Chapter 14 – Army Physical Fitness Test
All soldiers in the Active Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve must take the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) regardless of their age. The APFT is a three-event physical performance test used to assess muscular endurance and cardiorespiratory (CR) fitness. It is a simple way to measure a soldier’s ability to effectively move his body by using his major muscle groups and CR system. Performance on the APFT is strongly linked to the soldier’s fitness level and his ability to do fitness-related tasks. An APFT with alternate test events is given to soldiers with permanent profiles and with temporary profiles greater than three months’ duration.
While the APFT testing is an important tool in determining the physical readiness of individual soldiers and units, it should not be the sole basis for the unit’s physical fitness training. Commanders at every level must ensure that fitness training is designed to develop physical abilities in a balanced way, not just to help soldiers do well on the APFT.
Commanders should use their unit’s APFT results to evaluate its physical fitness level. APFT results may indicate a need to modify the fitness programs to attain higher fitness levels. However, mission-essential tasks, not the APFT, should drive physical training.
Additional physical performance tests and standards which serve as prerequisites for Airborne/Ranger/Special Forces/SCUBA qualification are provided in DA Pam 351-4.