I have been in the Army for 17 years, and we are finally on the verge of having a new PT test: The Army Combat Fitness Test - ACFT. I took the new test a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it.
The current version of our fitness test - the APFT - consists of 2-minutes of push-ups, 2-minutes of sit-ups and a 2-mile run. The APFT provides AN indicator of fitness, but certainly not a holistic assessment of fitness like the new ACFT does.
Each event is scored on a 100 point scale - just like the old APFT.
The new ACFT assesses Soldiers across a broader athletic spectrum and includes a strength component. The new test consists of the following:
Trap bar dead lift: 3 reps. Max weight (scale tops out at 340 pounds) for 3 x reps.
The trap bar dead lift is a great assessment tool for lower body, grip and core strength. It's also much safer than a traditional dead-lift. Picking up something heavy off the ground translates well to a number of tasks Soldiers perform in a combat/field environment.
10-pound ball throw: Throw a 10# slam ball (backwards) over your head. Great assessment for power/explosiveness. Scale maxes out at around 13 meters.
Hand-release push-ups: Hands in tight and a Soldier must release his/her hands off the ground after each rep. Very challenging and requires a lot of tricep strength - and core strength to keep knocking these out. 70 reps is the max, which is a very high goal to achieve.
Sprint-drag-carry: This event involves sprinting back and forth 25m, dragging a 90-pound sled back and forth (25m down and back), side shuffle down/back, carrying 2 x 40# Kettlebells down and back, and then sprinting (again) down and back.
This is a challenging event. To score the maximum 100 points, you must complete it in under 1 minute and 40 seconds.
Leg-tuck: This event involves a Soldier dead-hanging (with a Tarzan - opposite hands) from the pull-up bar and then bringing his/her knees up to their elbows - returning to the start position - and repeating as many times as possible.
This is also a challenging event and requires 20 reps to max it.
Last - but certainly not least - is the 2-mile run: We just couldn't do away with it could we? Run 2 miles as fast as you can. Extremely challenging event given everything else a Soldier has done prior to executing the 2-mile run.
This test does take longer to administer than the old APFT, but that is time well spent in my opinion.
I took the test last week and here is how I performed:
Trap-bar dead-lift: 340# for 3 reps. Max points - 100.
10# ball throw: 11'4". 89 points. I need to work on this more. There is a technique element to this event to generate max power at the release point - at the right trajectory - to hit the max distance on your throw.
Hand-release push-ups: 49 reps. Very challenging event for me. 90 points. I have only been doing these for about 5 months so these will take some work. If I can break into the mid-50s, I'd be happy in another 6-7 months.
Sprint/drag/carry: 1:35. 100 points. Great event. Hits the legs and lungs hard.
Leg tuck: 20 reps. 100 points. I was very happy that I was able to max this event as I had been training hard for it.
2-mile run: 13:58. 94 points. This was tough after doing everything else. I under-estimated how challenging this would be. It's critical to run after conducting strength training so that Soldiers are conditioned for this event. You are far less "fresh" in this 2-mile run than the previous APFT. This is also a great mental fitness assessment.
Overall, I was very happy with my performance and know where I need to focus for improvement. I wrote an 8-week training program for this event and lab-ratted it myself. I think it prepared me well for my first run through of the test and I will continue to work to improve the training plan over time.
The new ACFT will become the Army's official fitness test in October 2020, and many units will start taking it - unofficially - beginning this October as the Army refines the baseline standards for the test.
This is a great test and I applaud those who developed it. It provides a much more holistic assessment of our Soldiers and will only help to produce better, more well-rounded Soldiers and leaders for the Army moving forward.
Train hard! Train smart.
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If you’ve ever had a shock and felt the adrenaline surge in your body then you’ve felt cortisol. It’s a wake-you-up, get-you–ready-for-action hormone.
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by Dr. David MinkoffOctober 14, 20218 min read0 Comments
Alright, so we know that when sugar comes into the body Insulin is released to shuttle that sugar into the cell. And if the cell is full, then it connects the sugars in chains and stores them as something called Glycogen in your muscle and liver cells for use later on. And if those are full then it connects the sugar to fatty acids and stores it as body fat. And, while Insulin is in the blood stream, fat burning is prevented.
We also know that, given too much sugar for too long, the cells start resisting it and refusing to let it in when Insulin tells them too, causing them to have less sugar to make energy with as well as causing more of it to be converted to body fat.
by Dr. David MinkoffOctober 14, 20215 min read0 Comments
This is the second article in a series on Insulin, Insulin Resistance, Sugar and Body Fat, as a well as an overall series on hormones, so stay tuned!
Alright, if you read the first article in this series (Link this to first article) then you understand that when sugar is in the blood stream the hormone Insulin is released to send it into the cells for energy, or to store it as energy in the muscles as something called Glycogen, or to convert it into fats known as Triglycerides — body fat.
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