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These Are the Hardest Exercises in the US Army Fitness Test

Fitness | HiiT

Are you army-ready? Do you think you’re fit enough to excel as a soldier? Potential recruits must now pass a more strenuous US army fitness test designed to accurately measure combat readiness.

And two of these exercises will really challenge your body.

Warriors Wanted

The Center for Initial Military Training developed a pilot of the new fitness trial, called the Army Combat Readiness Test (ACRT), in 2017. The six-event readiness assessment will now be rolled out beginning October 2020.

The gender- and age-neutral assessment includes physically demanding exercises, including a leg tuck and an overhead throw, dubbed the hardest exercises for potential recruits to master.

Five Domains of Physical Fitness

The test is formulated to replicate as closely as possible the types of actions soldiers need to carry out on the battlefield. It measures five kinds of fitness, as opposed to the one kind in the previous Army Physical Fitness Test.

As well as muscular endurance and the health of your heart and lungs, the ACRT also measures aptitude for tasks like loading artillery rounds or protecting a colleague in the line of fire.

Five different kinds of fitness are needed for effective combat: muscular and cardio endurance, muscle strength, agility, and explosive strength. They’re all in the latest army test.

Here Are The Exercises You Need to Master

If you’re up for a challenge, get started with the two hardest exercises:

1. Hanging Leg Tuck

Grasp a climbing bar with an alternating grip and bring your knees up to your chest to touch your elbows.


2. Standing Power Throw

Toss a 10-pound medicine ball overhead and backward as far as you can.


The rest are no walk in the park, either:

3. 250-meter Sprint/Drag/Carry

Begin in the prone position, stand up, sprint 25 meters. Back to the start line. Pull sled backwards 25 meters. Return with sled. Run 25 meters carrying two 30-pound kettlebells. Return kettlebells to start line. Sprint 25 meters and return to the start line.

4. T-Pushup

Basically your traditional pushup, but when you lower your chest down to the floor, you quickly open your arms to the side to a T, then push yourself back up.

5 and 6. Maximum Weight Deadlift, and Two-Mile Run

Here’s a good video from the Army News Service showing all six:


So, what do you think? If you can master or get through this set of grueling exercises, congratulations! Of course, fitness measured in these exercises is not only useful or needed on the battlefield. Learn, practice, and dominate these demanding movements and you’ll be ready for the physical challenge of any discipline.

Image Credit: Arthur Edelman

Featured in New York Magazine, The Guardian, and The Washington Post
Featured in the Huffington Post, USA Today, and VOGUE

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