In January 2004, the Air Force scrapped their complete reliance on the dreaded “bike test” and returned to the roots of physical fitness. Airmen and officers must now pass a multi-part physical fitness test (PFT) on at least an annual basis. The test consists of three components: aerobic fitness, muscle strength and body composition.
In the remainder of this article, we examine each of the three test components. The scoring tables are complex, so we’ve created an online Air Force PFT calculator to help you compute scores.
Cardiovascular fitness is one of the cornerstones of a solid physical fitness foundation. In fact, the Air Force used to rely completely on this component during the era of the bike test. Under the new system, cardiovascular fitness accounts for 50% of your total physical fitness score. All Air Force servicemembers must complete a 1.5-mile timed run to determine their aerobic fitness score.
Servicemembers who are physically unable to run may receive a medical waiver authorizing them to participate in an alternative aerobic fitness assessment. Available alternatives include cycle ergonometry (yes, the “bike test”!) and a 1-mile walk. Choice of an alternative test rests with the unit commander, based upon medical guidance.
The muscle strength component of the test determines 20% of your fitness score and consists of two tests. First, you must perform the maxmimum number of push-ups you can accomplish in one-minute. Next, you perform a similar series of one-minute timed crunches. Each of these tests is weighted equally as 10% of your final fitness score.
The final component of the test, body composition, accounts for the remaining 30% of your score. If you have a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25%, you are exempt from measurement and receive the full 30 points. If your BMI is greater than 25%, the Air Force will measure the circumference of your abdomen and determine your body composition score. This component replaces the height and weight testing performed in the past.
Calculating Your Score
You may calculate your score using the following formula:
(Aerobic Score X 50%) + (Push-Up Score X 10%) + (Crunches Score X 10%) + (Body Comp Score X 30%)
This will produce a score on a scale of 1-100. Use the table below to convert your numeric score to an Air Force fitness category:
|Fitness Level||Total Score|
Airmen and officers who score in the Excellent or Good categories must retest within 12 months of their assessment. Members who score in the Marginal or Poor categories must retest within 90 days of their assessment.