Men's Health

 Fitness and Injury Prevention

Last Updated: June 06, 2023
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​Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT)

The ACFT is the Army official test of record for fitnessExternal Link, the final ACFT revision posted 23 March 2022External Link includes 6 events (dead lift, standing power throw, hand-release push up, sprint-drag-carry, plank, and 2-mile run). 

During ACFT development, key changes included replacing the leg tuck with the plank, a 2.5 mile walk may be used as alternate to the run, and a switch from a single standard to now gender- and age-adjusted standardsExternal Link that are supported by scientific evidence. In the 2022 Health of the Force report page 85, a recent study found that as male service members' age increased, their fitness performance ACFT decreased.

The ACFT replaced the 40-year old Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), a 3 event test (push up, sit up, 2-mile run), in Oct 2022. The ACFT is considered a more robust assessment of various components of fitness than the APFTExternal Link. Going from the APFT to the ACFT was a big change for some during the 3 years of its developmentExternal Link​ – however, basic tactics for preventing injuriesExternal Link are the same.



Fitness Requirements for All Services

Does Body Mass Define Soldier's Fitness?​ news article (2022)

In accordance with the 2022 Department of Defense policy on body compositionExternal Link, all service members “will maintain physical readiness by possessing the necessary body composition and aerobic and anaerobic fitness...to successfully perform in accordance with their service-specific requirements, missions, and military specialties." 

The cornerstone of the DoD policy is the body fat standard that defines the acceptable body composition range for active-duty service members. The percent of a person's body fat, or “%BF," is a scientifically valid physical indicator for assessing health status. The policy differentiates standards for men and women due to well-established physiological gender differences in body fat. Active-duty men must maintain %BF between 18 and 26, and women must maintain %BF between 26 and 36.​


Injury Prev​ention

Injuries, especially overuse musculoskeletal injuries, are the leading cause for active-duty medical visits. Evaluate your personal situation – are you injury prone?External Link Learn about injuries caused by military activities such as physical training, ruck marching, parachuting, weight training and other causes, and how to reduce risk. Click HERE for factsheets and articles.