ACFT Standards: Can You Hit 500 (or Higher?)

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Maxing out each of the events on the ACFT and attaining that mythical 600…seems like a pretty lofty goal, doesn’t it?

Admittedly, this is probably out of reach for most people, but how about a 500…or 550? Those scores are really respectable and will earn you a lot of promotion points. Train hard, train a lot, eat right, and you’re well on your way.

But…you want to know the simplest way to break 500 in the ACFT?

Know what the actual ACFT standards are!

Too many soldiers go in cold, not really knowing how to perform the ACFT events, yet alone how they’re scored. This can lead to test day confusion and less-than-ideal (less than 500!) total scores.

You don’t want that.

Today, we’re going to cover what you need to know about ACFT standards and scoring. Reviewing this information along will boost your score ~30-50 points***. Easy money!

(*** these statements have not been approved by the FDA or other approving bodies…but they’re probably true!)

A Quick Note About ACFT and ACFT Standards Changes

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering how relevant the following information is and will be in the coming months. There has been a good amount of speculation and back and forth over recent months in regards to the future of the ACFT and, by extension, ACFT standards. Heck, you even have dudes like the Gritty Soldier lamenting another change to the test:

All of that being said, none of these changes have come to pass and, in contrast, there has been a lot of heavy backlash to any changes (at least in current times). As such, you can rest assured that the information we have for you today is the most up-to-date and relevant. You stick to what we have to say, and you’ll be on your way to 600!

ACFT Standards: A Quick Overview

ACFT stands for (the U.S. Army’s) Army Combat Fitness Test. Its purpose is to evaluate the strength, endurance, and agility of soldiers in various age groups. It is administered in order to mimic the demands of the combat environment and to detect the physical preparedness of soldiers to meet these demands.

ACFT replaced the United States Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) in October 2020; this was the first time the Army changed the physical readiness test in four decades. The reason for this was the perception that the previous test (which was active since 1980) was not successful enough in evaluating soldiers’ readiness for combat. 

The Army decided that a new test needed to be created after discovering that nearly a quarter of soldiers evacuated from the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan were not wounded in fighting but suffered musculoskeletal injuries.

The new(er) test was created to be more demanding and thus create a higher-quality Army fitness standard. While the old test targeted only basic strength and endurance, ACFT takes into account 8 factors:

  • Strength
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Aerobic Endurance
  • Anaerobic Endurance
  • Power
  • Agility
  • Speed
  • Coordination

It evaluates these factors during 6 events, each of which is graded from 0 to 100 points. A soldier can pass the test with a minimum of 60 points in each event.

ACFT Standards Score Chart 2023

The ACFT Standards Score Chart is a document where the performance of soldiers who take the ACFT test events is recorded. This chart takes the scores for each ACFT event in terms of:

  • time taken
  • distance covered
  • number of repetitions
  • or weight lifted

These scores are then combined into the overall ACFT score, documented in the ACFT Scorecard. There is a set of standards for each ACFT event, and the scores from the chart are referenced against these standards. The soldier who fails to reach the standard for any of the events fails the test and needs to retake it.

The standards vary by age and gender of soldiers. Here are the latest ACFT standards sorted by each event, age group, and gender.

ACFT Male Standards

ACFT Standards: Max Deadlift (MDL) – Three-Repetitions (LBS) 

Age RangeMaximum Points (100)Minimum Points (60)
17-21340 lbs140 lbs
22-26370 lbs140 lbs
27-31370 lbs140 lbs
32-36370 lbs140 lbs
37-41340 lbs140 lbs
42-46340 lbs140 lbs
47-51320 lbs120 lbs
52-56280 lbs100 lbs
57-61250 lbs80 lbs
Over 62230 lbs80 lbs

ACFT Standards: Hand-release Push-up (HRP)

Age RangeMaximum Points (100)Minimum Points (60)
17-215710
22-266110
27-316210
32-366010
37-415910
42-465610
47-515510
52-565110
57-614610
Over 624310

ACFT Standards: Sprint / Drag / Carry (SDC)

Age RangeMaximum Points (100)Minimum Points (60)
17-2101:2902:28
22-2601:3002:31
27-3101:3002:32
32-3601:3302:36
37-4101:3602:41
42-4601:4002:45
47-5101:4502:53
52-5601:5203:00
57-6101:5803:12
Over 6202:0903:16

ACFT Standards: Plank (PLK)

Age RangeMaximum Points (100)Minimum Points (60)
17-2103:4001:30
22-2603:3501:25
27-3103:3001:20
32-3603:2501:15
37-4103:2001:10
42-4603:2001:10
47-5103:2001:10
52-5603:2001:10
57-6103:2001:10
Over 6203:2001:10

ACFT Standards: Two-Mile Run (2MR)

Age RangeMaximum Points (100)Minimum Points (60)
17-2113:2222:00
22-2613:2722:00
27-3113:3122:00
32-3613:4222:00
37-4113:5822:11
42-4614:0522:32
47-5114:3022:55
52-5615:0923:20
57-6115:2823:36
Over 6215:2823:36

ACFT Standards: Male Aerobic ACFT Alternate Events

Age Range2.5-mile Walk(MM:SS)12 km Bike(MM:SS)1 km Swim(MM:SS)5 km Row(MM:SS)
17-2131:0026:2530:4830:48
22-2630:4526:1230:3030:30
27-3130:3026:0030:2030:20
32-3630:4526:1230:3030:30
37-4131:0026:2530:4830:48
42-4631:0026:2530:4830:48
47-5132:0027:1631:4831:48
52-5632:0027:1631:4831:48
57-6133:0028:0732:5032:50
Over 6233:0028:0732:5032:50
ACFT standards
@jeanreeves506

ACFT Female Standards

ACFT Standards: Max Deadlift (MDL): Three-Repetitions (LBS)

Age GroupMaximum Points (100)Minimum Points (60)
17-21210 lbs120 lbs
22-26230 lbs120 lbs
27-31230 lbs120 lbs
32-36230 lbs120 lbs
37-41210 lbs120 lbs
42-46210 lbs120 lbs
47-51190 lbs120 lbs
52-56190 lbs120 lbs
57-61170 lbs120 lbs
Over 62170 lbs120 lbs

ACFT Standards: Standing Power Throw (SPT)

Age RangeMaximum Points (100)Minimum Points (60)
17-218.4 m3.9 m
22-268.5 m4.0 m
27-318.7 m4.2 m
32-368.6 m4.1 m
37-418.2 m4.1 m
42-468.1 m3.9 m
47-517.8 m3.7 m
52-567.4 m3.5 m
57-616.6 m3.4 m
Over 626.6 m3.4 m

ACFT Standards: Hand-release Push-up (HRP)

Age RangeMaximum Points (100)Minimum Points (60)
17-2153 reps10 reps
22-2650 reps10 reps
27-3148 reps10 reps
32-3647 reps10 reps
37-4141 reps10 reps
42-4636 reps10 reps
47-5135 reps10 reps
52-5630 reps10 reps
57-6124 reps10 reps
Over 6224 reps10 reps

ACFT Standards: Sprint / Drag / Carry (SDC)

Age RangeMaximum Points (100)Minimum Points (60)
17-2101:5503:15
22-2601:5503:15
27-3101:5503:15
32-3601:5903:22
37-4102:0203:27
42-4602:0903:42
47-5102:1103:51
52-5602:1804:03
57-6102:2604:48
Over 6202:2604:48

ACFT Standards: Plank (PLK)

Age RangeMaximum Points (100)Minimum Points (60)
17-2103:4001:30
22-2603:3501:25
27-3103:3001:20
32-3603:2501:15
37-4103:2001:10
42-4603:2001:10
47-5103:2001:10
52-5603:2001:10
57-6103:2001:10
Over 6203:2001:10

ACFT Standards: Two-Mile Run (2MR)

Age RangeMaximum Points (100)Minimum Points (60)
17-2115:2923:22
22-2615:0023:15
27-3115:0023:13
32-3615:1823:19
37-4115:3023:23
42-4615:4923:42
47-5115:5824:00
52-5616:2924:24
57-6117:1824:48
Over 6217:1825:00

ACFT Standards: Female Aerobic ACFT Alternate Events

Age Range2.5-mile Walk (MM:SS)12 km Bike (MM:SS)1 km Swim (MM:SS)5 km Row (MM:SS)
17-2134:0028:5833:4833:48
22-2633:3028:3133:1833:18
27-3133:0028:0732:4832:48
32-3633:3028:3133:1833:18
37-4134:0028:5833:4833:48
42-4634:0028:5833:4833:48
47-5135:0029:5034:4834:48
52-5635:0029:5034:4834:48
57-6136:0030:4135:4835:48
Over 6236:0030:4135:4835:48
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What Are the ACFT Events?

The ACFT consists of six events that measure the strength, endurance, and agility of soldiers. Let’s take a look at how you will perform each of these.

3-Repetition Maximum Deadlift (MDL)

MDL tests soldiers’ muscular strength, flexibility, and balance. In this event, soldiers attempt to find their 3RM on the hex bar deadlift. They use a 60-pound hex bar and weight plates.

There are 3 phases of MDL:

  1. Preparatory phase: Step into the hex bar and take a shoulder-width stance. The ankles should be aligned with the centers of the handles. Next, bend your knees while keeping them in line with the toes, and hinge your hips backward. Lower down, grip the handles with extended arms and a flat back.
  2. Upward movement: On command, straighten up and lift the bar, keeping your feet firmly on the ground (preferably “pushing the ground” away).
  3. Downward movement: Bend the knees and keep your back straight while lowering the weight down. Set the bar onto the ground. The next repetition begins immediately.

Standing Power Throw (SPT)

The goal of SPT is to test soldiers’ power, coordination, balance, and flexibility. It consists of throwing a medicine ball as far as possible backwards and overhead. While doing this soldiers are not permitted to cross the throw line. The soldier’s score depends on how far they are able to throw the ball. Soldiers have three attempts, and the best result will be taken into account.

There are 2 phases of SPT:

  1. Starting phase: Pick up the medicine ball with both hands, hold it in a firm and wide grip, and take a stand with your heels on the starting line. Your feet should be hip-width apart, and your hands should be leveled with hips.
  2. Movement phase: On the command, lower your knees and hip and position the ball between your legs. Move the ball in an arc overhead while keeping your arms straight and pushing up through your hips and legs. When the ball is over your head you should arch your back and throw the ball as far as possible behind you towards the measuring lane. Work to keep your body under control as any movement over the throwing line will invalidate the attempt.

Hand-release Push-up (HRP)

HRP aims to test muscular endurance and flexibility. In this event, soldiers need to perform the maximum number of hand-release push-ups on a level surface in two minutes.

To perform the HRP test you must:

  1. Starting position: Place hands flat on the ground and index fingers within the outer edge of the shoulders. Feet are up to boot’s width apart, ankles are flexed and toes are on the ground. The head and neck are aligned with the spine. Lower yourself by bending your elbows and maintaining the plank position. Lower down until you reach the ground.
  2. Movement 1: On command, push up by straightening your elbows until you are in the plank position.
  3. Movement 2: Lower your body down to the ground, with chest, hips, and thighs touching the ground at the same time. Meanwhile, your face and head shouldn’t touch the ground.
  4. Movement 3: Extend your arms in the “T” position without moving the head, body, or legs.
  5. Movement 4: Take your hands back to the starting position and the repetition is complete. Start the next repetition afterward.

Sprint/Drag/Carry (SDC)

The SDC event aims to test soldiers’ muscular strength, muscular endurance, reaction time, anaerobic endurance, and anaerobic power. It consists of reaching the required distance in the shortest time possible with five 50-meter shuttles while managing the weight or moving in a specific manner.

SDC consists of 6 phases performed one after another:

  1. Starting position: Take a prone position with your head behind the starting line in your lane.
  2. Sprint: On command, sprint until you reach the 25m line. Touch the line with your foot and hand and sprint back to the starting line.
  3. Drag: grab the sled and pull backward by the strap handle. When the sled crosses the 25m line, turn and pull it back to the starting line.
  4. Lateral: perform a lateral shuffle/run. When you reach the 25m line you have to touch it with your foot and hand and start going back leading with the other foot.
  5. Carry: grasp the handles of two 40-pound kettlebells at the starting line and run forward to the 25m line. Cross the line with one foot, turn around, run back to the start, and place the kettlebells back on the ground.
  6. Sprint: sprint until you reach the 25m line, touch it with your hand and foot, turn around, and sprint back through the starting line. 

Plank (PLK)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b2ZCcMWjUQ

The Plank test serves to test soldiers’ muscular endurance and balance. The final score will depend on how long soldiers’ manage to keep the plank position on the level surface.

PLK is simple and contains two phases:

  1. Starting position: on command, place your hands on the ground. You can place either the pinky side of the fists or your palms on the ground up to the grader’s fist width apart. Bend your elbows and align them with your shoulders, while your forearms lay flat on the ground and form a triangle. Your hips are bent while one or both knees rest on the ground.
  2. Execution: On the command “GET SET”, lift your knees and align your hips with legs, shoulders, and head while looking at the ground. Your feet should be placed boot-width apart. Your elbows should be aligned with your shoulders and form a triangle with your forearms. The bottom of your toes should be on the ground while your ankles are flexed. Your whole body should be in a straight line. After hearing the second command “GO”, you start to maintain the proper plank position. This means that your head, shoulders, back, hips, and legs have to stay in a straight-line position from head to heels throughout the event, while your feet, forearms fists (or palms) are firm on the ground. Hold this position as long as possible.

Two-Mile Run (2MR)

With the 2MR, soldiers’ aerobic endurance is tested. They need to run 2 miles in the shortest time possible. It can be done on an indoor or outdoor running track, or even on an improved road or sidewalk.

Alternate Aerobic Events

Alternate Army Combat Fitness Test assessments are developed for selected soldiers who have a permanent profile and can’t fully participate in 6 events. This is a medical profile that summarizes the limitations and restrictions of soldiers.

These soldiers can choose from 4 alternate ACFT events including:

  1. 2.5-mile Walk
  2. 12 km Bike
  3. 1 km Swim
  4. 5 km Row

Alternate ACFT events can help in determining the acceptability of risk in terms of the Soldier’s mission. The scoring table for these events are as follows; each is graded as a “Go/No-go” (essentially a “Pass/Fail”):

ACFT Alternate Event Score Chart

Frequently Asked Questions

I know we probably covered everything you’d ever want to know about the ACFT…but in case there are any lingering questions about the events…here you go!

According to one study, the average ACFT score is 442.3 or 73.7% average per event. The standard deviation is ~54 points (about 70 percent of soldiers score within 54 points above or below 442 points on the ACFT).

Yes! A female soldier from the District of Columbia Army National Guard, Officer Candidate Kenyatta Sears, scored a maximum of 600 points on the ACFT. Well done, solider!

Soldiers who fail ACFT can be retested in no less than 180 days and no more than 240 days since they failed their test.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, I can’t do the work for you. If you want to score well on the ACFT, YOU are going to have to put in the work.

However, really studying the ACFT standards, both in regards to how to perform each event and how each event is scored, is, other than training, the best way to increase your score.

So, the next time you want to screw around on Tik Tok or Instagram when you have a few free minutes, come back to this article and review the ACFT standards just one more time. If nothing else, I need more “success stories” to validate my whole “30-50 point improvement!” claim earlier in the article. Do me a solid!

The 2-mile run might be the most intimidating of the ACFT events, but Sprint-Drag-Carry is definitely the “trickiest”. Check out our deep dive discussion on Sprint-Drag-Carry and score you 100 points on this bad boy!

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AUTHOR

Tom, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, ISSA-CPT, PN1-NC, DPA, CAPM has been CrossFitting for over 10 years. He has participated in a number of team and individual CrossFit competitions across Europe and the United States. He was the 2012 Chick-fil-A Race Series champion (North Georgia Circuit) and has put together a few gnarly garage and basement gyms in his time!

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