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Let’s Discuss the New Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT)

In October, the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) becomes the official physical fitness test of the Army. Well, that was the plan until the corona virus arrived. Over the past few decades, the Army Physical Fitness Test has been the test of record, and it looks like it will continue to be for another fiscal year or so. The APFT comprised three events–pushups, sit-ups and a 2 mile run. The ACFT has twice as many events including a dead lift, medicine ball throw, hand-release pushups, sprint-drag-carry, leg tucks, and a 2 mile run. I finally had a chance to take a diagnostic ACFT recently, and I was a bit surprised by the results.

I knew the sprint-drag-carry event was going to gas me–and it did. Yet I was pleasantly surprised how close I was to maxing the event. The max score time is 1 minute 30 seconds, and I completed it in 1 minute 46 seconds. Over time, I think I may be able to get closer to the max or even max it. Another event that surprised me was the medicine ball throw. I tried a couple of techniques to throw it as far as I could, but neither turned out that great. I threw it over 6 meters–not very good. For this event, learning a good technique is probably going to result in the best near term gains. I’ll definitely have to dig deeper into how to improve my throws.

The leg tuck is definitely a challenging event especially following the sprint-drag-carry. I need to get my core stronger and increase my upper body strength to get more reps, and that’s definitely going to be my biggest focus.

Overall, I like the ACFT because it is a challenging test, and it forces Soldiers to focus on overall body strength. I really had no idea how fast I would run the 2 miles at the end of the test, because I hadn’t really focused on that event while preparing for the ACFT. However, I ran it only about 25 seconds slower than I ran it a couple of months ago for the three event APFT. With five events before it in the ACFT, I wasn’t too disappointed in the slower run time and think I can get back around my APFT 2 mile time.

To learn more about the events in the test, check out the video at the top. Have any of you reading this blog taken the test? What did you think? I’d love to read your comments about it.

Thanks for reading,

Justin

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