The Army has launched a revised Army Combat Fitness Test with age- and gender-grouped standards and a 2.5-mile walk, effective this Friday. And Redstone Arsenal’s renovated track is the perfect place to train for the new alternate aerobic event.
The asphalt track on Patton Road is lined but not finished. However, it will be sufficient for testing.
“It needs to be surfaced with a rubberized material,” Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Juan Jimenez said. “When they apply the new surface, it’ll need a couple of days to cure. So, they’re waiting for good weather.
“It is good to use, now.”
The facility also includes a storage building and artificial turf for exercises.
“The building houses ACFT equipment,” Jimenez said. “Deadlift equipment, sleds, balls; things they’ll need for testing.”
The Army said the revised test is based on feedback from Soldiers, an independent study, a review of nearly 630,000 ACFT scores, and more than three years of analysis.
Soldiers will begin taking diagnostic tests in April and regular scoring will begin in October, giving active-duty Soldiers six months to train, the Army said. Scores for National Guard and Reserve begin next April, giving those Soldiers a year to train.
Another change in the testing is the elimination of the leg-tuck exercise; it is being replaced by the plank as the sole core-strength event. The change was made when test data showed the plank is a more accurate measure of core strength.
“The leg tuck was not an accurate predictor of core strength for all Soldiers, as it requires a minimum prerequisite upper body strength that made it impossible to measure core strength across all Soldiers commensurately,” the Army said. “We are using the plank as the sole exercise to assess core strength, using recognized standards from the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy as a baseline and modifying the scales based on Army requirements.”
The Army said the 2.5-mile walk was added “to support Soldiers who are physically unable to perform the other alternate events and for those in locations without the equipment or facilities needed for the alternate row, bike or swim events.”
Jimenez said units who want to train with the equipment should contact Capt. Hunter Wilson or 1st Sgt. Erika Vargas with Headquarters & Headquarters Company, Aviation and Missile Command.
The Army has released an ACFT training guide and an app with training plans and exercises. The ACFT YouTube page also has videos of exercises to help prepare for the ACFT. Information is available at https://atn.army.mil/prt#acft and www.milsuite.mil/book/groups/h2facft.