*Editors notePhotos and article have been shared with the permission of AMTAC Shooting

Without standards, it is hard to know where you stand. I have oscillated between having a strong dislike of standards and thinking that they are an absolute necessity. My opinion on standards now is somewhere in the middle.

The bottom line is that any standard, whether it is shooting, combative or fitness, is meant to show us where we stand against a baseline. It is a measuring stick so to speak.

We don’t train to be able to perform a “standard”, we train so that we can protect ourselves and our families better.  The “standard” is there to help us identify where we are falling short and where we need to focus more of our training time.

Fitness Standards

These standards are not meant to be done back to back like a PT test. Rather the idea is that these are individual tests of strength/ endurance.  If you can perform each individual task over the course of a couple of days you are meeting the intent of the standard.

Bare Minimum

  1. Run 1 mile in 11 minutes.
  2. 25 push-ups.
  3. 3 pull-ups.
  4. Walk 3 miles with 30 lbs in 1.5 hours (30 min pace).


  1. Run 3 miles in 25 min (8:20 pace).
  2. 50 push-ups.
  3. 10 pull-ups.
  4. Walk 6 miles with 40 lbs in 2 hours (20 min pace).


  1. Run 6 miles in 51 min (8:30 pace).
  2. 80 push-ups.
  3. 20 pull-ups.
  4. Walk 12 miles with 55lbs pack in 5 hours (25 min pace).
Training ruck

Things you should always be able to do:

  1. Climb over a 6 ft wall.
  2. Swim 200 yards continuously.
  3. Tread water for 30 minutes.
  4. Do a basic swimmer rescue.
  5. Deadlift your own body weight.
  6. Drag a 200lbs man 30 yards.
  7. Throw a 30-sec flurry (heavy bag/ Thai pads or Bob, go as hard as you can for 30 seconds).


Vary your training. All of us want to do the things that we are good at. Be disciplined enough to do the things that you need to get better at.

  • Run (preferable barefoot style) and ruck (30 – 75 lbs).
  • Do push ups, pull ups, burpees and air squats.
  • Primary lifts you should focus on: deadlift, squat and bench press (I stopped bench pressing many years ago because I repeatedly hurt my shoulders).
  • Secondary lifts: overhead squats, cleans, zerker squats, and snatches.
  • Use kettlebells: swings, single hand swings, snatches, clean and press and Turkish get-ups.
  • Swing a macebell.

Go train!

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