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To determine your overall physical fitness, the U.S. Army factors in how much you weigh and how well you perform in a three-part physical fitness test. The three-part test includes two minutes of pushups, two minutes of situps and a two-mile run. Military personnel must take the physical fitness test at least twice every year, and must meet minimum standards in order to be eligible for a promotion, transfer or enrollment at an Army school.
The cardiovascular endurance portion of the U.S. Army physical fitness test includes a timed two-mile run. The Army uses the results of this test to determine your aerobic fitness and leg-muscle endurance. Someone can pace you during the run but cannot touch you. Depending on age, women must complete the two-mile run in between 15:36 and 20:42, and can earn scores of between 38 and 100 points. Men must complete the two-mile run in between 13:00 and 20:42, and can earn scores of between zero and 100 points.
The Army uses the results of the situp part of the test to measure how strong your abdominal muscles are. During the two-minute test, each time you lower to the ground, the bottom of your shoulder blades must touch the ground, and you may not bounce off the ground or remove your hands from the back of your head. Your feet and hands must remain in contact with the ground at all times as well. The Army uses the results of this part of the test to measure your chest, shoulder and triceps endurance. To meet minimum standards, men ages 17 to 21 must complete 42 pushups and 53 situps, and men ages 22 to 26 must complete 40 pushups and 50 situps. Women ages 17 to 21 must complete 19 pushups and 53 situps, and women ages 22 to 26 must complete 17 pushups and 50 situps.
Body Fat, Height and Weight
Depending on age, women are allowed to have between 30 and 35 percent body fat. Depending on age and height, women must weigh between 91 and 236 pounds. For example, a 24-year-old woman who is 5 foot 2 must weigh between 104 and 138 pounds. Depending on age, men are allowed to have between 20 and 26 percent body fat, and must weigh between 91 and 250 pounds, depending on age and height. For example, a 32-year-old man who is 5 foot 9 must weigh between 128 and 184 pounds.
Officials score you based on the number of pushups and situps you complete, and how fast you finish the two-mile run. To meet minimum standards, you must score at least 180 points, earning 60 points in each event. Along with how well you perform, your age and gender affects your score. Meeting the test’s minimum standards, according to Stew Smith, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former Navy SEAL, is considered below average and may reflect poorly on you.
William Henderson has been writing for newspapers, magazines and journals for more than 15 years. He served as editor of the "New England Blade" and is a former contributor to "The Advocate." His work has also appeared on The Good Men Project, Life By Me and The Huffington Post.