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Readers Respond: Is the Air Force on the Right Track with Their Fitness Program?

Responses: 282



Your career should not be based on your genetics- plain and simple. SOme are born big and some are born small.. The waist measurement and wasit measurement alone is discrimination. plain and simple. THose that don't see it that way are idiots. THERE IS NO ARGUEMENT FOR DESTROYING PEOPLES CAREERS ON THIER GENETIC COMPSITION. The run- yes.. push ups.. yes.. sit-ups.. yes

Kick them out NOW!

Begin with our highest ranking officers! I want to see some 39 inch waist measurements and I want to see verification of our top Officer Ranks running their PT!!! I'll hold the stop watch and laugh at 3 and 4 star generals that cannot do pushups!!! LOL Kick them out NOW! Do not wait! I don't think any rank above Lt Col is being held accountable.

Get a grip!

I'm 48, run a mile and 1/2 in 11:30 all day long, max out PU and SU. I'm 6 foot 1 and weigh 215. My chest measures almost 50 inches. My waist is 42 and I can still beat the Combat Rescue Officers A$$ all over the mat. I can suck it in to 38.5, but...I am on the wire. My best run time was 7 years ago, at age 41. I pulled off a 10:04 mile and a half with a bad knee. But,....since I still have a 38.5 inch waist, my career is still in jeopardy. The waist measurement should be based on your height, or it should just be a sideline measurement. Oh Yeah, BTW....How many fat Generals are out there hiding from the standard? Hmmmm What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Rock on, Let's kick out some fat ass generals!


I will repeat the basic flaw. If I were 5 foot nothing, I am expected to meet the same waist measurement as a guy that stands 6 foot 7? Hmmmm It does not surprise me that our AF leadership did not have the common sense to see it. No surprise at all.

Waist Measurement unfair

I've been active duty for 21.5 years, my last 7 PT runs have been between 10.04 mile and a half to my worst of 12:31mile and a half. Usually push 45-60 pushups and always max situps. If you were to see a photo of me without my shirt, most people are shocked that I actually measure right at 39 inches. I have approx 1/2 of fat on my stomach and about 1.5 inches of "side" fat. Try this on yourself and see how much fat you have. Well, I enlisted late, therefore I am now 48 1/2 years old. There seems to be no consideration for the slowing metabolism of old dudes like me. Luckily, If I bust the 39.5, they can only make me retire. For the rest of the young, 6 foot 5 dudes that play football, It sucks. Shame on our leadership.

It's crap!

Well I was a member of the Active Army a few years back, and now part of the Air Force. The PT test is completely and utterly ridiculous. A waist measurement?? Since when did having a small waist make a person less effective at his job. By the way I would much rather have a man with a 40 in waist next to me in battle, than some little 30 in waist. Disgruntled; yes I think so. I have never failed at anything in my life, I used to be in much better shape running 2 miles in 12 min but time and an ankle surgery has slowed me down a bit. 60 pu and 60 su is typical and I run a 13:00 mile and a half, which I could improve. The problem lies with some measurement that is unreliable and perceptive as it seems. One month I was measured at 34 in the next 42 in. I gained 8 in. in a month without gaining any weight. I know I'm not a 34 but 42 come on now. I'm 6'2'' 255 lbs. my BMI scale says I am grossly overweight which is another crock of crap. I played a little semi-pro football and just a big gu
—Guest SrA

Flaws but still excuses

There is flaws with the waist measurement as everyone has already said when it comes to scoring. Everyone can come to an agreement that that particular aspect of the test needs revised. As for the other scoring for the rest of the test? Looks like a bunch of excuses to me for not getting off your butt and doing someting about it. Besides not always being able to help the size of the waist but killing the rest of the test, I understand the waist crap is flawed or just not weighted quite right. But come on, 13 minute miles? 40-60 pushups? 40-60 sits ups? That's a joke. My grandpa can do that. Sorry for the big waisted people who are affected by the score who can't help it but kill everything else, we need you guys so you can carry my skinny butt of the battle field, God knows I couldn't.
—Guest SrA


For those of you who think it's ok that they tape us, that's fine. I have no problem with that. But, when I go to one person and I'm measured at a 34, and then go to someone else and measured at a 38 within a week of one another, something is seriously jacked up!
—Guest Hacked

To crymorekthx:

I know what you mean, and I see it all the time. But, when I went through basic, there was no waist measurement, and it was 2 miles, not 1.5. You ran it in a certain amount of time, or you fail. Sit-ups, push-ups, so many in 2 minutes or you fail. None of the BS trying to figure up the score, according to how you did on the previous component(s). They change these regulations to get rid of people. That's it. Anyone who believes otherwise is blind!
—Guest Hacked

flawed fitness standards

How did the AF come up with these physical fitness charts? Why is there a 10 year separation between groups? Did the AF consult the Cooper Institute? Based on this chart, a 49 year old male has to perform the same number of repetitions of push-ups and sit-ups as a 40 year old male in order to pass? The 49 year old male will have to struggle to pass while the 40 year old male will breeze through the test. The chart is flawed. The range should be 7 years, not 10 years. And why should the sit-up standards for the AF be higher than the sit-up standards for the Army in the age 40-49 category? The AF prides itself on brain, not brawn. We are not "ground pounders!"
—Guest SGT

Screwed AF Blue

Well, I max p/u at 58, s/u at 54, run a 10:13 and tape at 39.5. I have been taped by all the guys at our fitness center and I measure anywhere between 39-42. I get the luck of the draw. I have failed 3 tests in the past year and I am currently on my fourth. I test on monday.. and if I fail because of my tape... I will be dead by sundown. Nothing like politics to ruin a good Amn. I have mostly 5's on my EPR's. Bust my ass day in and day out. Run 4 days a week, limit my caloric intake to 1700 a day, hit the elyptical 3 times a week for 45 min, and do strength training 4 days a week. I am a memeber of the 300 club and; when we do our SQ run, I am somewhere near the front of the pack... but I can't shake this 1-2 inches. I am 76" and almost 38 y/o. I am pissing 17 years down the toilet. Short of a knife and a vacuum cleaner I am getting the boot. As a single dad to 2 children, I am screwed.
—Guest Dead Amn

the air force is the brain not the brawn

If anyone was wondering due to my post above, yes I am a huge homo!
—Guest First Sergeant

I hate this test

All, I do hate this test. Not because of the FAC, not because of the waist measurement, or the fact that I only get 60 seconds for pushups/situps, I hate it because I hate running. Its not that I cant, its a motivation thing for me. You see, we run on a 1/4 mile oval track... its the most mundane boring soul sucking experience of my life! I find myself bored to tears and just want to stop at lap 3. Of course I dont, I keep trudging to make my time, but it sucks. One other thing... take a long around your wings, specifically at the O sector. They are all skinny dudes that couldnt carry a bag of gorceries from A to B, but have a 29" waist and can run like Forrest Gump! That is where this test stems from... a bunch of Forrest Gumps that are about as smart (IMHO).
—Guest non running SNCO

i think its a bad measure

I run a 9 min 1.5 run can do over 80 push-ups and sit ups in the minute give or take based on how I feel.....I still find myself who is 6 foot 1 and 215 punds losing 4 points on the test because I am .5 - 1 inch outside the waist limit for the score....I am not 100% cut or anything but i have never had below a 34 inch waist even when I ran 70 miles a week in high school and college....I find that alot of slobby people who never workout and have small statures, crap for run times and everything still will score a low 90 or near me
—Guest ltm


I don't think anyone is complaining about having to be in shape for the military. I think people are saying that a one size fits all waist measurement seems a little unfair. The waist measurement is a large portion of the PT score so if you do not score max points it makes it difficult to score above 90%. Just this year the USAF did away with BMI below 25 for max points. As an AF RN I am very familiar with health standards. Now, almost everyone but the USAF considers a BMI below 25 a sign of good health. For instance, I am 6'1" 183 pounds and have a BMI 24, but my waist measurement is 35.5, which does not score max on the AF PT test. However, you can have a male who is 5'4" 160 pounds who has a BMI of 27.5 and he can still score max points on the USAF PT exam simply because of their small stature. By the way a 5'4" male with a 27.5 BMI looks considerably chunkier than me, not to mention that I would kill him in any kind of mat competition. Anyway, there is the new standards for you.
—Guest Dave

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