To join the National Guard, you will need to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test with scores that fall within the accepted range of fitness standards for your gender, weight and height. The Physical Fitness Test consists of three aspects: push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run. If you do not meet the initial body fat, height and weight standards, you will not be allowed to take the test.
The National Guard Physical Fitness test is one of the first things that prospective National Guard recruits are asked to undergo at basic combat training. According to the National Guard Virtual Armory site, the test and accompanying requirements are the same whether you join the Army, Army Reserve or National Guard. The test consists of how many push-ups and push-ups you can complete in two minutes and how quickly you can finish a two-mile run. Your scores on these three tests are determined based on your age and gender, with both the male and female categories divided into 10different age groups. All National Guard soldiers are required to take the test annually, with active duty guardsmen required to pass the test semiannually.
Each of the three portions of the National Guard Physical Fitness Standards test is designed to evaluate a different part of your physical condition. The push-up portion of the test measures your chest, triceps and shoulder muscle endurance, while the sit-up portion is used to measure the endurance of your abdominal and hip-flexor muscles. The two-mile run tests your aerobic endurance and your leg muscles. All three parts of the test must be completed within two hours, with certain guidelines met for each part.
For the push-up portion of the test, both men and women are required to perform a minimum number of push-ups in two minutes according to the set number specified for their age group. For both men and women, the minimum number of required push-ups ranges between 42 for the youngest age group -- which includes individuals between the ages of 17 and 21 -- to 16 for the final age group, which includes men or women 62 and over.
All the age categories for both men and women also include a maximum score; if this number of push-ups is reached or surpassed, the individual is scored as achieving 100 percent of the points allowed. For men, the maximum push-up scores range between 71 for the youngest group and 50 for the oldest. For women, these high-end scores fall between 42 and 25.
As with the push-up standards, the sit-up standards in the National Guard Physical Fitness Standards test are the same for both men and women of the same age. The requirements range from a minimum number of 53 sit-ups for the youngest age group to a minimum number of 26 for the oldest group. The maximum standards range between 78 and 63.
The two-mile run portion of the physical fitness test contains slightly different minimum and maximum completion guidelines for men and women. Men are expected to be able to finish this part of the test in a maximum time that ranges between 15 minutes, 54 seconds and 20 minutes, depending on which age category they fall into. The minimum times for achieving a perfect score on this test portion fall between 13 minutes and 15 minutes, 42 seconds.
Women must complete the test, according to their specific age guidelines, in a maximum time of between 18 minutes, 54 seconds and 25 minutes, with the minimum time cutoff ranging between 15 minutes, 36 seconds and 20 minutes.