Peter MacKay introduces new fitness testing for Canadian Forces -

Peter MacKay introduces new fitness testing for Canadian Forces


Members of the Canadian Forces will have to pass a new, and likely harder, annual fitness test starting in April 2014.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the new test, called the Fitness for Operational Requirement for Canadian Armed Forces Employment (FORCE) Program, is meant to more closely replicate scenarios soldiers might face during actual military operations.

Currently, Candadian Forces members must pass a yearly EXPRES test, which was developed in the mid ’80s. It includes a shuttle run, sit ups, push ups and a grip test — all useful for fitness, but not exactly field activities.

The four components in the new FORCE test are: repeated 20-kilogram sandbag lifts, a shuttle run carrying a 20-kilogram sandbag, 20-metre sprints and dragging a 20-kilogram sandbag 20 metres without stopping. The new test will also have one goal for everyone. The older test has different standards, based on age and sex.

The new test will be rolled out in April 2013 and will be mandatory for all service members as of April 2014.

Here are some CF members to demonstrate how it’s done:

The FORCE Evaluation from CFPFSS on Vimeo.

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Peter MacKay introduces new fitness testing for Canadian Forces

  1. Every few years they bring in a ‘new’ fitness test that’s just like the old fitness test, and only suitable for army privates anyway.

    • Are you actually trying to say that the physical fitness standard is high and only people in the army can pass it ? and I’m curious about these new tests, it’s been 10 years and this is the first change I have seen.

      • What?

        Physical fitness in the military is terrible, and always has been.

        When I was in the military they called it 5BX and 10BX.

        The air force doesn’t have much use for lugging sandbags….pongos do. The military needs something that gives everyone something useful.

        • Well you say that the tests are designed for army privates which would imply that they are hard ? the standards are to low as it is which is why physical fitness is an issue.

          • No, I said being able to lug sandbags is useful to army privates. Hefting weights.

  2. Shouldn’t it be FOR CAFE? never mind physical fitness, how low are academic standards dropping?

  3. Smart people don’t join the armed forces.

    • I disagree that smart people don’t join the CF, but would also say we should be encouraging more of them to do so. A smart soldier is an effective and efficient soldier. I fact I’d pay less attention to fitness testing and prefer education and mental ability.

      • “Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.”

        Henry Kissinger

        • Kissinger was a lieing, backstabbing, murdering, criminal scumbag, so considering the source I’m not adding much weight to his point of view.

          I guess that would be military people nowadays as well?

          • Agree totally.

            But lots of people think the same way he does.

            Soldiers do what they’re told. They’re not paid to think.

          • Having been one, I never found that to be the case. Yup you had orders as indeed does anyone working in a tiered organisation, but the freedom to carry out your task within the overall unit frame-work of goals was always in evidence. At least in the unit in which I served, doing the job I did anyway.

          • I have also been one.

            You must have been in the Martian forces.

          • Nope just a Jock with a radio

          • Well, you sound very good on Dawg’s blog.

          • It’s a fine place to discuss stuff indeed

    • I am very sorry to hear that you have abdolutly NO clue what you are talking about! And you are obviously not smart if this is what you think of the men and women who protect your freedom!!!
      I know many many people serving in the armed forces, two are medical students, one is a family practicioner, three are nurses, two are nursing students, and that is just for starters! I also know first hand that the testing required to even become a candidate to enter the military is very difficult! The standard level of physical fitness is extreemly high as well, as you can see frim the article above. And then, there is the training, trades qualifications and peace keeping! Please do not dishonour all those serving and veteran “heroes” with remarks such as this! Especially when there is always a possibility that the could some day save your sorry ass!!!

  4. By the looks of the postings the quality of people that read Macleans is pretty low. Insulting. I serve my country proudly and I get this kind of reaction.

    • Oh puleeze….this isn’t the US with it’s military culture.

      Mind you it isn’t the UK either, no matter what Stevie has told you.

  5. This article has an error in it. The sandbag drag is meant to represent a person drag and is done holding one 20 kg sandbag that is attached to four 20 kg sandbags (i.e. the person is dragging 220 lbs). This standard is not lower, but it is different. The test requires different fitness then the previous one.

  6. The army’s Battle Fitness Test was never fully implemented because it was difficult to administer and far more people failed than was planned for. The same will happen with this. Every location will need the gear and testing will be slow. As middle aged women will be held to the same standard as 20 year old men the standards must be so low as to make the test meaningless or risk having 1/4 of the CF on warnings etc.

    The CF is easily the fattest armed force in the world. Rather than spend the money paying consultants to devise a new test perhaps a simpler way was to order commanding officers to ensure their people did intensive PT at least four times per week. The cause is poor leadership not the lack of the newest test.

  7. The air force has published more details of the tests. As predicted there is no time limit for the 220 lb. drag. One only has to not stop. Stop will no doubt be defined in a metaphysical way that prevents failure. The 400m shuttle carrying a sand bag for alternate 20m legs has a time limit of 5 minutes 21 seconds (roughly a 21.4 minute mile pace- it can be passed without running). The 80 m run in “rushes” has a time limit of 51 seconds (roughly a 18.7 minute mile- a jog may be required). The fourth test involves picking 30 sandbags to as height of about 3 ft with a limit of 3 minutes 30 seconds.

    The tests are done in a gym in PT gear. No weapon, webbing, helmet or body armour. How’s that for replicating real everyday tasks. The longest effort lasts a little over five minutes. What does this prove? That Cpl X can by using every ounce of effort he has work at a high level for five minutes and 41 seconds? Unfortunately the military is often days of effort on end.

    Once Cpl X discovers he can pass the non gender or aged normed test without practice or preparation what will the incentive for him to keep fit? Zero unless he does so out of pride in which case the test is a waste of time.