You might be ready to join the Army to volunteer and serve your country, but first the Army needs to make sure that it is ready for you to join. Before you can enter basic training, you need to pass a few simple tests. There will be a psychological examination, a medical examination and even a physical examination.
Push-Ups Required to Qualify
In order to pass the initial push-up test, men need to be able to do 13 push-ups and women need to be able to do three. Once you complete the initial fitness test you qualify for basic training, which has much more difficult push-up standards to pass.
Each push-up has to be completed to Army standards, with the following form requirements detailed on the website, army.com:
- You have 2 minutes to perform as many push-ups as you can.
- On the command of "get set," place your hands on the ground. Your feet should be on the ground and can be up to 12 inches apart. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
- On the command of "go," begin your push-up by bending at the elbows. Lower your body down as one unit until your upper arms are at least parallel to the ground. This is the bottom position.
- Once you have reached the bottom position, press yourself back up as one unit to the top position.
As long as you adhere to these instructions your push-ups will count. However, if you make a mistake like not going low enough or failing to keep your body in a straight line, that repetition won't count. When you're performing your test you need to get your first 10 repetitions in a row correct, or else the tester will force you to stop. They will then tell you what mistakes you made and send you to the back of the line where you will wait to be retested.
You can take a miniature break during the push-up test by letting your hips sag towards the ground, almost like cobra position in yoga. As long as your knees don't touch the ground, or you put too much weight in your legs, you can stay in that position until you are ready to keep going.
Fitness Training Unit
If you don't pass the physical exam, including the push-ups, you'll be sent to the "Fitness Training Unit," which gives you a chance to train in order to pass the initial fitness test.
The Fitness Training Unit lasts for three weeks, and is led by an Army physical therapist, according to the U.S. Army's website. The program also takes in Army soldiers who were injured and are going through rehabilitation and brings them back to a base level of fitness.
In the Fitness Training Unit candidates will do supervised workouts and are encouraged to do push-ups and sit-ups on their own time. After completing FTU the soldiers have another shot at passing the initial fitness test. You have up to eight attempts to pass the initial fitness test before you completely fail out.