PST Information Center

Idaho - Physical Ability Test Requirements

Applicants for the position of police officer/deputy sheriff must successfully complete the following Physical Fitness Test Battery (PFTB). This is the same test that is required for acceptance into and graduation from the Idaho Peace Officers Standards & Training (POST) Law Enforcement Academy.

IDAHO PFTB

  • A maximum of 100 points is possible.
  • A minimum of 10 points is required for each individual test.
  • You must successfully pass each event. Failing one event will constitute a failure of the PFTB.

 

The PFTB will be typically administered in the following order:

  1. 300 Meter Run
  2. Vertical Jump
  3. Push-Ups
  4. Sit-Ups
  5. 1.5 Mile Run/Walk

If you do not pass your physical ability test, you have one (1) retest opportunity to pass a physical ability test within 90 days from your written exam date. There will be an additonal fee for the physical ability retest.

Physical Ability Test Video

The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission physical ability test video.


Physical Ability Preparation Video

The purpose of this video is to provide you with training and preparation tips so that you can perform your best on the Public Safety Physical Ability test. However, each state has different standards and acceptable methods, so it is important to be aware of your state's requirements before testing. Specific standards and instructions can be found on this page.

Physical Ability Test Events

Event #1 - 300 Meter Run

The 300-meter run measures your anaerobic capacity, which is important for performing shore intense bursts of effort such as foot pursuits, rescues and use of for situations.

You must complete the run without any help. Your goal is to run the distance as quickly as possible. You must run to and through the finish line.

Same Day Retest
This event does not allow a same-day retest.

Time in Seconds Points Fitness Category
48.0 & below 20  
48.1 - 51.0 19 Excellent
51.1 - 54.0 18  
54.1 - 57.0 17 Good
57.1 - 59.0 16  
59.1 - 62.0 15 Average
62.1 - 65.0 14  
65.1 - 68.0 13  
68.1 - 71.0 12 Below Average
71.1 - 74.0 11  
74.1 - 77.0 10 Minimum Acceptable Standard

Event #2 - Vertical Jump Test

The vertical jump test measures muscular power in the legs, which is important in jumping or vaulting objects such as walls and ditches, and in moving heavy objects such as people.

After warming up, stand with one side to the test wall with your heels together. Reach upward as high as possible with your hand against the measuring device on the wall. Your maximum standing reach will be recorded. Using a rocking one-step approach, jump as high as possible while extending the arm nearest the wall. Your maximum jumping reach will be recorded.

You will have three tries at this event. Your best effort will count as your score. 

Same Day Retest
This event does not allow a same-day retest.

Height in Inches Points Fitness Category
21.5 & above 20  
20.5 - 21.0 19 Excellent
19.5 - 20.0 18  
18.5 - 19.0 17 Good
17.5 - 18.0 16  
16.5 - 17.0 15 Average
16.0 14  
15.5 13  
15.0 12 Below Average
14.5 11  
14.0 10 Minimum Acceptable Standard

Event #3 - Maximum Push-Up Test

This push-up test measures the muscular endurance of the upper body muscles in the shoulders, chest, and back of the upper arms (the extensors). This is important for use of force involving any pushing motion.

Place your hands on the ground so they are in a vertical line with your shoulders, approximately 1 - 1.5 shoulder widths apart. Your feet may be together, or up to 12 inches apart. Your body should be in a straight line from the shoulders to the ankles, and must remain that way throughout the exercise. Lower your body by bending your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the ground and you touch and slightly compress the 4-inch foam block held under your chest.

Your examiner will tell you when you have gone low enough. Return to the starting position by completely straightening your arms. You may only rest in the up position. If you fail to: keep your body in a straight line; touch your chest to the foam block; or lock your arms in the up position, you will receive a warning. After one warning, incorrect repetitions will not count. 

There is no time limit. Do as many correct push-ups as possible. Your score is the number of correct repetitions. 

Same Day Retest
This event does not allow a same-day retest.

# Of Repetitions Points Fitness Category
62 or more 20  
56 - 61 19 Excellent
50 - 55 18  
44 - 49 17 Good
38 - 43 16  
32 - 37 15 Average
30 - 31 14  
28 - 29 13  
26 - 27 12 Below Average
23 - 25 11  
21 - 22 10 Minimum Acceptable Standard

Event #4 - One Minute Sit-Up Test

The one-minute sit-up test measures muscular endurance of the abdominal muscles. This is important for performing tasks that involve the use of force, and it helps maintain good posture and minimize lower back problems.

Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees or tighter with your heels on the edge of the mat. Your feet may be together or apart, but the heels must stay in contact with the floor. Your partner will sit on your feet and wrap their arms around your calf muscle area. It is your responsibility to inform your partner of any adjustments that need to be made in order to assure your comfort. Your fingers must stay interlocked behind your head or cupped and touching the head behind the ears throughout the event. "Interlocked" means that some parts of the fingers overlap. If your little fingers are not touching, that is considered "apart" and such performance will not be counted. Lift your body by bending at the waist. Touch your elbows to your knees, and return to the starting position. When returning to the starting position, your fingers must touch the examiner's hand on the mat. You may rest only in the up position. Do not arch your back or lift your buttocks from the mat.

If you fail to: keep your fingers interlocked or cupped and touching the head behind the ears, touch your elbows to your knees or your fingers to the examiner's hand, or lift your buttocks off the mat, you will receive one warning. After one warning, incorrect repetitions will not count. 

You will have one minute to do as many sit-ups as possible. Your score is the total number of correct sit-ups.

Same Day Retest
This event does not allow a same-day retest.

# Of Repetitions Points Fitness Category
55 or more 20  
51 - 54 19 Excellent
47 - 50 18  
43 - 46 17 Good
39 - 42 16  
35 - 38 15 Average
31 - 34 14  
27 - 30 13  
23 - 26 12 Below Average
19 - 22 11  
15 - 18 10 Minimum Acceptable Standard

Event #4 - 1.5 Mile Run / Walk Test

The 1.5 mile run /walk test measures cardio-respiratory endurance or aerobic power, which is determined by the body's ability to transport and utilize oxygen to produce energy. This is important for performing tasks involving stamina and endurance; pursuits, searches, prolonged use of force situations, etc.

You must complete the course without any help. Your goal is to finish the 1.5 miles in as fast a time as possible. Try not to start too fast, but at a pace you can sustain for about 10 to 15 minutes. You may walk, but walking may make it difficult to meet the minimum passing score. You may run alongside another runner for help with pacing, but you may not physically assist or be assisted by anyone. 

Same Day Retest
This event does not allow a same-day retest.

Time in min:sec Points Fitness Category
9:57 or less 20  
9:58 - 10:50 19 Excellent
10:51 - 11:43 18  
11:44 - 12:36 17 Good
12:37 - 13:29 16  
13:30 - 14:20 15 Average
14:21 - 14:56 14  
14:57 - 15:32 13  
15:33 - 16:08 12 Below Average
16:09 - 16:43 11  
16:44 - 17:17 10 Minimum Acceptable Standard

Preparing For The Fitness Ability Test

Whereas many training routines can be used to improve performance in the PFTB, participants should keep in mind that physical training is specific. That is, one improves in activities practiced. If one wishes to optimize push-up performance, push-ups should be included in the training program. Many other exercises can also be included to strengthen the chest, shoulders and arms, but push-ups should be included in the routine.

Ideally, muscles and the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems should be gradually, progressively trained over several weeks or months to achieve significant fitness gains. Physical adaptations occur gradually in response to regular, consistent overloads, i.e. doing more than your body is accustomed to doing. Everyone is different- a stimulus resulting in an appropriate, moderate overload to one person may be impossible for another person to perform, while yet another person is not stressed at all. A participant who has been inactive for a significant period of time should ideally take six to twelve weeks to train for the PFTB.

The training routine should include exercises to train upper body strength and muscular endurance, abdominal muscular endurance, leg power, cardio-respiratory endurance and anaerobic capacity. Strength and cardio-respiratory endurance activities should be performed about every other day, or three days per week, to allow adequate recovery and positive adaptations to occur. Anaerobic (high intensity) training should be done once per week, and can be performed in lieu of a cardio-respiratory training session. For flexibility enhancement, good back health, and injury prevention, stretching exercises should be performed before and after training sessions, and can be done on off days as well.

Before beginning a physical exercise program it is strongly recommended that the individual be cleared by a doctor to undertake such a program. Individuals 40 years of age or older should not begin a program until they have been cleared by a doctor.

The following program is progressive to allow the body time to adapt and build up. It is assumed that the applicant will begin this program at least 12 weeks in advance of the test date.

Delayed muscle soreness (24-48 hours post exercise) may occur as a result of any new exercise program. This soreness should only be mild in nature and should dissipate prior to the next scheduled exercise session.

If significant or severe soreness exists, the subject exercised too hard and therefore should not perform any exercise (other than stretching) that stresses the affected area until all soreness has disappeared completely.

Remember that this program is designed to build a person up, not tear him/her down. Particpants should pay close attention to their body for any indication of injury or over-use.

1. Conditioning Program for the Push-up Test

Determine exercise level by measuring how many pushups the subject can complete in 60 seconds.

When performing pushups, be sure the subject continues until muscular failure occurs in the straight-knee position and then continues until failure occurs in the bent-knee position.

  • If the total number is 15 or less, begin at level A.
  • If the subject's total number is greater than 15, begin at level B.

Subject should work toward reaching level C below.

  • Level A - 1 set 3 times a week for 1 week 
  • Level B - 2 sets 3 times a week for 2 weeks 
  • Level C - 3 sets 3 times a week until testing

2. Conditioning Program for the One-Minute Sit-up Test

Determine exercise level by measuring how many sit-ups the subject can complete in 60 seconds.

  • If the subject's total number is 15 or less, begin at level A.
  • If the subject's total number is greater than 15, begin at level B.

Subject should work toward reaching level C below.

  • Level A - 1 set 3 times a week for 1 week
  • Level B - 2 sets 3 times a week for 2 weeks 
  • Level C - 3 sets 3 times a week until testing

When training for sit-ups, be sure the subject continues until muscular failure occurs and then continues with his/her hands by the hips until muscular failure occurs again.

Subjects should continue to increase speed and decrease time for completion of a 3-mile jog 3 times per week with a maximal speed 1.5 mile run 1 day per week.

If the subject is able to adapt and advance more quickly than the schedule recommends, he/she should do so. However, be sure that the subject's exercise program does not cause any undue muscle soreness or strain.

Subjects may also use their sprint training as part of their distance training program.

3. Conditioning for the 1.5 Mile Run

Listed below is a very gradual training schedule that will allow the subject to work at maximum effort in the 1.5 Mile run.Generally, it is recommended that the subject reach a training distance that is twice the testing level.

Week Activity Distance Time(min.) Frequency
1 walk 1 Mile 20 - 17 5 / Week
2 walk 1.5 Mile 29 - 25 5 / Week
3 walk 2 Miles 35 - 32 5 / Week
4 walk 2 Miles 30 - 28 5 / Week
5 Walk / Jog 2 Miles 27 5 / Week
Begin sprint training
6 Walk / Jog 2 Miles 26 5 / Week
7 Walk / Jog 2 Miles 25 5 / Week
8 Walk / Jog 2 Miles 24 5 / Week
9 Jog 2 Miles 23 4 / Week
10 Jog 2 Miles 22 4 / Week
11 Jog 2 Miles 21 4 / Week
12 Jog 2 Miles 20 4 / Week
13 Jog 2.25 Miles 22 - 23 4 / Week
14 Jog 2.5 Miles 24 - 25 4 / Week
15 Jog 2.75 Miles 26 - 27 3-4 / Week
16 Jog 3 Miles 28 - 30 3-4 / Week

Subjects should continue to increase speed and decrease time for completion of a 3-Mile Jog 3 times per week with a maximal speed 1.5 Mile run 1 day per week.

If the subject is able to adapt and advance more quickly than the schedule recommends, he/she should do so. However, be sure that the subject's exercise program does not cause any undue muscle soreness or strain.

Subjects may also use their sprint training as part of their distance training program.

4. Conditioning for the 300 Meter Run

Listed below is a very gradual training schedule that will allow the subject to work at maximum effort in the 300 meter sprint/run. Generally, it is recommended that the subject reach a training pace that is at the testing level.

Subjects must run 1-3 time trials to determine their current ability; the training percentage (pace) can then be calculated from that time. Retest at 3-4 week intervals.  Distances run here can be combined with endurance training. A rest period between sprints of 30 - 90 seconds is recommended to maximize sprint training.

WeekActivityDistanceRepititionsFrequency
The participant should not engage in sprint training until the level below is reached and there has been at least one month of jogging training.
5 50% Sprint 100 M 10 2 / Week
6 50% Sprint 100 M 15 2 / Week
7 50% Sprint 200 M 10 2 / Week
8 50% Sprint 100M / 200M 5 / 5 2-3 / Week
9 50% Sprint 100M / 200M 10 / 5 2-3 / Week
10 50% Sprint 200M 15 of each 2 / Week
11 70% Sprint 200M 10 of each 3 / Week
12 70% Sprint 300M 5 3 / Week
13 70% Sprint 300M 5 3 / Week
14 80% Sprint 300M 5 3 / Week
15 100% Sprint 300M 5 3 / Week
16 100% Sprint 300M 5 3 / Week

If the subject is able to adapt and advance more quickly than the schedule recommends, he/she should do so. However, be sure that the subject's exercise program does not cause any undue muscle soreness or strain.

5. Conditioning for the Vertical Jump Test

Listed below is a very gradual training schedule that will allow the subject to work at maximum effort in the 1.5 mile run. Generally, it is recommended that the subject reach a training level that is comfortable before moving to the next level

Week Activity Sets Repititions Frequency
The participant should not engage in sprint training until the below level is reached and there has been one month of jogging training.
5 Splits Squat Jump 1 10 3 / Week
6 Splits Squat Jump,
Double Leg Zigzag Hop
1 of each 10 3 / Week
7 Splits Squat Jump,
Double Leg Zigzag Hop
1 of each 10 3 / Week
8 Splits Squat Jump,
Double or Single Leg Zigzag Hop
1 of each 15 3 / Week
9 Splits Squat Jump,
Single Leg Zigzag Hop
1 of each 20 3 / Week
10 Splits Squat Jump,
Double Leg Verticle Jump
2 of each 15 3 / Week
11 Splits Squat Jump, Double Leg
Verticle Jump, Box Jumps
1 of each 10 3 / Week
12 Double Leg Verticle Jump,
Box Jumps, Depth Jump
2 of each 10 3 / Week
13 Double Leg Verticle Jump,
Box Jumps, Depth Jump
2 of each 10 3 / Week
14 Single Leg Verticle Jump
Box Jumps, Depth Jump
2 of each 15 3 / Week
15 Single Leg Verticle Jump
Box Jumps, Depth Jump
1 of each 10 3 / Week
16 Single Leg Verticle Jump
Box Jumps, Depth Jump
1 of each 10 3 / Week

If the subject is able to adapt and advance more quickly than the schedule recommends, he/she should do so. However, be sure that the subject's exercise program does not cause any undue muscle soreness or strain.

Splits Squat Jump

Intensity Level: Low.

Starting position: Assume a stance with one leg extended forward and the other oriented behind the midline of the body as in a lunge position. The forward leg should be almost fully extended.

Direction of Jump: Vertical.

Arm Action: None, or double arm action.

Starting Action: Start with a counter-movement of approximately 6 to 10 in.

Ascent: Explosively jump off the front leg, using the calves (plantar flexion) of the back leg.

Descent: When landing, maintain the lunge position (same leg forward) and immediately repeat the jump.

Volume: 10 repetitions, 2 - 3 x per week

After completing a set, rest and switch front legs.

Double or Single Leg Zigzag Hop (short response)

Intensity Level: Medium.

Starting Position: Place about 10 cones (or bags) 45 to 60 cm apart in a zigzag pattern. Begin with the feet shoulder-width apart, arms flexed at a 90° angle and at the sides of the body.

Direction of Jump: Diagonal.

Arm Action: Double arm action.

Starting Action: Jump Diagonally over the first cone.

Ascent: Propel the body in a forward diagonal direction and keep the shoulders perpendicular to an imaginary (or actual) straight line through the center of all cones.

Descent: Immediately upon landing, change direction and jump diagonally over the second cone. Continue, hopping over all the cones.

Volume: 10 repetitions, 2 - 3 x per week

Emphasize the explosive hops and try to attain maximum height. Mentally picture yourself ?hanging? in the air.

Box Jumps

Intensity Level: Shock.

Starting Position: Place four to eight wooden boxes evenly, 1 to 2 yds. apart; or one box may be used. Stand about 2 feet in front of the first box. Feet should be shoulder-width apart; ankles, knees, and hips slightly flexed; head up; and arms at the side.

Direction of Jump: Vertical and horizontal.

Arm Action: Double or single arm action.

Starting Action: Jump upward and forward to land on the first box. Foot contact may be either one or two feet. (Only athletes of adequate strength and conditioning base, extensive background in plyometrics, and less than 100 kg should perform this drill with one leg.)

Ascent: Explode upward onto the first box.

Descent: As soon as you land on the box, explode again as high and/or far forward as possible. The distance between the boxes depends on the amount of horizontal movement desired. Upon landing on the ground, immediately jump to the next box and continue. If only one box is used, when contacting the ground after jumping off the box immediately jump up or forward as far as possible.

Volume: Two to four sets of 5 to 10 repetitions, 2 - 3 x per week

Box Depth Jumps

Intensity Level: Shock.

Starting Position: Start with the balls of the feet on the edge of a box, knees slightly bend and arms relaxed at the sides.

Direction of Jump: Either vertical or horizontal.

Arm Action: Double arm action.

Starting Action: Begin by stepping off the platform to land on the ground; do not jump off the platform.

Descent: While in the air, be sure to keep the knees very slightly bent. Land on the balls of the feet with the feet shoulder width or slightly wider apart. When landing, the body weight should cause the knees to flex more.

Ascent: As soon as possible upon landing on the ground, jump upward or forward, swing the arm in the desired direction, and propel the body as high or as far forward as possible. Concentrate on maximal effort.

Volume: 5 to 10 repetitions, 2 - 3 x per week

Double Leg Vertical Power Jump

The jump is often performed against a wall or a free-standing device that measures the jump height, with the athlete touching as high as possible.

Intensity Level: High.

Starting Position: Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart.

Direction of Jump: Vertical.

Arm Action: Double arm action.

Starting Action: Perform a rapid counter-movement and jump as high as possible.

Ascent: Thrust arms upward vigorously and reach as high as possible with one or two hands.

Descent: When the feet hit the ground, jump again immediately without a stutter step.

Volume: 10 repetitions, 2 - 3 x per week.

Single Leg Vertical Power Jump

This jump is often performed against a wall or free-standing device that measures the jump height, with the athlete touching as high as possible.

Intensity Level: High.

Starting Position: Stand with one foot on the ground.

Direction of Jump: Vertical.

Arm Action: Double arm action.

Starting Action: Perform a rapid counter-movement and jump as high as possible.

Ascent: The arms should be thrust vigorously upward with each jump and reach as high as possible with one or two hands.

Descent: When the feet hit the ground, immediately jump without a stutter step.

Volume: 10 repetitions, 2 - 3 x per week

Emphasis should be on maximum height and quick explosive takeoffs. Rest 15-30 sec and repeat this exercise with the opposite leg.