Could You Pass An Army Fitness Test?

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I can’t say was enthusiastic about today’s gym trip – in fact I didn’t want to go at all. I needed a big mission – something that was going to give me some serious oomph to achieve – so I decided to test myself against ‘the best of the best’ and take the cardio fitness test for female recruits in the US Army that I found in this month’s Health magazine.

Apparently, female soldiers must be able to run two miles (3.3km) in 18 minutes – this is deemed at a distance short enough that recruits can push themselves hard throughout it, but long enough to test fitness. I calculated that it meant sustaining an 11km pace for the whole 18 minutes – and then I laughed, got all demoralised and decided that it was a bit of luck I don’t look good in green as there was no way I was going to pass.

Then I googled…..seems that 18 minutes is the elite of the elite – you get a maximum of 100 points if you can complete the run in under 17.24 seconds (in my age range). Anything under 23.42 would see me potentially pass the test…..I hit the treadmill. 19.31 – booyaka. Give me my regulation booties, I’m in. Well, if the Army just want me to run that is…see the running test is just part of three physical criteria. I also need to be able to do….

Full on man sized press ups. 12 in two minutes sees you pass, 37 gets you maximum points. I did nine before I collapsed in a pathetically armed heap.

Then came sit ups – for a woman 32 full sit ups in two minutes is the pass mark, 72 gets you maximum points. I can’t do more than three full sit ups before my back cries so I this didn’t work so well either.

In other words; Fail, hand back the booties, do not pass go, do not get in the helicopter. Prince Harry will not be your best friend and you will not get to go to parties at Buckingham Palace. Ah, well at least I enjoyed my gym workout.

Oh, menfolk who follow this blog – if you want to try the male test, Wikipedia is your friend. You’ll find it, plus all the women’s results by age here. Oh and also check out the comments below for another potentially helpful website.

If you like this tip, you’ll find it – and 51 similar ideas – in my e-book Gym-spiration. Click here to buy it or find out a bit more about it



  1. Arian

    And I thought the NZ Police fitness test was tough! Just as well I’m a pacifist!

    1. healthehelen

      Oooh, tell us what that involves? And yes, I didn’t mention a few other flaws in my army recruitment, like not liking mud/rain or the cold, being very contrary when faced with rules/authority and generally being a big wimp.

  2. carlradley83

    Hi Helen – I have recently started my own wordpress blog with information on what it takes to pass the British Army Physical Selection Tests. Slightly different to yours but interesting to compare. The link is – I hope you dont mind me linking to it for you or anyone else that might be interested!

    1. healthehelen

      No problem at all. People if you found this post looking for serious advice on passing the Army Fitness test, this is where you need to click….

      Reply this thing on? Talk to me, it's lonely down here

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