If you've spent any time looking to become a police officer, you probably realize that it encompasses a lot of tests. A lot of those tests are things that outside your control to prepare for. That is the difference with the physical agility test. This is something that you, as an applicant, have complete control over in your ability to prepare for. Not only will you have an idea of what is expected of you, you will also have the time to create a plan and improve your fitness level.
Generally these tests are geared to assess your physical ability in relation to the demands of a police officer. If you remember gym class from back in the day, you recall the mile and a half run, you had push-ups and sit-ups. Many departments will still have some aspect
of this physical agility test. However, you're going to see,
departments utilizing job related situations incorporated
into their physical fitness tests. Examples of these are
having obstacle courses, instances where you must
jump through a window, low crawl underneath tables
or drag a hundred pound dummy a certain distance,
and jumping a five foot fence.
So the nice thing is you have the ability to figure out
what a department’s physical agility test will be.
Typically it will be listed in their applicant guide on
their website. They're not going to hide it, it’s not going
to be super-secret. So I encourage you to take a look, read what the requirements are and start early.
This is where I think many applicants fail...they do not have the discipline to stay on track with their physical fitness. They assume they'll be ok, that they've worked out enough. Here's the thing, if you are not active or have a regular workout routine, running a mile and a half is going to have you winded. Doing pushups, we'll have you winded. Doing sit-ups, we'll have you winded. Combine them together, and you have a big challenge in front of you.
The day of your test, you are going to be in a position where when you have to do all these together. Unless you've been preparing, you're not going to be able to perform as you'd like. And you actually may end up be in a position where you do not pass that test. So it comes down to you and your ability to start and stay on track develop a workout routine. These days technology has made it so easy. You don't need a gym membership or a personal trainer. You can watch videos online, or head over to the app store and download something that can be customized to you. So really, the only thing that's holding you back is the excuses you’re making for yourself.
Getting to a point where you pass the physical agility test cannot be where you stop. Keep in mind that the physical fitness test is just usually an entry level minimum. Once you get into an academy, the expectation for an applicant is going to be very much higher in terms of performance ability. So don't lose your momentum and stop where you're at. Continue that progress to a point where fitness is, almost second nature. I would say a good goal, to achieve and maintain would be that 70 percentile of the army physical fitness test. Do so you're going to be competitive. You may not be that superstar in the academy, but they will recognize you as someone who does take fitness seriously. It will also help you in being able to address and deal with other stressors that will come from that academy because fitness won't be an issue.
So take a look early on at those departments that you might be planning to apply to and understand what their physical fitness test will be. Be aware, some agencies will have the fitness test on the front end, because if you can't pass the physical fitness test, then there's no point on a department spending money to send you through additional screenings.