Operator Fitness Test

Hello,

I've been training for the AFSOC test (3 mile run, pushups, Situps, pull-ups, 1500m swim, underwaters) and just recently was told that I would be testing a completely different test called the Operator Fitness Test. The events are nothing like the original PAST test where it was big on aerobic effort. This Operator Fitness Test is basically like the NFL Combine with a 3 mile ruck in it. Here are the events I will be tested on..

-3 mile ruck in 49 minutes, 60 pounds

-Standing Long Jump, 78 inches or greater

-Pro Agility Test, 5.75 seconds or faster

-Trap Bar Deadlift, 225 pounds for 3 reps minimum

-pull-ups, 8 minimum

-Farmers carry, 100 yards with a 53 pound kettlebell in each hand, compete it in 30 seconds or less

-300 yard shuttle run in 80.5 seconds or less

-Combat Fin swim 1500m

-4x25m underwater swim at 02:30 intervals

When training for the PAST or the AFSOC test, I had to run a lot either in sprint intervals or long slow distance runs, perform calisthenics, and swim lots of laps. Cardio, stamina, and endurance was the point. Now, it seems to be all power and speed. How should I train for this now? I imagine that if I trained according to this new test, I can perform. But then if I get to the pipeline and we are running miles on end and etc., I may not have the same cardio base. Any tips on how to keep my cardio base but train for these new standards? I don't want to lose my cardio base and obviously would like to be ready for either test.

-Torres
 

SW

Administrator
Staff member
Operator
You may find this helpful. Article written by an AFSW operator and strength/conditioning coach:


SW
 

Jay_Pew02

Member
The test you are referring to is known as the “Tier II fitness test”. It’s a relatively new test. This test is not being utlitlized through the pipeline. It’s for 3 level Operators and above. (I.e., once you have your beret). Do not worry about this test at all right now, as a candidate or a trainee.

The pipeline is about endurance, stick with the training regiment you’ve been doing that will prepare you for the standards of whatever pipeline you are entering. The pipeline will also Build you to make you much stronger than when you first entered. So by the time you would graduate and have to take your first Tier II, the standards will not even be remotely out of reach for a young 3 level fresh out of the pipeline.

Overall point, Tier II is not the goal for you right now, meeting the already established pipeline standards is.
 

SW

Administrator
Staff member
Operator
Correction to the above: The Operator Fitness Test could likely show up at CRO/STO or enlisted retrainee Phase II selection courses.

Regardless, as Jay_Pew has stated, train for the rigors of A&S and the pipeline rather than a particular test.

SW
 
As a unit, the 306th is utilizing the Operator Fitness Test to gauge how well a candidate for our squadron will physically perform in A&S. After observing the 3rd class of A&S from beginning to end, it was our opinion that the PAST test would not predict physical success in the new A&S in the slightest. The events in the OFT are similar to events witnessed at A&S. While I agree that it is paramount to have a high level of aerobic fitness in the pipeline, it is now just as important to also have the ability to carry a heavy ruck long distances and have a solid strength base.
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
Most interesting is the reliance on the Operator Fitness test for a course, even though it is a assessment and selection course that is no longer occupation specific. The testing standards disclosed in the original post lacks connection to a specific military occupation and if its an officially approved and implemented occupational specific fitness (Tier 2) it is not identified in AFI 36-2908, Fitness Program or any Air Force Guidance Memorandums (AFGMs).

The interesting comes into play from a 2018 AFGM which officially identifies, establishes, and implements the "ALO and TACP Tier 2 Operator Fitness Test". The take away is this operator fitness test is purported to have scientific determined specific relevance to unique TACP-enlisted and TACP-Officer (previously 13L ALO) operational mission sets. There is no Tier 2 swimming requirement in the "ALO and TACP Tier 2 Operator Fitness Test".


From a has-been perspective, the asserting " it is now just as important to also have the ability to carry a heavy ruck long distances and have a solid strength base" is misleading. I was doing actual missions and Combat Rescue Training Exercises (CRTES) throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990 carrying a heavy ruck long distances and having a solid strength requirement was always a necessity once off and away from doing gunner/scanner duties on a helicopter.

I agree with the fallacies of training for test day and it is my understanding one of the purposes of the new Special Warfare A&S course was to get it away from being considered passing a sequence of physical fitness tests.
 

Attachments

Thanks all for the responses. I was just trying to figure out how to balance lots of cardio with some power/strength events. For example, if people are doing more kettlebell work over free weights or combination of several things. I’ll keep training and add in some more weights for the sake of.

Thanks, again. Always appreciate what this site has to offer.

-Torres
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
I cannot offer any advice as to reaching a balance between to types of fitness tests. I posted the video as after watching it, it seems to be a doable something easily obtainable and sustainable.

The big difference in body types I see between past and present, regardless of it being U.S. Army Ranger, SF, USN SEALs, and ect, is body types seems to have changed from lean muscle to bulky muscle. Concurrently it seems to me the new so called Operator Fitness test is well within the realm of being easily passable by those lean muscle body types of my era. Unfortunately, I would need to find the Fountain of Youth and get myself and a few from my era a drink from it to verify this opinion.

Also, in my opinion, by changing what is tested avoids the politics of the occupational physical fitness changes being argued as being made more difficult or less difficult as the only comparison event remaining unchanged is pull-ups with combat fin swim, and the underwater breath holding swim requirements not being radically changed. fins vs no fins, 4 underwater vs 2, but with rest interval change between laps.
 
Hello,

I've been training for the AFSOC test (3 mile run, pushups, Situps, pull-ups, 1500m swim, underwaters) and just recently was told that I would be testing a completely different test called the Operator Fitness Test. The events are nothing like the original PAST test where it was big on aerobic effort. This Operator Fitness Test is basically like the NFL Combine with a 3 mile ruck in it. Here are the events I will be tested on..

-3 mile ruck in 49 minutes, 60 pounds

-Standing Long Jump, 78 inches or greater

-Pro Agility Test, 5.75 seconds or faster

-Trap Bar Deadlift, 225 pounds for 3 reps minimum

-pull-ups, 8 minimum

-Farmers carry, 100 yards with a 53 pound kettlebell in each hand, compete it in 30 seconds or less

-300 yard shuttle run in 80.5 seconds or less

-Combat Fin swim 1500m

-4x25m underwater swim at 02:30 intervals

When training for the PAST or the AFSOC test, I had to run a lot either in sprint intervals or long slow distance runs, perform calisthenics, and swim lots of laps. Cardio, stamina, and endurance was the point. Now, it seems to be all power and speed. How should I train for this now? I imagine that if I trained according to this new test, I can perform. But then if I get to the pipeline and we are running miles on end and etc., I may not have the same cardio base. Any tips on how to keep my cardio base but train for these new standards? I don't want to lose my cardio base and obviously would like to be ready for either test.

-Torres
Does any one know the rest interval between each exercise?
 

SW

Administrator
Staff member
Operator
We got the info. We'll work on putting it into an intelligent format and post it soon.

SW
 
Have a look over this page and let me know if it makes sense.

I'm having a hard time finding the reference for this test. My developer let me know that these events aren't what's being performed anymore. As a prior service, I won't be going to SW Prep and would like to make sure I can pass this test before I ship out on 4/30. Can anyone give the document number so I can make sure I'm looking at current information? Thank you!
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
SW will have to provide the info. The test referenced is what came out of a study the AF pushed thru and implemented back in 2011. If it has changed your developer should have the most current info to disclose.

The Tier 2 fitness test for PJs that is accomplished every year is pretty much what it has always been. It is not a training course standard.
 
SW will have to provide the info. The test referenced is what came out of a study the AF pushed thru and implemented back in 2011. If it has changed your developer should have the most current info to disclose.

The Tier 2 fitness test for PJs that is accomplished every year is pretty much what it has always been. It is not a training course standard.
Below is the thread that says the Tier 2 fitness test is taken pre A&S. That also jives with other sources. My understanding now is that test is taken by prior service as an A&S entrance test. I appreciate you taking the time to entertain my question. I just want to know for my own piece of mind, but I'll just be ready for anything.
 

SW

Administrator
Staff member
Operator
The above referenced SW PT test has not changed. It is a pilot program and therefore there is no available official documentation, regulation number, etc. On the AF PT website, only specifics on the TACP PT test are available.

It is up to SW Prep and the SW Training Group on whether they modify or replace the pilot program PT test. And this could be done for a variety of reasons to include equipment limitations, a particular A&S request, etc. Really, its based off conjecture.

As Coach Shawn from Team ST talks about, don't train for a particular test (ie PAST, operator PT, etc) or your setting yourself up for failure. More info on the fallacies of training for test day here: https://afspecialwarfare.com/fallacies-of-training-for-test-day/

SW
 

Coach AN

Strength and Conditioning Coach
Operator
Thanks all for the responses. I was just trying to figure out how to balance lots of cardio with some power/strength events. For example, if people are doing more kettlebell work over free weights or combination of several things. I’ll keep training and add in some more weights for the sake of.

Thanks, again. Always appreciate what this site has to offer.

-Torres
Torres, just getting caught up with this thread. This is lengthy, but you asked for it.

To provide a more specific answer to your training question, you absolutely should maintain a balance between strength and conditioning. I train and promote a concurrent training model, meaning I train to build all energy systems together, and when focusing on one in particular, I do so in a manner that limits negative impacts on the others.

This really comes down to a balance of volume (how many reps or miles) and intensity (how heavy or fast). I’m general there are 3 energy systems that need to be trained and each has a way to support the other, making you a more capable athlete.

The energy systems I’m talking about are:

Creatine Phosphate System -This is very short lived and used for power/speed/max effort work.

Glycolytic pathway- little longer in duration, anaerobic/relies on sugar, becomes primary when heart rate exceeds 140-ish and oxygen demands are greater than available levels. Not sustainable for long durations.

Oxidative pathway-this is your aerobic base, it lives in a heart rate of under 140. The fuel source is oxygen, so theoretically, this is sustainable for a very long time.

As far as programming goes, throughout the week, I generally promote 3-4 high intensity (heavy 3-5 rep range) strength sessions to build your neural movement efficiency and your creatine phosphate energy system, followed by varying levels of low-moderate volume conditioning sessions. These conditioning sessions are where volume and effort come into play.

There are low, moderate, and high volume days. For our purposes, a low volume conditioning session can be done in under 10 minutes (think HIIT style training) this will mostly train the glycolytic pathway, medium volume days will generally be 10-30 minutes and start by using the oxidative pathway and transition to glycolytic when your aerobic base can no longer support the oxygen demands, and the high volume will be 30 minutes and above, your goal on these days is to stay in the aerobic range (heart rate of 120-140) for the duration of the training session. These days should be rotated throughout your cycles to hit the various energy systems. In addition to your strength training, try to get in at least 2-3 low volume, 1-2 moderate volume and 1 high volume each week.

The way these play together is when you’re creatine phosphate system is strong (meaning you are strong and fast), external resistance is perceived as a lower overall intensity, allowing you to conserve creatine for use only when needed and use your glycolytic pathway for most “heavy lifting” (think sprinting to cover or performing a “deadlift” of heavy debris at a crash site). If your aerobic base is also strong, you can operate using oxygen as a fuel for longer (think rucking several km’s to target, or working for several hours on target without getting winded). This preserves your glycolytic system for when you need shorter bouts of increased effort (dragging a casualty to cover, operating/carrying heavy equipment, holding your weapon up in a gunfight, etc) or allows you to use it for longer duration if you end up needing to carry a heavy item for an extended distance.

Lance Armstrong’s training focused on staying in the oxidative system for as long as possible, so his glycolytic pathway was fresh and available for the uphill portions of the race. This is believed to be one of his real secrets to success (while blood doping tainted his records and clearly aided in his ability to carry oxygen, there is still a lot to learn from his training methods to build aerobic capacity).

So yes, train to get strong, but make sure you incorporate various levels of conditioning to ensure all systems can perform and support each other when necessary.

If this sounds like a lot, it’s because the world of strength and conditioning has come a long way over the past 20 years. When I came in, I trained very poorly and have sustained more injuries than I ever should have. This is exactly why I became so invested in learning how to train properly nearly a decade ago and continue to learn and grow today. I built Team ST to ensure today’s candidates have the right foundation of athleticism to set them up for success so I can retire knowing the mission is in capable hands that may actually be able to sustain a long career with minimal injury.

AN
 
Torres, just getting caught up with this thread. This is lengthy, but you asked for it.

To provide a more specific answer to your training question, you absolutely should maintain a balance between strength and conditioning. I train and promote a concurrent training model, meaning I train to build all energy systems together, and when focusing on one in particular, I do so in a manner that limits negative impacts on the others.

This really comes down to a balance of volume (how many reps or miles) and intensity (how heavy or fast). I’m general there are 3 energy systems that need to be trained and each has a way to support the other, making you a more capable athlete.

The energy systems I’m talking about are:

Creatine Phosphate System -This is very short lived and used for power/speed/max effort work.

Glycolytic pathway- little longer in duration, anaerobic/relies on sugar, becomes primary when heart rate exceeds 140-ish and oxygen demands are greater than available levels. Not sustainable for long durations.

Oxidative pathway-this is your aerobic base, it lives in a heart rate of under 140. The fuel source is oxygen, so theoretically, this is sustainable for a very long time.

As far as programming goes, throughout the week, I generally promote 3-4 high intensity (heavy 3-5 rep range) strength sessions to build your neural movement efficiency and your creatine phosphate energy system, followed by varying levels of low-moderate volume conditioning sessions. These conditioning sessions are where volume and effort come into play.

There are low, moderate, and high volume days. For our purposes, a low volume conditioning session can be done in under 10 minutes (think HIIT style training) this will mostly train the glycolytic pathway, medium volume days will generally be 10-30 minutes and start by using the oxidative pathway and transition to glycolytic when your aerobic base can no longer support the oxygen demands, and the high volume will be 30 minutes and above, your goal on these days is to stay in the aerobic range (heart rate of 120-140) for the duration of the training session. These days should be rotated throughout your cycles to hit the various energy systems. In addition to your strength training, try to get in at least 2-3 low volume, 1-2 moderate volume and 1 high volume each week.

The way these play together is when you’re creatine phosphate system is strong (meaning you are strong and fast), external resistance is perceived as a lower overall intensity, allowing you to conserve creatine for use only when needed and use your glycolytic pathway for most “heavy lifting” (think sprinting to cover or performing a “deadlift” of heavy debris at a crash site). If your aerobic base is also strong, you can operate using oxygen as a fuel for longer (think rucking several km’s to target, or working for several hours on target without getting winded). This preserves your glycolytic system for when you need shorter bouts of increased effort (dragging a casualty to cover, operating/carrying heavy equipment, holding your weapon up in a gunfight, etc) or allows you to use it for longer duration if you end up needing to carry a heavy item for an extended distance.

Lance Armstrong’s training focused on staying in the oxidative system for as long as possible, so his glycolytic pathway was fresh and available for the uphill portions of the race. This is believed to be one of his real secrets to success (while blood doping tainted his records and clearly aided in his ability to carry oxygen, there is still a lot to learn from his training methods to build aerobic capacity).

So yes, train to get strong, but make sure you incorporate various levels of conditioning to ensure all systems can perform and support each other when necessary.

If this sounds like a lot, it’s because the world of strength and conditioning has come a long way over the past 20 years. When I came in, I trained very poorly and have sustained more injuries than I ever should have. This is exactly why I became so invested in learning how to train properly nearly a decade ago and continue to learn and grow today. I built Team ST to ensure today’s candidates have the right foundation of athleticism to set them up for success so I can retire knowing the mission is in capable hands that may actually be able to sustain a long career with minimal injury.

AN
Coach AN,

Thanks for an incredibly well thought-out response. I'm looking into joining Team ST; I like how you train injury prevention and thorough preparation. Does the program include any type of nightly stretching regimen? I'm sure to join as soon as these gyms open up, yet for now am doing what I can with cals and runs.

Foreman
 

Coach AN

Strength and Conditioning Coach
Operator
Coach AN,

Thanks for an incredibly well thought-out response. I'm looking into joining Team ST; I like how you train injury prevention and thorough preparation. Does the program include any type of nightly stretching regimen? I'm sure to join as soon as these gyms open up, yet for now am doing what I can with cals and runs.

Foreman
There is a cool down progression after each workout, that your free to do anytime if you’re feeling it. However, just note there was a such a thing as “too much” stretching. Despite popular belief, stretching does not improve your functional range of motion, this comes from training with resistance to your range of motion and building up that comfort zone with your central nervous system (CNS). The benefit from stretching after training isn’t from increased mobility; but rather, elongating the muscles to increase blood flow and slow your breathing to bring you back into the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system. This promotes recovery much quicker (up to 4 hours) post training and better prepares you for the next days session.
 
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