Police Academy Workouts

The specific workouts and fitness standards for recruits to enter the police academy vary by department. Develop a police academy workout plan that will help you prepare for the physical fitness test.

Push ups are an important part of the police academy workout plan.
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Physical Fitness Testing Requirements

Prior to entering the police academy, recruits must pass a physical agility test that ensures they meet the minimum departmental standards for muscular strength and endurance, aerobic endurance and anaerobic power. The specific events and minimum requirements vary by department.

For example, in Aurora, Colorado, police recruits must pass the following events in the physical fitness test multiple times throughout the academy:

  • 1.5 mile run in 12 minutes, 54 second or less
  • Complete at least 26 push-ups in one minute
  • Complete at least 7 pull-ups
  • Complete at least 35 sit-ups in one minute
  • 300-yard run in 60 seconds or less (The specific time requirement may vary based on sex and age.)

Another example is the test required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission which requires recruits to complete a 300-meter run, a one-rep max bench press, a one-minute timed sit-up test and a 1.5-mile run. The minimum passing requirements for each test vary based on the recruits' sex and age. For example, a male between the ages of 18 and 29 must achieve the following minimum scores:

  • Complete the 300-meter run in 62.1 seconds or less
  • Bench press at least 93 percent of own body weight
  • Complete at least 35 sit-ups in one minute
  • Complete the 1.5 mile run in 13 minutes and 15 seconds or less

The requirements for a female recruit of the same age are as follows:

  • Complete the 300-meter run in 75 seconds or less
  • Bench press at least 56 percent of own body weight
  • Complete at least 30 sit-ups in one minute
  • Complete the 1.5 mile run in 15 minutes and 45 seconds or less

This department also repeats the test prior to graduation from the academy, requiring police trainees to improve their physical fitness scores. In Pennsylvania, the minimum passing requirements for males between the ages of 18 and 29 are:

  • Complete the 300-meter run in 56 seconds or less
  • Complete at least 33 push-ups in one minute
  • Complete at least 40 sit-ups in one minute
  • Complete the 1.5 mile run in 11 minutes and 58 seconds or less

The requirements for a female trainee of the same age are as follows:

  • Complete the 300-meter run in 64 seconds or less
  • Complete at least 18 push-ups in one minute
  • Complete at least 35 sit-ups in one minute
  • Complete the 1.5 mile run in 14 minutes and 04 seconds or less

St. Paul, Minnesota has similar requirements for their police recruits. The test requires a 1.5-mile run, one-rep max bench press, maximum push-up test and vertical jump. This department also offers an alternative test that is one event: a timed 2,000-meter row. In addition, they have a body composition requirement. Waist circumference may not exceed 40 inches for men, or 35 inches for women.

Tip

The physical agility test is only one part of the application process to be accepted into the police academy. Applicants must also take a standardized reading and writing exam, get a medical clearance from a doctor, pass a background check and undergo an interview process.

Read more: How to Prepare for the Police Physical Fitness Test

Police Academy Training Schedule

When getting in shape for the police academy, it is important to have a plan. Reach out to your local police department to learn the specific events and minimum scores for the physical agility exam. It may be helpful to attempt the test ahead of time to evaluate your current fitness level and any weaknesses you may need to improve. Then develop a training plan to improve your strength, speed and endurance.

Your workout program should include both running for aerobic training and strength training in the form of calisthenics and weight lifting. While you can include, and benefit from, other forms of aerobic exercise like cycling and swimming, the physical agility tests include a distance run and a sprint, so it is important that your body is acclimated to this activity.

If you are not currently a runner, start by alternating walking and running. Slowly increase the amount of time you spend running, and decrease the time you walk, until you can complete 30-minutes of running. Then work on improving your speed until you can complete the runs in the required time. When you run, keep your body tall and your chest lifted, and remember to breathe.

Read more: The Best Running Workouts to Transform Your Training

Calisthenics and weight lifting will both help you develop the strength to pass the physical fitness test. Most departments require push-ups and sit-ups, so it is important to include these in your routine. Some departments have other requirements, such as the one-rep max bench press. In this case, it may be helpful to hit the weights. Start slowly, and gradually increase your reps as your strength improves.

Physical Training Considerations

While preparing for the police academy workouts and physical agility tests, take precautions to stay healthy and injury-free. Proper hydration is critical to any successful fitness plan. A general guideline is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, but you may need more if you are doing strenuous exercise.

Proper nutrition plays an important role in meeting your fitness goals. Focus on eating a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. Avoid processed foods, added sugars including high fructose corn syrup, and saturated and trans fats. Don't smoke, and limit your alcohol consumption. It may be helpful to eat six smaller meals throughout the day.

Prior to every workout, perform a dynamic warm-up to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing to your muscles. Some exercises you can use in your warm-up include walking, light jogging, high knees and jumping jacks.

At the end of your workout, dedicate about five minutes to cooling down. You can cool down by doing any of the exercises you used to warm up, at a slow and easy pace. While your muscles are still warm, dedicate approximately 10 minutes to stretching and flexibility. Some stretches you can include in your daily routine include neck rotation, triceps stretch, chest stretch, torso twist, butterfly stretch and hamstring stretch.

Be sure you use proper equipment. This includes well-fitted running shoes and appropriate clothing. This may be light-weight clothing in the summer months, and warmer options when the weather is colder.

Finally, make sure to use the correct form for every exercise. When you can no longer complete a rep with proper form, stop and rest. If you continue with improper alignment, you risk injuring yourself and being unable to continue your academy training.

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