by Khaled Allen

The U.S. Army doesn’t have a reputation for being easy, but a look at their physical fitness test might give you that impression. It consists of a paltry three exercises: a 2 mile run, max pushups in 2 minutes, and max sit-ups in 2 minutes. The standards might have been pretty high, but it was nothing especially difficult.

Well, Army Strong is about to get stronger.

The new Physical Readiness Test being rolled out this year claims to test for indicators of fitness that are more applicable to the real-world battlefield. It includes a more intense version of the sit-up, called a rower, that really works your core stability, as well as a tweaked version of the pushups, wherein you may not rest or move your hands.

The run has been shortened to 1.5 miles, which the designers of the test claim is more in line with the distances soldiers are more likely to deal with.

Two new movements have been added as well. The 60-yard shuttle run, similar to suicides, will test leg stamina and cardiovascular ability under much higher stress than a 2 mile run. The standing broad jump tests lower body strength and power, which the previous test practically ignored.

The new test is supposed to be more comprehensive while still being totally equipment-free (to keep costs low). The army will be implementing the test this year, and will develop standards once sufficient participants have been measured.

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