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How to Train for the Army Combat Fitness Test


How to train for the ACFT

As inevitable as the sound of reveille every morning, the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) is set for implementation in October 2019. In anticipation of this date, the field-testing continues and Army fitness trainers are learning how to train soldiers to meet this challenge.

The new ACFT is designed to better prepare soldiers of both genders for combat tasks, reduce injuries and lead to ample cost savings across the service. The six-event readiness assessment, (, will replace the current three-event Army Physical Fitness Test, which has been around since 1980.

In conjunction with the preparation for this significant change in fitness policy, the U.S. Army has launched a website that helps to clarify this mission. It notes that the ACFT will “better connect fitness with combat readiness for all soldiers.” The site outlines the objectives of the new test:

  • Improve soldier and unit readiness
  • Transform the Army’s fitness culture
  • Reduce preventable injuries and attrition
  • Enhance mental toughness and stamina

Rally Fitness: A Long History of Improving Military Fitness

In response to this change in the Army fitness test and the training that will be necessary for soldiers to meet these rigorous requirements, Rally Fitness has developed an Army Combat Fitness Test Equipment Package. This package was designed by Rally Fitness, known for its rugged CrossFit and high-use fitness facilities equipment, to help soldiers train and test administrators to accurately assess the fitness of Army soldiers.

If you would like more information on the Rally Fitness Army Combat Fitness Test Equipment Package, click here for more information.

Tips on Training for the ACFT

There are six events in the new test and each has its own training requirements. Here are some training tips for this challenging test.

#1 Three Repetition Maximum Deadlift

Soldier deadlifts for ACFT

According to the ACFT website, “The Three Repetition Maximum Deadlift (MDL) event represents movements required to safely and effectively lift heavy loads from the ground, jump, bound and tolerate landing. It requires well-conditioned back and leg muscles and helps Soldiers to avoid upper and lower back injuries caused by moving long distances under heavy load.”

Here are three videos to help soldiers train for this event:

#2 Standing Power Throw

Soldier back-throwing a medicine ball for ACFT

According to the Army the Standing Power Throw (SPT) event represents tasks requiring quick explosive movements to maneuver equipment and personnel.

Here’s how to train for this event:

#3 Hand-Release Push Up

Army Combat Fitness Test Kettlebell Pushup

This event consists of the soldier completing as many push-ups as possible in a two-minute time period. This is an upper body endurance test that represents repetitive and sustained pushing used in combat tasks.

Here’s how to train for this event:

#4 Sprint-Drag-Carry

According to the website, The Sprint-Drag-Carry (SDC) is a test of strength, endurance, and anaerobic capacity, which are needed to accomplish high intensity combat tasks that last from a few seconds to several minutes. It involves 5 x 50 - meter shuttles for time - sprint, drag, lateral, carry and sprint.

Here’s are some video tips on training for this event:

#5 Leg Tuck

“The Leg Tuck (LTK) assesses the strength of the soldiers grip, arm, shoulder and trunk muscles. These muscles assist soldiers in load carriage and in avoiding injuries to the back.” The event involves completing as many leg tucks as possible in two minutes; maintain a relative vertical posture while moving the hips and knees up and down without excessive swinging or kipping.

Here’s how to train for this event:

#6 Two-Mile Run

ACFT 2 Mile Run

This event is a two-mile run for time. It measures aerobic endurance, which is required for conducting continuous operations and ground movements on foot. Higher aerobic endurance allows the body to recover quickly in preparation for executing other physically demanding tasks that may arise during a ground movement, such as reacting quickly to enemy contact.

The best training tip for this event involves running...lots and lots of running!


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Rally Fitness

The Rally Fitness Army Combat Fitness Test equipment set has everything needed for this new test, and it is priced right at $2,395.