Soldier Fitness Tests

In order to join the Regular or Territorial Army you are required to prove you have the level of fitness needed to begin full training.

Here is a guide to the various tests you will be required to pass at the selection centre before moving to the next stage of your application.

Compulsory Tests

  1. Static Lift
  2. Jerry Can Carry
  3. 2.4km (1.5 mile) timed Run

Other Tests you may be required to complete

  • Heaves
  • Back Extension
  • Dynamic Lift


Static Lift

The Static Lift is described as an exercise to simulate lifting heavy kit and ammo on to the back of an Army truck. The reality is that you will be expected to lift power bags which will vary in weight progressively becoming heavier safely to a height of 1.45m.

The Weight of each power bag is as follows:AMMO-BOX

  • 15kg
  • 20kg
  • 25kg
  • 30kg
  • 35kg
  • 40kg

You will lift each bag in order of weight until completion or failure and your score will be based on the total amount of kilograms lifted.

Jerry Can Carry

This test is to determine the strength you have in your upper arms and shoulders. It is also a test of grip.

You are required to carry two Jerry Cans (water containers) each weighing 20 kilograms along a total distance of 150 metres.jerry-cans

With your arms by your side and carrying one Jerry can in each hand you will be expected to complete this course in under 2 minutes.


You are required to keep a pace of no less than 5.4km/h and will be scored on the distance in metres that you can carry the 20kg weights maintaining the minimum pace.


The Run

The famous run is a 2.4km (1.5 mile) track in which you must complete the full distance within the given time. The time you have to complete the run will vary depending on the position within The Army that you have applied for.

Before starting your timed run, you will warm up as a squad with the other people in the selection process. This consists of a slow jog and walk over a distance of 800 metres.  You will then immediately begin your test.

The required times for the various regiments within The Army are as follows:

British army troop

Parachute Regiment - Run Time 09.40
Parachute Regiment (Junior)  – Run Time 10.00
Parachute Regiment (TA) – Run Time 10.30

Infantry – Run Time 12.45

Royal Artillery, Armoured Corps, Royal Engineers, Household Cavalry – Run Time 13.15

Royal Signals, Army Air Corps, Royal Logistic Corps, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, Adjutant Generals Corps, Army Medical Services, Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Intelligence Corps, and Corps of Army Music – Run Time 14.00

All Junior Entry (Less Para) – Run Time 14.30

The run will be on a level ground with a stable running surface.

In order to prepare for these tests – take a look at our Cardio and Strength exercises and workouts to build your fitness and ensure you pass Army Selection

Go to the Cardio Vascular training page

Go to the Strength Training and Workouts page


65 thoughts on “Soldier Fitness Tests

  1. Are you absolutey sure about the run time requirements? I’m not critisising, I find this website useful, its just i need to know. Also could you go into more detail on the non compulsery tests?

    • Hello Tom

      Apologies for the delay in replying.

      I can confirm that the run times are accurate. I contacted the British Army Recruitment Offices and asked for the details of all current run times.

      I really appreciate your feedback and plan to add more regarding posts and resources regarding the non compulsory tests shortly.

      Have you recently signed up to join the Army?



    • Hi Aaron

      I am afraid I don´t know the answer to this – perhaps somebody in this forum knows the answer? If not you could contact the British Army directly. Someone in their recruitment team will be able to help

    • Hi Ryan

      It does depend on which area of the British Army you are aiming to join. The time of 12.45 is the pass mark for infantry of the regular Army. If for example you wanted to join the Royal Engineers the time is 13.15


    • Hi Mike

      Currently there are not a standard minimum amount of press ups you need to complete in basic soldier training although you will be expected to keep up with the high level of expectation set by the officers training you. The current tests which are a simple Pass/Fail are on the soldier tests area of this website


  2. I’m applying for the Royal Engineers, and have noticed the 1.5m run time is 13.15. Is this just for the fitness test and will I have to improve as the training progresses, or will that be the standard throughout training?

    • Hi Elliot

      Apologies for such a late reply, your comment found its way into the spam folder by mistake.

      The purpose of all army training is to progress and improve and so yes, you will be expected to improve on your time. You also need to take into consideration that you are competing against other people and so want to give it your best effort to ensure you are at the top of the pack. The minimum of 13.15 shouldnt be too difficult for anyone who is fit and you should really be aiming to get a run time of under 10 minutes.

  3. Just thought I’d add too the runtime comment, athough they are the basic requirements, its worthwhile training and aiming for the best you can do ie. Under 10 mins reguardless of your prospective job role, because you will be in compitition after selection for that job role

  4. It says for the infantry the run time is 12.45, but when I have been to the army careers office they said you need a minimum of 10.30 to pass adsc, also I have read that you can pass adsc with a run time of 11 miniutes is this true?

    • Hi Callum

      The times shown on the website were supplied by the British Army Recruitment centre less than 6 months ago.

      Level 1: Run Time 09.40 Parachute Regiment

      Level 2: Run Time 10.00 Parachute Regiment (Junior)

      Level 3: Run Time 10.30 Parachute Regiment (TA)

      Level 4: Run Time 12.45 Infantry

      Level 5: Run Time 13.15 Royal Artillery, Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Engineers, Household Cavalry

      Level 6: Run Time 14.00 Royal Signals, Army Air Corps, Royal Logistic Corps, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, Adjutant Generals Corps, Army Medical Services, Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Intelligence Corps, and Corps of Army Music

      If you are joining as an officer, the official time required to complete the run is 10.30.

      You have to remember that the Army are looking to recruit people who want to be challenged whilst also looking for people who have the potential to progress quickly.

      You should be aiming to get under 10 minutes in reality!

  5. great website you have here but i have a question, are press-ups part of the test? i keep getting told that i need to be able to do atleast 44 in 2 minutes but aren’t getting too much gain at the moment (36 in 2 minutes) if i am tested on press-ups are you allowed to have a rest during the 2 minutes? i’ve applied to join the reme as an aircraft tech, i’m currently doing my 1.5m run in 9.45 and have a pb of 9.10. could someone also elaborate on the 3 that may be used for tests (Heaves, Back Extension, Dynamic Lift) how many do you need to do or what exatly is tested during them?

    it’s just press-ups i’m worried about as they are the only thing i’m having problems with. sit-ups 60+ in 2 minutes, heaves 5-8. i’m a little confused so any help would be greatly appreciated.

    sorry if this is too long but i just need a little guidance, i have only just requested a new medical email due to me being on medication when the last one was recieved.

    • Hi Adam

      Thanks for your post. Let me try to help. With regards to the press ups, you can take a rest during the two minutes if needed. I think the best advice is to get as many as possible out in the first attempt, rest for 20 seconds providing you have time and then get the rest of them done. However, who is it that has told you that it is compulsory to complete 44 press ups during your initial selection. Here is a copy and paste of part of an email I received recently from the Army Recruitment Centre:

      As part of the selection process to join the Regular or the Territorial Army you will be required to pass a fitness test. The following are the tests that you will need to do at the Selection Centre.

      Please Note there is No Sit Ups, No Press Ups or No Heaves, you just do exactly what it says below.

      If you are going to being taking part in the Army Officer Selection Board then yes, there are press ups as part of the test and you are correct that for men it is 44 in two minutes, 21 for women.

      With regards to improving, which should be the main objective with or without the test (as you will need plenty of strength for phase 1 training) take a look at this page 100 Press Ups Challenge which has a link to an app that trains you and helps you build your strength. It´s very effective!

      Good Luck!

  6. No problems, thanks for replying!! Such a good website. Are you serving?

    Yeah I can do the run in about 11 minutes at the minute. Just trying to get it faster.

    Doing my research before my interview. Thanks for all the help.

    • Hi Elliot

      No, I am not personally serving but am quite heavily involved in the fitness industry and have a keen interest in all things military.

      Thanks for the kind words and best of luck with selection!

  7. Make sure you do loads of reaserch on the reg you want to join and what happens in phase 1 and2 cos if not they can fail your interview! I only just scraped a pass 4 week ago.

    • Hi Mike

      Great point. To help improve this site I have a question to everyone reading this. Would you benefit from a resource on this website that acted as a learning bank so you could get more information on each regiment?

  8. Despite the time being 12:45 for the Infantry on the 1.5 mile run, I completed it 2 months ago in 12:06 during a PDFA (Before Selection) and was told I had to come back in order to re-do the run in around 10:30. I think this was due to how competitive the Army has become!

    Hope this could help.

    • Hi David

      This is helpful and thanks for the info. It just goes to show that despite that the times are the bare minimum you have to achieve in order to pass. You have to also remember that if they have a lot of people applying for selection, the Army are in position to choose who they want, which means the quickest and strongest.

      Good luck with the next run. Have you downloaded the free ebook? I am in the process of creating a more in depth program to help people and any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

  9. I found this really helpful, it gave me a lot of information that I needed to know before my interview in 2 weeks time about some of the requirements for selection.

  10. I’ve got per selection on in 2 weeks and they told me I have to have it less then 10.30 on the run, I’m applying for infantry I’m confused, I live in bolton and have ore selection in Preston, can you shed some light on this?

    • Hi Danny

      Sorry for the late reply – I have been away.

      Despite the official times, there is a lot of competition currently and the Army are only recruiting the best candidates. This means that you are not so much competing against the official time barrier but against the other people in selection.

      The best advise I have seen from an Army officer is to push like you have never pushed before and do everything you can to get in the top 20%.

      They are looking for people who stand out and are willing to push the boundaries.

      Good Luck!

  11. hi i recently applied for the army and iv been invited for my first interview.
    i personally think i am capable of completing all of the above exercises but the problem is i am 20, i am around 5ft 10 and weigh around 9 and a half stone. i am worried about the BMI in the medical.. i think thats the only place i will fail. will that be a problem for me? iv been naturally skinny my whole life.

    • Hi Ryan

      Regardless of if you are skinny, providing you are strong enough and fast enough to pass the physical side of selection you will be ok.

      Gaining a bit of muscles will obviously work in your favour – have you tried anything to try and build yourself up a bit?

      To Ryan and anyone else reading this, the Army do take a recruits BMI (Body Mass Index) into consideration and have both an upper and lower limit. This means that if you are significantly underweight you may not be passed forward to selection.

      I have been informed that my above comment was incorrect so apologise for any confusion!

  12. I have my selection soon (18th Sept) and I am somewhat worried. I am a woman aiming to join the Air Corps and can complete my run in 11:29 as my pb, but I’m struggling more with the strength tests. I have managed to clean and press 40kg with a bar and weights in the gym, but I’m struggling with the can carry and only manage about 50 meters before they slip out of my grip. I am somewhat worried – especially with recruitment being fiercely competitive, and there are sure to be many guys that don’t struggle with this compared to ladies that do. Could you confirm to me how the assessment for these strength elements is done? Is this part of the cumulative points scoring system or a straight up pass/fail element? Also – any tips to practice the can carry? (other then my current trudging up and down the garden with my own water filled cans!) would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hi Kylie

      Thanks for your message.

      The scoring system for the can carry is scored based on the distance you are able to carry the cans. The further you get along the 150m course, the higher you score.

      50 metres is a good starting point, and I am sure on the actual day a mixture of adrenalin and determination will ensure you carry them further than you thought possible.

      When starting get a strong firm grip on them and concentrate on keeping your hands completely closed. It might be worth googling tips for weight lifters to maintain good grip when lifting.

      Also, if they have chalk use a load and make sure the handles arent wet when you pick the Jerry cans up.

      Good Luck!

    • Hi Karl

      Officially a time of 11 minutes should be enough based on the time barriers set out HOWEVER – recruitment is extremely competitive at the moment and the requirement to be selected may be tougher than usual. The best thing to do is contact your recruitment office if you have any concerns and aim for under ten minutes.

      Good Luck!

  13. The run times on posted on here are correct. However you really do need to aim for 10.30 or below.

    Having done ADSC, I ran the mile and a half in 10.47. I did not pass.
    I was running for PWRR infantry.

    The volume of applicants is at its highest, and there is plenty of competition to each allocated job.

    Just remember the better you perform at ADSC, the better the grade you will pass with.

    The higher the grade, the quicker you will be allocated a space for Phase one Basic training!

    Wish you all the best

  14. Hi,
    I was in Belfast to do my ADSC and was reported to have medical issues but I have done what they asked and been to a specialist and the results are fine, im still waiting for word back. How long do you think it could take before Im contacted to come back up again?

    Regards, Hollie

    • Hi Hollie

      I have heard stories from other people that it can take a long time if you simply wait for the call. At the moment a lot of people are applying so in my opinion they don’t have to chase people as in previous times.

      My advice would be to get in touch with your recruitment office and push for a date to go back.

      Good Luck

    • Hi Callum

      There are currently two factors to take into account – The time limit AND the competition from other recruits. At the moment there are a lot of people trying to get into Army and due to this it has become a case of the fastest getting through and the slower ones being failed.

      You need to get the time required as a bare minimum but should also be looking to be better than the other people there for selection.

      Get training, get fit and good luck!

  15. I just recently completed my PDA (Pre selection) and I was always under the impression it was 12.45 to pass (infantry by the way).

    But the PTI’s made it very clear I needed to be coming in at around 10.30 or less. I done mine in 12.11 which I was happy with but it wasn’t good enough!

    If I remember, I’ll back on this site when I pass and leave a message! :)
    I will pass!!!! ;)

    • Hi Brendy

      Love your attitude and we certainly want to hear from you when you pass. I am thinking of creating a page for people to post their times and success stories.

      Best of luck with the training, I am sure you will pass!

  16. Hi, thought i’d ask your opinion on my overall fitness. I’m hoping next year to sign up for the army, engineers, armour or artillery. But don’t know where i stand. My run is 12.40 approx still improving. (not tried going flat out yet) press ups 40-44 in 2mins, sit ups 45+, pull ups over hand 7 to 9, underhand 8-10. I’m 5ft 9 and 12 stone 10. Average build. Sorry about the lengthy email.

    • Hi Manual

      It sounds as though you are quite fit, and on the right path.

      If you are working towards joining the Army next year you have a good amount of time to really focus on being as fit as you possibly can be.

      The Army will recruit and put the fittest soldiers through to phase 1 quicker so it´s a great motivator to make sure you can be in the top 10% of recruits.

      Keep going with the training, set goals and work towards them!

      Good Luck

  17. Hi, I’m rather concerned with my running abilities. I struggle to run past a couple of miles without my legs giving out. My run time has only improved slightly from 12:40 to 12:20, but i’m struggling to run further distances. I want to run 5k but im unsure how fast i should be going or if i should jog slowly.

    In regards to my 1.5 miler should i jog steady for the first mile then go flat out the last 0.5. Also my legs take long to recover 3-4 days i’m worried if its my form causing stress on my legs making them hurt and recover slowly.

    I would appreciate any advice with how to improve and avoid injury.

  18. don’t worry mate my legs used to be the same they used to be like jelly after running a couple Km it’s just your legs are out of shape,try running the 1.5 mile run with someone who’s fitter than you,you need to push yourself more and your time will improve,I know you mind is telling you you can’t push yourself a further but you really running at probably just 70%,run every 2nd day at for now and make sure you beat your previous best at the 1.5 mile run

  19. The run times you have down are totally wrong. Im a serving soldier and can 100% confirm this. It is age dependent rather than job related. A male aged 18-29 has 10:30. 30-34 has 11:00. 35-39 has 11:30 40-45 has 12:00.
    Any lads wishing to join need to be comfortably running 1.5miles in around 9:30 to be able to cope with the fitness levels placed through basic trg.
    Hope this helps clear things up.

    • Hi Joe

      Thank you for this interesting message. I would like to explain that the details I have published were provided directly by the British Army Recruitment Team within the last 12 months and so I believed them to be completely accurate.

      I am looking into this and will update you all with my findings. It is possible that the times have recently changed.

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    • Hi George – I am currently awaiting information to confirm the current times from the British Army and will update you accordingly


    • Hi Molly

      The information on the Soldier fitness tests cover all the physical tests you are required to do during the application process. The press ups and sit ups requirement only apply for anyone joining as an officer.

      Good Luck!

  20. Hi,

    I’ve got a 1 day PDA tomorrow, currently running at around 12minutes, hoping the adrenaline etc will lower that time. I noticed a lot of people saying that they look more to get people running below 10:30 because of competition. Is this the case for the Army Reserve as well as that’s what i’m joining (Artillery reserve). I’m hoping it’s not as competative for spaces and they have a bit more leniency!

    Hopefully the time between this and selection (unconfirmed date) should give me more time to improve.


  21. I don’t know if this is just for infantry – if so then disregard the below!
    I did my Selection in November and passed with an A grade. I did my run in 12:38. My maximum time as told on the day to complete was 14mins (air corps).

  22. Joe is confusing the Physical Selection Standards (Recruits) and the Personal Fitness Test.

    The PSS(R) are intake standards which all applicants are required to meet in order to have the minimum fitness to start military training. This site correctly lists the run standards. Successful candidates will enter Phase 1 training which will then develop them physically to the standard required of a soldier.

    The PFT is then a test which is taken twice a year by trained soldiers. Joe has quoted the trained soldier run times, which are variable standards designed to be ‘age and gender fair’ for serving soldiers throughout their career.

    • Hi Andy

      Thanks for your comments. I hope that this helps anyone who was unsure if the quoted run times on this page were correct. I am glad they are and if there are any changes you can be sure they will be updated here straight away.

  23. Hello Carl

    I found the information on this website VERY helpful! It’s nice to know the extra little details of what can be expected, such as the 800 metre warm up before the 1.5 mile run.


    • Glad you are finding it useful – Look out for our new book coming out in February – It is a guide for people considering a career in the British Army and contains 100 of the most commonly asked questions. It is going to be essential reading for any new recruit!

  24. Hello. Read your site with interest and of course it appears very constructive and helpful. I write re my grandaughter ( my days were over many years ago) who has done her 1st assessment day but failed on the jerry can carry. She has now been told that she will have to return for this retest of this part only. I know that it is up to 150m. But what is the minium distance required. I have to plastic ex mil water jacks full of 20 litres each for practice but would like to know at what stage she achieves before requesting a retest. Regards Viv

    • Hi Vivian and thank you for the message.

      The majority of recruits who pass selection will complete the Jerry Can Carry. You grandaughter should be aiming to at least complete 120 metres but this is not an exact distance that decides a pass or fail.

      The things that will help her are:

      A strong grip – practice the amount of time she is able to hold weights before they slip from here grasp. Get a good firm grip at the beginning and do everything possible to not let go.

      Shrugs – this exercise can help build shoulder strength and make her life easier

      Practice Practice Practice – Get her to train with the cans every day in the garden until she is able to complete close to 2 minutes without letting go

      Best Of luck!

  25. Hi,

    I recently posted on this webpaige but it didn’t post for some reason. Anyway I am 16 and I ran my mile and a half on the treadmill in 13 minuets, I can do around 40 sit ups in 2minuets and 27 press ups (but I’m not to worried about them) what worries me is that I can’t do any pull ups and was wondering if they are compulsory for the royal artillery or not? I am fine with team building skills as I was a lance corporal in the royal marine cadets and am now currently a leading cadet in the sea cadets, so yeah to sum it all up, are heaves compulsory and would my mile and a half be fast enough concidering it’s on a treadmill, oh and I also wear glasses, my eyes aren’t terrible, just a lazy left eye which doesn’t caulse me any problems so could that prevent me joining? Also if I apply within two to three weeks how long could it be until I go to selection? And can i go whilst i am still in school? :)

    I know there is a lot but please try and answer!:) many thanks, Daniel.

    • Hi Daniel

      Your run time of 13 minutes – In all honesty you need to be aiming for a quicker time and not on a treadmill either. Running on a treadmill is not a realistic environment and is generally easier than running outside. What is your best time outside? At the moment it is extremely competitive and you should be aiming for 10 minutes as a goal. Have you downloaded our free ebook?

      Regarding your eyesight. The British Army do have rules surrounding the minimal eyesight you can be accepted with. The best thing to do first is have an opticians examination and ask for a written document with your eye sight and take this with you to the recruitment office. They will be able to give you more information.

      Regarding your pull ups. You will not have a test for pull ups in selection however you should really work on your upper body strength to be able to achieve them. I myself am pretty awful at pull ups so I know how it is. Going back to what I said about how competitive it is at the moment, the more you are able to do the better!

      For recruitment time, it depends on the waiting list of the area you live in and how soon they have space. Go to your recruitment office and have a chat with them asap to get started!!

      It seems that with your cadet experience, providing you pass the eyesight part of the medical you will probably so really well and I wish you the best of luck

  26. did mine this week in 9.22 my previous best was over 11 minutes you will naturally push yourself harder on the day and also the competition running with you will improve your time. i passed lads make sure you know what you will be doing in both phase 1 and phase 2 because you will be deferred if you don’t make sure you take everything in the list that they email you.

    • Well Done on getting through and congratulations on the 9.22 time.

      You are absolutely right about knowing everything you need before you arrive because you will only put yourself at a disadvantage otherwise.

      Army Fitness Test are currently in the final stages of finishing our first book that is going to be essential reading for anyone thinking of joining the Army. “100 Most asked questions by new recruits” is a complete guide that will answer the most common and relevant questions so that you have everything you need throughout your British Army Application.

      We will be giving away copies to everyone who submitted a question and a further 10 copies can be won. The launch for this is February 2014 and will contain up to date and expert information.

      More details to follow

  27. Why did you completely ignore my question, I have been waiting for a reply, and today was the day you did but totally ignored me. #helpfull.

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