adjust your goals as you go. You are not locked into any of the goals that you have, so make sure that
they are evolving with you as you go along. It is vitally essential that you be realistic and that you only
push yourself to achieve what you will actually be capable of. If you cannot meet a specific goal, do not
get discouraged. Simply keep working at it, get healthier, take better care of yourself and you will
eventually achieve the goal that you set out to meet.
It is entirely possible for you to train your physical self to meet the needs of a variety of different
military branch PFT exams. The most important things that you can do are to be informed about the
requirements, be realistic about your expectations, and be flexible when creating and achieving the
goals that you set. You can achieve anything that you set your mind to as long as you are realistic about
your expectations and do not push yourself too hard. Whether you want to join the army, the air force,
the marine corps or a specialty branch of the military, one of the first steps is to get your body in shape
so that you can meet the physical demands of the job.