We know passing the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) is a top priority for you as an Army National Guard (ARNG) Soldier. You put in hours and train year-round to max out your APFT score on test day. To help you boost your performance, Guard Your Health, a health and wellness campaign specifically for ARNG Soldiers, recently launched the Guard Fit mobile app in collaboration with the ARNG’s Office of the Chief Surgeon and Recruiting and Retention Batallion.
As of July 2017, 88 percent of Guard Soldiers passed the APFT, but there’s still more work to be done to improve pass rates and medical readiness. “The safety and security of our nation rests in the health and wellness of our Army National Guard Soldiers,” said COL Jeremiah Stubbs, Chief of Preventive Medicine, National Guard Bureau. “Our aim is for all Soldiers to meet the standards and be medically ready at all times.” Part of being medically ready means you must pass the APFT with a minimum score of 180.
“The Army National Guard's goal is to recruit and retain Soldiers that are physically fit and stay fit. Fitness is the primary driver for readiness in our formations. If a traditional Soldier is struggling, we want to provide resources and tools to help them get on track and stay fit,” said COL Robert Kuster, Chief, Army National Guard Strength Maintenance Division.
That’s where the Guard Fit mobile app can help. Guard Fit was created with feedback from Soldiers to make sure it meets your physical fitness and APFT training needs. “Guard Fit creates an innovative solution to incorporate accountability and daily physical training so that Soldiers are set up for success in the long term, which will equal a more ready force,” said SFC Chip Cunningham, Master Fitness Trainer and facilitator of the Kansas ARNG’s Tactical Strength and Conditioning Course.
“One of the biggest benefits of Guard Fit is that it provides a training resource that allows for custom workout options based on individual goals rather than one size fits all,” Cunningham said.
At present, the APFT consists of three timed events: a 2-mile run, push-ups, and sit-ups—all based on your gender and age. To help you excel in each event, the Guard Fit app offers four key features: TRACK, TRAIN, COMPETE, and TOOLS.
- TRACK — With the TRACK feature, you can set your APFT goals and track your progress. Decide what your fitness goals are, whether you’re hoping to max your next APFT or just looking to pass with a 180. You can also do a practice APFT using the built-in timers for push-ups, sit-ups, and the 2-mile run. Log your results to calculate your projected APFT score and identify areas you need to work on.
- TRAIN — The TRAIN feature allows you to customize your training plan and takes the guesswork out of PT. Guard Fit generates a daily or weekly training plan just for you. You can easily edit your plan based on your schedule and training needs. Then pick your level of intensity and get to it! Guard Fit will even show you proper form and instructions on how to do each exercise with a built-in timer.
- COMPETE — What’s more fun than a little friendly competition? Through the COMPETE feature, you can add friends, create groups, and challenge your battle buddies for the top leaderboard spot. This is a great way for your unit to stay on top of their PT training, too.
- TOOLS — Find resources you need to meet your APFT goals with the TOOLS feature. From an APFT calculator to workout videos and healthy recipes, Guard Fit connects you to the health resources you need and want.
“It’s highly likely that there are Soldiers within our force right now who want to improve their APFT score but have no idea where to start. This app answers that question for them,” Cunningham said.
Sponsored: Guard Your Health is a health and medical readiness campaign for Army National Guard Soldiers and their families sponsored by the Army National Guard Chief Surgeon’s Office. Guard Your Health provides Army National Guard Soldiers with the information, motivation, and support to overcome challenges and make healthy decisions for themselves, their families, and their units. To learn more about improving your health, click here.