New army PT test: Too much for unfit soldiers?

A diagram of one of the new tests the U.S. Army unveiled this week announcing their new PT test
A diagram of one new fitness test being implemented by the U.S. Army.
U.S. Army

(CBS/AP) - There's fit, and then there's Army fit. And now the Army's fitness demands are getting a lot tougher.

After declaring last summer that some new recruits were "too fat to fight," the U.S. Army announced this week that it is revamping its physical fitness tests - a.k.a. the "PT test" - updating its old test with new challenges.

In the old PT test - in use since 1980 - soldiers were required to complete two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups, and a two-mile run, according to written statement released by the Army.

The new PT dispenses with the sit-ups and two-mile run, substituting a 1.5-mile run, sprints, agility courses, rowing, and other exercises that measure anaerobic rather than aerobic ability. The Army believes the shorter, higher-intensity tests will better assess recruits' ability to perform under fire.

Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who heads Army training, said the fitness test had to be revamped because repetitive exercises like sit-ups don't translate into survival on the battlefield.

"Soldiers like to be challenged, Hertling told the Associated Press. "This will definitely challenge them."

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