For the first time in over 30 years, the Army is changing the way it conducts its physical fitness test:
The proposed tests, the Army Physical Readiness Test, or APRT, and the Army Combat Readiness Test, known as the ACRT, align with Army Physical Readiness Training outlined in Training Circular 3-22.20, which was implemented Army-wide last August providing exercises, drills and activities appropriate for various levels of physical fitness.
The APRT, designed to replace the current APFT, expands from three to five events, eliminates sit-ups, increases the pace of push-ups, and replaces the long-distance run with shorter-faster runs. The five events include: 60-yard shuttle run, one-minute rower (exercise outlined in TC 3.22-20), standing long-jump, one-minute push-up, 1.5 mile run.
These events will more accurately test a Soldiers anaerobic and aerobic endurance while reducing the risk of injuries. The current test also only provides a “snapshot” assessment of upper and lower-body muscular endurance and fails to identify anaerobic capacity, said Hertling.
One of the challenges the Army has faced is that is has long known the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) didn’t really give a good indication of the ability of soldiers to do their job in combat. It only gave an indication of their general fitness. But it is hard to devise tests that didn’t require any equipment or other testing facilities. I’m a little dubious as to the value of shortening the run to 1.5 miles, but on the other hand, I really hate running…
It will be interesting to see how unit PT changes in response to this. In my day, units routinely did about 20-30 minutes of calisthenics, followed by a 3 to 5 mile run in formation. This was fine, but did little to prepare troops for the APFT.
I’m also interested to the the Army Combat Readiness Test. Will that be used solely as a tool for commanders to focus training, or will it also have an impact on promotions and service? Will everyone have to take it? If you are doing an event with a casualty drag, how do you determine who gets to drag the 100# female, and who has to drag the 250# guy built like a linebacker?