a RAND Report It followed, and the army made changes, mitigation criteria for women. But while the army ACFT sold as gender neutral As recently as last year, it was always just a mini version of a test developed for young men of high fitness. It is another example of the gap between The overall way the military views and promotes itself And the way it behaves in practice. (To take one example, the so-called “Wake Up” series of ads highlighting soldiers from diverse backgrounds from the past year were unpopular Enough for the military to turn off their comment section.)
However, the new ACFT, as imperfect as it is, may hint at a more complete picture of fitness than its predecessor. “You don’t need to run 10km in combat, you don’t sit there and do a lot of sit-ups,” says Mark Devine, a retired Marine and founder of SealFit, a tactical fitness company that advises the military. 80 pounds on your back and running short distances.” Devine says these maneuvers require “a lot of core strength” and what he calls “toughness” or flexibility — staying out of injuries. By forcing recruits to train movements closest to those frequently repeated in combat—such as sleds, deadlifts, and throws—the ACFT may reduce casualties in the field, as long as the compound movements are done the right way.
Some of these moves may be familiar from weightlifting and CrossFit programs, programs that elite military units have relied on for a while. “The training methods are always dropping out from the elite groups,” Devine says. Elite groups like Divine SEALs and Army Green Berets have been squatting on heavy skates and tractors for years—and take their branch’s core fitness standards for granted. (Green berets, for example, Suggest An excellent score on the two-minute Army test as a baseline entry.)
These high physical standards are, in part, about keeping things challenging and exclusive. “You don’t want to give everyone the secret sauce, if they aren’t willing to search and find out for themselves,” Devine says. In other words, a candidate who enrolls in a 24-week SEALS training course after having already trained on a 400-pound squat has a better chance of success. To stay in shape, elite units and special operations forces – slang for special operations forces – try anything that works. Some adopt their routine from abroad, such as Russia kettlebell trainingSome use heavy weights, others delve into “correcting their mind” through mental techniques such as breathing. Over time, these exercises are declassified, and research spreads: programs flow to reservists, rank and file troopers, and finally to office-based civilians looking to turn their days.
The best example comes from CrossFit: The Murph, a punishing circuit exercise named after fallen SEAL Michael Patrick Murphy. He designed it As a sneaky way to maintain his strength and stamina during a workout, the circuit runs a mile and books 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 aerobic squats, done in under 75 minutes, wearing a heavy body jacket. Adopted by CrossFit in 2000, the workout has become a Memorial Day contest in nearly every gym every year. (Women compete in lightweight jackets.) Simple and punitive, Murph may be CrossFit’s most popular WOD, or workout of the day. Even for people who don’t want anything to do with combat, this is exciting. If you feel like an introduction to the new ACFT, but that simplicity is lost in translation: The Murphy’s low-intervention exercise is designed close to the old push-up and sit-up test. It requires no special equipment and is time tested and not weight tested. As opposed to testing the new army, it is about making do with what is there.