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Defence Forces Fitness Testing

Physical Fitness is defined as:

"A set of attributes that an individual has or achieves, that relates to their ability to perform physical activity".

Military Fitness is defined as:

"The ability to respond instantly and effectively to the physical and psychological demands of combat with a minimum of distress and to return to a normal healthy state once the demand ceases".

Physical fitness is a basic requirement of Military life. Military life places unique physical and psychological demands on units and individuals. In order to be prepared for these demands the Defence Forces has created a fitness training structure.

Physical fitness training structures comprise of the following:

  • The setting of a standard of physical fitness at all levels of induction.
  • Physical Training during induction to ensure the attainment of the basic standard deemed necessary for military life.
  • PT standards and a testing procedure to ensure those standards are maintained.
  • A specialist Physical Education and Training structure that includes personnel, doctrine and infrastructure to support the PT regime.

Defence Forces Induction Fitness Test

The Physical Fitness test is designed to assess the candidate’s current level of physical fitness and his/her capacity to undergo the rigours of military training. It is composed of three aspects.

Information on Military Fitness Testing

Military Fitness tests in general are conducted in three parts:

Part 1

Body Mass Index (BMI), (Wt/Ht2) is a measurement used in large population studies as an index of obesity due to ease of calculation, and inexpensive and non-invasive nature.

Body Composition

Assessment of % body fat, using the body mass index test and skinfold caliper test (if necessary). Individuals who score in excess of 70mm (Males) or 80mm (Females) on the skinfold caliper test will NOT be permitted to continue with the test. Inductees under the age of twenty (20) should be assessed using the skinfold calipers.

General information on BMI

Body Mass Index checks whether the relationship between ones height and weight is a healthyone.

For Example:

If Gerry is 5’11” (1.80m) and weighs 188lbs (85kg), his BMI is about 26.

If Patricia is 5’4” (1.63m) and weighs 132lbs (60kg), her BMI is about 23.

Please note the following in relation to the BMI readings:

BMI of <20 - May be associated with health problems for some people. It may be a good idea to consult your doctor for advice.

BMI of 20 - 25 - Good health for most people. This is the range you want to stay in.

BMI of 25 - 29.9 - Indicates overweight and may be associated with health problems for some people.

Part 2

Local Muscular and Cardio Vascular Endurance. The Defence Forces Fitness Test outlines the physiological and anthropometrical differences between men and women and the differences that arise due to age.

Each inductee will under go a local muscular endurance test where they are required to complete push-ups and sit-ups under a timed test.

Press Up

  • Hands slightly more than shoulder width apart
  • Hand must remain in original position
  • One straight line from the shoulders to hips to heels
  • Feet may be up to 12 inches apart
  • No twisting of the body
  • You must lock out the elbows.

Modified Push Ups

  • These are done from the knees
  • Hands must remain in original position
  • One straight line from shoulders to hips to knees
  • No bopping of the head
  • No twisting of the body
  • You must lock out the elbows
Test Requirements
Push UpsSit upsTimeRemarks
Male20201 MinPass/Fail Test
Female20201 MinPass/Fail Test
Females may do modified push ups

Aerobic Capacity

Each inductee on completion of the Local Muscular Endurance test is required to complete an Aerobic Capacity test which involves the inductee running a certain distance in a given time. The table below outlines the variopus times and distances for males and females.

Aerobic Capacity Requirements
DistanceMax Time allowedRemarks
Male2.4 Km11 Min 40 SecPass/Fail Test
Female2.4Km13 Min 10 SecPass/Fail Test

Training Program 

We are providing a leaflet that will help prospective candidates in their preparations for the fitness test.

Download the Fitness Test Programme.pdf