New Army Combat Fitness Test - (ACFT) - A Strength Based Approach New Army Combat Fitness Test - (ACFT) - A Strength Based Approach

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Thread: New Army Combat Fitness Test - (ACFT) - A Strength Based Approach

  1. #1
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    Nov 2019
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    Post New Army Combat Fitness Test - (ACFT) - A Strength Based Approach

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    Good afternoon community,

    I would be very interested to hear / thoughts I would like to have about the new format of the Army Combat Fitness Test. In quite a bit of the Starting Strength videos / podcasts, I know Rip has been especially vocal about his opinion on military "fitness" programs (they're terrible, I'm a part time soldier, and I know how bad they are). I would like to see what the opinion of the SS community here is on the subject matter.

    Is anyone here training to do well on it or has taken it?

    Army Combat Fitness Test

    I will be curious to see how I do next year on this utilizing a strength approach. Would love to hear some thoughts on this subject matter from athletes / soldiers.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2019
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    So my concerns with this.....

    Which exercises are administered first - last in the test?
    Will you be allowed to warm-up the deadift? Or are you supposed to show up and deadlift 300lbs cold?
    Who is going to teach the hundreds of thousands of people to properly execute this lift w/o getting hurt?

    I am glad to see the US Army take strength training serious. However, with 6 exercises being tested, I feel like they're to fit 5lbs of shit in a 10lb bag. I think 2-3 strength exercises, and the run, would more than sufficient.

  3. #3
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    It's not a deadlift. It's a trap-bar pull.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2019
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    It's 6 events, overly simplified:
    Hand Release version of pushups
    Overhead medicine ball toss with 10 lb ball
    Trap Bar Dead Lift
    Leg Tuck (A pull-up with a leg tuck)
    A sprint / shuttle / drag event
    2 mile run at the end

    It's better than the previous APFT, actually makes me a bit more excited to take a PT test, but I still completely agree that military needs to adopt SS model. I was a bit older going into Basic Training a few years ago (32) but I was able to outperform most of the kids there except a few of the freak runners because I had a good strength base going in. It'll help for this test, and this is definitely a step in the right direction.

    The 2 mile test is dead last. That'll be fun in a fatigued state, which is by design.

  5. #5
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    As administered to me a few months ago, order was:

    TB Pull
    Ball Throw
    HR Push Ups
    Shuttle-thingy
    Leg Tuck
    2MR

    Re: Pulling 300lbs cold on the TB. The position of the pull is advantageous; I found I didn't need a warmup. But the last FM I read allows a self-paced 10-minute warmup to the pull event. Mind you, the recommended warmup protocol is retarded (To quote, "Soldiers are encouraged to execute several repetitions at ... 25% - 50% of 3 Repetition Maximum"), but that's only recommended. You can do your 10 minutes as you wish.

    Last I heard from the field (locally; I don't have global info) the real failure-producer remains the leg-tuck, because reasons. Nobody's having trouble with the pull (because to pass as an *infantryman,* you only need to do a triple at about 90% of my wife's current Conventional-DL 5RM, for heaven's sake).

    This is definitely 10lbs of stuff in a 5lb sack, agreed.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2019
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    Iím not gonna train specifically for it, other than increasing my conditioning about a month prior to testing really, but gonna let a basis of strength training be the approach and see how everything comes out. Thanks for the analysis of what you observed in the field.

  7. #7
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    I showed up to my first ACFT (I am in a H2F test battalion) in June this year after waking at 0330 to squat heavy and deadlift for volume. At 0615, I drove to the test site. I walked up and maxed the deadlift, threw the ball 11.7m, maxed the sled drag, did 53 push-ups (these are harder than they look and this was the day after benching 375 for a single), maxed the leg tucks, and ran an easy 15:45 2 mile. I did the leg tuck a few times before the event to get used to it but never more than about 8 reps.

    The guy with the highest score in the battalion scored a 585. He lost all the points on the run. He never runs, but he pulls in the high 700s and squats low 600s. His workout consists of squat, bench, deadlift, and some accessories.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Morris View Post
    I showed up to my first ACFT (I am in a H2F test battalion) in June this year after waking at 0330 to squat heavy and deadlift for volume. At 0615, I drove to the test site. I walked up and maxed the deadlift, threw the ball 11.7m, maxed the sled drag, did 53 push-ups (these are harder than they look and this was the day after benching 375 for a single), maxed the leg tucks, and ran an easy 15:45 2 mile. I did the leg tuck a few times before the event to get used to it but never more than about 8 reps.

    The guy with the highest score in the battalion scored a 585. He lost all the points on the run. He never runs, but he pulls in the high 700s and squats low 600s. His workout consists of squat, bench, deadlift, and some accessories.
    Thanks for citing specifics sir! This test sure looks a lot more relevant than our old format, and I figured the highest scoring people would most likely lose all their points on the run. Unless someone is a freak, most people probably won't max the run and the other 5 events, so I'd rather focus on strength related tasks. Is your 15:45 run based on limited conditioning? I honestly don't run anymore, nor will I expend the energy training to get that thing down below 14:00 again (if it happens due to getting stronger also, awesome, if not, oh well). I muscled out a 15:48 last PT test after having not ran for a 2-3 months, which I still think is solid for not conditioning whatsoever.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Levy View Post
    Thanks for citing specifics sir! This test sure looks a lot more relevant than our old format, and I figured the highest scoring people would most likely lose all their points on the run. Unless someone is a freak, most people probably won't max the run and the other 5 events, so I'd rather focus on strength related tasks. Is your 15:45 run based on limited conditioning? I honestly don't run anymore, nor will I expend the energy training to get that thing down below 14:00 again (if it happens due to getting stronger also, awesome, if not, oh well). I muscled out a 15:48 last PT test after having not ran for a 2-3 months, which I still think is solid for not conditioning whatsoever.
    My 15:45 was simply due to the fact that I give zero shits about my run time and I paced myself to run 2:00 per lap since I had squatted and deadlifted earlier that morning. I didnít want to really put out on the run and be sore the next day.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Will Morris View Post
    My 15:45 was simply due to the fact that I give zero shits about my run time and I paced myself to run 2:00 per lap since I had squatted and deadlifted earlier that morning. I didnít want to really put out on the run and be sore the next day.
    That is literally the exact mindset I did. 2 minute laps, and just took off on the last lap. I don't hold a lot of value in running two miles really fast. Zero shits given about run time. Thank you sir.

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