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ACFT instructions 2024

The ACFT instructions are the standardized guidelines and procedures the Army follows during the administration and execution of the ACFT.

In this article, I will summarize the ACFT instructions for the mandatory events and provide links to the detailed instructions for the ACFT Exercises.

These ACFT instructions encompass various aspects of the test, including:

  • Purpose: Measures total body fitness.
  • Results: Provides indicators of physical fitness levels, guiding training needs.
  • Rest and Recovery: Soldiers rest at each station while others complete their turns.
  • Goal: To do your best in each test event and meet the ACFT requirements.
  • Army Promotion Points: The ACFT has a total of 120 promotion points; refer to the ACFT promotion points chart for more details.

Pre-Test ACFT Instructions

  • Accessibility: The instructions are available at the test site for soldiers to read in the ACFT Regulations document.
  • Communication: Soldiers are encouraged to ask questions, but instructions will not be read aloud.

Pre-Test Preparation

  • Preparation Drill: 10-minute preparation drill led by the NCOIC
  • Warm-up for Deadlift: 10 minutes to warm up, starting at a low weight and gradually increasing.

Detailed instructions for each of the test events include the following components:

  • Positioning: Alignment, starting positions, and equipment handling
  • Execution: Specific movements, techniques, and timing for each event
  • Constraints: Rules and limitations that must be adhered to during the test
  • Faults: Specific mistakes or errors that may lead to disqualification or termination of an event
  • Scoring: Criteria for evaluating performance in each event
  • Safety Measures: Guidelines to ensure the safety of the soldiers during the test

ACFT Event Instructions

The following are the instructions for each of the events in the Army Combat Fitness Test:

3 Repetition Maximum Deadlift (MDL): Event #1

  • Alignment: Line up with other soldiers behind the hexagon or trap bar.
  • Positioning: Locate the midpoint of the handles, feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Command and Execution:
    • “Get set”: bend knees and hips, grasp handles, extend arms.
    • “Go”: Stand up, extend hips and knees, and maintain proper posture.
  • Repetitions: Complete 3 continuous repetitions.
  • Safety Measures: Form breaks may result in the attempt being stopped.
  • Retries and Scoring: The soldier is allowed a second attempt if needed, and the score is based on the highest weight lifted for 3 repetitions.

Standing Power Throw (SPT): Event #2

  • Starting Position: Stand with heels at the start line and grasp a 10lb medicine ball.
  • Execution:
    • Practice throwing.
    • Two record throws
  • Constraints: Feet must not touch or cross the start line during the throw.
  • Faults: Two consecutive faults count as a record attempt with a score of zero.
  • Scoring: The score is the longer of the two record throws.
  • Safety Measures: 
    • Soldiers must be careful when handling the 10lb medicine ball.
    • Soldiers must use the proper throwing technique to avoid strain.

Hand-Release Push-Up (HRP): Event #3

  • Starting Position: Prone position with hands flat and index fingers inside shoulders.
  • Execution:
    • Extend the whole body up; maintain straight body alignment.
    • For Movement 3A (Arm Extension HRP), extend the arms out from the body to 90 degrees.
    • For Movement 3B (Hand Lift HRP), lift your hands from the ground, showing a clear gap.
  • Authorized Rest Position: This is the Front-leaning rest position.
  • Constraints: The event is terminated if the soldier’s hand or foot is lifted or the knee touches the ground.
  • Scoring: Number of correct repetitions executed during two minutes
  • Safety Measures: 
    • Soldiers should maintain correct body alignment throughout the event. 
    • Proper technique in lifting hands or extending arms

Sprint-Drag-Carry (SDC): Event #4

  • Components:
    • Shuttle 1: Sprint 25 meters.
    • Shuttle 2: Drag a 90-lb sled backward 25 meters.
    • Shuttle 3: Perform a lateral (side-to-side) movement for 25 meters.
    • Shuttle 4: Carry two 40lb kettlebells for 25 meters.
    • Shuttle 5: Sprint 25 meters.
  • Execution:
    • Start behind the line, on command “GO—begin the event.
    • Perform each shuttle as a down-and-back for a total of 50 meters.
    • Complete all 5 shuttles consecutively.
  • Constraints: Time is stopped when the soldier crosses the finish line at the end of the fifth shuttle.
  • Scoring: Total time to complete all five 50-meter shuttles
  • Safety Measures: 
    • Correct handling of sleds and kettlebells 
    • Use proper technique during lateral movements to prevent falling or tripping.

Plank: Event #5

  • Position: Hands and forearms on the ground, body in a straight line.
  • Execution: Hold the plank position for 2 minutes.
  • Constraints: Must maintain the straight-line position.
  • Faults: The Plank exercise is terminated if the soldier: 
    • Touches the floor with any body part except the feet, forearms, fists, or palms.
    • Raises a foot or hand off the floor.
    • Fails to maintain the straight-line position from head to heels.
  • Warnings: Graders will give one verbal warning to correct the failure to maintain the proper position.
  • Scoring: Pass/Fail; a 2-minute successful hold earns 60 points.
  • Safety measures include Proper positioning to avoid strain and maintain straight body alignment.

2-Mile Run (2MR): Event #6

  • Execution: Complete the run in the shortest time possible.
  • Starting Position: Stand at the start line with other Soldiers.
  • Command: “GO—begin the run.
  • Scoring: This is the time taken to complete the run.
  • Safety Measures: 
    • Run at a controlled pace to avoid exhaustion or collapse.
    • Soldiers should stay on course to prevent tripping or colliding.
    • Adequate hydration and monitoring of the physical condition

General Safety Considerations

  • Soldiers should have adequate warm-ups and cool-downs for all events.
  • The Army trains Graders who can monitor, recognize, and intervene if unsafe actions occur.
  • The Grader will terminate the event immediately if the soldier does not correct improper forms or unsafe actions after a warning.

Instructions for the ACFT Conclusion

Rest and Recovery

  • Rest Periods: Designated rest times between events to allow for recovery


  • Accessibility: Availability of written instructions for soldiers
  • Questions: Procedures for soldiers to ask questions


  • Performance Expectations: The objective is to do the best in each test event.

In summary, these instructions cover the complete structure and procedures for administering the ACFT.

They ensure uniformity across different locations and units and provide all soldiers with a fair and consistent physical fitness assessment.

George N.