Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) Prep Workout

The Army Combat Fitness Test is a new fitness test for Army personnel that will be implemented in October 2020. Do this program to pass it with flying colors.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
8 weeks
60-90 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female
download pdfDownload Workout

Workout Description

The old Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) was designed to test the muscular strength, endurance, and cardiovascular respiratory fitness of soldiers in the United States Army.

The test consists of 2 minutes of push-ups, sit-ups and 2-mile run. This test was introduced to the Army in 1980. In 2018, the Army decided to make a change.

The Army recently tested 2,000 soldiers on The Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT). Taking effect in October of 2020, the ACFT is designed to reduce musculoskeletal injuries and provide leaders with a tough, realistic, field-expedient assessment of the physical component of their soldiers' individual readiness.

There will be six events:

1. Strength Deadlift: With a proposed weight range of 120 to 420 pounds, the deadlift portion of the ACFT will require soldiers to perform a three-repetition maximum deadlift.

2. Standing Power Throw: Soldiers will toss a 10-pound ball backward as far as possible to test muscular explosive power that may be needed to lift themselves or a fellow soldier up over an obstacle or while moving rapidly across uneven terrain.

3. Hand-Release Pushups: In this event, soldiers start in the prone position and do a traditional pushup, but when at the down position they release their hands and arms from contact with the ground before resetting to do another pushup. This allows for additional upper body muscles to be challenged.

4. Sprint/Drag/Carry: As they dash 25 meters five times up and down a lane, soldiers will perform sprints, drag a sled weighing 90 pounds, and then hand-carry two 40-pound kettlebell weights. This can simulate pulling a battle buddy out of harm's way, moving quickly to take cover, or carrying ammunition to a fighting position or vehicle.

5. Leg Tuck: Similar to a pullup, Soldiers lift their legs up and down to touch their knees/thighs to their elbows as many times as they can. This exercise strengthens the core muscles since it doubles the amount of force required compared to a traditional sit-up.

6. 2-mile Run: Same event as on the current test. In the ACFT, run scores are expected to be a bit slower due to all of the other strenuous activity.

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Getting Started with Training for the ACFT

Workout 1 is designed to help strengthen the muscles used for each event on the ACFT in giant set form with little rest. This workout will also work the entire body.

Workout 2 is all about conditioning and core work that will also help your 2 mile run time all while burning fat in the process.

Workout 3 is more strength-training oriented and includes a challenging barbell complex along with more conditioning work.

Workout 4 is all about endurance. Due to the length of the ACFT, you have to get used to maintaining your energy for longer periods. On this day, you will run a mile followed by a bodyweight cardio movement for 1 min repeated 4 times.

Workout 5 is strictly an upper body workout. This workout is included as part of the program to help you shape your muscles to give you that ripped look.

Workout 6 is the final workout of the week and it’s all about legs. This leg workout is an absolute killer.

What will happen?

This workout program will help you be successful on the Army Combat Fitness Test, but will also help you become functionally fit.

You don’t have to be in the Army to do this program. It was designed for anybody willing to take on a challenge and transform their physique.

These workouts will take you to the next level, trust me and give it try.

Workout 1: Total Body
Exercise Sets Reps
A1. Sumo Squats 3-4 12
A2. Lunge Jumps 3-4 12 Each
A3. Forward Lunge 3-4 12 Each
B1. Weighted Jump Squats 3-4 12
B2. Push Press 3-4 12
B3. Tuck Jumps 3-4 12
C1. Dumbbell Floor Press 3-4 10
C2. Incline Barbell Press 3-4 10
C3. 8-Count Push Up 3-4 8
C4. Oblique Push Up 3-4 6-8
D1. Stiff Leg Deadlift 3-4 12
D2. Bent Over Rows 3-4 12
D3. Sprint 3-4 1 Min
E1. Straight Leg Hold 3-4 30 Secs
E2. Tuck-Ins 3-4 30 Secs
E3. Alt Grip Pull Ups 3-4 6-8 Each
2 Mile Run - Timed

Workout 2: Core & Conditioning
Exercise Sets Reps
1 Mile Jog - Warm Up
A1. Walk 10 30 Secs
A2. Jog 10 1 Min
A3. Sprint 10 30 Secs
B1. Plank 10 30 Secs
B2. Plank Left Foot Raises 10 30 Secs
B3. Plank Right Foot Raises 10 30 Secs
B4. Plank Left Arm Raised 10 30 Secs
B5. Plank Right Arm Raised 10 30 Secs
B6. Plank 10 30 Secs

Workout 3: Total Body
Exercise Sets Reps
A1. Stiff Leg Deadlift 6 10
A2. Bent Over Row 6 10
A3. Front Squats 6 10
A4. Push Press 6 10
B1. Renegade Row/Push Up/Tuck Jump 4 10
B2. Plank Jacks/In-Outs 4 10
C1. Wall Sits w/ Dumbbell Curl 21s 4 21s
C2. Diamond Push Ups 4 10

Workout 4: Endurance Training
Exercise Sets Reps
1 Mile Run - -
Wide Pikes 1 1 Min
1 Mile Run - -
Plank to Squats 1 1 Min
1 Mile Run - -
Burpees (without jump) 1 1 Min
1 Mile Run - -
Burpees 1 1 Min

Workout 5: Upper Body Shred
Exercise Sets Reps
A1. Incline Machine Press 4 8
A2. Dumbbell Curls 4 8-12
A3. Push Ups 4 Failure
A4. Hammer Curls 4 12-15
B1. Lateral Raise 4 10
B2. 1 Arm Cable Tricep Pulldown 4 10
B3. Front Raises 4 10
B4. 1 Arm Cable Overhead Extension 4 10
C1. Hammer Strength Lat Pulldown 4 10
C2. Sit Ups 4 30
C3. 1 Arm Dumbbell Row 4 8
C4. Ab Wheel 4 10
D1. Chin Ups 3 10
D2. Dips 3 10
D3. Shoulder Press 3 10
D4. Cross Body Curl 3 10 Each
D5. Tricep Dips 3 10
D6. Toes to Bar 3 10
E1. Jump Rope 10 1 Min
E2. X Jumps 10 30 Secs
E3. Jump Squats 10 25

Workout 6: Leg Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats - 5 Minutes
A1. Elevated Leg Extension 10 Mins 10
A2. Split Squat Jumps - 10
A3. Calf Raises - 30
Leg Extensions 4 25
Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 25
B1. Farmer's Walk 15 Min 50 Meters
B2. Jump Squats - 15
B3. Farmer's Walk - 50 Meters
B4. Lunge Jumps - 15

Last Note

You can take the ACFT before start the program and at the end to see how much improvement you made.

And if you’re not training for that test, this program will still get you great results in 8 weeks.

Whether you are in the military, law enforcement, an athlete or a civilian this program can help take your fitness levels to new heights.

30 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 02/20/2020 - 20:43

Is there a reduced version of this for beginners? This is definitely not a beginner's workout and I would like to start training but know I would probably injure myself trying to complete this all without building up to the full workout.

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Posted Thu, 02/20/2020 - 15:37

If you are unable to perform a chin up or a pull up, what is an alternate event that can help out or how do you utilize bands to assist with these chin ups?

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Posted Tue, 01/21/2020 - 20:36

Greetings. Is there a follow on workout plan you could link after we have completed this for 8 weeks? Or should we continue to keep doing these workouts. Thanks.

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Posted Tue, 01/28/2020 - 16:37
Marcus Wallace
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Posted Sat, 01/04/2020 - 03:13

A realy fun workout. Good challenge. Haven't had sore muscles for 4 to 5 days in a row for a long time.
I love the workouts that cost me more then a hour.

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Posted Thu, 12/12/2019 - 08:26
Georgia Allen

So, just to make sure I’m doing it right, for workout 1 is it: A1, A2, A3 then move on to B1, B2, B3. Or is it A1, B1, C1, etc?

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Posted Mon, 02/24/2020 - 20:03

Can someone answer Georgia Allen? Workout 1: A1,2,3 then B1,2,3 or is it ABCDE 1, then ABCDE 2 , etc... And are you attempting to do all exercises in one workout?

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Posted Wed, 12/04/2019 - 09:02

The is 100% NOT a beginner level workout routine and it would be a very bad idea for beginners to start training at this level.

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Posted Fri, 11/08/2019 - 02:13

At workout 2. Do we do a total 3-minute plank 10 times??

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Posted Sun, 10/27/2019 - 23:34

in day 6 what is X Jumps

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Posted Thu, 08/22/2019 - 14:28
Acie Leslie

For workout 6 are you supposed to squats for 5 minutes straight?

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Posted Mon, 09/16/2019 - 18:34
Marcus Wallace

In the 5 min you get as many reps as you can. For example I put a bar on my back with 135lbs and bang out as man reps as I can then when I rest I keep it on back standing straight up the goal is not the rack the weight the whole 5 min but if you must rack it to rest try not to rest more then 20 sec at a time

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Posted Fri, 08/09/2019 - 14:23

Do you have a document that is printable? The PDF is 15x74 inches which renders it impossible to print.

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Posted Mon, 08/12/2019 - 13:39

Hi James,

Thank you for the feedback. Most people save the PDFs on their phones. We'll see what we can do about adding additional printable ones.

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Posted Wed, 07/10/2019 - 09:53

Can you please explain
Work out 3 B1. Renegade Row/Push Up/Tuck Jump

Are we suppose to do 10 of each before moving to B2 or do we pick 1 of the 3 listed?

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Posted Wed, 07/10/2019 - 13:46

Hi LC,

It represents a circuit. Perform all of the exercises as a circuit.

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Posted Thu, 07/11/2019 - 07:52

So, it is a circuit within a circuit? Isn't B1 and B2 a circuit?

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Posted Wed, 06/05/2019 - 20:03

I start going to boot camp on July 23rd for the Army and I'd like to know on what days I should do each workout and what days I should rest if you can help me out. Also like in Workout 1 would i have to do all the work out? I really need help with this

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Posted Tue, 04/23/2019 - 22:42

I first must say that I’m a daily gym rat. I love to work out and get my sweat on. I’m in the military and so I thought I’d give this program a try to prep me for the new pt test. I’ve been working. Out hard to get ready and thought I was doing good until I started this program lol. I’ve just completed the second week of this workout and it has literally got me crawling! I love it. I have sore muscles that I never thought I had and finally after 5 years of having my kids my butt is gaining shape again (thanks to all those evil jump lunges and jump squats I’ve been avoiding). I e shared your workout with several friends and coworkers and they too love it. I so look forward to the last week to see my new gains. With all that said, I just want to say thank you for putting this together and for helping other achieve new strengths and fitness goals.

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Posted Sat, 06/08/2019 - 10:26

I’m military as well and currently moderately fit.
This program scares me but I’m going to try, lol!
Can you share any recommendations on what weights to start w?

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Posted Wed, 09/18/2019 - 00:04

As for me, I take not the heaviest I can carry but somewhere in the middle and try to work out with it. U will feel if u need a lighter weight to start or u can go heavier. But dont over estimate yourself, I almost messed up my shoulders with jump squats and 20 pounds in each hand, 15 was more than enough. So just listen to your body, that would be my advise.

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Posted Sun, 03/24/2019 - 18:45

So it’s 6 workouts. I’m assuming you do 1 work out a day? or do we do all As 1 day and the next day all Bs?

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Posted Mon, 03/25/2019 - 09:48

Hi TG,

Perform 1 per day with Sunday being your recovery day.

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Posted Sun, 03/24/2019 - 08:55

Hello, I would like to ask you a few questions:
- whether in the 6 days per week, each day is dedicated to each workout;
- each workout should be fully carried out, or the letters have a precise meaning;
- how much time should we rest between sets.

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Posted Mon, 03/25/2019 - 09:55

Hi Francesco,

1. Yes, each day is a dedicated workout.
2. Yes, letters represent supersets and circuits.
3. Rest for 60-90 seconds in between sets and circuits.

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Posted Sat, 03/23/2019 - 20:34

just to clarify, workout 1 is day 1 and so on?

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Posted Mon, 03/25/2019 - 09:56

Hi P,

Yes, that is correct.

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Posted Mon, 03/11/2019 - 09:18
Bryant Davis

It says farmers walk 15 minutes is that correct ?
Also are the sets marked A1 A2 A3 are to be done circuit style with no rest ?

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Posted Mon, 03/11/2019 - 09:36

Hi Bryant,

Workout 6 is full of circuits. You perform the first circuit for 10 minutes doing as many sets as you can of each exercise for the prescribed reps. The second circuit, starting with farmers walk, is 15 minutes.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 01/06/2020 - 16:01
Ahmed Tuba

If I understand it correctly, A1 Walk - Do I walk for 30 sec and rest for 60-9- sec and then again walk 30 sec and so on until I finish the 10 sets?