Comparing 25-year-olds of different genders, men have to run two miles in about three fewer minutes, though both men and women need to perform 50 sit ups . But as of October 2018, precisely 38 years to the day that the current APFT went into effect, all soldiers will perform exactly the same test. Why? Because it actually measures a soldier’s capabilities. “If Isometric Exercises you ask, ‘why did you change the test now if you’ve had it and it’s been working?’ the answer is ‘because it’s 38 years old,” says Michael McGurk, the director of research and analysis at the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training. “In 1980 the knowledge we had about the science of physiology and physical fitness was good, but it was 1980. There’s nothing wrong with the test, but we’ve greatly expanded our knowledge since then.” In redesigning the test, McGurk and his colleagues wanted to make it more predictive of how well a soldier can perform his or her required duties. They already had a comprehensive list of those, called the Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, but the APFT was only 40 percent predictive of how well an individual performs those warrior tasks.
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