Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) Training Plan
- 7-week plan, 5 days/week
- Laser focused to maximize your performance on ACFT events: 3RM Dead Lift, Hand Release Push Ups, 2-mile Run, etc.
- Plan is individually scaled so it can be reused before every ACFT and always meet your fitness level.
- This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.
- Required Equipment
- Sample Training
- Why MTI?
- Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.
- Common Questions
The following 7-week training plan is designed to train specifically for the new ARMY COMBAT FITNESS TEST (ACFT). This training plan is designed to be completed the 7 weeks directly before your scheduled ACFT.
The ACFT has been designed to replace the current APFT and was implemented Army Wide on April 1, 2022.
The ACFT is a 6-event fitness assessment. Below are the following events:
- 3RM Dead Lift (3 Repetition Maximum)
- Standing Power Throw
- Max Hand Release Arms Extended Push Ups in 2 Minutes
- Sprint-Drag-Carry for Time
- Plank for Tame
- 2 Mile Run for Time
Please click HERE for an official US Army ACFT Website describing the ACFT and it’s events.
Click HERE for the official ACFT Scoring Chart.
This training program deploys the ACFT on the Monday of Weeks 1, 4 and 6, and uses your latest ACFT event results for the follow-on progressions. In this way, the program automatically “scales” to the incoming fitness of each individual athlete, and ensures that each athlete is pushed throughout the program.
This is Version 2 of the plan, Updated March, 2022 to address changes to the ACFT.
Below is how this training program trains the specific events in the ACFT:
- Monday: Weeks 1, 4, 7: ACFT; Weeks 2-3 and 5-6: Dead Lifts, Hand Release Push Ups, Plank
- Tuesday: Med Ball Throws, Shuttle Sprint Repeats, 2-Mile Run Work (800m Repeats)
- Wednesday: Dead Lifts, Hand Release Push Ups, Plank
- Thursday: Med Ball Throws, Sprint-Drag-Carry, 2-Mile Run Work (1-Mile Repeats)
- Friday: Dead Lifts, Hand Release Push Ups, Plank
During this program, every number of Hand Release Push Up repetitions you perform is based on the number of repetitions you completed during your most recent ACFT in the program.
The athlete performs 50x Hand Release Push-ups on ACFT No.1 (Session 1).
The Plan calls for:
(1) 6 Rounds, every 75 sec.
30% of your Max Rep Hand Release Push-Ups from ACFT No. 1
Which means …..
30% of 50x Push-ups is 15 (.3 x 50 = 15). So, a set your timer to 75 sec. On Round 1, do 15x Hand Release Push-ups as fast as possible with proper form, then rest for the remaining time in the 75 sec. interval. When Round 1’s 75 sec. is up, immediately begin Round 2 by sprinting though 15x Hand Release Push-ups as fast as possible with proper form, again resting for the remainder of the 75 sec. interval after completing all 15 reps. Repeat this through 6 Rounds.
Note: Many athletes have trouble making the final 1-2 rounds of the push up progression within the interval. If you reach failure, complete the remaining prescribed push ups on your knees. Don’t be embarrassed – this is a challenging progression and many fit, male athletes have to finish the final round or 2 on their knees.
During this program, the duration of each timed plank effort you complete is based on your max plank finish time from your most recent ACFT in the program.
You scored a 3:15 max effort Plank for your ACFT No. 1.
The plan calls for:
(4) 6 Rounds
- 30% Max Effort Front Plank
- Rest 30 Seconds between efforts
Which means ….
3:15 = 3 x 60 = 180 + 15 = 195 seconds. 195 x .3 = 58.5 or 59 seconds (round up). For Part (4) do …
- 59 second
- 30 Seconds Rest
The program uses the MTI Running Calculator for your runs. These paces are based on your most recent ACFT. Always use the latest assessment results to determine paces for subsequent training sessions.
We use interval training for the 2-mile run. The intervals distances are shorter than the assessment, and the paces are faster than your assessment pace. You will perform 800m and 1-mile intervals with a rest between efforts.
- Stopwatch with a repeating countdown timer (Timex Ironman or smartphone will work)
- Running area (track or other) with known 800m and 1-mile distances.
- 10# and 20 or 25# Medicine Balls
- Dragging sled and 90# of loading
- 2x 45# Kettlebells or dumbbells
- Pull Up Bar
- Bar and plates for deadlifts
What if I can’t do the whole session?
If you don’t have enough time to complete the whole session, you can split the session into two.
What if I miss a day?
Begin where you left off when you return to training. This program is progressed – each session builds upon the prior session – so don’t skip a session or skip around. Follow the training sessions in order, regardless.
Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run/Ruck Calculator is listed as an exercise.
What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.
Can I see sample training?
Yes. Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.
How do I access the plan?
You can access the plan via username and password either through our website or through our app (Mtn Tactical Fitness) available for IOS and Android.
Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time
Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your physician to ensure that you are in proper health. Physical training contains inherent risks including, but not limited to, muscle strains, tears, physical and bodily injury up to and including death. This training program is not meant to provide medical advice; you should obtain medical advice from your private health care practitioner. If you are unable to assume these risks then you should not engage in this training program. No liability is assumed by Mountain Tactical Institute, Inc, its owners or employees, and you train at your own risk. Mountain Tactical Institute makes no warranty, express or implied, of any kind in connection with this training program.
• Stopwatch with a repeating countdown timer (Timex Ironman or smartphone will work)
• Running area (track or other) with known 800m and 1-mile distances.
• 10# and 20 or 25# Medicine Balls
• Dragging sled and 90# of loading
• 2x 45# Kettlebells or dumbbells
• Pull Up Bar
• Bar and plates for deadlifts
Sample TrainingShow More
1) Mission Direct
Gym numbers mean nothing. All that matters is mission performance.
To this end, MTI’s fitness solutions and programming are not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces.
We begin with the raw fitness demands of the mission and build a fitness solution which directly prepares the athlete for those demands.
2) Fitness Solutions Built from the Ground Up
MTI’s programming is not “re-tread” bodybuilding, football, CrossFit, kettlebell, strength or general fitness programming. We’ve built our fitness programming for mountain and tactical athletes from the ground up.
The Fluid Periodization methodology we deploy to concurrently train multiple fitness attributes is completely original and has continued to evolve and improve over the years.
Our mid-section training methodology, Chassis Integrity, is also original, as is our endurance programming, 7 strength training progressions, tactical agility, and work capacity programming.
Our mountain sports pre-season training plans, tactical PFT, selection, school, course, and fitness improvement training plans across military, LE and Fire Rescue are MTI-developed, tested and athlete-proven.
Over the years hundreds of athletes and coaches have taken our advanced programming and unit fitness leader programming courses and MTI is widely recognized within the mountain and tactical professions and fitness media as a thought leader in fitness programming for military and tactical athletes.
3) The MTI Method
→ Research: MTI begins program design with extensive research of the fitness demands of the mission, sport or event, identifies the exercises and progressions which sport-specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the training plan.
→ Deploy & Assess: We deploy the training plan “Lab Rats” at our Wyoming facility. Training session and cycle issues are identified and fixed as we work through the training plan. Post cycle we assess the programming’s effectiveness and efficiency. We keep the stuff that works, and fix or toss the stuff that doesn’t.
→ Publish & Assess Again: Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers. Feedback/results are assessed.
→ Iterate: We take what we learn from lab rats and athletes, re-visit, update and improve already published training plans. Several of our individual training plans are on their 4th or 5th version.
4) Mission-Direct Research
MTI exists to “Improve Mountain and Tactical Athletes mission performance and keep them safe.” To that end, we have developed a unique research methodology aimed at identifying real world areas of improvement and identifying immediately deployable mission-direct solutions. Click HERE to learn more about MTI’s Mission-Direct Research methodology, and Here to read about just few of our research efforts.
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Our stuff works. Weekly we receive unsolicited reviews of our programming and testimonials to its effectiveness.
6) Programming Breadth
MTI’s library of 200+ sport-specific fitness plans for mountain and tactical athletes is unmatched. Resources range from specific programming for tactical special forces selections, to specific plans for climbing Rainier and Denali, to general fitness solutions such as running improvement, to post-rehab from injury.
Over the past decade, MTI has partnered with hundreds of athletes throughout their individual mountain and tactical careers, and provided fitness solutions as they face new mountain objectives, tactical schools, selections, PFTs and deployments, and came back from injury.
7) Worldwide Influence
Our work is not limited to US Athletes.
We’ve developed selection-specific training plans for Canadian, UK, Australian and German Special Forces Selections and worked with individual military personnel from Scandinavia, South, and Central America.
Canadian, Australian, UK and western European law enforcement and fire/rescue athletes have used MTI programming for mission-direct fitness.
On the mountain side, Alpinists from Japan to Slovakia have consulted with MTI and used MTI’s programming to prepare for mountain objectives.
8) Mission Performance beyond Fitness
MTI’s exists is to improve Mission Performance for mountain and tactical athletes and keep them safe.
This focus on “mission direct” solutions, enhancements and improvements drives our work and research and extends beyond fitness solutions to include training, leadership, gear, team culture, and safety.
Fitness is just one area of our work.
Our work on defining what it means to be a Quiet Professional has had penetrating influence and driven healthy conversations with both mountain and tactical professionals.
9) Direct, Honest, Clear Answers
Since 2007 we’ve taken and answered dozens of questions weekly from mountain and tactical athletes. We’ve saved these individual Q&A’s and now thousands are archived on our site.
We’re not salesmen, and our answers are noted for their directness, honesty, and clarity. Our stuff isn’t for everyone. If we can help, we’ll let you know. If we can’t, we’ll let you know that, too.
– Rob Shaul, Founder
All of the Above is Backed Up By Our Promise: Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.
Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.
By Rob Shaul
I received notes frequently from athletes hesitant to purchase a subscription or training plans asking me to sell them on why they should make the purchase.
While I understand the question, I’m not a salesman – so I can’t put a hard sale on anyone for our programming.
I can tell them the process we go through to design our programming.
We begin with extensive research on the fitness demands of the event, identify the exercises and progressions which sport specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the plan.
Then we test the cycle on ourselves and our lab rats here in Wyoming. We document, note what works and doesn’t work, re-assess, and make changes and modifications.
Then we publish the programming in the form of one of our plans or as part of our subscription daily training sessions for tactical and mountain athletes.
We don’t stop there – our daily programming is the “tip of the spear” for our programming evolution. We use these sessions to learn and make continuous improvement.
As we learn more and improve, we go back, and update the sport-specific training plans on the website. For example, we’re currently on Version 5 of our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan and Version 3 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan and Version 4 of our Big Game Back Country Hunting Training Plan.
We understand our programing isn’t cheap, but we believe it’s a great value. The $79 for the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, and $39 for the Dryland Ski Training Plan reflect the, research, work, innovative theory, iteration, testing and feedback we’ve put in and received to make these plans effective.
All that matters for us is outside performance, and we feel strongly that Our Stuff Works in the real world.
Here’s our guarantee:
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If you purchase an individual training plan, follow it as prescribed before your season/event/pft/selection, and if you don’t feel you were physically ready for your season/event/pft/selection, and/or didn’t see dramatic improvements in your early season performance, we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.
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If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.
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Is it true you guarantee your stuff works?
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How is MTI programming different than CrossFit?
This is a common question. Read our answer HERE.
You have a lot of competitors. Why should I choose MTI?
MTI is driven to improve mountain and tactical athletes’ mission performance and keep them safe. This emphasis and focus on mission performance sets us apart. Read about more that sets us apart HERE.
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You can log in through our →Website or Mobile App →IOS and Android.
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If you add new plans or update existing plans after I subscribe will I have access to them?
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What Equipment is Required?
Click the “Required Equipment” tab to find out what equipment is required for the specific plan you are interested in.
Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run and Ruck Calculators are listed as exercises.
What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.
Can I see sample training?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming. You are encouraged to do it before purchasing.
What if I have more questions?
Athlete’s Subscription Package
This Plan is one of 200+ plans included in the Athlete’s Subscription.