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

Responses: 282


Still a poor real-world test

The problem with the tests as they will stand in 2010 is they still don't model real-world fitness needs. First, short people have a huge advantage over tall people when it comes to the body composition measurements. Secondly, do people REALLY run 1.5 miles in combat? No, they don't. Most likely, they walk with 30-50 lbs of gear on, with occasional sprints from one spot to another. Pushups and situps? Does anyone do those in combat conditions? Doubtful. How about pull-ups and obstacle courses with full battle rattle? I have trouble running due to back pain, but those back problems aren't considered "serious" enough to put me on profile. That's fine, but as a reservist, I don't have the benefit of year-round medical care, or post-retirement care, so I am reluctant to pound my body year-round just to fill a box on someone's screen. Be realistic with the test, and get rid of size-based requirements (note I have 32.5" waist, so it's not like I'm complaining about that).
—Guest AF Reservist

Waist Measurement

I have been in long enough that my son is now in. I am looking to retire this year. Let me say I am glad for the physical fitness testing with one exception. The waist measurement should be eliminated, instead us a BMI calculation. This would make that portion of the test fairer for all involved. I too am tall, 73 inches, that is tall for a woman. I will be leaving the service in the best physical shape of my life, ty.
—Guest SMSgt

Enough complaints!!

I'm disappointed by the complaints I'm seeing on here. We've had plenty notice to get ready for these new standards-whether somebody likes them or not. We're all adults, we all signed up for this and we've had plenty time to prepare. In 1.5 months of running 2-3x a week on my own time I dropped my run time from 12:17 to 10:49. Not great, I know, but at least I'm trying! Time to grow up, people. It's not that hard.
—Guest Active duty AF officer


I think the new standards are great but what about women that have had a baby and have no support system to go to the gym? My husbands deployed and I'm a reservist and I just had our thrid child, I have lost 6 inches already off my waist but need 4 more and my Pt test is in a month.
—Guest Bennett


Airmen will still be testing people, it will just be supervised by the HAWC, by the way. If someone is too skinny to carry a ruck get with your PTLs and design a program for them. If you are honestly a TSGT and don't know how to solve a problem as simple as that ugh I just don't know what to say. That's pretty shameful. Also, the PT test should not be where you gauge yourself. It shouldn't even be something you think about. It should be an easy PT day. It is stunningly easy. I've seen people who barely know what a gym is pass this test. This is a leadership problem. We need to understand that as Americans we should be fit. Not just as Airmen. It is our duty if anything were to happen to this country that we could rise and defend. You "TSGTs" that can carry a ruck need to get your airmen in shape and need to lose weight and not be proud of morbid obesity (anything over 25 bmi). Its your fault, don't cry.
—Guest SrA Payne

AF PT Standards

To All, The new Standards are coming-no if or butts about it, when is it going to get implemented?? I personally enjoy going to the gym and working out. The thing that I don't understand is why did they move the waist measurements up 3" and limit AF personnel to a standard of 39". Why did they not just come out and say that everyone will meet this # or fail, bottom line. Implications on a failed PT test is more than just a referral EPR, no WAPS testing, PCS orders are cancelled and you will be placed on admin hold for at least 6 months. Did AF leadership take any of this into account if the projections of X# fail? I've supported the Army/Marines in combat operations and being fit is important. But slapping min's on a PT test I think is ridicules.
—Guest Ready to Bail


I believe the military as a whole should raise the minmun score on the ASVAB as well as the PT test. Lets make the military something to proud of again.
—Guest SrA Kearns

loving it

this is great now the air force can finally get rid of all those higher up fat people who throw thier rank around as much as thier wieght lol i got a 100%on my pt test and im 5'11 180pds so im happy

all for PT

See I'm all for PT and do not mind the new standards as they apply for me. I do however have issue with the gender gap as I though we are all supposed to be treated the same if we wear the uniform? The other problem I have is the fact that we don't PT together. I know that at one time PT for an old unit of mine was 1 hour before shift started for everyone everyshift. You stretched, did 45-60 pushups, 45-60 crunches and than ran 2-3 miles. shower either at the work center or gym. Than someone pointed out that PT was supposed to be done on duty hours and that ended and none day shift workers where left without schduled PT sessions because we can't leave duty section.
—Guest Comm guy

Shut up and color

Who cares! Just do what the "man" wants and shut up. I hate running and Im tall, so the sit-ups and pushups r more difficult to get the max. To the other service reading the thoughts, who care. In the air force and guarantee I’ve seen more combat than most you combined. Go stick to what you do best coloring, becuase isn’t that the only thing you can do or else you would be in the Air Force. Aim High!!!!

Too Much

I have been in the AF for 13 years now (8 active and 5 reserves). I have never done well on any of the fitness tests. To be honest the only person to blame on that is myself. I believe all branches of services should be held to high standards. Fitness should be no exception. AF should be held to the same standards as the Marines and Army. There are way to many complaints about the new PT standards. Whether you are in the field or sit at a desk you should strive to be in the best shape you can. The military is voluntary last time I checked. If you do not want to comply with the minimal standards that are put out maybe you should look for another line of work. The argument about fit people that can't turn a wrench or AF is the brains is absurd. PT, Evals, and Testing will weed out all the people that cannot meet the standards. I believe that the majority of the people in the AF welcome the new standards and I think the AF should continue to increase standards across the board
—Guest comm ssgt


Wow i love how people talk about the air force like that sorry marine who probably has never been in combat because i have talked to real marines who have been in combat and you learn to respect the air force when we save your ground poundin asses, and yes this pt test is stupid espically having contractors test us, just more tax payers money down the drain. Way to go air force.
—Guest AF NCO

Lipstick on a Pig

The 20 waist, 60 for run, 10 for pushups, 10 for situps scale says that leadership wants low-maintenance airmen; the high-metabolism type who scrape by the pushups and situps. This is sadly my own profile, and makes me frightened that I am the kind of person to be seen as ideal. Ideally, it should be a 40pt 2 mile run, 30pt pushups, 30pt situps. 1.5 is too much of a sprint, and when deployed, we won't be running in the PT uniform, but with pounds of gear, possibly holding another person. For the pushups and situps, the time for completion should be extended to either 1.5 or preferably 2 mins and the minimum scores should be slightly raised. There are plenty of people who can, actually, do 60 pushups, just not within 1 minute. The 1 min mark also encourages sub-standard exercises in hope of getting enough within 1 min. The minimum score for females are too low. What happens when she has pounds of gear and needs me out of harms way?
—Guest Skinny E-2


I guess we should become like all the other branches of the military. Our strength is no longer intelligence but strength. If we wanted the run the mile in 9 minutes or do those pushups and situps, we might as well join the other branches.
—Guest SrA

guest TSgt.

All of you that make the smarta&% comments about the AF Fitness test. Go on back to your perspective services and look at your coloring books. Don't be a hater. You had the opportunity to work smarter and not harder. It's your fault you didn't score high enough on the ASVAB. We choose to work with our minds instead of our brute strength. That's why the AF has the most intelligent force of any in the USA. Remember one thing, life is all about choices. Don't get mad at us when we stay in our motels and you have to stay in a tent. You had the same opportunity.
—Guest dc

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