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
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration8 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout60-90 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Recommended Supps
  • Workout PDF Download 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.

Posted on: Sat, 04/08/2023 - 10:55

I love this program. I have bit problems with my feets, so with time I have pain. Can you recommend an alternative for endurance training? Obviously, I'm not training for the Army, of course.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 04/18/2023 - 13:11

Hard to make a recommendation without knowing what is causing the pain. I suggest you talk to your doctor to find out what's wrong, then consider whatever alternatives the physician recommends.

Posted on: Tue, 05/31/2022 - 10:40

Can I do this training program even if I am not preparing for the army and just want to get stronger and look like an athlete and even gain muscle mass?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 05/31/2022 - 10:49

You sure can! Give it a go, and let us know how it works out for you. You could help someone else that wants to try it based on your results.

Posted on: Tue, 07/20/2021 - 20:46

What's with the A1 B1 etc etc

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 07/21/2021 - 11:22

Hey Murf - those indicate supersets

Posted on: Thu, 07/15/2021 - 06:28

This is a workout made by someone already in shape in total disregard for someone that hasn't trained, doesn't go to the gym, or have that equipment available.
So if you are looking at this workout and you don't go to the gym already or are in decent shape, I suggest you start by going to the gym at least a full months and do all compound movements first to get your body breaking but also to adjust to having to sleep at least 7 hours to recover.
Remember that muscle grows during recovery. If you start this workout and you are in the Army and don't sleep much, you will be hurting and probably hurt yourself.
Also if you are in your 40s studies show that weight lifting over an hour works against you, so right off the bad the first day of this workout is killing that and that one day requires a lot of recovery, so on day one I suggest to sleep 8hrs. I take it that is why day two is aerobic because day 3 you are deadlifting in a circuit of SIX sets?
This workout will get ANYBODY in awesome shape in 8 weeks. All I am going to say is that you need to get at least 7 hrs of sleep and meal prep on the 7th day. DO NOT cut on your carbs. If you are doing all these supersets you will need your rice and red potatoes to fuel your body. Get a bunch of avocados and nuts to have your good fats. Make like 6 pounds of chicken and put it in a container for the whole week.
I would also suggest getting a bottle of BCAA, fish oil, Magnesium, B6/12 and Zinc. After each workout drink a glass of chocolate milk.

Did I mention you have to sleep? Having a home gym seems like a great idea after reading this especially if you have a family and working long days too.

BTW... sleep and drink lots of water!

Darrion Bivens
Posted on: Wed, 07/21/2021 - 11:26

Would you mind emailing me.

Samantha Marcellus
Posted on: Sun, 03/21/2021 - 12:35

I notice the list goes “A1, A2, B1, B2” etc. What does that mean?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 03/22/2021 - 09:21

Hey Samantha - the letters denote supersets. A1 is supersetted with A2, B1 is supersetted with B2, and so on.

Darrion D Bivens
Posted on: Thu, 12/24/2020 - 09:45

Hi, I have been doing this with my wife and we both lost a about 10 pounds of lean body mass and only 2 pound of fat. I'm very disappointed. I'm assuming the reason is because we put our self in a 500 calorie deficit and did this work out. How many calories do these work out burn.. should we not be in a caloric deficit?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 12/28/2020 - 09:41

Hey Darrion - the calories burned in this workout will vary from person to person. Because this workout is intense, I would recommend eating at maintenance calories while doing this workout. This will help minimize lean body mass loss.

Posted on: Tue, 06/09/2020 - 22:44

Is there a workout to add into or dedicated to help with lats/pull ups. Works are great definitely a great way to wake me up in the morning but I need help with my pull-ups/leg tucks.

Posted on: Sat, 01/16/2021 - 07:15

Hi Doug, I was able to complete 11 let tucks in Basic and 13 in AIT. Climbing drills really do help. Also, Pilates are great for the core and I’ve been practicing for 16 years.

Posted on: 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.

Posted on: 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?

Posted on: Wed, 05/27/2020 - 11:43

you can use pull up bands or resistance bands. They will hold some of your weight so your pullup won't include all of your body weight. if your gym doesn't have them you can buy them online. They usually come in packs and you can use more than one at a time if you need that extra help. When your strength improves you can take away a band at a time until you are able to do a pull up on your own

Posted on: 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.

Marcus Wallace
Posted on: Tue, 01/28/2020 - 16:37
Posted on: 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.

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

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?

Posted on: 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?

Posted on: Wed, 05/27/2020 - 11:47

Each letter represents a superset. A is the first superset. Do all the exercises in the first superset and repeat the superset for the quantity specified for that superset. Then move onto the next superset, B, and so forth. If you watch the videos they explain it a little

Posted on: 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.

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

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

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

in day 6 what is X Jumps

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

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

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

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

Posted on: 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.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: 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.

Posted on: 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?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 07/10/2019 - 13:46

Hi LC,

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

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

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

Posted on: 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

Posted on: 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.

Posted on: 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?

Posted on: 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.

Posted on: 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?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 03/25/2019 - 09:48

Hi TG,

Perform 1 per day with Sunday being your recovery day.

Posted on: 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.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: 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.

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

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

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 03/25/2019 - 09:56

Hi P,

Yes, that is correct.

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

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 ?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: 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!

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

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?