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Air Force PT test checkup: Tape test fail rate down; run is still a struggle

Air Force PT test checkup: Tape test fail rate down; run is still a struggle

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More tales of the tape test, from Air Force Times’ Oriana Pawlyk:

Six months after the service changed the rules for the waist measurement portion of the PT test to give airmen with thick middles a second chance to pass — by having their body mass index and body fat measured — not one airman has qualified, according to data provided by the Air Force.

The new PT rule was the result of an eight-month study into the tape test, called the abdominal circumference by the Air Force, amid outcry from airmen that the test unfairly targeted large-boned people and didn’t take into account height and age. Some airmen said they were physically fit and scored well enough on the 1.5-mile run, situp and pushup portions of the test, but could not meet the waist maximums of 39 inches for men and 35.5 for women.

Airmen who fail the the tape need at least a 75 out of 80 points on the remaining three components to qualify for the BMI or BFA test.

Many airmen said they hoped Air Force leaders would ditch the tape test altogether. The size of one’s waist, they said, should not have career-ending consequences. But fitness leaders held fast to their contention that airmen whose waists exceeded the maximums were unlikely to score well enough onthe other three components of the test.

Read the rest of Oriana’s story over on Air Force Times.

Sara Davidson

Sara Davidson is an ultrarunner and contributor to PT365. She's run 7 marathons and 32 ultramarathons -- including her first 100-miler. This fall she is training for the Marine Corps Marathon using our PT365 Run Plan. Reach her at sdavidson@gannett.com .