The Harbinger – Military Physical Fitness Test

Assessing Operational Readiness

The Harbinger is our military physical fitness assessment. At any given time of the year the operator should be able to pass this assessment. Not only does this test show whether or not the individual is physically prepared for duty but also identifies which physical attributes need to be addressed in training.


Assessment Design

The Harbinger was designed with the following goals in mind:
  1. The movements were easy to execute and required little to no technical mastery.
  2. No special equipment is required.
  3. The exercises are easy to “grade” meaning that scoring is more objective than what is commonly seen in military physical fitness assessments.
  4. The loads used are doable for all athletes.
  5. It allows for variances in body types and abilities.
  6. You can push a large number of athletes through it quickly.


Event 1: Total Body Strength Endurance

Max Reps Hip to Overhead in 2 minutes 30 seconds
Load = 95lbs
Passing score = 25 reps
Additional reps = 1 point each
Event Video

Specifics: This event is designed to test the grip as well so the athlete cannot set the bar down once they begin, if they do the test is over. The athlete can rest by holding the bar against the thigh or in the front rack position. The athlete is allowed to either push press the bar overhead, or do a power jerk. The elbows must come to full extension.


Event 2: Lower Body Strength Endurance

Max Reps Lunges in 2 minutes 30 seconds
Load = 95lbs
Passing score = 50 reps (each step is 1 rep, left side + right side is 2 reps)
Additional reps = .5 points for each additional step
Event Video

Specifics: Athlete must lunge all the way down until their knee touches the ground. A mat may be used if desired. The must come to the fully upright position in between each rep.


Event 3 – Upper Body Strength Endurance

Max Reps Bench Press
Load = Bodyweight
Passing score = 10 reps
Additional reps = 1 point for each additional step
Event Video

Specifics: Barbell must touch the chest each time. Elbows must fully extend.


Event 4 – Work Capacity Under Load

Max Reps 25 meter sprints in 90 seconds – 4 rounds total – 60 seconds rest between each round
Load = 25lbs (plate, KB, DB)
Passing score = 40 sprints
Additional reps = 2 points for each 25 meter sprint completed
Event Video

Specifics: You will do 4 rounds of this assessment. One foot must cross the line for that length to count. Each length counts as one rep. If you do not finish a length no points are given. You can use a plate, KB, DB, or ammo can for this assessment.

Event 5 – Aerobic Capacity

3 mile run for time
Passing time = under 24 minutes
Additional points = 1.5 points for every 15 seconds under 24 minutes

Specifics: You will need to convert the run time to a decimal to input into the scoring matrix. Round the time up to the nearest 15 seconds. Each 15 seconds represents .25 – for example if you had a run time of 22:36 then you would round up to 22:45 which is 22.75 in decimal form.


Event 6 – Upper Body Strength Endurance

Max Reps Pull-ups
Passing score = 13 reps
Additional reps = 1 point per rep
Event Video

Specifics: Must full extend the elbows at the bottom. Chin must go above the bar. No kipping.



Student must meet the minimal score on each event to pass the test. Additionally the student must accumulate at least 25 additional points through various events.

25-37.5 Points = Passing

37.5-49 Points = Above Average

50+ Points = Excellent


Printable Score Sheet with instructions

Scoring Matrix to input scores

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