From Army News Service 3 MAR 11
Army Prepares New Physical Fitness Test (APFT) This test is currently on hold APR 2013
For the first time since 1980, the Army's physical fitness test is being overhauled. It will be replaced by both the
Physical Readiness Test and the Army Combat Readiness Test.
Over the next few months, the two tests will be conducted at eight installations as part of a pilot program, where
standards will be also developed. The new tests could go Army-wide in October, said Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling,
deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Initial Military Training, at Fort
"Today's PT test does not adequately measure components of strength, endurance, or mobility," Hertling said.
Hertling and Frank Palkoska, director of the Army's Physical Fitness School, began discussing the need for better
physical fitness tests while together at West Point's department of physical education in the early 1980s. But it
was the progression of sports science that led to development of the new APRT and ACRT.
"We needed to come up with a program for the incoming young Soldiers who were not as focused on health,
fitness and nutrition," Hertling said.
The two tests align with the new Army Physical Readiness Training program, outlined in Training Circular 3-22.20,
that began Army-wide implementation in August.
The new training involves anaerobic exercise.
Used by athletes to promote strength, speed and power and by body builders to build muscle mass, anaerobic
exercise leads to greater performance in short duration, high-intensity activities.
Aerobic exercise includes lower intensity activities performed for longer periods of time.
The Army, said Hertling, has been on an ebb and flow of physical fitness training for the last 60 to 70 years.
"Every time prior to combat, our fitness regimen and fitness testing is very different to what we do after we've
experienced combat. But right after Vietnam, some of the fitness mavens, like Ken Cooper, sold the military on
aerobic training. But this isn't necessarily the way we do things in combat," Hertling said.
One of the initial concerns on changing the test, Hertling said, anticipated comments such as 'why are we
changing? It's been good enough for 30 years.'
"In fact, just the opposite is happening. Soldiers enjoy a challenge and many have come up to me and said,
'thank you for fighting for these changes,'" Hertling said.
The old test required completion of three events: two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups and a two-mile
run. In order to develop these tests, Hertling asked Palkoska to look both inside and outside the Army for
subject-matter experts to help develop a test which is gender neutral and age specific.
The proposed pilot test sites are: Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Jackson, S.C.;
Fort Bliss, Texas; West Point, N.Y.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; and Fort Lewis, Wash.
New APRT >> New ACRT >>
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