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Coach Joel is crushing it! (Army Combat Fitness Test)

My first ACFT went well.... but I definitely have a few areas that need improvement. It started on a Wednesday morning. We woke up around 4am, did some warmup drills, and headed down to the testing area. It was a warm morning, but we'd had a lot of rain the previous few days, so the ground was saturated and muddy.


The first exercise in the test is a hex bar deadlift. We were given a few minutes to warm up with different weights before our test. For the test, you needed to complete 3 repetitions of the weight of your choice with proper form and control. Back in February 2020, Pre Covid, I was working with sets of 330lbs, but with gyms shut down, I hadn't been able to do a single repetition. After warming up and testing some weights, I decided to shoot for 280lbs. I completed 3 reps successfully, but I was nearly maxed out... that's what happens when you can't train specifically for something. The max for the test is 340lbs, so I scored 86/100 points on that test.


The second exercise I did was the power throw. You stand with your back to a measured lane and try to throw a 10lbs med ball as many meters behind you as possible. This was my worst event unfortunately. I was only marked as having reached the 8.6 meter mark which was only good enough for 74/100. Obviously I have some work to do in order to raise that number. 12.5 meters is the max, and I want to max it all.

Hand release push ups were our next event. For these hand releases, you have to extend your arms out fully to the sides to compete your rep properly. I chose two strategies on this event. Both were the wrong choices. The first was not counting my reps as I went through the test. I figured I'd just focus on my form, but not counting the reps took away some extra motivation that comes from shooting for the next highest number. My second mistake was sliding my hands along the ground during the arm extension portion of the exercise. We were tested on concrete for those hand release push ups, so the friction of my hands on the ground slowed me down. I finished with 49 hand release push ups in 2 minutes for a score of 89/100. Next time I'll correct my mistakes and push for the 60 reps necessary to max that exercise.

Next was the Sprint, Drag, Carry. This event is a bit more than the name suggests. You sprint down a lane and back, then drag a 90lbs sled down and back. Then you laterally shuffle down and back where you pick up two 40lbs kettlebells to carry down and back. Finally, you finish it off with one more sprint down and back. Unfortunately, for testing day, the lanes were very muddy, so it made for poor traction and a difficult sled drag. Overall, considering the conditions and it being my first ever attempt at this event, I was okay with my results. I completed it in 1:58 total. I have no doubt I can bring that number down a good chunk and reach the 1:40 max for the event. I scored 82/100


The next event was the leg tuck. It's similar to a hanging leg raise, but you have your knees coming all the way up to your elbows, and there has to be a slight bend in your elbows for each rep to count. Your grip is also staggered so that your hands face in toward each other. To max out this event, I needed to perform 20 tucks in two minutes or less. I don't know how long it took me , but I maxed it in a very timely manor. 100/100.


The final event for the ACFT is a two mile run. When I first got to basic training, a few days in, they tested our two mile time and I completed it in 12:49. I was pretty happy with that time overall since my running (as you may have read in a previous race recap) had been extremely limited for 8 weeks. Well, for the ACFT I dropped a 12:15 two miler. For someone who has trained for distance and not speed the past two years, I was very pleased with that outcome. It was actually my fastest two miler ever.... out of all three attempts. Next time, I'm aiming for close to 12:00 even, and I know I can drop under 12:00 in time. Either way, the max for this test was 13:30 and under, so it was 100/100.


Wish me luck, and send prays my way that I would remain injury free and able to excel.

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