This article discusses the requirements for passing the PFT, provides insight into the more difficult aspects of the test, and provides a summary of Sand & Steel’s services that will help you pass the test.Information for this article comes from the author’s own knowledge of CrossFit and Personal Training with specific reference to the FBI PFT materials.
Requirements to Pass the FBI PFT
Passing the PFT requires that you accumulate at least twelve points with at least one point in three events and no less than a zero in any event. Scoring a negative score in any of the four events is a failure. TRP candidates must score at least 20 points and must also complete the fifth event, pullups.
FBI Physical Fitness Test Events:
- Sit-ups for maximum reps in one minute
- Timed 300-meter sprint
- Pushups for maximum reps
- Timed 1.5-mile run
- Pullups for maximum reps
Training Options to Help You Pass the PFT Test:
- Personal Training: Our strength and conditioning program was specifically designed to help members succeed in the ACFT, FLETC, local police force, and the FBI tests. Paul, the author, built this program for the sole purpose of helping members improve situps, sprinting, pushups, running, and pull-ups. As those five movements patterns are helpful to non-military as well, the Strength & Conditioning program is well suited for intermediate to advanced athletes. Sand and Steel’s Strength & Conditioning Program focuses on improving bodyweight strength, speed, and explosiveness.
- CrossFit: our CrossFit program is especially well suited to improve core strength, burst speed, and shoulder strength. We incorporate pullups, pushups, and sit-ups every week.
- Specialty Classes: Our Arms OCR class is specifically designed to improve shoulder strength, FireFlow yoga improves the core and single leg stability, Butts and Guts will build the sprint speed and core strength, Trail Running will provide the endurance. The FBI physical fitness test is a quality, well balanced exam. Of course, our specialty classes cover these exercises. With over 30% of our members working for the government, military, or police, we build out programming to support our member’s goals.
- Workout Plans: Want to do our Strength & Conditioning program on your own? Just sign-up for our Workout Plans membership.
In March, Sand and Steel will be hosting a live PFT test. You’ll be able to get scored and recommendations on training for those events that are challenging for you. Just be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to receive an invitation.
PFT Male vs Female Scaling
The harder events for most people will be the 1.5 mile run and the pushups. Male versus female scaling for the pushups and sprint are accurate based on the average population. Many females are very fast at the 1.5 mile distance and strong at sit-ups in under a minute. Most likely there is no need for a different standard in those events. Some organizations like the Army don’t apply a different standard for women as a woman is expected to do the same work as a man. Other organizations recognize that men will be faster or stronger at some physical tests and so it’s better to have different scalings. If opportunity to be employed is the goal, it’s probably best to have different male / female standard. If public safety is the main goal, probably one standard is better.
PFT Test Biases and Overall Comments
With just 4 or 5 exercises, the PFT does a good job of balancing test difficulty with effectiveness. The exercises require little skill to perform. Taller athletes will generally outperform shorter athletes on this because of the run. However shorter athletes maintain an advantage on situps and pushups. The main weakness of the test is that it does not test strength in the Creatine Phosphate system like ACFT does. Paul would like to see a 3 or 5 max rep deadlift on this test as well. But that would require a lot more equipment and the challenges associated with a hex bar versus a standard barbell. As a consequence leaner athletes will outperform strength athletes on this test. Still a power athlete, like Paul, can still do very well on this test. As a baseline assessment for qualifying for a position, it’s a good test and easier to administer fairly.
Bent knee with bottoms of feet on the floor (not butter-fly style.) In addition, a partner acts as assist by anchoring-down your feet (this makes the situ-up much easier.) Sit-ups are performed with the arms crossed. Elbows touch mid-thigh and shoulder blades touch the floor.
Compared the CrossFit standard ab-mat sit-up, the FBI PFT sit-up has a much shorter range of motion and greater leverage. It is significantly easier than the CrossFit standard. With this easier variation, the author, Paul, can easily score 75+ reps in the time allotted.
The FBI test unlike the ACFT and other related tests has candidates run the 300M sprint on a track. The 300 meter sprint is an excellent test of anaerobic lactic (glycolytic) energy system. Sprinting takes a combination of technique, practice, and training to perform at peak levels.
Paul, the author, is a trained sprinter and can run a 300m dash on a track in 38-39 seconds. Doing so requires practice, glycolytic threshold training, yoga, and single leg stability work. While everyone can run, there is quite a lot of technique that goes into sprinting efficiently. At 200m+ efficiency becomes critical.
|-2||>67.5 (seconds)||>55.1 (seconds|
The FBI test uses the classic style pushups which allows rebounding off the chest. Like other tests, they are looking for an unbroken effort.
Paul, the author, is especially strong at pushups (boasting a bench press well over 315 lbs). Nevertheless, knocking out 71 plus pushups in a row is no small feat. As compared to the sit-ups and sprint, this test is more difficult to score a perfect 10.
1.5 Mile Run:
1.5 miles is a common distance among armed forces and is a logical distance to include when performing field tests… too long to sprint, but not so long to take too much time.
Although an avid trail-runner and obstacle course racer, long distance running has never been Paul’s strongest metric. Paul’s best 1.5 mile time is 10:30 putting him around 5 out of 10.
The pull-up test requires a basically strict pull-ups. The test calls for no swinging or jerking of the body or use of the legs in an effort to propel the body upward. So strict or mostly strict pull-ups will be needed.
20 strict pull-ups is challenging, but not to the same degree as the pushups. Most Rx CrossFit athletes can easily push through this number of pull-ups. Strength to body-weight ratio being the crucial factor on pullups. 0-1 pull-ups nets men a score of zero… interesting choice and one that I’d agree with. Muscling out one pullup for a man shouldn’t score you much. They get harder after the second rep.
FBI PFT Final Thoughts
Overall, the PFT is a well-balanced, well thought out test. Sand & Steel’s personal training and CrossFit programs are well adapted to help score extremely high on this exam and help you set a standard of excellence as you begin your FBI career. Consider reserving a Welcome Pack today, and we’ll take you through the test, find you baseline score, and help you prepare for this test.