Tactical Tailor

Hawaii-based Sailors Test Changes During Physical Fitness Assessment Study

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) — Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of the year again: physical fitness assessment season. As we’re surrounded by the unwavering dedication of command fitness leaders and the Sailors within each command, one can’t help but get in to the fitness spirit. On May 29, the former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson visited Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and announced the addition of the 2-kilometer row cardio option and forearm plank that will replace the curl-up. On Oct. 7, Sailors gathered in the fitness center on base to commence the testing of the new workout metrics.

The study consisted of three different days of exercise. Day one focused on introducing Sailors to the 2-kilometer row, practicing the correct rowing technique. On day two, the Sailors performed pushups, the forearm plank and the 12-minute bike assessment. Day three focused on pushups, the forearm plank and the second trial of the 2-kilometer row. A big focus during this study was how Sailors perform the new plank as opposed to the curl-ups.

“The plank allows you to build that core strength,” said Lt. Cmdr. Melissa Laird, the work sponsor of the study from the 21st Century Sailor office. “It’s really a better test and better modality to assess that core strength than the curl-up is. It works on giving you good posture and it also has less chance of aggravating low back injuries which you can see with the curl-up.”

Laird also said that adopting a new form of cardio within the PFA allows Sailors an alternative to the standard 1.5-mile run. The rower uses approximately 70 percent of the body’s musculature so it provides a good cardiovascular workout that is low impact.

Sailors representing multiple commands volunteered to be the test subjects for this study. A seamless transition into adopting these two modalities for the PFA in the year 2020 is the end goal according to Laird.

Mr. Jay Heaney, a research physiologist from the Naval Health Research Center and the principle investigator for the study, explained the process of gathering the information from the Sailors’ performance and how it will be applied to the new PFA.

“We try to get as many people as we can within the age groups by gender,” said Heaney. “Then we look for what the norms are; what the high, medium and low scores are. From that, we will develop what the scoring metrics are for the different categories of the PFA.”

Heaney said that the Navy is trying to put a bigger emphasis on physical fitness as ship-based Sailors are required to climb ladder ways and do a lot of heavy lifting throughout their workday.

“I volunteered because I wanted to see what the new PFA would look like,” said Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 3rd Class Amanda Zwiebel. “Not only to prepare myself but to prepare my peers and my command.”

According to Heaney, at the end of the day, it is important that our service members have complete physical readiness. The addition of two new workouts to the PFA helps the U.S. Navy move in the right direction.


By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Aja Bleu Jackson, NPASE West det. Hawaii Public Affairs

12 Responses to “Hawaii-based Sailors Test Changes During Physical Fitness Assessment Study”

  1. FatShamer says:

    This fitness test is another feminist desaster, existing only to allow the incompetent, weak and unfit a way to pass.

    The requirements are laughable and in stark contrast to the stated goals of the PFA. How exactly is biking necessary or reasonable for sailors? How is rowing testing the physical strength of the applicants? Where are the tasks that test lifting and ladder climbing?

    There are non.

    By lowering the standard you just increase the number of people on the job unable to perform the job. Stop doing this idiotic shit just to appease the feminist overlords. The effectiveness of any military depedns on the high standards of its recruiting process as well as on their mental and physical ability to perform.

    Just tell everyone how it is: The curls had to go because fat people and most women were unable to perform them in time. Trust me, the planks will have to go too, because fat people will become so fat, that they wont be able to plank without their belly touching the floor, carrying its own weight.

    • Mike says:

      Looks like they need to add a spelling test.

    • Nicks87 says:

      Blame the commanders and generals for not standing up to the politician enforced diversity standards. I’m pretty sick of hearing people complaining about military standards going down the tube while officers and senior enlisted personnel SAY NOTHING BUT YES TO THIS NONSENSE! I got out of the military because brown-nosed yes-men refused to stand up to leadership. Officers and senior enlisted have no one to blame but themselves for lack of standards, lack of quality recruits and lack of retention. The military is no longer a place for fighting men, it’s a place for LGBT acceptance, safe places and diversity. CONGRATULATIONS AMERICA!!! You gutted yourself.

    • Ed says:

      FS, are you even in the Navy??? If not then shut your pie-hole!

      Do you even know how to row?? Use the C2 correctly?? If no, then STFU!

      This is great for us old vets 40+, if you have no back issues, injuries sustained from multiple deployments or any SOF experience, the STFU!


      • EZ says:

        Ed, well I am in the Navy and I think its a joke. I have thought the PRT has been a joke. If you cant do the basic PT test. Wait until your ship is on fire to find out you are in bad shape. As far as an old guy ion his 40s. Well, I am there I have back issues and neck. I still think that Navy SOF should do the old SEAL PRT, Swim, push up, sit-ups, pull-ups, and a 3mile timed run. if you want to be special prove it and do the work.

      • Nicks87 says:

        Perfectly said by a back office yes man that has no future prospects beyond the service. You have to hold on to that military career as tight as you can because you cant handle becoming irrelevant or not having 20 year olds to boss around anymore. If the PT test is too hard, then F-ing retire already. Plenty of fit young saliors waiting to fill your billet.

  2. GANDIS says:

    Well I’ll take the opposite view and say I hope the Air Force is watching. Cause sit ups got to go. The Army just canned thiers as well.

    • Matt-EOD says:

      The Air Force “situp” should go because it’s the easiest part, does nothing and can effectively be cheated by using the form that makes it easiest. Always able to max the situps portion in about 30-40 seconds with the right form for making it easy. Sadly with the new Tier 2 test they only made the situps more complicated and weird.

    • Philip says:

      I wish…but Big Blue is bureaucratically stubborn and quite the fan of mission creep. PT for 98% of the AF could go; but that’ll never happen.

      I think a once a year test (pass/fail) should be sufficient. I am also supportive of the proposal that mock tests count for currency status if the outcome is a passing score and no harm if they are not. Mock tests have been weaponized by unscrupulous commanders as yet another tool to shame, punish, and ostracize struggling personnel who may be otherwise invaluable in terms of job performance and technical proficiency. How fast you run in a circle is not (generally) indicative of your contribution to your mission.

      Dropping from 10 to 5-year age brackets would also be helpful. I still pass my PT tests without issue, but expecting me to perform to the same standard at 29 that I did at 18 is absolutely nuts.

      • joe_momma says:

        Aren’t age/sex brackets counterintuitive since the job duties don’t change based on age/sex? If the job requirements are the same; lift this, carry that, move here, run there, etc. then shouldn’t the requirements be the same across the board? If an 18 year old has to do XYZ results as it’s been determined that’s the proper aerobic measure of the job, does that aerobic measurement of the same job change for a 40 year old? Is the requirements of battle different? Will an older soldier carry less weight, run shorter distances, be expected to do less when faced with the exact same scenario as a 20 year junior?

        • Philip says:

          You are correct. But the AF appears more worried about how someone looks on paper 1 or 2 times a year. And that’s based on PT standards that very clearly decrease performance expectations based on age. So until that mindset changes or PT is overhauled completely, that will continue to be the norm.

          However, the vast majority of us are in support roles where physical exertion is minimal (if at all) and the rigors of combat fitness escape our reality. Rear echelon — dare I say maybe even peacetime — complacency has pervaded nearly every unit and work center in some way, save for those on the Ops side who are actively involved in the missions most others could not speak to without the assistance of Google.

        • Philip says:

          I’m guilty of it myself with the comment above about my performance stats at 18 vs 29. Perhaps a better solution would be an AFSC-specific battery of tests or fitness diagnostics tailored to suit an acceptable standard based upon work duties: support, maintenance, aircrew/ops, special operations, etc.

          Unless SHTF in a really big way, a Finance clerk or medical lab tech is not going (or be expected) to perform at the same standard or duration of physical exertion as a Special Tactics airman. A one-size-fits-all test probably isn’t the answer, but neither is doing away with the PT program or fitness standard.

          Either way, the solution is way above my paygrade. I just work here. 😉