What is the Police Fitness Test and how to Prepare for the Exam?

Last updated 02/2021

The United States Police Departments, across every state, want their police officers to have a good level of fitness. As a result, all applicants are required to take some version of the police fitness test to see if they have the minimum fitness needed to become a part of the force.

Many people want to pursue a career in law enforcement. Yet law enforcement is an extremely physical profession. Thus, candidates wishing to be officers need to pass the police fitness test to prove they are up for the challenge.

No matter which police department you want to join, you will need to tackle and pass the police fitness test. However, the contents of the police fitness test often vary depending on the state and department you are applying to.

For a fully comprehensive resource and police fitness test prep, that teaches you how to prepare for the police test check out Prepterminal’s comprehensive course.

What does the Police Fitness Test Evaluate?

The following physical fitness components are tested as part of the police fitness test:

  • Muscular strength
  • Muscular endurance
  • Aerobic fitness
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Swimming fitness (dependent on state)

You will need to meet a reasonable level of fitness and minimum requirements for each of the above components in order to pass the police fitness test.

Once you begin the police physical test, there is a good chance that you will not be given any breaks between each workout or component testing. As the department wishes to gauge your stamina and endurance in real-time. The police physical test is timed, so it’s important to take this into consideration when you are training.

It is not uncommon for capable candidates to find themselves failing the police fitness test despite having a good physique, stamina, and endurance. This is because candidates often underestimated the police physical fitness test and fall short of the requirement.

Finally, you should familiarize yourself with the types of activities and tasks you will be required to perform in the police physical test. This way you can tailor your fitness and workout to meet the department’s police fitness requirements.

You will need to complete the police fitness test within a set time limit if you want to pass the exam. The police physical test measures your endurance and aerobic fitness, as well as your cardiovascular fitness. It also demands muscular strength.

To prepare for the United States Capitol Police Physical Abilities test you can start by seeing how long it takes you to complete a run of 1.5 miles. If you can complete it within 13:50 minutes or less, you have a good chance of being able to pass this exam within the required time.

Physical Ability Test – Events

The following is a general overview of the Physical Ability Test structure. As mentioned, the police fitness test may vary from department to department and state to state.

Event #1 – Push-Ups

As part of the police physical fitness test, you will need to do push-ups. This test will look at your muscular strength and endurance in relation to your upper body strength. These pushups need to be done in a standard position. This means your feet should be 8-12 inches apart, with your arms fully extended at shoulder width. You need to do push-ups for a full two minutes, and you will be scored on how many pushups you correctly complete.

How to train for police fitness Push-Ups

When you are preparing for this exam, it’s important to make sure that your form is correct. If your form is wrong, the examiner of the police physical test will not count your push-ups.

Event # 2 – Sit-Ups

This test will see if you meet the police physical requirement for your core, or trunk, strength. You are required to lay on your back, with your knees at a 45-60-degree angle. Your feet should be together, and about 18” from your buttocks.

You will need to tuck your chin to your breast and curl forward. Then you will need to return to the starting position in a controlled manner, before continuing. You will have two minutes to complete as many push-ups as you can. Your score will consist of all of the correctly performed sit-ups that you manage to do within that time-frame.

How to train for police fitness Sit-Ups

When you are training for sit-ups, you need to make sure that you follow the requirements carefully to ensure that the sit-ups count towards your score. If the position described above is difficult, then start by practicing doing a half sit-up. Continue building up until you manage to complete full sit-ups consistently.

Event #3 – 1.5 Mile Run

Here you are simply required to run 1.5 miles, without stopping. This test measures your aerobic and cardiovascular capabilities.

How to train for police fitness 1.5 Mile Run

Start by timing yourself and run the 1.5 miles without stopping. Check your time. If you can’t complete the full 1.5 miles without stopping, then you will need to work on this.

Make a note of how far you were able to run, without stopping, and aim to increase your distance until you can run the full 1.5 miles without stopping.

Once you can do this, you need to aim to increase your speed. There is no optimal time, however, you will need to run as fast as possible, to give yourself the best possible chance of passing.

Swimming Requirement

An additional part of police fitness test training is the swimming test. Only some states and departments will use this test as part of the police fitness test. Nevertheless, it is best to be prepared.

The minimum skill set requires you to swim at least 50 yards and tread water for 5 full minutes.

How Can You Prepare for the Police Fitness Test?

Anyone can improve their fitness through practice and training.

You Can Start With:

  • General Weight Training
  • Running Training
  • Muscular Endurance Self-Test
  • Muscular Strength Self-Test

Let’s take a look at each of these elements individually.

General Weight Training

Weight training is a powerful way to build strength and endurance. Make sure that you start slowly and build up to the weight that you need. You need to be able to complete at least one set (8-13 repetitions), using whatever weight you choose. If you want to increase your muscular endurance, then aim for a slightly lower weight, but complete at least 15-20 repetitions.

Running Training

Start by timing yourself and run the 1.5 miles without stopping. Check your time. If you can’t complete the full 1.5 miles without stopping, then you need to first work on this. Make a note of how far you were able to run, without stopping, and keep making notes of this every time, aiming to increase it with every run-through, until you can complete the full 1.5 miles. Once you can do this, you will need to increase your speed with every run.

Muscular Endurance Self-Test

Make sure that you can do at least 33 or more straight-body pushups, within 1 minute. If you can do this, you have a good chance of passing this part of the test.

Muscular Strength Self-Test

Make sure that you can perform one repetition (on the bench press), using weights that are at least 80% of your body weight.

What’s Next?

Contact the police department where you’ll be taking the police fitness test. Check what will be included on your specific police fitness test.

Review our training recommendations and create your own workout routine. Time yourself before you take the actual exam to make sure that you’re ready.

Enroll today to utilize Prepterminal’s comprehensive resource and police fitness test prep, which teaches you everything you need to know to prepare for the police test.

What is the Police Fitness Test and how to Prepare for the Exam?

Last updated 02/2021

The United States Police Departments, across every state, want their police officers to have a good level of fitness. As a result, all applicants are required to take some version of the police fitness test to see if they have the minimum fitness needed to become a part of the force.

Many people want to pursue a career in law enforcement. Yet law enforcement is an extremely physical profession. Thus, candidates wishing to be officers need to pass the police fitness test to prove they are up for the challenge.

No matter which police department you want to join, you will need to tackle and pass the police fitness test. However, the contents of the police fitness test often vary depending on the state and department you are applying to.

For a fully comprehensive resource and police fitness test prep, that teaches you how to prepare for the police test check out Prepterminal’s comprehensive course.

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