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

Responses: 333


anything else dear??

I can't help but laugh at all the complaints. The "oh I failed because my leadership this or that." Newsflash, compared to all the branches, you guys have it good. The unfair is how you guys get equal pay, sometimes even more than grunts or soldiers on the ground.
—Guest doc

PT Test = Force Reduction Tool

Thats all it is, just wish the Air Force brass would for once stop the lies and tell it like it is. Then we no longer need to have this discussion. Will make it, but the whole thing makes you think we are being lead by liars and decievers.
—Guest The Truth

Flawed- big time!

I keep hearing the AF drone on and on about Core Values- especially integrity. Yet, with this new test, it is possible to pass all four components and STILL fail the overall test. How does that square with the so-called "core values"? The AF has lost sight of its priorities..too much emphasis on trying to look as good in uniform as the Army and jarheads do, and not enough in keeping aircraft flying and fighting. And I've dealt with way too many maintainers that can pass their PT tests with flying colors, but don't know squat about fixing airplanes. This test is about weeding people out- nothing more. Unfortunately the incompentents who can pass a PT test with ease will be the ones retained, not the truly talented individuals that actually know their jobs. Oh well, the AF will save some money in the short run..only to have to spend ten times that amount to get people back a few years down the road once they realize they've screwed themselves thanks to this overemphasis on PT.
—Guest GuestAFAircrew

Grandfather Clause?

I joined in 1990; we ran 1-1/5 miles at a speed gauged by your age and you had to weigh less than a specified amount. That was it; and we were a pretty fit looking force. They brought the bike in; and that mistake took a few years to go away then they implemented this flawed PT testing. To make it worse they tie it directly to your ability to make rank, reenlist or further your career. True we need to adapt, but true the AF isn't a ground fighting force. If I'm ever handed an M-16 and told to cross the wire; we've lost the war. My career requires brute strength and stamina. Not the ability to run 1-1/5 miles in 10 minutes and be as thin as s whipper snapper. The bigger my guys; the more work we get done, and the less worn out they are. My little guys are hammered at the end of our normal 12 hr shifts 6 days a week. I'm upset that I joined my Air Force with a specific expectation; met (exceeded) the expectations and they keep moving the bar on us. 2 more years, and this cat quits.
—Guest 2 Years Left

Stop Complaining

Because there is nothing you can do about it. I do believe that the waist measurement does not accurately access your true fitness but there is nothing we can do to change that. Just do your best and work hard every chance you get to pass! If you really push your self hard enough you CAN pass the pt test. Just be lucky we don't have a 2 mile run and 2 minutes of pushups and 2 minutes of situps. Just saying!
—Guest Everywhere but Waist

Fitness Program??

I think that the Air Force is on the right track because honestly when you get deployed it will not be easy, so therefore why should they go easy off of deployment. Its helps to have a tough fitness work out. Yes it will be crazy, but just got to push through it, and give it your best.
—Guest Lfsoftball


so heres my problem im 31 i run 5 days a week and in fit i run a 10 min mile and max situps and pushups ..... problem is im aprox 12 -15 % body fat and i have a 38 in waist ... i know that theres plenty of points here to pass but i have struggled for 14 years to pas pt tests tape tests and all of the bs waist measuments its time to actualy tests things correctly and not just ...o well your fat if you have a 39 in waist really in tired of it i work my ass of to squeek by every time whoever is writing the rules for these tests needs to remove there head and actualy test not throw out random measurments its realy not an accurate test .... unlessyou just pont pt the run .. no prob. situps.... no prob.... pushups noprob..... i cant even cuff my blouse it cuts off the blood flow to my arms and its a dam size 44 shirt its realy time for an accurat test.............. o and to the people that are bashing others saying that ooo you should have been ready ... its usualy a copout
—Guest msgt large


I was in the AF as a SF member. The female AIRMAN that stated she is in the maintenance field and she is a SOLDIER, HA! I love how you are all hoooah about carrying a 50lb tool box and passing your PT Test with a 90%. I would love to see you in full battle rattle mount a 50 cal on a truck...probably not happening! Ive served with the Army aka SOLDIERS, and I have always taken pride in being an AIRMAN! This PT test is made for skinny people, not physicaly fit people. Im 6'4 250lbs, and struggle to be at a 39" waiste, and I fail all the time. I dont fail because I am last on the run (from from it), or because I slack on PU's & SU's...I fail because some desk jokey doesnt realize that BIG BOYS can be strong, fast, and agile. WAISTE SIZE DONT MEAN ISH!!!!
—Guest Not Skinny!

Fit for what??

What is the Air Force getting fit for? To sit behind your computer and launch a Predator, monitor your GlobalHawk, investigate cyber attaches, or write and EPR or OPR? How many jobs or career fields require you to be able to run 1.5 miles and do 50 sit ups, 44 pushups and have a 34 inch waist? I don’t disagree people need to maintain a healthy life style, but does the F2F program really evaluate the individuals fitness level, or just evaluate the F2F program? I would like to see the majority of our professional athletes take this test and see how they score?? The AF has lost sight of the importance of being able to get the job done, and has created an empire for a “fitness testing program” that is waste of time, and money. How many senior officers have you seen today with waist less than 39 inches? With age, comes a little extra weight….unless your life style and genetics happen to beat the averages! Most AF members don’t carry back backs and rifles and run through combat areas, they
—Guest Soon2BretiredSMSgt

What a "WAIST"

My husband, an Academy grad, was recruited to join the AF because of his size. The AF needed a 6'4" 250 lb. football player, but could ditch him after 14 years of service because he's unfit according to the fitness standard. His hands are huge, his calves are huge, he wears a size 14 shoe, yet he should be able to attain a 32" waist? Right. This is not a case of atrophy, either. Sure, he could lose a few pounds, but he's always had a 40" waist, from his first fitness test, just after graduation. Max out the push-ups, Max out the sit-ups, run an 11:00 mile and a half, but automatically fail because of your waist measurement? Meanwhile, someone who's built like the Pillsbury dough boy passes. What a waste!
—Guest football player's wife

Fatboy can run

Is the data being neglected, or is it a systematic and intentional omission. Two individuals; Both are exactly 72” in height, one weighs 260 lbs, the other weighs in at 185. Both are in the same age category The 260 lb individual (Mr. 260) has a 41.5 inch waist runs a 1.5 miles in 12:51. The 185 lb individual (Mr. 185) has a 33 inch waist and runs a 1.5 mile in 13:53 Mr. 260 is an avid runner and lives a healthy active lifestyle Mr. 185 is a sedentary smoker The overall compensation Mr. 260 has to input over Mr. 185 would be a calculation based on active inertia derived from the person’s weight and speed. Mr. 260 has an assigned inertia value of 6739.2 lb/mph Mr. 185 has an assigned inertia value of 4090.58 lb/mph The data is above is a reflection of myself (Mr. 260) during the last fit to fight I just failed. Mr. 185 shall remain unnamed but passed the assessment. The amount of effort and ability I displayed would be a direct correlation of fitne
—Guest MSgt

The Ft test is BS

I have read all the arguements and heard all the BS about we need our force to be "fit to fight". I also heard it from commanders that they care about you and want to make sure that you live a "healthy lifestyle". The only reason why the commanders care about you is that you effect there numbers when it's highlighted at the monthly meeting between them. I can not tell you how many times they talk to you when you fail and given the "we care" speech and all of that crap. I rather have them tell me up front that I am screwing up your numbers and I am the embarrasment of the squadron. I respect the commander more then the i care speech. Let's face it, once he/she moves on or the same for you, they won't think twice about you and the problem of passing the test. Also, fitness has become the new word, in which you could be a POS and don't know your job, but let's promote the POS then the person who can't pass but knows his job inside and out. That is why the AF is weak!!!!!!!

Fix the waist

I think the push-ups, sit-ups, and run are within reach. Here is the problem, I tested last week passed no problem with my 33 inch waist. But a fellow Airman who tested with me got 10 points on his situps and Pushups compared to my 9 and 8, and out ran me by almost a minute on the 1.5 mile run. But do to his 38.5 inch waist my overall score was better then his, but clearly he is more fit then I.
—Guest SRA Crewchief

@ ret combat controller

I am 35 yrs old, 74" tall, have very little ab fat (not dunlap and not a 6 pack), and measure in @ 37.5". I pass my tests every time, and there is indeed room for improvement. I have had a smaller waist but that time I failed the body comp because I had a skinny neck to go with the waist. Look up pro athletes and their measurements, you'll find many of our heros are obese and unfit to serve. A one size fits all body comp measurement is in itself a fail. And let's ignore medical fact and just think logically. when people grow from kids to adults the grow horizontally in proportion to vertical. That said, a person who stops growing @ 5'6" will have a smaller waist than a person who stops growing @ 6'6". The only fair way to do body Comp is water displacement.
—Guest TSgt Reid

PT test

First look at the minimum score. If you get a min in each category you will fail with about a 63%. This is contrary to the minimum to pass at 75%. Something needs to be adjusted. Next look at the age brackets. You are telling me that a 17 year old and a 39 year old should have the same waist run only 24 sec dif for max unless its mid 10 min and all scores are the same, have 10 more pushups and only 4 more sit ups for max. This is a joke and not well thought up program.
—Guest Bryan

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

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