LE Athlete Fitness Test – Initial Thoughts

By Rob Shaul

I’ve been programming for Law Enforcement Athletes for about 5 months now and my thoughts on an LE Athlete-appropriate fitness assessment are starting to come together. 

Before describing the events, some administrative stuff …. First, this assessment reflects what I feel are appropriate for the potential fitness demands of LE Athletes. I understand some departments and agencies currently have fitness assessments, and many are built around push ups, situps, 1.5 mile run, etc. My goal here isn’t to incorporate what is currently being done, but what I feel is appropriate. 

Second, I need to consider the application of the assessment – how long it will take to run, complexity of the exercises, etc. The exercises in my assessment are more technical than the typical assessment, for sure, but certainly not beyond the ability of a LE Athlete who is professional about his or her fitness and is training that way already.

Finally – this is an initial cut. I would appreciate your feedback/suggestions.  

Upper Body Events

  1. Bodyweight Bench Press for Reps (Women at 60% Bodyweight)

     Minimum Standard: 12 Reps for both Men and Women


  1. Strict Pull ups for Reps

      Minimum Standard: Men – 12 Reps

                                      Women – 6 Reps

For the LE Athlete, I’m less interested in absolute upper body strength, then upper body power, and to some extent, mass. Ideally a male LE Athlete should be able to get 12+ reps of bodyweight bench press – which tells me he has some upper body mass. The last time I tried this, in March, I scored 18 reps. 

Pull ups – Not only are pull ups a test of pulling strength, but to some extend, bodyweight. It would be pretty darn hard to be 30# overweight and be able to get 12 strict pull ups. 

Lower Body Event

Bodyweight Front Squats for Reps  (Women at 75% Bodyweight)

Minimum Standard: 12 Reps for both Men and Women

LE Athletes don’t need the lower body strength military athletes do – but they need some. Bodyweight front squats are not only a great assessment of basic lower body strength, they also can be compared to the individual athlete’s bodyweight bench press number for a test of upper/lower body strength balance. The numbers should be close. In March, I scored 21 bodyweight front squats – and 18 bodyweight bench presses. 

Why the front squat? It’s safer than the back squat and hinge/dead lift – and it can be compared to the bench press for upper/lower strength balance. 

Power Event

Box Jumps in 60 Seconds for Reps @ 20/24″ (Women 20″)

Minimum Standard: 20 Reps

Simple power assessment. Athlete must stand to full hip extension on top of the box and step down each rep. 

Work Capacity Event

300m Shuttle for time in IBA

Minimum Standard: 70 Seconds

The 300m shuttle is a test of sprinting speed and overall work capacity. Adding an IBA brings a strength component and real-world application. 

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