Army's New Fittness Test

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Army's New Fittness Test

Topic: 
Health

A 60-yard shuttle run

It's similar to "suicides" that sports teams use, but it's harder to cut corners. A soldier runs five yards, picks up a wooden block and runs back, puts the block on the starting line, repeats that over a 10-yard, then 15-yard distance. In total the soldier runs 60 yards. The blocks are used to make sure soldiers don't cut corners. They have to put them down on the starting line for it to count. The run tests a soldier's lower body muscles and his or her ability to move quickly.

Standing long jump

It's the same thing you did in gym class. The Army will use it to test lower body strength. For troops required to carry packs often weighing as much as 75 pounds, strong legs are crucial.

One minute of 'rowers'

These replace sit-ups. Your arms start out flat on the floor straight above your head. You keep your knees bent and feet together, flat on the ground. Then you sit up, bringing your arms next to your knees parallel to the ground. It's harder than a sit-up because no one is holding your feet down as in the old test. But it's less stressful on your back and does more to build you upper and lower abdominal muscles.

One minute of pushups

This new test requires the soldier to keep his or her hands planted in one place aligned with the shoulders. And once the timing starts, you can't move your hands or stop to rest as you could in the old test.

A 1.5-mile run

The Army reduced the run from two miles because while most of the dozens of soldiers watching the demonstration had been in combat, none had said he or she ever had to run even a mile on the battlefield. And 1.5 miles is ideal for measuring a soldier's cardiovascular health and stamina, according to Army fitness experts.