Could You Pass the FBI Fitness Test?
Are you fit enough to pass the FBI fitness test? Are you sure? To be a special agent, you must be mentally and physically prepared for the work, according to the Bureau. As of October 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation requires all current and prospective agents to pass a physical fitness test and maintain a certain fitness level (that requirement had previously been put on hold for 16 years).
To pass the FBI fitness test, you have to complete a certain number of four exercises — sit-ups, push-ups, a 300-meter sprint, and a 1.5-mile run — with no more than a five-minute break between each one. (The target number is different for men and women.)
The better you do at each exercise, the more points you earn. You need a total of 12 points (with at least one point from each of the four exercises), and 20 points for the Tactical Recruitment Program.
So, could you do it? Heads-up: The FBI fitness test is a lot harder than the Presidential Physical Fitness Test!
FBI Fitness Test Requirements
The four exercises in the PFT (as the FBI fitness test is known in the Bureau) must be done in a specific order.
You can rest for no more than five minutes between exercises.
- Sit-ups: Do as many continuous sit-ups as possible in one minute.
- Sprint: Sprint for 300 meters (for time).
- Push-ups: Do as many continuous push-ups as you can (not for time).
- Run: Run 1.5 miles (for time).
Want to try out for the FBI’s tactical program? Then you’ll add a fifth exercise.
5. Pull-ups: Do as many continuous pull-ups as possible (not for time).
Here’s what you need to achieve on the FBI test, according to the FBI’s official application guide:
- Lie on your back with your shoulder blades touching the floor, arms crossed over your chest. Bend your knees at 90 degrees with your feet on the floor.
- Have a partner hold your feet.
- Lift your upper body until your elbows touch your mid thigh, then return to the starting position. This is one sit-up.
- If you pause, you forfeit the rest of the minute!
|-2 points||Under 29||Under 31|
- On a 0.25-mile track, start from standing and run 300 meters without stopping.
|-2 points||67. 5+ seconds||55.1+ seconds|
|0||67.4-65 seconds||55-52.5 seconds|
|5||55.9-54 seconds||46-45 seconds|
|10||49.9 seconds and below||40.9 seconds and below|
- Start with your hands on the floor no more than two hands width beyond your shoulders, with your elbows away from your body. Your feet can be no more than 3 inches apart, with your toes touching the floor.
- As you bend your arms and lower into your push-up, your upper arms should be parallel with the floor.
- Return to start and immediately begin the next rep.
- If you pause, you’re done!
|-2 points||4 and below||19 and below|
- On a 0.25-mile track, start from a standing position and run six laps.
|-2 points||15+ minutes||13:30+ minutes|
|0||14:59-14 minutes||13:29-12:25 minutes|
|5||11:56-11:35 minutes||10:34-10:15 minutes|
|10||10:34 minutes or faster||8:59 minutes or faster|
- Hang from a horizontal bar, with hands at least shoulder width (but no more than 23 inches part). Palms must be turned away from your face, with arms fully extended.
- Pull your body upward, until your chin is higher than the bar. (No swinging or jerking!)
- Lower back to the hanging position. This is one pull-up.
- If you pause, you’re done.
How to Train for the FBI Fitness Test
Want to train for the FBI fitness test, either to become an agent or to win a bet against your buddies? Here’s how to get started:
- Be prepared to go above and beyond. The FBI warns that “scores reported on the self-PFT are about 25 percent higher than those recorded on the day of the actual event.” In other words, you’ll need to train until you can exceed your goals by 25%! If you want to do 60 push-ups the day of the test, train until you can do 75.
- Establish your baseline. Test your fitness level by taking one of their practice tests. Enlist a friend, since you’ll need a partner for the sit-ups — and you’ll lose points or forfeit sections for poor form.
- Integrate the types of workouts they recommend into your plan: muscular strength and endurance, aerobic and anaerobic power, and circuit training.
To achieve the results you need to pass the test, the FBI recommends:
Muscular strength and endurance
- 2-3 days a week
- 3-5 sets of max repetitions, with added resistance for sit-ups and push-ups
- Rest for 30 to 60 seconds between sets.
- 1-2 days a week
- 3-10 reps of sprints (30 to 90 seconds) at max exertion
- Rest for twice as long as your sprints.
- 3-5 days a week
- Push yourself to “heavy exertion” (where carrying on a conversation isn’t possible) for 20-30 minutes.