Physical Fitness Standards for Air Force Basic Training

Recruits at Air Force Basic Training
US Air Force/Flickr

The Air Force advises you to get in shape before you report for Air Force Basic Military Training. You should work on your physical conditioning in advance so you will be prepared to pass the fitness standards required for entry and then to go through the physical conditioning and meet the physical training targets required for graduation.

Suggested Fitness Level at Basic Training Arrival

How fit should you be before you arrive? Men and women have different standards to achieve. Here are your targets that will best ensure your success in BMT:

  • Males: 1.5-mile run in less than 13:45 minutes, more than 25 push-ups in a minute, more than 35 sit-ups in a minute.
  • Females: 1.5-mile run in less than 16:00 minutes, more than 15 push-ups in a minute, more than 30 sit-ups in a minute.

The Air Force suggests training for the run by jogging at first at a slow pace for 15 to 20 minutes. As you build your fitness, work up to a level of doing a continuous 30 to 40 minute run three to five times per week.

Fitness Standards Upon Arrival at AFBMT

You will receive an initial assessment of your physical fitness (1.5-mile run, push-ups, sit-ups, and body composition) during zero-week of basic training. This assessment aids in identifying recruits who are in poor physical condition.

  • Men must be able to complete the 1.5 miles run in 18:30 and women must be able to complete it in 21:35.
  • Must meet body composition standards. The abdominal circumference of 39.0 inches for men and 35.5 inched for women. If not meeting this, body fat is estimated and the limits are 20% for men and 28% for women.
  • If you don't meet these two standards, you may be immediately processed for entry-level separation as you are deemed not medically able to complete BMT.
  • Results of this assessment designate a recruit's physical fitness category.
  • Privileges may be revoked if you show no signs of improvement.
  • Recycle action may occur any time a recruit does not improve or fails to meet standards.
  • Airmen on full PC waivers have the same restrictions as those who fail to improve.

Not Meeting Physical Fitness Standards Consequences

It is not advisable to show up at Air Force Basic Military Training out of shape, as recruits have only six weeks (including the in processing week) before they must be able to pass the standards. By far, failing to pass the physical fitness standards is the number one reason that most recruits in Air Force Basic Training get recycled. Recycle is a term that means taking a recruit out of their normal flight, and recycling them into a flight that is in an earlier week of training (usually two weeks).

That means that the recycled recruit spends extra time in basic training. Some recruits are recycled three and even four times for failing to meet the physical fitness standards before the commander finally gives up and initiates administrative discharge action.

Physical Preparation During AFBMT

While at basic, you'll do physical conditioning (PC) six days per week. The six-day-a-week regimen includes three days of aerobic running and three days of muscular endurance training. The runs consist of 40-minute sessions of group-paced running, self-paced running, and six 30-second sprint interval runs separated by brisk walking. Each week, trainees are timed on a 1.5-mile run.

The muscular endurance training takes up to 48 minutes on a circuit of crunches, leg lifts, push-ups, flutter kicks, and pull-ups. These are designed to improve upper body and abdominal strength quickly.

During the entire period of basic training, recruits are individually timed on the 1.5-mile run once per week.

  • Lack of improvement may require a reassessment of your fitness category
  • Improvement may move you into a higher fitness category
  • Recycle action is considered if you are more than a certain time over your allotted running time

Graduation Requirements

The final fitness test is conducted at the end of the 4th WOT/beginning of the 5th WOT (prior to "Warrior Week"). To pass, recruits must meet the following minimum physical fitness standards:


  • 1.5 mile Run - 11:57
  • Sit-Ups in one minute: 42 for age 29 and under, 39 for age 30-39.
  • Push-Ups in one minute: 27 for age 29 and under, 27 for age 30-39.
  • Abdominal Circumference: 35 inches or less


  • 1.5 Mile Run - 14:26
  • Sit-Ups in one minute: 38 for age 29 and under, 29 for age 30-39.
  • Push-Ups in one minute: 18 for age 29 and under, 14 for age 30-39
  • Abdominal Circumference: 31.5 inches or less

The push-ups and sit-ups must all be performed with proper form. If you come close but don't pass, you may be given another chance to pass the test the next day. Recruits who fail to meet the above standards can expect to be recycled for a minimum period of two weeks.

Warhawk Physical Fitness Award

Recruits who make the following minimum standards qualify for the Warhawk Award, which is the highest standard.


  • 1.5 mile Run - 8:55
  • Sit-Ups - 70 in one minute
  • Push-Ups - 65 in one minute
  • Pull-Ups - 10 with no time limit


  • 1.5 Mile Run - 10:55
  • Sit-Ups - 60 in one minute
  • Push-Ups - 40 in one minute
  • Pull-Ups - 5 with no time limit

Thunderbolt Physical Fitness Award

Recruits who make the following minimum physical fitness standards qualify for Thunderbolt Award, or the Honor Graduate requirement. While Physical Fitness is only one small part of the Honor Graduate requirements, a recruit must meet the following minimum physical fitness standards to even be considered for the honor:


  • 1.5 mile Run - 9:30
  • Sit-Ups - 60 in one minute
  • Push-Ups - 55 in one minute
  • Pull-Ups - 5 with no time limit


  • 1.5 Mile Run - 12:00
  • Sit-Ups - 55 in one minute
  • Push-Ups - 30 in one minute
  • Pull-Ups - 2 with no time limit