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  New Canadian Armed Forces Minimum Physical Fitness Standard

Out with the old, and in with the new. On April 1, 2013, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will be implementing the updated approach to military fitness: the FORCE program.

The new program has two key components: the new fitness test, called the FORCE Evaluation; and the FORCE Exercise Prescription, the operational fitness training system, which is available at www.DFit.ca.

Replacing the 30-year-old Canadian Forces EXPRES Test, the FORCE Evaluation has been scientifically validated and developed specifically for the CAF by the Personnel Support Programs (PSP) directorate of fitness. Rather than testing fitness with the traditional push-ups, sit-ups, grip tests and endurance runs, the FORCE Program evaluates members’ ability to execute tasks that are directly linked to true-to-life physical challenges faced on military operations.

In a comprehensive analysis of military operational fitness, PSP human performance scientists and fitness experts looked at more than 400 physical tasks performed by Canadian military personnel in all environments over the past 20 years.

The FORCE Evaluation consists of four test components, each designed to measure different physical capabilities:

Sandbag Lift: 30 consecutive lifts of a 20 kilogram sandbag above a height of 1 metre, alternating between left and right sandbags separated by 1.25 metres. Standard: 3 minutes 30 seconds.

Intermittent Loaded Shuttles: Using the 20 metre lines, complete ten 20 metre shuttles alternating between a loaded shuttle with a 20 kilogram sand bag and unloaded shuttles, for a total of 400 metres. Standard: 5 minutes 21 seconds.

20-Metre Rushes: Starting from prone, complete two 20 metre shuttle sprints dropping to a prone position every 10 metres, for a total of 80 metres. Standard: 51 seconds.

Sandbag Drag: Carry one 20 kilogram sandbag and pull four on the floor over 20 mtres without stopping. Standard: Complete without stopping. 

All CAF members will be tested annually and will be required to achieve one common minimum standard, regardless of age and gender.

Starting April 1, 2013, PSP fitness staff and local chains of command will schedule FORCE Evaluation familiarization sessions to introduce the new minimum physical fitness standard to local CAF personnel. Throughout the 2013/2014 fiscal year, Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force personnel will have the opportunity attempt the new FORCE Evaluation as their fitness test on a trial basis. As of April 2014, the FORCE Evaluation will fully replace the CF EXPRES test.