‘This is what the Army needs’: US Army’s new fitness test gets evaluated at Fort Eustis


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — U.S. Army leaders spent Wednesday morning testing the Army’s new fitness test at Fort Eustis.

The current physical fitness test, the APFT, was introduced in 1980 and only has three events: push ups, sit ups, and the two-mile run. 

General Stephen Townsend says that only targeted a small percent of body muscles and the proposed test, the Army Combat Fitness test, will be an 80 percent indicator of physical components of combat fitness. 

“The day I took the test, I knew this is what the Army needs,” he said. 

Townsend says he was a cadet when the APFT was introduced and the ACFT is focused more on making sure soldiers are combat ready. 

He believes it will change the Army’s fitness culture. 

“If this is all you do for PT, the Army’s OK with that because you’re preparing for the test of the battlefield,” he said. 

Townsend says the Army has worked for years to come up with a new test but the proposed plan has been in the making for six years, with research to back up its findings. 

He says the six-event test should reduce musculoskeletal injuries that cause soldiers to leave the Army. 

The ACFT will include strength deadlift, the hand release push up, sprint/drag/carry, standing power throw, and the two-mile run. 

Townsend says it should be completed within 55 minutes and soldiers will work harder than the current test. 

“For 50 minutes, you’ll work for about 37 minutes or so and test for about 11,” he said. 

Scoring for the new test will be gender and age neutral.

The Army is still working the test out. 

This fall, 60 battalions will train with it for a year for field testing to refine the test before the whole Army starts trading with it in the fall of 2019.

The Army will start scoring soldiers by October 2020. 

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