I’ve never found the APFT to be a good measure of overall physical fitness. In order to max the test you have to train specifically for it, which drastically undercuts your ability to develop comprehensive fitness. This is especially true for strength and endurance, both of which are critical to the life of a Soldier, and both of which naturally suffer as you age.
I took an APFT this morning, and I’m hoping it will be the last one I’ll ever take. It wasn’t exactly my best performance and was personally disappointing. This is the first time in a long time that I did not max the push-up and sit-up events.
The run was a slightly different story. I was looking to finish at about 15:00 minutes flat. I was right on track at the turn-around point and had finished the first mile at 7:09. I guess I got cocky and lost control of my pace. I started to think about how quickly I could finish instead of focusing on what I was actually doing.
Lucky for me the Army introduced the Army Combat Readiness Test, or ACRT, which will replace the APFT in FY19. It’s the first major adjustment to Army physical fitness standards since 1980, and at first glance, it seems to test exactly how I train. Just the idea of testing my 3RM deadlift gets me excited.
Everyone’s most hated event, the 2-mile run, is still there, but it really focuses on cardiovascular endurance rather than raw speed. Overall I think it’s a good test. I’m excited for something new and challenging, and I’m particularly happy that the test is relevant to knuckle-dragging field exercises in full kit. You won’t have to choose between your “real fitness” and your “APFT fitness” anymore.