MTI’s LE Patrol/Detective Fitness Assessment

By Rob Shaul

We’ve identified 5 Fitness Attributes/Demands for Law Enforcement (Patrol/Detective) Athletes:

  1. Relative Strength – or strength per bodyweight
  2. Work Capacity – specifically sprinting
  3. Upper Body Hypertrophy – can be an intimidation factor
  4. TAC SEPA – Tactical Speed, Explosive Power, and Agility
  5. Chassis Integrity 

In general, a solid fitness assessment should:

  • Effectively assess the major fitness demands of the job
  • Deploy simple exercises using common equipment
  • Be efficient to administer and Easy to Score
  • Not take all day

Below is the MTI LE Athlete Fitness Assessment. At the bottom you will find notes which explain the reasoning behind the events, and what fitness attribute each assesses.

MTI’s LE Athlete Fitness Assessment

Below are the details/protocol for our LE Patrol/Detective Fitness Assessment: 

The MTI LE Patrol/Detective Fitness Assessment measures an Officer’s Relative Strength, Explosive Power and Patrol/Detective-specific endurance. 

There are five events: 

(A) Bodyweight Front Squat for Reps (75% BW for women)

(B) Bodyweight Bench Press for Reps (75% BW for women)

(C) Max Reps Strict Pull Ups

  1. Box Jumps in 60 Seconds for Reps (Women-20”, Men-24”)

(E) 300m Shuttle wearing IBA, Weapon and Duty Belt for Time

Required Equipment:

  • Rack, bench, barbell and weight for Bench Press and Front Squats
  • Pull up bar for pull ups
  • Scale to weigh for bodyweight
  • 20” Box for Women, 24” Box for Men
  • 2 Cones and 25m flat, open area for shuttle sprint
  • IBA and Duty Belt
  • Stop watch


Warm Up:
3 Rounds

  • 8x Front Squat @ 45#
  • 8x Push ups
  • 8x Situps
  • Instep Stretch

Get on a scale and weight yourself. Record Bodyweight.

(A) Max Reps Bodyweight Front Squats 


  • 8x Reps Front Squat @ 50% Bodyweight, Then
  • 4x Reps Front Squat @ 75% Bodyweight, Then
  • Max Reps Front Squat @ Bodyweight

No time limit. Athlete can “rest” in the standing position, holding the barbell on his chest in the “rack” position. Once he racks or drops the barbell, the effort is over.

The athlete must lower the barbell until his thighs are at parallel or below. The top of the range of motion is standing with the hips locked out at full extension. Only full Range of Motion reps count.

The athlete may hold the barbell on his chest which his hands and arms in the “clean” position, or crossed in the “body building” front squat position. Clean position is preferred, but not required. 


(B) Max Reps Bodyweight Bench Press 


  • 8x Reps Bench Press @ 50% Bodyweight, Then
  • 4x Reps Bench Press @ 75% Bodyweight, Then
  • Max Reps Bench Presst @ Bodyweight

No time limit. Athlete can “rest” in the up position, holding the barbell above his chest with elbows locked out. Once he racks the barbell, the effort is over.

The athlete must lower the barbell until it touches his chest.  The top of the range of motion is elbows locked out. Only full Range of Motion reps count.


(C) Max Reps Bodyweight Strict Pull Ups


  • No Time Limit.
  • These are dead hang and strict, chin above bar pull ups (palms facing forward, away from face). No kipping, no Bullshit.
  • The athlete can “rest” while hanging on the bar with both hands in the bottom position, but his feet cannot touch the ground or a bench.


(D) Box Jumps in 60 Seconds for Reps @ 20/24” box (20” for women)


  • Athlete must stand to full hip extension on top of box and step down each rep. 

(E) 300m Shuttle wearing IBA, Weapon and Duty Belt for Time


  • Event must start within 10 minutes of finishing box Jumps.
  • Athlete must wear his or her IBA, weapon and duty belt. 


3-Mile Ruck Finish Time               Points

70 Seconds +                                       0
68-69 Seconds                                     4
66-67 Seconds                                     8
64-65 Seconds                                     12
62-63 Seconds                                     16
60-61 Seconds                                     20
Less than 60 Seconds                         25


  • Bench Press reps x1
  • Front Squat reps x1
  • Strict Pull ups x1
  • Box Jumps x1
  • 300m Shuttle – Based on Finish Time – see above

Here’s an example on how to score the test:

  • Bench Press – 10 reps = 10 points
  • Front Squat – 10 reps = 10 points
  • Pull ups – 12 reps = 12 points
  • Box Jumps – 25 reps = 25 points
  • 300m Shuttle, 66.5 = 8 points
  • TOTAL: 10+10+12+25+8 = 65 points


Minimum passing score is 40

However, failure to get one rep on any event results in a disqualification.

For male athletes

  • 60 is a respectable score
  • 80 is a good score
  • 100+ is a great score

For female athletes

  •  50 is a respectable score
  •  70 is a good score
  •  90+ is a great score

Notes and Explanations

Bench Press, Front Squat and Pull Ups/Chin Ups
Together, these three classis strength exercises assess the athletes’ relative strength in a safe, efficient manner. Using bodyweight for men for load, and 75% of bodyweight for women automatically “scales” the loading to the individual athlete.

Box Jumps
The 60 second box jumps for reps allow us to test explosive power, agility and work capacity with one exercise. This is a deceptively hard event.

300m Shuttle wearing IBA, Weapon and Duty Belt,  for Time
The 300m shuttle, under load, is a transferable, functional assessment of tactical work capacity …. repeated shuttles, under load.

Common Questions

Why the 60 second time limit for the bench press and front squat?
The time limit helps ensure these two exercises are assessed very efficiently – especially with multiple athletes taking the assessment concurrently. If allowed to rest with the barbell in the “up” position for both exercises, some strong athletes could conceivably stay under the barbell for 3+ minutes.

Why the front squat instead of the back squat? Isn’t the back squat more common?
We chose the front squat for two reasons. First, it’s a safer exercise for this type of assessments. If the athletes “fails” in the bottom of the squat, he/she can safely escape the barbell by dumping it forward. Second, we’ve found that for an athlete with an upper and lower body strength balance, their rep numbers for these two exercises should be very close. Significant divergence in total reps indicates a strength imbalance. We’ve found strong endurance athletes, who haven’t spent much time in the gym, will show a disparity with a higher front squat rep number. Powerlifters/meatheads and bodybuilders who lift mostly upper body will demonstrate a strength imbalance for the upper body and the bench press.

Why bench press instead of push ups?
High push ups indicate good strength endurance, not good relative strength.

Why include pull ups? Why have women do chin ups (palms toward face)?
Pull ups test upper body pulling strength and give some indication of upper body press and upper body pulling strength balance. In our experience, women simply struggle at pull ups. They find chin ups easier and still assess upper body pulling strength.

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