Aug 15, 2022
Preparing for the Police Academy Physical Fitness Test


To pass the police academy fitness test, individuals need to prepare, both mentally and physically. While each police department runs its own version of the physical test, all tests are designed to test endurance, body strength, and agility, as well as the mental determination of each candidate.

A story from outlined advice on how to approach the police academy physical fitness test.

Below is an excerpt from the article.

As an example of what candidates can expect to face, I have used the requirements from the Houston Police Department’s (HPD) physical fitness test. Many departments use the same or similar requirements, but it is recommended you verify the fitness requirements as some agencies differentiate the test instruments as well as requirements for gender and age. Below are some tips to help aspiring officers not only pass the fitness test but exceed expectations.


One of the most significant challenges during the physical fitness test is to successfully complete a timed 1.5-mile run in 15:54 minutes or less. For men finishing in 10:30 to 12 minutes, that score is about average. To excel in this element of the test, candidates should aim for a time of 9:44 or faster, in order to be placed among the top candidates. 

For women, an average to good time is around 13:30 to 16 minutes. A time under 12:30 minutes will typically put a candidate at the top of the class.


To reach these goals, individuals must train well in advance of the test. Start with a short distance and work up to running more than 1.5 miles. By increasing distance, the cardiovascular system becomes stronger and candidates are able to run farther and faster without tiring. 


Push-ups are another part of the police fitness test. The HPD test requires 25 continuous pushups. In order for a push-up to count during the test, the candidate must use proper form and the chest must briefly touch the floor. 

To foster proper form for push-ups, arms should be held close to the body and core stomach muscles should be tightened.


Sit-ups are the final portion of many police academy tests, which measure abdominal muscle strength and endurance. The test calls for as many sit-ups as possible in one minute.

The test is performed by interlacing the fingers with hands behind the head, then bringing the torso upward from a lying position to a sitting position. For a sit-up to count, the elbows must touch the knees in the upright position and the back must touch the floor in the reclining position. 

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Strengthening the abdominal muscles over time is essential for improving sit-up technique and increasing the number of sit-ups. The strength of abdominal muscles can be improved through exercises focusing on the stomach or by including core stability work, such as reverse crunches, planks, and Russian twists.

To read the full article from, click here.