U.S. Air Force Physical Requirements (2022 Guide)

What are the Air Force physical requirements? If you're thinking about becoming an airman, it's essential to know what kind of physical fitness you'll need. If you want to join the United States Air Force, you must fulfill the branch's physical fitness standards. The qualifications include physical ability assessments but no longer contain body measurements as of December 2020.

What is the physical fitness test for the U.S. Air Force?

To continue in the Air Force, all current and aspiring airmen must maintain a high physical condition. The Physical Fitness Test (PFT) is a physical examination administered to recruits during one of the last weeks of Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT). Active members of the Air Force are obliged to perform the PFT once a year as well. The following items get included in the PFT:

  • Sit-ups: This activity gets completed by enlistees and airmen to ensure they have the core strength needed for balance, dynamic mobility, and general physical strength in the Air Force.
  • Push-ups: Enlistees and airmen complete push-ups to demonstrate that they have the upper-body strength required to lift and carry equipment, undertake dynamic motions, and perform other activities.
  • 1.5-mile run: Airmen and recruits complete this timed run to demonstrate the cardiovascular endurance required for military duty.

Why is the physical fitness test for the Air Force easier than others?

Airmen have less physically demanding jobs than the military or army. The requirement to join is still high. Though, the physical fitness criteria are certainly less than other areas of the armed forces.

Physical requirements for the Air Force

The physical criteria for people entering Basic Military Training and those ready to graduate from training are different in the Air Force. Knowing and preparing for the standards will benefit airmen from enlistees through long-term active-duty service at all stages of their careers.

air force physical requirements

Entry requirements for the Air Force BMT

Prospective Air Force recruits must first achieve fitness requirements before beginning boot camp. Upon arrival at boot camp, these get put to the test. Those who do not satisfy the criteria are medically unable to participate in boot camp. 

The requirements are as follows:

Male fitness criteria for entrance:

  • 11 sit-ups
  • 8 push-ups
  • 1.5-mile run in 18 minutes and 30 seconds

Fitness criteria for female applicants:

  • 11 sit-ups
  • 8 push-ups
  • 1.5-mile run in 18 minutes and 30 seconds

Graduation requirements for Air Force BMT

During the last weeks of boot camp, recruits are administered the PFT by the Air Force. To advance to Advanced Individual Training, recruits must pass the PFT. Aside from the abdomen circumference measurement, the PFT contains three primary components: sit-ups, push-ups, and a 1.5-mile run. Members must satisfy the minimum standards in each part to graduate from AFBMT.

Recruits get expected to retake the physical fitness exam until they fulfill all of the minimal requirements during AFBMT. There is normally a two-week "recycling" interval between examinations to provide the recruit extra time to prepare.

The following components get included in the basic PFT, along with their relative requirements:

air force physical requirements

Fitness standards for male graduates

29 and under:

  • 42 sit-ups
  • 33 push-ups
  • 1.5 mile run in 11 minutes and 57 seconds

30-39 years old:

  • 39 sit-ups
  • 27 push-ups
  • 1.5 mile run in 11 minutes and 57 seconds

Fitness standards for female graduates

29 and under:

  • 38 sit-ups
  • 18 push-ups
  • 1.5 mile run in 11 minutes and 57 seconds

30-39 years old:

  • 29 sit-ups
  • 24 push-ups
  • 1.5 mile run in 11 minutes and 57 seconds

Sit-ups must be done with a partner holding the member's feet and must be done while wearing shoes and resting flat. One minute of sit-ups is completed. Only sit-ups that are done correctly are counted.

A recruit or airman should begin a sit-up with their lower back and shoulder blades contacting the floor. The arms are crossed in front of the chest. Then they draw themselves up, elbows to thighs, and hands firmly placed to the chest or upper shoulders. The individual then returns to the starting position and starts a new rep.

Related: Can you join the Military with scoliosis?

A recruit must satisfy the following requirements to graduate from AFBMT

air force physical requirements

Sit-ups

  • In a minute, males aged 29 and under can do 42 sit-ups.
  • Males between the ages of 30 and 39: 39 sit-ups in a minute
  • Females under the age of 29: 38 sit-ups per minute
  • Females between the ages of 30 and 39: 29 sit-ups per minute

Push-ups

Push-ups are done while wearing shoes on a level, flat surface. Only the toes and palms of the hands and feet can hold the body in a straight line. The recruit or airman lowers their body for one minute until their arms are bent at least 90 degrees. Only push-ups that are done correctly are tallied.

  • Males under the age of 29: 33 push-ups per minute
  • Males between the ages of 30 and 39: 27 push-ups per minute
  • Females under the age of 29: 18 push-ups per minute
  • Females between the ages of 30 and 39: 14 push-ups per minute

1.5 mile run

A 1.5-mile run/walk is the Air Force requirement for a cardio event. It has to be done on a level, solid surface, like a track. To cover the 1.5-mile distance as rapidly as possible, the member runs or walks, or combines running and walking.

A recruit must satisfy the following requirements to graduate from AFBMT:

  • 1.5 miles in 11 minutes and 57 seconds for males
  • 1.5 miles in 14 minutes and 26 seconds for females

air force physical requirements

Awards for physical fitness in the Air Force

Fitness prizes may be available to those who perform well on their PFT before graduation. Pull-ups, where a recruit hangs from a bar and uses their upper-arm and back muscles to move their body up such that their chin is above the bar, are included in both reward levels. Apart from exceeding the minimum standards in the other three exercise components, this additional requirement demonstrates a recruit's commitment to physical fitness.

The following are the physical fitness levels, including reward levels:

Liberator: Recruits and airmen who fulfill the minimal physical fitness criteria are eligible for this basic physical fitness level.

Top PT Male/Female: The top male and female trainers with the highest fitness score on the exam receive this honor.

Thunderbolt: This award is given to learners who go above and above the basic requirements:

Males

  • 70 sit-ups
  • 62 push-ups
  • 1.5 mile run in 8 minutes and 55 seconds
  • 4 pull-ups

Females

  • 60 sit-ups
  • 37 push-ups
  • 1.5 mile run in 11 minutes and 33 seconds
  • 2 pull-ups

Warhawk: This award is given to people who go above and above the basic requirements:

Males

  • 80 sit-ups
  • 75 push-ups
  • 1.5 mile run in8 minutes and 8 seconds
  • 10 pull-ups

Females

  • 75 sit-ups
  • 40 push-ups
  • 1.5 mile run in 10 minutes and 55 seconds
  • 5 pull-ups

What disqualifies you from being able to join the U.S. Air Force?

You cannot enroll if you are under the age of 17 (18 for GED holders) or above 39. You must be 18 years old or older than 39 years old to join an officer. You must be 18 years old or older than 48 years old to participate as a healthcare or ministry professional.

air force physical requirements

Do you have to pass a physical to join the U.S. Air Force?

You need to pass a physical and a physical fitness test (AFBMT). You must pass a physical fitness test to graduate from Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT). A timed run, push-ups, and sit-ups are all part of the exam. Before attending basic training, you should prepare to meet the minimum physical fitness arrival standards.

Who has the most challenging physical fitness test in the armed forces?

Each branch of the service has recommendations for physically preparing for that particular version of the fitness test. Soldiers in the Army are required to run two miles and perform two minutes of push-ups and sit-ups. Marines have it the most difficult, running three miles and performing pull-ups and crunches in two-hour examinations.

air force physical requirements

How hard is it to get into the U.S. Air Force?

 You'll find admission statistics indicating that USAFA has a 10% admittance rate in several countries. These statistics are especially true when you consider the hundreds of students who apply for admission.

In actuality, acceptance offers for qualified candidates vary from 50% to 60%. Physical preparation for the physical fitness standards is advised. Seek physical conditioning help from a licensed trainer or professional.

How do I get a "100" score on the Air Force physical fitness test?

To get a "100" score, come in under the requirements benchmarks for your age group and your gender.

What STDs does the U.S. Air Force test for?

People who engage in high-risk behaviors should regularly get tested for HIV and STDs. For female Soldiers under the age of 25, the Army and Air Force mandate yearly chlamydia screening. Furthermore, all Soldiers must be tested for HIV at least once every two years.

Is it hard to return to civilian life after the U.S. Air Force?

No. Many career opportunities are available to service members. Including working with the National Guard as one of the options. Many employers offer veteran services for armed forces members.

How to Prepare for BMT in the Air Force

The following measures will help you prepare for Air Force BMT if you want to get in good physical shape before coming to AFBMT:

  • Consult your doctor or another medical practitioner. Before you begin your training program, consult with your doctor to assess your present physical condition compared to the Air Force's criteria and develop a workout plan that will help you meet your fitness objectives.
  • Begin exercising twice a day. To match the long days of physical exertion necessary at BMT, exercise in the morning and evening.
  • Combine aerobic and weight training in your routines. This stage helps you prepare for AFBMT training and the PFT as part of your balanced weekly program.
  • Work out six days a week at the very least. This stage might help you get your body acclimated to the workout before you arrive at BMT.
  • Every night, make sure you receive a whole night's sleep. This rest will aid your body's adaptation to the demands of exercise.
  • Consume a nutritious, well-balanced diet. This phase guarantees that you stay on track with your nutrition and promotes the weight control that the Air Force requires.

air force physical requirements

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author: patrick algrim
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Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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