How to Pass Your ADF Fitness Test

For new recruits to the Australian Defence Force, passing the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) is an important milestone in their training. If you are due to take the ADF fitness test, then you’re going to want to ensure you are fully prepared – both physically and mentally – for what the test will demand of you. Ideally, if you have already applied and have your PFA date sorted, you should be close to ready to take that physical fitness test with confidence. However, one of our partner companies, FPA Fit, which is based in Australia, provides online fitness services for ADF applicants just like you, reported that for many people that’s not the case. If you are still not sure what it takes to pass your initial physical assessment, here’s a quick guide to help you understand and give you pointers on how to pass the test.

Solider doing push-up


The push-up is the foundation and a great benchmark of an applicant’s overall strength and fitness. The most obvious training you will aim to do to master the push-up test is practicing push-ups. Without performing push-ups every day, it will be hard to meet the criteria on the test. However, performing other compound movements regularly to improve strength will go a long way during your test performance and later at your training camp. For example, a variety of press exercises will strengthen the muscles required to perform push-ups well, including your shoulders and triceps. You will also want to focus on your core strength that will help to improve your push-ups, pull-ups and even running performance. Here are the ADF requirements for the Army that you need to complete with perfect form during your PFA: Male •  Part Time: 15 •  Full Time: 15 Female •  Part Time: 8 •  Full Time: 8


Sit-ups are also familiar exercises to most people – but to pass the ADF fitness test, you will have to be able to perform sit-ups more proficiently and more consistently than in the gym. This specific style of sit-up is actually called the military sit-up. While you may have done the standard version of this exercise countless times in the past, we recommend you learn the exact form required on your Physical Fitness Assessment to avoid failing this test. Furthermore, you will need to perform the repetitions every 3 seconds to a cadence. Getting out of sync or failing several reps will fail the test. Here are your sit-up requirements for your PFA when applying for the Army: Male • Part Time: 45 • Full Time: 45 Female • Part Time: 45 • Full Time: 45

Beep Test

Finally, you’ll have to pass the Multi-Stage Fitness Test – better known as the Beep Test. This test involves running 20 metre “shuttles” repeatedly for time. The time provided for each shuttle gradually decreases, to the point you will have to sprint to finish the shuttle in time. You will be required to reach level 7.5 as an Army applicant to pass the beep test. This means you will perform 56 shuttles in six and a half minutes.

Beep Test

The Beep Test is undeniably tough. By far the most important area to focus on is endurance cardio, though sprint and strength training is also essential. Working on your reaction times is also key, as you will need to complete and begin each shuttle in a consistent rhythm, gradually upping speed. Finally, focusing on the legs, glutes, and core during your strength sessions will assist you in performing the Beep Test to the best of your abilities.


Having read through the above, you should have a fair idea of what the ADF fitness test involves, and how you should approach your training in order to pass. As a result, you should be well placed to meet the demands of the ADF and thus advance your future military career. Good luck! Would you also like to know how to prepare for the ADF YOU Session? Click here.