Preparing for the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT)
BookPreparing for the Army Combat Fitness Test is the ideal resource to help you assess your readiness and train for the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT). Because soldiers operate on a three-dimensional battlefield where physical demands are often variable and unpredictable, the Army’s revised physical test provides a more diverse measurement of a soldier's physical abilities than its predecessor. But if you are one of the 200,000 annual recruits or the 1.2 million active duty soldiers who must pass these new protocols, this diverse test may bring anxiety and uneasiness.
That is where this essential guide can help. Backed by the expertise of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), Preparing for the Army Combat Fitness Test is the first book on the market to address the requirements of the ACFT and provide you with the tools you need to be prepared for testing day. Consisting of six events—the 3 Repetition Maximum Deadlift, Standing Power Throw, Hand Release Push-Up–Arm Extension, Sprint-Drag-Carry, Leg Tuck, and Two-Mile Run—the ACFT will test physical characteristics that you can develop and cultivate with the training guidelines in this book. For each testing event, you’ll find a description of the test, instructions on performing the test safely and effectively, and scoring standards so you know the minimum performance requirements to pass and avoid being disqualified on testing day.
To begin, you will be guided through a self-assessment that will allow you to determine your current readiness and select a training program to maximize your performance outcomes. A variety of sample training plans are provided so you can select a plan based on how much time you have to prepare for the ACFT and the amount of time you have available to train. Choose from 24-, 12-, 8-, or 4-week plans that contain workouts for two, three, four, or five days a week.
Setup and execution guidelines are provided for over 100 exercises, so you can safely and effectively execute the exercises assigned within your training program. Accompanying photos visually demonstrate how to perform the exercises. If you don’t have access to the necessary equipment for the primary exercises, suggestions are offered for replacement exercises that are similar in movement and training outcome.
Completing this comprehensive training resource is valuable supplemental information about nutrition, hydration, physical and mental recovery, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The ACFT does not have to feel overwhelming. With a good preparation plan and commitment to training, you can show up on test day with confidence. Preparing for the Army Combat Fitness Test will give you the edge you need to excel and achieve your best on the Army Combat Fitness Test.
Get more help from the app!
Looking for additional resources to make sure you are in peak condition for the test? The Volt Athletics training app, which is available separately, provides programming based on this book that you can use to help with your training. A special promo code and instructions for downloading the app are included in the book.
AudienceArmy recruits and soldiers preparing to take the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT); strength and conditioning professionals working with tactical populations
Table of ContentsPart I. All About the ACFT
Chapter 1. The Army Combat Fitness Test
Chapter 2. 3 Repetition Maximum Deadlift
Chapter 3. Standing Power Throw
Chapter 4. Hand Release Push-Up–Arm Extension
Chapter 5. Sprint-Drag-Carry
Chapter 6. Leg Tuck
Chapter 7. Two-Mile Run
Part II. The Science Behind Training
Chapter 8. Training Principles
Chapter 9. Components of Performance
Part III. Preparation and Programming
Chapter 10. Your Current State of Readiness
Chapter 11. Training Plan Considerations
Chapter 12. Sample Training Plans
Part IV. Workout and Exercise Descriptions
Chapter 13. Warm-Up
Chapter 14. Power Exercises
Chapter 15. Lower Body Pulling Exercises
Chapter 16. Lower Body Pushing Exercises
Chapter 17. Upper Body Pulling Exercises
Chapter 18. Upper Body Pushing Exercises
Chapter 19. Trunk Exercises
Chapter 20. Conditioning
About the EditorNate Palin, MS, CSCS, is the tactical strength and conditioning program manager for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Prior to his transition to the strength and conditioning profession, he served as a leader in the 2nd Ranger Battalion for seven years. Over the course of five combat deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Palin experienced the military’s performance shortcomings and observed the need for enhanced physical training to better support mission critical tasks. These experiences drove him to begin his coaching career in 2010, narrowing his focus to tactical strength and conditioning as a performance specialist for EXOS in Washington, D.C., in 2012. He coached Special Operations Forces at Joint Base Lewis-McChord from 2015 to 2018.
Rob Hartman, MAEd, CSCS, serves as a strength and conditioning professional who is contracted to implement, analyze, and guide numerous aspects of the Special Operations Human Performance Program at the unit level. He began his career servicing the Special Operations community in late 2010, spending the first six years with the 1st Special Forces Group and more recent years working with the Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
Reviews"The ACFT will change how people need to train and prepare to test for the Army, and this is the book we've been waiting for! Nate and Rob have the combination of experience and knowledge needed to train soldiers to meet the physical demands of the job and succeed in this assessment."
—Hunter Schurrer, Coach and Founder of The Performance Syndicate
“The ACFT was a great step in establishing readiness standards as the tactical landscape evolves to produce and maintain healthier soldiers. This book serves as a map . . . The context given and breadth of provided programs will prove to be nothing less than a trailhead for every soldier looking to start or improve their path of performance and wellness.”
—Vernon Griffith, CSCS*D, TSAC-F*D, Coach, Author, and Speaker
ExcerptsExercise execution for your test prep
Hand Release Push-Up–Arm Extension (HRP)
What to expect from the Army Combat Fitness Test
Articles & LinksGet More Help With The App!
Sample Content3 Repetition Maximum DeadliftSoldiering Tasks and Corresponding Exercise ExamplesTwo-Mile Run
Excellent book. Well written, scientifically based, and to the point. Will undoubtedly help you reach your ACFT goals
I like that the authors give historical and significance of the changes of the Army Fitness test and the underlying scientific concepts related to biomechanics and physiology. I appreciate the three levels of fitness geared towards different fitness levels for exercises to be adapted towards individuals. While not a replacement for a certified strength coach, the book can help individuals or unit commanders and leaders identify weaknesses in their readiness and train accordingly.