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 CAF Minimum Physical Fitness Standard

The FORCE program has two key components: a fitness test called the FORCE Evaluation and the FORCE Exercise Prescription which is available at www.DFit.ca.

In what has been described as the most comprehensive analysis of military operational fitness, DFit’s human performance scientists and fitness experts looked at more than 400 tasks performed by Canadian military personnel in all environments over the past 20 years. Using the data collected from CAF members, subject matter experts, laboratory and field measurements, the research team developed a revised fitness component of the minimum operational standard required by Universality of Service that is based on the following six common tasks required of all CAF members:

  • Escape to cover;
  • Pickets and wire carry;
  • Sandbag fortification;
  • Picking and digging;
  • Vehicle extrication; and
  • Stretcher carry.

Requiring all CAF members to demonstrate the ability to complete these six tasks on an annual basis would be administratively cumbersome. Therefore, Project FORCE developed the FORCE Evaluation, a much more straightforward evaluation to assess CAF member’s ability to perform the physiological requirements of the common tasks.

The four components of the FORCE Evaluation were designed to replicate some of the lifting and movement patterns found in the six common tasks. The evaluation standards are derived from the minimal acceptable standards on the six common tasks. These four evaluation components were found to be the strongest predictors of performance on the common tasks, with more accuracy than the classic endurance run or push-ups and sit-ups.

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 metres 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.