Air Force Basic Training Fitness Requirements

Recruits lined up for training
••• Sergeant Cecilio Ricardo/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain 

To graduate from Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT), you must pass a physical fitness test. The test consists of a timed run, push-ups, and sit-ups. In order to win one of the fitness awards, you'll need to do some pull-ups, as well. But, pull-ups are not required simply to pass the basic training fitness standards. So that you're not behind the power curve when you arrive at basic, you'll want to prepare to meet the minimum physical fitness arrival standards.

Keep in mind that the standards on this page are for AFBMT only. They are not the fitness standards you will be required to maintain after basic. After basic training, the Air Force has a different fitness test that you will have to pass at least annually.

In addition to the minimum basic training fitness standards, which the Air Force calls the Liberator standard, there are two award-level standards. In order to be considered for possible selection as a Basic Training Honor Graduate, you must meet the Thunderbolt standard.

Those who can meet the highest standard, the Warhawk standard, receive a special T-shirt, a recognition certificate, and receive an extra town pass on graduation weekend (that means they get to go off-base on the Sunday following graduation, as well as the normal Friday afternoon and Saturday).

Those who fail the final PT evaluation, but were really close, are usually given one more opportunity to pass it the next day.

Failure almost always means getting "recycled" for a couple of weeks to an earlier flight, thereby giving the recruit more time to get into shape.

Air Force Basic Training Physical Fitness Requirements

Male Fitness Requirements
Standard Run 2 miles          Run (1.5  miles)Push-Ups (1 minute)Sit-Ups (1 minute)Pull-Ups (no time limit)
Liberator (minimum graduation standards)16:4511:5745500
Thunderbolt (honor graduate minimum standards)14:15


Warhawk (highest standard)13:308:08758010
Female Fitness Requirements
StandardRun 2 milesRun (1.5 miles)Push-Ups (1 minute)Sit-Ups (1 minute)Pull-Ups (no time limit)
Liberator (minimum graduation standards)16:4513:5627500
Thunderbolt (honor graduate minimum standards)16:0011:3337602
Warhawk (highest standard)15:0010:5540755


The above standards (Thunderbolt and Warhawk) are where all recruits should strive and prepare accordingly prior to Air Force Basic Military Training. The Liberator standards are the minimum standards that a recruit much reach in order to pass with the minimum of a 75 percent. Note these are higher than the regular Air Force fitness test and allows for a new recruit to not be close to failing the standards when they arrive at their first assignment. 

The best advice given to a recruit of any military service branch is to NOT think that basic training is going to get you in shape for the military. It will do that, but if you arrive in poor physical condition, you will likely not be able to keep up to the standard and / or become injured due to overuse injuries like shin splints, tendonitis, stress fractures. If these injuries are bad enough, a recruit will either be rolled to rehab the injuries or be sent back home depending upon the severity.  

Tips to Get in Shape BEFORE Basic Training

1. Get On A Plan: If you arrive at basic military training unprepared physically, you will likely get injured, not keep up with your fellow recruits on fitness tests, and depending upon the severity of the injury or failure, may not recover in time to graduate.

 This will result in you being rolled into other training classes or being sent home unable to complete basic military training. Your fitness plans can be found online in books or articles but should incorporate push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and running. 

2. Start Getting Active Early: Military training is a full-time job and basic training can be long days and nights for several weeks. Getting into the habit of working out in the morning, going to school or work during the day, then doing something in the evening like another workout, sport or study are ways to prepare the body and mind for long days of work. There is no 30-minute gym routine that prepares you for the full day of military training. You need to learn how to put in the time. ​

3. Lose Weight If Needed: If you are overweight, or near the maximum height weight or body fat standards, get started even sooner as you will likely not be able to depart for basic training if borderline overweight.

Start with non-impact aerobic activities then progress into running and calisthenics to properly prepare for the rigors of training and the fitness test.