Air Force Basic Training Fitness Requirements

It's a good idea to get in shape before basic training

Recruits lined up for training
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Sergeant Cecilio Ricardo/Wikimedia Commons 

To graduate from Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT), you must pass a physical fitness test. The test consists of a timed run, push-ups, and sit-ups.

Before arriving at basic training, you'll want to prepare to meet the minimum physical fitness arrival standards.

Keep in mind that these standards are for AFBMT only. They are not the fitness standards you will be required to maintain after basic. After basic training, the Air Force has a different fitness test airmen have to pass at least once per year.

Award-Level Standards for AFBMT

The Air Force refers to the minimum basic training fitness standards as the Liberator standard, but there also are two award-level standards. Just above Liberator is Thunderbolt, and if you meet that standard, you will be considered for possible selection as a basic training honor graduate.

The highest standard is Warhawk, and if you meet that, you will receive a special T-shirt, a recognition certificate, and an extra town pass on graduation weekend. This means you will get to go off base on the Sunday following graduation.

Those who fail the final evaluation but were really close usually are given one more opportunity to pass it the next day. Failure almost always means getting recycled for a couple of weeks to an earlier flight in order to have more time to get into shape.

Air Force Basic Training Physical Fitness Requirements

Male Fitness Standards Run 2 miles Run (1.5 miles) Push-Ups (1 minute) Sit-Ups (1 minute) Pull-Ups (no time limit)
Liberator (minimum graduation standards) 16:45 11:57 45 50 0
Thunderbolt (honor graduate minimum standards) 14:15

8:55

62 70 4
Warhawk (highest standard) 13:30 8:08 75 80 10
           
Female Fitness Standards Run 2 miles Run (1.5 miles) Push-Ups (1 minute) Sit-Ups (1 minute) Pull-Ups (no time limit)
Liberator (minimum graduation standards) 16:45 13:56 27 50 0
Thunderbolt (honor graduate minimum standards) 16:00 11:33 37 60 2
Warhawk (highest standard) 15:00 10:55 40 75 5

Getting in Shape Before Basic Training

If physical fitness is not already a strength, it's important get on a plan before arriving for basic training. If you show up in poor shape, you likely will not be able to meet the standard and may suffer one of or more overuse injuries, such as shin splints, tendinitis, or stress fractures. If hurt badly enough, you'll either need extra time to rehab the injury or you'll be sent home. 

Start getting active early. Military training is a full-time job, and basic training consists of long days and nights for several weeks. There is no 30-minute gym routine that prepares you for the full day of military training. You need to learn how to put in the time.

Prepare your body and mind for long days of work by getting into the habit of working out in the morning, going to school or work during the day, then doing something in the evening like another workout, sport, or studying. 

If you are overweight, even just borderline, or near the maximum body fat standards, get started even sooner as you will likely will not be able to depart for basic training. Start with non-impact aerobic activities, then progress into running and calisthenics to properly prepare for the rigors of training and the fitness test.