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News > Feature - New Fitness Test around the corner
New Fitness Test around the corner

Posted 6/2/2010   Updated 6/2/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by 2nd Lt. Ashleigh Peck
Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs


6/2/2010 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Less than one month away, the new Air Force Fitness program will go into effect July 1. Thereafter, tests will be conducted twice a year.

According to Air Force Instruction 36-2905 chapter 2.1, members must earn a composite score of 75 or greater, and meet the minimum component scores in each category.

Trained civilian employees will conduct fitness tests.

"In my opinion, the biggest challenge in July will be the abdominal circumference and push-ups," said Brian Killen, Joint Base Charleston exercise physiologist.

Mr. Killen suggests that individuals record their push-ups so they can see their form and make sure the upper arm is parallel to the floor in order to guarantee pushups will meet standards. In order for Airmen to decrease their run time, Mr. Killen suggested a specific type of run pattern.

"The fastest way to decrease your run time is to incorporate interval running," he said.

Under the new standards, the aerobic run will count for 60 percent of the test and body composition will count for 20 percent. Under the old standard, they counted for 50 and 30 percent, respectively. The sit-ups and push-ups remain at 10 percent each. The new standards have differently valued waist measurements and 15 seconds, rather than 30, separating run scores.

"Only meeting the minimum in each category will result in a failure," said Mr. Killen.

According to AFI 36-2905.2.1, the minimum components are established to ensure that members test adequately in all components rather than excelling in some and disregarding others.

"People should be cross training throughout the year instead of just concentrating on the components of the test," said Mr. Killen.

According to AFI 36-2905 attachment 2.2, the fundamental goal of a physical fitness program is to bring about a change in personal health and fitness behavior, which includes, at a minimum, habitual physical activity. This regular physical activity should result in long-term exercise compliance and attainment of individual fitness goals and objectives.

"With bi-annual testing, members cannot afford to not workout. To maintain fitness levels, one must workout 4 to 6 days a week, every week," said Killen.

The new standards were originally set to go into effect Jan. 1, but a six-month delay was a result of feedback obtained from the field that found implementing the new program in July 2010 would lead to a smoother transition.

"We were given a six-month reprieve for the new standards so there are no excuses in my books. The taxpayers expect their warriors to be fit, it's one of the minimum standards of our profession, get fit or find a more suitable line of work," said 437th Airlift Wing Command Chief Terrence Greene.

Information on the Air Force fitness program can be found online at www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/affitnessprogram/index.asp.

This fitness AFI is the first to cover the total force of active duty Airmen.

Master Sgt. Russell Petcoff contributed to this article



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