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Typical Injuries Associated with

Physical Training 13-1

Other Factors 13-2


Methods of Evaluation 14-1

Over-Forty Cardiovascular Screening

Program 14-l

Overview l4-2

Test Administration l4-2

Duties of Test Personnel 14-8

Test Site i4-9

Test Procedures l4-10

Test Sequence l4-11

Test Results l4-18

Scores Above Maximum 14-19

Temporary Profiles 14-20

Permanent Profiles 14-20

Alternate Events 14-20



APPENDIX B positive profile form b-0

APPENDIX C physical fitness log c-i




APPENDIX F calculation of v02max f-1


APPENDIX H the major skeletal muscles


GLOSSARY Glossary-1

REFERENCES Refe rences-O

INDEX fndex-O

On 5 July 1950, U.S. troops, who were unprepared for the physical demands of war, were sent to battle. The early days of the Korean war were nothing short of disastrous, as U.S. soldiers were routed by a poorly equipped, but well-trained, North Korean People's Army. As American soldiers withdrew, they left behind wounded comrades and valuable equipment their training had not adequately prepared them to carry heavy loads.

The costly lessons learned by Task Force Smith in Korea are as important today as ever. If we fail to prepare our soldiers for their physically demanding wartime tasks, we are guilty of paying lip service to the principle of "Train as you fight." Our physical training programs must do more for our soldiers than just get them ready for the semiannual Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT').

FM 21 -20 is directed at leaders who plan and conduct physical fitness training. It provides guidelines for developing programs which will improve and maintain physical fitness levels for all Army personnel. These programs will help leaders prepare their soldiers to meet the physical demands of war. This manual can also be used as a source book by all soldiers. FM 21-20 was written to conform to the principles outlined in FM 25-100, Training the Force.

The benefits to be derived from a good physical fitness program are many. It can reduce the number of soldiers on profile and sick call, invigorate training, and enhance productivity and mental alertness. A good physical fitness program also promotes team cohesion and combat survivability. It will improve soldiers' combat readiness.

The proponent of this publication is HQ TRADOC. Send comments and recommendations on DA Form 2028 (Recommended Changes to Publications and Blank Forms) directly to Headquarters, US Army Infantry Center, US Army Physical Fitness School (ATZB-PF), Fort Benning, GA31905-5000.

Unless this publication states otherwise, masculine nouns and pronouns do not refer exclusively to men.


Components of physical fitness include weight control, diet, nutrition, stress management, and spiritual and ethical fitness.

A soldier's level of physical fitness' has a direct impact on his combat readiness. The many battles in which American troops have fought underscore the important role physical fitness plays on the battlefield. The renewed nationwide interest in fitness has been accompanied by many research studies on the effects of regular participation in sound physical fitness programs. The overwhelming conclusion is that such programs enhance a person's quality of life, improve productivity, and bring about positive physical and mental changes. Not only are physically fit soldiers essential to the Army, they are also more likely to have enjoyable, productive lives.

This chapter provides an overview of fitness. It defines physical fitness, outlines the phases of fitness, and discusses various types of fitness programs and fitness evaluation. Commanders and leaders can use this information to develop intelligent, combat-related, physical fitness programs.

Physical fitness, the emphasis of this manual, is but one component of total fitness. Some of the "others are weight control, diet and nutrition, stress management, dental health, and spiritual and ethical fitness, as well as the avoidance of hypertension, substance abuse, and tobacco use. This manual is primarily concerned with issues relating directly to the development and maintenance of the five components of physical fitness.

The Army's physical fitness training program extends to all branches of the total Army. This includes the USAR and ARNG and encompasses all ages and ranks and both sexes. Its purpose is to physically condition all soldiers throughout their careers beginning with initial entry training (IET). It also includes soldiers with limiting physical profiles who must also participate in physical fitness training.

Commanders and leaders must ensure that all soldiers in their units maintain the highest level of physical fitness in accordance with this manual and with AR 350-15 which prescribes policies, procedures, and responsibilities for the Army physical fitness program.

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