That age-old adage, “many are called but few are chosen” has never been truer than in the selection of a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI requires a future Special Agent to pass this fitness test upon application and again when the candidate is admitted to the academy.
Stamina, Speed, and Strength Test Requires Passing Four Physical Activities
There are several assessments to hurdle such as the interview, polygraph, physical standards, and aptitude tests but the most difficult to pass to date is the new FBI Physical Fitness Test for recruits. The percentage of failure for the first attempt at passing the new physical fitness examination has been pegged at an alarming 50%, a rate that seems to be common in other sectors of law enforcement.
The FBI test wasn’t meant to be difficult per se; it was designed to weed out the chaff from the wheat to get the best people to do one of the most complicated and demanding jobs in the world. According to recruiter Jim Knights, “the biggest problem” that the FBI has regarding new agents is physical fitness.
The Gist of the Physical Fitness Test
Instead of a security interview, applicants now have to undergo a physical fitness test before they can even attend the academy at Quantico. Applicants must pass the test with the next 45 days after they report to the academy. The test requires the applicant to have stamina, speed, and strength. And these should be proven with four categories of physical activities.
To prepare for the expected rigors of the FBI fitness test you should be aware of the extent of the stamina and strength it would require from you. This is a gist of the test comprised of the following physical activities:
- Push-up with a maximum of 71 push-ups.
- Timed sprint of 300 meters.
- Sit-up of as many as possible in one minute.
- Timed run of 1.5 miles.
It goes without saying that you have to already be physically fit to some degree before you go through the test; if you have any existing medical conditions such as hypertension or diabetes, it is unlikely that you can perform the mentioned physical activities ideally, much more complete them with passing marks.
Gauge Your Stamina and Strength
To pass the fitness test, you must score 12 points according to the FBI’s scoring scale. To ace the fitness test, you must have a strategy on how it works; the only way to find that out is to gauge your stamina and strength before the actual test is conducted.
Passing the test will gain the applicant admission to the FBI academy, but this doesn’t necessarily mean there wouldn’t be any other FBI fitness requirements in the horizon.In fact, the challenge of pull-ups for completion is also given, albeit it isn’t classified as the program’s “pass/fail” requirement.
The Sit-Ups, Timed Sprint, Push-Ups and the Timed Run
For women, between 41 and 46 sit-ups should be completed in under a minute while for men, this number would be between 43 and 47. On a scoring scale of 0 to 10, you have to obtain a 3 or 4 rating in order to pass each of the four physical activities.
In order to obtain a score of a 3 or 4 points, practice running a sprint of 300 meters between 59.9 and 56 seconds if you’re a woman and between 49.4 and 46.1 seconds if you’re a man.
The push-ups are not timed; this makes it easier to do as many push-ups as you possibly can. For women, between 22 and 29 push-ups will earn you a 3 or 4 rating while for men, between 40 and 49 push-ups will do.
For you to pass the timed run activity, you should be able to run the required 1.5 miles as fast as you can. For women, it should be between 12 minutes, 59 seconds and 11 minutes, 57 seconds; for men, it should be between 11 minutes, 34 seconds and 10 minutes, 35 seconds.
A Sample Workout
To help you prepare for the actual test day, here is a sample workout you might want to consider:
Day 1: the high intensity interval training workout brings you more quickly to your cardiovascular threshold while your abdominal muscles are given comprehensive strength:
- 15 minutes of light cardio exercise for warm-up.
- 10 minutes of HIIT including eight minutes of workout for the abdominal muscles.
- Cool down by doing light cardio exercises between 10 and 15 minutes.
Day 2: push yourself to achieve those four miles by alternately running, walking, sprinting, and jogging intermittently to build endurance as well as speed. These intervals can help sustain the timed run of 1.5 miles for the test while the upper body strengthening will pump you up for the push-ups as well as the pull-ups:
- A five-minute walk for your warm-up.
- Walk and jog at intervals or jog and sprint alternately to cover four miles.
- Do a half hour routine of upper body strengthening.
- Cool down by stretching.
Day 3: take a rest or do some low intensity cardiovascular workout such as weights.
Day 4: yes, this fourth day will probably leave you gasping for air like you have never done before, but this will pay off during the actual test day:
- Do light cardio exercises for 10 minutes as warm-up.
- Complete only one round of plyometrics to train your muscles to stretch and contract “on command,” particularly your legs; wearing a weighted vest will benefit your cardiovascular system to pump more efficiently.
- Do jumping jacks and high knees for a minute each.
- Do 15 repetitions each of broad jumps, squat jacks, burpees, lateral jumps, knee tuck jumps, jumping lunges, and agility dots on each of your legs in both directions.
- Cool down and stretch.
- Run on the treadmill for 30 minutes with sprinting intervals to boost your endurance.
Day 5: do an hour of sports which you particularly enjoy or brisk walking, hiking, and swimming.
Day 6: take a rest or do some low intensity cardio activities for an hour.
The Most Effect Way to Ace the Fitness Test
The FBI PFT is the one test which you shouldn’t, and cannot, do any kind of cramming for if you want to pass it. Preparing way ahead of the actual test day is the most effective way to ace the all four physical activities. Cramming can only result in muscle strains and other injuries which could very well be avoided. Don’t forget that the workout of six days mentioned above is suggested on the assumption that the applicant is already physically flexible and well-conditioned.
Having an exercise regimen and sticking to it will enhance your endurance for anything more rigorous than it. If you’re interested in more information on how to pass the Bureau’s physical fitness test, visit the website http://www.passthepolicefitnesstest.com/FBI-Workout-Guide for the eBook which can help you focus on the test’s physical aspect and gain you better insights when the written examinations are conducted.