Are you ready to start a new military or law enforcement career, but you’re worried about failing the physical fitness test (PFT)?  For some candidates, the PFT is the only thing holding them back from a new career or promotion.  Failing a PFT can make you lose your confidence and your motivation.  That’s why it’s critical to pass it the first time.

You only get one chance to make a first impression; and don’t count on another chance anytime soon.  I’ve had some candidates hire me after they failed their PFT.  But because they didn’t pass the first time, they had to wait a whole year to get another test date.

I don’t want that to happen to you.  That’s why I’m sharing 5 proven tactics to greatly improve your chances the first time:

#1  Start Now

Give yourself as much time as possible to get in shape mentally and physically for your PFT.  Your body needs time to adapt and grow stronger, progressively.  Don’t try to go from zero to 100 overnight, especially if you’ve been sitting on the couch for the past year.  It will backfire on you.

If you overtrain in an attempt to “cram” for the test, you are setting yourself up to get hurt.  You do not want to put in all that hard work, only to have it taken away by an injury.  Rest and recovery are an important part of the process.  They are critical to you avoiding injuries, getting the most out of your training, and performing your best on test day.

#2  Know Your Standards

Your physical fitness test standards are based on the service you are applying for and possibly your age and/or gender too.  If you are serious about passing your PFT the first time, you will memorize the qualifications you need to meet.  Not only is it important to know what you need to do, you are also planting the seeds for your body to perform at that level.

Below are links to some of the most popular PFT standards*:



Air Force


Coast Guard

National Guard



#3  Get a Run Faster Coach

For a lot of candidates, the running requirements are the most challenging.  If this sounds like you, get a Run Faster Coach to get you on track to passing.  Not only will a Run Faster Coach help you improve your speed and endurance, she will also help you stay focused and motivated, so you don’t slack off.

#4  Show Heart

The standards for PFTs are high, and yet, totally doable.  They do not require superhuman powers; but they do require heart.  While your initial goal is to pass, you’re ultimate goal is to PERFORM YOUR BEST.  You’re not looking to skate by; you’re looking to score as high as possible.  COs will always respect heart over natural talent.  So always train and perform your best—no matter what!  Be UNSTOPPABLE!!

#5  Practice the Actual Test

Just because you are the “Man” or “Woman” at push-ups and sit-ups does not mean that you’re great at them after a 300-meter sprint or a 2-mile run.  Mix-up your training to include running and strength moves with the same recovery times as the actual test allows.  As your test date gets close, practice taking the entire test with the exact routine, techniques and strategies you will use on the test.  THIS IS HUGE!  It could mean the difference between you passing and not passing.

Be smart and pass your PFT the first time.  Start now.   Know your standards.  Get a Run Faster Coach.  Show heart.  And practice the actual test.

If you’d like to get step-by-step training guidance, motivation and results, enlist in my online Pass Your PFT coaching program today.

Run strong,

Martise Moore

The Run Faster Coach

*These links are provided as a courtesy. I am not attesting to the accuracy of their content. Get the most up-to-date and accurate standards directly from your recruiter or commanding officer.