New year, new fitness options

  • Published
  • By Jessica L. Kendziorek
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

The 403rd Wing will be putting the new Air Force physical fitness assessment into action starting on the February Unit Training Assembly.

In July 2021, the Air Force announced that the service would have new alternatives to choose from for the cardio and the strength components.

“I think that it is great that we have options now,” said Col. Stuart Rubio, 403rd Wing commander. “Knowing the Air Force recognizes we are not all the same, and some Airmen excel in different ways encouraging.”

While he hasn’t tried the new options, he said the fitness assessment is “an open book” test and Airmen can try out each option before they take their test.

Under the new assessment model, Airmen can select from traditional push-ups or hand release push-ups; and then choose from sit-ups, the cross-leg reverse crunch or the plank to complete the two strength component sections of the comprehensive fitness assessment.

“One thing to remember,” said Senior Master Sgt. Lisa Baldelli, 403rd Force Support Squadron senior enlisted leader, “is that while the traditional push-ups and sit-ups remain at the 1-minute time limit, the hand release push-ups and the cross-leg reverse crunch require Airmen to complete 2-minutes of the exercise, and the plank can go up to 3-minutes.”

Airmen will then have the option to select from the traditional 1.5-mile run or the High Aerobic Multi-shuttle Run (20M HAMR) for the cardio requirement.

“While the 1-mile walk will be a cardio option in the future, it has been put on hold until further notice,” said Jason Ham, Air Force Reserve Command’s Fitness and Health Promotion functional manager. “However, the 2-kilometer walk is only for those Airmen not medically cleared to run.”

To find out their next fitness test date, service members can go to the myFSS platform and select myFitness, go to, or reach out to their Unit Fitness Program Manager.

Airmen can also review their current and previous scores in the myFitness section, as well as use the fitness calculator. The fitness calculator has been updated with the new components.

Until a scheduling section is in place, members will continue to schedule their fitness test through their unit fitness program manager.

“Scheduling multiple assessment options on a unit training assembly will present a challenge,” said Baldelli. “But for now, our office plans to work with the units to assist with scheduling the individuals who wish to take the different components, due to the timing differences.”

Her plan is to meet at the Triangle track, demonstrate the proper technique for each component, and then divide Airmen into groups based on what they want to complete for their physical fitness assessment and have their score sheet follow them to each station.

Airmen will still need to fill out the fitness screening questionnaire, or AF4446a, and the fitness assessment scorecard, or AF4446, and bring the forms to their UFPM on the day of testing.

Eventually myFitness will allow users to schedule fitness assessments, receive automated notifications for scheduled testing or cancellations, access and submit fitness assessments, and upload medical documents for review.

“Until then the units will bring the score sheets to us and we will input the scores into myFitness,” said Baldelli.

Members are now able to take a practice diagnostic test with their Physical Training Leaders and get their scores, but this diagnostic test can only be taken if the member has more than 15 days before they go overdue for the assessment.

Rubio said, “This is a good option for those working to improve their physical fitness assessment scores, because they can see where they stand and where they can improve. And the best part of the diagnostic tests are that you cannot fail them but, if you are happy with your score, it can count as your official test.”

Practicing the options is important before the test, but Baldelli reminds members that once a scoresheet is marked as official it cannot be changed to a diagnostic test.

“Because fitness touches everything, from our work to our resiliency, having options, helps ensure that fitness becomes part of a healthy lifestyle and builds exercise habits,” said Rubio. “Being fit means our Airmen stay healthy and maintain their readiness.”