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PT Test
Staff Sgt. Pierre Narcisse, 482nd Fighter Wing Assistant Chief of Career Development, runs the Homestead Air Reserve Base track. Staff Sgt. Narcisse said he trains regularly and always scores well on his physical training test. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jacob Jimenez)
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Passing the PT Test

Posted 1/21/2011   Updated 1/21/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Jacob Jimenez
482nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

1/21/2011 - HOMESTEAD AIR RESERVE BASE, Fla. -- Early Saturday morning of a unit training assembly, half awake, a group of Airmen stretch prior to running Flight Line Road. Tension is high for the Airmen - many are still adjusting to the Air Force's new physical training test standards.

Both commissioned and enlisted have to pass their PT test, but with new Air Force PT standards in effect, the test has become more difficult than before.

"If you do the minimum three times a week, that will keep you in shape enough to pass, or at least score satisfactory," said Capt. Robert Lax, 482nd Fighter Wing Fitness Program Manager.

Capt. Lax said that 80 to 85 percent of the Airmen pass their PT test on the first try. Women tend to struggle the most on the push-ups and men on the sit-ups. Most Airmen find passing the run and abdominal circumference the hardest part of the test. Many Airmen pass their push-ups and sit-ups and even have good run times, but fail their abdominal circumference. Male Airmen need to keep their abdominal circumference below 35 inches and female Airmen below 33-34 to score satisfactory.

"If you commit yourself to a different lifestyle, you'll pass!," said Master Sgt. Iveliesee Acosta Del Rio, 482nd FW Physical Training Leader.

To improve run time, Airmen should find someone to pace themselves off of when taking their PT test. Airmen who run on their own, or do some form of cardio two to three times a week can also improve their run time. Sometimes, by dropping their run time by 10 seconds, Airmen will put themselves in a higher score bracket and make a positive difference towards scoring satisfactory.

"Passing the PT test has career impacts now," said Capt. Lax.

It is extremely important for all personnel to advance in their Air Force careers. Fitness scores have an impact on annual officer performance reports and bi-annual enlisted performance reports - it's important for Airmen to avoid any unsatisfactory scores. If Airmen cannot pass their PT test, they could be held back from doing any temporary duty assignments or career development and learning opportunities. Continuous failure of an Airman's PT test could also delay or prevent promotions.

"Take it slow when getting back into a workout routine after not being physically active for a long period of time," said Capt. Lax

Airmen who don't work out regularly should first see their primary care physician before starting any workout program. They should find a workout routine to do three to five times a week that incorporates strength training and cardio. Airmen should start out training lightly. It's important that Airmen perform exercises with proper form and take precautions to avoid injury.

An effective way to prepare for the PT test is to practice the test by doing push-ups and sit-ups and running regularly. Push-ups and sit-ups can be done during commercial breaks when watching TV or throughout the day at work. Running 20-30 minutes two to three times a week and doing sprints is another good way for personnel to improve their run time and prepare for a PT test.

"The goal of the program is for developing a stronger and healthier Air Force," said Maj. Vincent Cummings, 482d Fighter Wing chaplain.

"The PT test isn't going to change, Airmen have to make the change," said Master Sgt. Acosta Del Rio.

Homestead ARB Airman should take advantage of the state of the art Sam Johnson fitness center and running track.  Another option is to seek advice from wing nutritionist, Lt. Col. Jacquelyn Kaszuba, concerning any diet or fitness related questions.

Any Reserve member or Air Reserve Technician that live outside the general commuting area of the base, or who would rather workout at a commercial gym, can be eligible to receive a 25 percent discount on an LA Fitness gym membership. Questions concerning this discount should be directed to Ms. Alice Fields, 482nd FW Director of Services.

For any questions about Air Force PT test standards, please visit  For personal training questions, workout plans and one-on-one coaching contact Master Sgt. Acosta Del Rio at

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