Print

Police Fitness >> Browse Articles >> Academy Fitness

+4

Preparing for the Most Common Physical Fitness Training in the U.S.

Preparing for the Most Common Physical Fitness Training in the U.S.

Photo: Arizona DOC

Stew Smith, CSCS

After doing research and writing about physical fitness tests for military and law enforcement agencies for the past ten years, I recognized a common appearance of the 1.5 mile run, pushups, and sit-ups test as a near universal basis for testing fitness levels. The groups who use the Common PFT are the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and more than 50% of federal, state, and local police agencies as a minimum standard for physical testing.

In the military units, they also have alternate testing exercises such as bike or swim for the run if injury prevents a member from running and both military and law enforcement units alter the amount of time for pushups and sit-ups. Some have one minute tests and others have two minute tests for the strength testing portion. The Coast Guard and some police departments get creative and substitute pushups with a bench press endurance test, but more than half of the United States Military and Law Enforcement Agencies use what I call the Common PFT.

Preparing for this PFT is not that difficult. In fact, many times most service members can train for a few weeks and score passing grades on the test as the minimum standards are not that difficult. Achieving the minimal standards on anything should not be the peak of our endeavors no matter what we do personally. But, there are many jobs in the military and law enforcement that do not require rigorous physical activity, however, if your job puts you in harm’s way, you should reconsider your fitness level. Whether you are saving yourself, another victim, or your partner, having the strength, endurance, and flexibility can make a difference between life and death. Yes, fitness is THAT important.

As the regular military and law enforcement agencies use the Common PFT as a standard for fitness, the specialized groups in these units like SWAT teams, Fire Fighters, Navy SEAL, Air Force PJs, and Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers all have more rigorous standards and testing exercises. The above units and other Special Ops groups require differing levels of fitness due to the extreme conditions and missions they must be prepared for. There are many workout programs that can be found on the advanced special operations groups above at the PoliceLink Fitness Store.

The good news about the Common PFT is that there are plenty of articles written over the past few years to assist with performing better on the test. Scoring better on physical fitness tests can affect promotion rate, pay-grade, energy levels due to better overall health, as well as your ability to protect and defend yourself and others in an emergency (natural or man-made).

Now, there is an ebook that addresses the PFT standard, but also helps with functional strength of the abs, lower back, hips, upper body and running. More than half the military and law enforcement personnel have to do this PFT – That is why I call this training plan the PFT Bible!

Go to your training in the shape of your life with this program to help ace the standard Physical Fitness Test (PFT). Pushups, situps, and running are featured in this program accompanied with weights as optional training tools as well.

Good luck with your training

Email Stew Smith CSCS should you have any questions about Military or Law Enforcement Fitness Training. His writings help prepare the Heroes of Tomorrow for today’s military, law enforcement and fire fighting professions.

Want to improve your workouts? Visit Stew Smith’s PoliceLink Fitness Store for customized, downloadable ebooks written specifically for law enforcers.


+4
  • Img_2327_max50

    hollywood101

    over 4 years ago

    14 Comments

    im going tomorrow for my PFT for DOC of arizona any good ideas or good advice that would be good for me to remember when i go.I do the physical fitness part then another test and then i go to COTA in tucson,AZ

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    DISAISD

    over 5 years ago

    184 Comments

    I just want to correct a comment entry. I was never against this article at all. I just feel that all applicants should consider a wide spectrum of techniques to find what would fit their unique needs, build up on weak points & reinforce on established strong points. Back in the 70's when I enlisted into the "Green Machine (US Army), Basic Combat FitnessTraining consisted of about 3 mile runs, followed by 100-150 jumping jacks, sit-ups, squat-thrusts, thrunk-twisters, push-ups & situps, pull-ups per day. There was no such things as work-out suits, we did it in fatigues, & combat boots. Now the important thing is getting fed. So everybody did a group-formation run to the "chow hall" but to get into the "chow hall" you had to go through 2 sets of 180 rung "monkey bars", the run, dodge & jump the wooden horses to stay in single-line formation at parade rest to get into the "chow hall" ! After your fine dining experience of oh, about 15 minutes, you ate or inhale the meal that was slopped on your stainless steel tray and you go through the same setup that they have set up when you came into the "chow hall" !

    This goes for breakfest, lunch & dinner ! Now if somebody couldn't keep their hands off of the cigerette & the SDO Drill Sgt caught 1 cig but around the building, well guess what, we all get "screwed" and do another 3 mile PT run.

    I am looking to get into the XP 90 fitness program as it looks like very close to what I went through "Army PT" back in the day. No bull shit bench presses, abdomizers, super bungie course. We did 4 point & eight point count pushups, dying cocker-roach trunk twisters, & used cinder blocks as gym equiptment.

  • Robertmitchum_max50

    bad_LT

    almost 7 years ago

    2374 Comments

    i have learned alot by reading these fitness files

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Marybeth82

    about 7 years ago

    2 Comments

    I am getting ready to start the police academy in January--any tips on PFt would help!
    Thanks
    Mary

  • My_lapd_badge_max50

    LAPDLEO

    over 7 years ago

    1776 Comments

    PT EVERYDAY before work, a straight up ass kicking, parolee style workout! Go to www.Weightvest.com, get the 50lb short and do at least 45 minutes with the vest on, start light, then build up to 50lbs 3 x a week. You don’t have to do a killer pace with the vest on, but after a week of runing with it on, your duty gear will feel very light! I also mix it up on different days with 8 reps of 1/4 mile sprints followed by pyramids of 20-5 pull-ups, Max out on push-ups, militaries and 50 crunches! The reason I am putting this up isn’t to say “I’m bitchen”, but you have got to have a reality based fitness plan and stick to it! I sit on the bench and simulate sitting in my car then the sprint is the foot pursuit, followed by the wall/fence (pull-ups), then the fight is on. Save a little for the real deal 3 minutes after roll call though! If you don’t think these parolee’s have a fitness plan, or that they are not training to disarm and KILL you, then you are living in denial, and need to get your mind right ASAP, that means extract your head from your A$$ first. You need to train, train, train and train some more. I have had a couple of Officers and above ask me while I’m working out “what are you training for” A fight, wrestling, MMA, a race or some competition?” I tell them I’m training for 3 minutes after roll call, and you should be too! I work down in south central Los Angeles and the fight is on every day. I would feel like a complete tool if I was not there for my partner. I’m 37 and it takes a bit more now a days to keep fit, but dealing with the animals we are dealing with down here, it’s a must! If you don’t have a training plan just start your watch everyday with an apology to your fellow Officers for not being prepared for when the fit hits the shan! Don’t be that guy! Your parner gets killed or injured because you don’t have the wind, you’ll never forgive yourself. Also everyone who caries a gun needs to go to one of Lt. Col Dave Grossman’s seminars! Go to the website www.killology.com and check out The Bullet Proof Mind, the audio is only $60.00, but is the BEST training you will recieve for our profession! Remember it’s better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6! Stay Safe Warriors! Ed O’Shea

  • My_lapd_badge_max50

    LAPDLEO

    over 7 years ago

    1776 Comments

    PT EVERYDAY before work, a straight up ass kicking, parolee style workout! Go to www.Weightvest.com, get the 50lb short and do at least 45 minutes with the vest on, start light, then build up to 50lbs 3 x a week. You don’t have to do a killer pace with the vest on, but after a week of runing with it on, your duty gear will feel very light! I also mix it up on different days with 8 reps of 1/4 mile sprints followed by pyramids of 20-5 pull-ups, Max out on push-ups, militaries and 50 crunches! The reason I am putting this up isn’t to say “I’m bitchen”, but you have got to have a reality based fitness plan and stick to it! I sit on the bench and simulate sitting in my car then the sprint is the foot pursuit, followed by the wall/fence (pull-ups), then the fight is on. Save a little for the real deal 3 minutes after roll call though! If you don’t think these parolee’s have a fitness plan, or that they are not training to disarm and KILL you, then you are living in denial, and need to get your mind right ASAP, that means extract your head from your A$$ first. You need to train, train, train and train some more. I have had a couple of Officers and above ask me while I’m working out “what are you training for” A fight, wrestling, MMA, a race or some competition?” I tell them I’m training for 3 minutes after roll call, and you should be too! I work down in south central Los Angeles and the fight is on every day. I would feel like a complete tool if I was not there for my partner. I’m 37 and it takes a bit more now a days to keep fit, but dealing with the animals we are dealing with down here, it’s a must! If you don’t have a training plan just start your watch everyday with an apology to your fellow Officers for not being prepared for when the fit hits the shan! Don’t be that guy! Your parner gets killed or injured because you don’t have the wind, you’ll never forgive yourself. Also everyone who caries a gun needs to go to one of Lt. Col Dave Grossman’s seminars! Go to the website www.killology.com and check out The Bullet Proof Mind, the audio is only $60.00, but is the BEST training you will recieve for our profession! Remember it’s better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6! Stay Safe Warriors! Ed O’Shea

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

25-1-13-a_1__max30
SkoolCop posted in: "breathe easy", 20 minutes ago.
25-1-13-a_1__max30
SkoolCop posted in: "Oh Yeah !!!", 22 minutes ago.
Batman_max600_1__max30
gudercop posted in: "Oh Yeah !!!", 43 minutes ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
zipman gave a thumbs down to The Photo "newspaper (3)", about 1 hour ago.
Batman_max600_1__max30
gudercop posted in: "breathe easy", about 1 hour ago.