Template image
Header1 Header2 Header3
Header7 Header8 Header9
Clear gif
Lines Career Paths Clear gif
Clear gif

The Physical Fitness Test measures muscular strength and endurance (sit-ups, push-ups & pull-ups), anaerobic power (300-meter sprint), and aerobic power (1.5 mile run) with limited amounts of recovery between events. To best prepare, applicants should adhere to the following principles of exercise training to maximize their results and to avoid injuries.

Exercise Training Principles

To increase physical fitness, one must exercise at a level that challenges the body beyond its current capacity. Overload is often expressed in terms of training frequency (how often), training intensity (how demanding), and training duration (how long).

For continued fitness improvements, the overload must be gradually increased.

To best prepare for the Physical Fitness Test, applicants should devote most of their training time to sprints and sustained runs, as well as sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups performed to protocol. Applicants should also avoid training each event in isolation.

If physical training ceases, fitness levels will return to pre-training levels. Use it or lose it.

Warm Up & Cool Down

Each workout should begin with a dynamic warm-up period of at least five to ten minutes. This will increase core body temperature, lubricate the joints, and prime the nervous system for the workout that follows. The warm up should include moderate intensity aerobic activities (i.e., cycling, jogging), and limited amounts of the specific movements to be trained that day (i.e., push-ups, sit-ups). You should already be sweating before the workout begins!

Once the workout is completed, perform five to ten minutes of moderate physical activity as a cool down and transition back to rest.

Sample Workout Program

The FBI recommends that all applicants follow a disciplined workout program in preparation for the Physical Fitness Test. To assist you with this, we have provided a sample Physical Training Planner. The Physical Training Planner includes four different types of workout programs in addition to the warm-up/cool-down:

  • Muscular Strength & Endurance
  • Aerobic Power
  • Anaerobic Power
  • Circuit Training

Muscular Strength & Endurance
This type of workout will increase a muscle group's ability to exert force and resist fatigue. Since strength and endurance is specific to certain muscle groups, we strongly recommend that you perform push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups in conformance with the criteria used to score the FBI Physical Fitness Test, as your primary strength and endurance exercises.

Aerobic Power
This type of workout will increase the capacity of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal systems to deliver and utilize oxygen for energy. Sustained running should be your primary mode of aerobic training. Exertion should be heavy throughout the workout (i.e., you should be working hard enough that it is impossible to carry on a conversation).

Anaerobic Power
This type of workout will increase the body’s capacity to perform high-intensity work and should consist of short bursts (30–90 seconds) of maximum exertion. We recommend sprint running, as this will best prepare you for the 300-meter sprint on the Physical Fitness Test.

Circuit Training
Circuit training combines elements of aerobic, anaerobic, and muscular strength and endurance exercises with limited rest periods. Rather than always training for these fitness components in isolation, we recommend that applicants perform at least one circuit workout per week to prepare for the multi-stage Physical Fitness Test. Listed below is a sample circuit workout:
  1. Run for 90 seconds
  2. Maximum sit-ups in 30 seconds
  3. Run for 90 seconds
  4. Maximum continuous push-ups
  5. Run for 90 seconds
  6. Maximum continuous pull-ups
  7. Run for 90 seconds
  8. Maximum body weight squats or lunges in 30 seconds
Note: Repeat entire circuit three to five times with one minute of rest in between repetitions.

General Training Guidelines

The general guidelines for training to improve muscular strength & endurance, aerobic power, and anaerobic power are provided in the table below. Applicants should use these guidelines to help structure their workouts appropriately. Special consideration should be given to circuit training as this type of workout best replicates the multi-stage Physical Fitness Test.

Muscular Strength & Endurance Anaerobic Power Aerobic Power
Frequency 2-3 days per week;
non-consecutive days
1-2 days per week 3-5 days per week
Intensity 3-5 sets of max repetitions.
Add resistance for
sit-ups & push-ups
3-10 repetitions of
30-90 second sprints;
maximum exertion
Heavy exertion -
too difficult to carry
on a conversation
Time 30-60 seconds of rest
between sets
Rest twice as long as
20-30 minutes
Clear gif Blue line
Clear gif Accessibility | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Equal Opportunity | DOJ | DNI
FBIjobs.gov is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice
Template image