Police Agility Test – How To Improve Your Pushups Fast

I received an e-mail from a police applicant who is preparing for the police exam and the police agility test in three months. She wanted some advice on how to improve her push-up performance for the test as she is well below the minimum requirement for females.  She says she has never done pushups the old fashion way; she only  practiced doing push-ups with both knees on the ground as opposed to doing regular push-up with both knees off the ground.

In order to improve your push-ups, you must do regular pushups with knees off the ground. If you want to dramatically improve your push-up performance for the police physical fitness test, you must start doing regular push-ups right way.  There is no reason why women can’t do regular push-up. All it takes is a little practice.

I have had several online clients men and women, who started out doing push-ups on their knees but now can easily do forty to fifty regular push-ups without any rest. It all comes down to a little practice and doing some of the techniques that I’m about to share with you.

Here are some simple tips and workouts to help you improve your pushups for the Police Agility Test. Make sure you execute each push-up with proper technique. Some agencies will disqualify you if you don’t perform the push-ups correctly.

Here’s what to do:

Always  Warm-Up

Get the heart pumping and the arms warmed up by doing the following warm-up (repeat twice; it only takes 2 -5 minutes):

– Jumping jacks, 15
– Bodyweight Lunge, 15

Once you’re done warming up, stretch the triceps, chest & shoulders:

Triceps / Shoulders Stretch: Place both arms over and behind your head. Grab your right elbow with your left hand and pull your elbow toward your opposite shoulder. Lean into the pull to also stretch your back/oblique muscles. Switch arms and repeat.

Chest / Shoulders Stretch: Grab onto a bar or wall with one hand, turn and twist so you feel a stretch of the chest and shoulder connection. Pull your shoulders back and stick your chest out. Hold for 15 seconds. Switch arms and repeat.

Proper techniques and exercises that will improve your push-ups

Try Going Fast: For maximum points on the Police Agilty Test, do the push-ups as quickly as you can. The slower you go, the more gravity will affect your strength. Remember to adhere to proper form.

Use Proper Stance: Your hands should be about shoulder width apart. Lie on the floor with your hands even with your shoulders. Too many people place their hands too high or too low, which will weaken your push-ups tremendously.

Get On your Toes: Once you burn out, it is OK to go to your knees in order to finish the workout.

The following prep exercise routine for the police fitness test are taken from the Pass The Police Exam Ebook. Not only is the super set one of the best ways to increase your push-ups, but while you “rest” your push-up muscles, you can also increase your sit-ups.

Push-Up/Crunch Super Set

Do 2-3 sets of each:  Execute a pair of exercises back to back without rest.

Exercise #1-  Regular push-ups- 10 superset with- regular crunches, 10
Exercise #2- Wide push-ups- 10 superset with– reverse crunches, 10
Exercise #3- Triceps push-ups-10- superset with plank, 10-30 seconds

Here’s other ways to improve your push-ups:

Repeat twice:
– 1 minute of push-ups without stopping
– 1 minute of sit-ups without stopping

Repeat three times:

– 20 seconds of push-ups
– 20 seconds of sit-ups

Repeat four times:

– 15 seconds of push-ups
– 15 seconds of sit-ups

Try these exercise routines only resting while you do your crunches or sit-ups. These workouts are challenging and only take a few minutes to do. I recommend that you try to incorporate push-ups and crunches into your workoutroutine, 3  times a week 30 minutes or less.

If you are not following a detailed workout program that will prepare you for both the police training academy and the agility test, visit PTPE to download your complete workout program.

Utah, Virginia, Oregon, Nevada, Kansas, Maine

Police Physical assessment test – How To Prepare For It

Successful candidates who are lucky enough to get hired must continue working out because the police academy is up next. Normally, the police fitness and  the civil service examination are the first tests you’ll take.  Police applicants are encouraged to follow a police specific workout program to get ready for the fitness test. If you are overweight, follow a good nutrition program as well as fat loss plan designed for police officers.

Here are some of the exercises you must successfully complete  in order to pass the Police Assessment Test:

Push Up

A correct push up is performed with your body in a straight line, feet approximately 12 inches apart, and hands about shoulder length apart. In the down position, you must go down far enough to where your chest is about four inches from the ground. In the up position, your arms must be fully extended.

Push ups done on your knees will not be counted. The only two rest positions are sagging in the middle or raising the buttocks. Your hands and feet must be the only points of contact with the ground. If you raise either hand or either foot your performance will be terminated.

Sit Up

A correct sit up is performed with another person holding your feet – no other method of bracing is allowed. The starting position will be flat on your back with your knees bent at a 45 degree angle. You must raise your upper body until the base of your neck is directly over the base of your spine. Do not pull on your neck as this may cause long lasting spinal injury.

The only authorized rest position is in the up position. If you rest flat on your back your performance will be terminated.


Complete a 300 meter run.

Complete a 1.5 mile run.

Sometimes candidates ask, “What is the minimum score to pass?” The Los Angeles School Police Department will not hire candidates who are only interested in performing to minimum standards. This mindset will become immediately apparent when the candidate fails the PAT and is subsequently disqualified.

Push yourself to do the best you can and experience a sense of pride and accomplishment at being better than others. Police Officers are bound by a sworn Code of Ethics to set the example for the rest of society to follow. This is the time to start setting that example.

If you want to get ultra lean for the police agility test, try following a police officer nutrition plan and workout program.

Police Officer Fitness And Physical Assessment Test Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa

Being physically fit is extremely important for police officers and those interested in becoming a peace officer. That’s why a police specific workout plan is best for those training for the physical fitness recruitment test.

Law enforcement officers that are in shape usually experience less stress than their out-of- shape peers. Too much stress can negatively impact your law enforcement career and your family life.

Physically fit officers often use less sick time than those not fit. Officers that are in-shape usually recover from injuries faster than they would if they were not in-shape. Physically fit law enforcement officers usually have more energy than those not fit.

Criminals often “size up” an officer before determining whether they want to run from or fight with an officer. The more fit you are and the more fit you appear, the less likely it will be that a criminal will “test” you. You will not be as strong or as fit as every criminal, but the more fit you are, the better your chances of surviving / winning a physical encounter.

Many experts say that it is not necessary to have a physical exam before beginning an exercise program if you are less than 35 years old. However, it is not a bad idea to do so. There are many things to keep in mind when you are considering fitness programs.

There are programs designed for weight loss, there are programs designed for muscle building, but if you’re getting in shape for a police related job, I recommended following a police specific workout program.

There are many activities such as karate, mountain biking, swimming, hiking, racquetball, etc. etc. that can be used by themselves or included as part of a fitness program.

There is no one program that is better than all the others. What is important to remember is that overall fitness requires exercise (aerobic training and strength training), proper nutrition, and an adequate sleep. It is also important to remember that weight loss, gaining strength, and gaining muscle takes time, and patience is required.

Rome was not built in a day. Remember that being fit is not easy for most people. If it were, most people would be fit. Being fit often takes dedication and commitment.

Although it can seem difficult, it is usually not a matter of difficulty, but a matter of discipline. There are some rather simple things you can do, that if done regularly, will make a big difference. Without going into too much detail and explanation, here are some tips.

Avoid refined sugar and white carbohydrates.
Avoid saturated fat.
Eat only until you are satisfied, not stuffed.
Eat a variety of healthy foods.
Try to make flax seed, green tea, whey protein, and fish oil part of your diet.
Include “super foods” such as pomegranates, broccoli sprouts, blueberries, turkey, walnuts, and oatmeal in your diet.
Take a good daily vitamin.
Eat five or six smaller meals instead of two or three larger ones. Space them out about every three hours.
Drink a glass of water with every meal.

Don’t overdo it when beginning a program. Start out slow.
Always warm up with some low level activity such as walking, light jogging, knee lifts, arm circles, etc. for at least five minutes.
Done properly, pushups, pull ups, crunches and walking or jogging can be some of the best exercises.
If lifting weights, use proper form and have a spotter when appropriate.
Do not strain.
Give muscles time to rest and recover between workouts.
When your routine seems easy, increase the intensity, add some exercises, and / or change the order of the exercises you do.
Wear comfortable clothes when working out.

Get adequate sleep, think positive, be patient, and be consistent!

Law Enforcement Fitness Test – Advice on Push-ups & Endurance

Push-ups are not only a great way to build upper body strength and endurance as you train for the law enforcement physical fitness test, but they are a good functional exercise.

The push-up test is a basic part of the PFT used by law enforcement agencies to assess upper body fitness. If you fail the push-up test or you don’t do enough push-ups, you’ll likely get eliminated for future hiring considerations. To avoid failing the physical fitness test, I recommend following a law enforcement specific workout program.

Why Worry About Upper Body Strength and Endurance as You Prepare For the Law Enforcement Fitness Test?

Strength and endurance in the muscles of the upper body, specifically the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core, is a good indication of overall fitness. This simple exercise engages muscles throughout the entire body, from head to toe, in order to maintain a rigid position. Upper body strength and endurance is essential for police officers, FBI agents, ATF, DEA, Border Patrol, and correctional officers who demand strength and power from their arms and shoulder to perform well while on duty. A strong upper body is also important for everyone who wants to perform everyday movements such as carrying luggage or picking up children with ease and without risking injury.

Primary Muscles Used During the Law Enforcement Push-Up Test

  • Shoulders (Anterior and Medial Deltoids))
  • Chest (Pectorals)
  • Back of the Upper Arm (Triceps)

How to Perform the Push-Up Test

While performing push-ups, you lift nearly 75% of your total body weight.
Standard Push-Up Test

  • Perform a short warm up before performing any fitness testing.
  • Begin in a push up position on hands and toes with hands shoulder-width apart and elbows fully extended.
  • While keeping a straight line from the toes, to hips, and to the shoulders, lower your upper body so your elbows bend to 90 degrees.
  • Push back up to the start position.
  • That is one rep.
  • Continue with this form and complete as many repetitions as possible without breaking form.
  • Record the total number of full push ups completed.

How to Score Your Push-Up Fitness Test Results

While training for the law enforcement push-up test, every now and then, compare your results to the recommendations for your age and gender with the following table. To assess your training progress, you can do the push-up test every 8 to 12 weeks.

Push Up Fitness Test Results Comparison Chart:
Men Age: 20-29 Age: 30-39 Age: 40-49 Age: 50-59 Age: 60+
Excellent 54 or more 44 or more 39 or more 34 or more 29 or more
Good 45-54 35-44 30-39 25-34 20-29
Average 35-44 24-34 20-29 15-24 10-19
Poor 20-34 15-24 12-19 8-14 5-9
Very Poor 20 or fewer 15 or fewer 12 or fewer 8 or fewer 5 or fewer
Women Age: 20-29 Age: 30-39 Age: 40-49 Age: 50-59 Age: 60+
Excellent 48 or more 39 or more 34 or more 29 or more 19 or more
Good 34-48 25-39 20-34 15-29 5-19
Average 17-33 12-24 8-19 6-14 3-4
Poor 6-16 4-11 3-7 2-5 1-2
Very Poor 6 or fewer 4 or fewer 3 or fewer 2 or fewer 1 or fewer

Fitness Preparation For the Florida Police Academy

I have received similar emails from two young men under 22 years of age; both young men seeking fitness preparation information for military and law enforcement occupations. The problem with many younger (and older) Americans is that the current fitness/health conditions they maintain are not good enough to ensure success at a military boot camp or a law enforcement training academy. Their emails specifically address their very common issues.

Question From Future Police Officer:

“I am a beginner – I have never run trying to get to a specific time. This is my second week training – my goal is to reach 1.5 miles in 14:30. On the track, I power walk one lap then run the next lap. I figured if I did it this way I would not injure myself. After about six times out running every other lap I am down to 15:28 for 1.5 miles. What is the quickest way that I can get down to a 14:30.”


Striving for and not reaching minimum physical standards should not be an option. Both the law enforcement and military created physical standards for a reason – your life or your buddy’s life may depend on your physical ability/fitness level.

You can eliminate some stress of military and police indoctrination training just by showing up in above average physical condition. Otherwise, you will be forced to spend so many extra hours training (or in such physical pain and soreness) that it will take the focus away from learning to shoot to other job specific skills.

To the Future Police Officer:

You are going about your beginning running program the right way. By not doing too much, too fast, too often, you will save yourself from certain injury. However, you must have a plan that will build you up so your goal will be faster than a 14:30 1.5 mile run. Usually, a good minimum standard for the 1.5 mile run is closer to 10:30 (or a 7:00/mile pace).

In fact, the women at the US Naval Academy have to run under 12:30 for the 1.5 mile run or they fail the test – that is an 8:00 / mile pace. Consider a 14:30 a passing grade but it is a “D” average – or below average.

In closing, set your goals a little higher when attempting to serve your country. The military and law enforcement is not just a pay check. They are honorable professions that may require the “average” person to fight for his/her life one day. You can do it with proper training and skills. Having a sound fitness foundation enables you to be a better protector of our country.

Article by Stew Smith

Workout Program Prep Guide for Those Wanting to Become a Police Officer

Exercises Plan Toward Becoming a Cop

If your goal is to start exercising as you pursue a career in law enforcement, then our Fit For Duty Workout Plan gives you all the tools you need to start preparing for the test. You’ll get:

  • Cardio, strength training and flexibility workouts
  • Basic tips to help you eat healthy and reduce abdominal fat
  • Weekly calendars to organize your workouts and nutritional goals
  • Motivational tips to help you get your mind excited about law enforcement
  • The tools you need to sail through the police academy.

If that sounds good to you, keep reading for a sample workout.

Police Workout Tip #1:

Before you even lace up your workout shoes, your first step is to commit to your program every day. No matter what else is going on in your life, remind yourself of your goal of one day becoming a police officer, state trooper, or FBI Agent. Give your workout the priority it deserves. Write it down and treat it just like any other appointment you wouldn’t miss. If you find yourself falling off the fitness wagon, don’t worry. This program will help you dig deep and find the strength to keep going.

How to Strength Train

Whether you want to be a local cop, state police officer , or a federal agent you’ll have to successfully pass the fitness evaluation test before getting the job. One test you must prepare for is the muscular strength test. This test involves measuring during push-ups, dummy drag, or sometimes the fence climb test.

The best workouts that will build up your muscular strength are compound movement exercises (i.e., movements that target more than one muscle group). Examples would be squats, lunges, push-ups, and pull-ups.

Guidelines for Working Out:

  • Target all your muscle groups at least three times a week, with a day or two of rest in between workouts.
  • Keep your reps between 8-12 to build muscle, 12-16 for endurance and 4-8 to build strength. Don’t be afraid to use different rep ranges regularly to challenge your body in new ways.
  • Don’t be afraid to lift heavy (women included, you won’t get balky)
  • Choose 1-2 exercises for each body part. For example:
    • Modified pushups
    • Seated Rows
    • Back extensions
    • Lateral raises
    • Bicep Curls
    • Tricep Kickbacks
    • Ball Squats
    • Assisted Lunges
    • Hip Lifts
    • Crunches on the Ball

Workout to Improve Cardio and Endurance for the Fitness Test

The second part of the police fitness test that will be evaluated is your cardio and endurance. This occurs during the 1.5 mile run and the 300 meter sprint. Here’s a great sample workout below to achieve both:

Equipment Needed
An elliptical or cross trainer

How To

  • Follow each segment of the workout, working to find a pace/resistance that allows you to work at the suggested Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
  • Walk for as long as you can, stopping early if you feel uncomfortable or that you’re working too hard.
  • Perform this workout about three times a week. Keep a day of rest in between.
  • Progress by adding a few minutes each time you workout until you’re up to 30 minutes
  • Stretch your lower body after your workout
Time Intensity/Pace RPE
5 minutes Walk at a comfortable pace to warm up 4
3 Minutes Increase your speed or incline (or both) a few increments until you’re working harder than your warm up pace.  You should feel you’re working, but you should be able to carry on a conversation.  This is your baseline pace 5
2 Minutes Increase your speed and/or incline once again until you’re working slightly harder than baseline 5-6
3 Minutes Decrease speed/incline back to baseline 5
2 Minutes Increase your speed and/or incline once again until you’re working slightly harder than baseline 5-6
5 Minutes Decrease speed/incline back to a comfortable level to cool down 4
Total Workout Time:  20 Minutes

To Download The Complete 12 Weeks Workout Program From Beginner To Advance Click Here

Police Fitness Test: One Repetition Maximum Bench Press

The one repetition maximum bench press is not as a popular as the 1.5 mile run when it comes to police testing exercises. Probably one out of every twenty law enforcement agencies still have the one rep bench press as part of their fitness test.

Honestly I don’t think this test has anything to do with law enforcement, and should be eliminated completely as part of the recruit fitness testing process. With that being said there are alot of agencies that don’t share the same opinion.

You must know that the bench press is by far the most popular exercise in the gym and the standard by which many judge their own strength and the strength of others. It is also one the exercises that can be hard to excel at and plateaus at certain weights are hard to break through.

Don’t Know How To Prepare For The Police Fitness Test?Try Following a Law Enforcement Specific Workout Program.

The article below is going to go over a few points that will help you improve your 1 repetition maximum bench press.

Start Strengthening Your Supporting Muscles

The bench press involves more than just your chest muscles, your front deltoids, triceps are directly involved as well and almost every other upper body muscle you have is helping to stabilize and balance the weight. So make sure that you are working to get stronger shoulders and triceps as these will help you push heavier weights. But when going for more strength in the triceps and shoulders make sure you use compound movements that will let you move heavier weights as opposed to isolating shaping exercises.

Good Exercises To Build Shoulder Strength

  • Front Barbell Press
  • Seated Dumbbell Press
  • Upright Rows

Exercises To Build Strong Tricep Muscles

  • Dips
  • Close Grip Bench Presses
  • Ez Bar Extensions

Use Varying Rep Ranges To Shock your Body

The biggest mistake that most police applicants make when trying to get stronger bench pressing is they only lift heavy weights and never venture into the higher rep range. While it is true the heavier weights will develop strength faster you muscles have fibers that only respond to higher rep training and not stimulating them is costing you both size and strength. I like to switch off to higher reps every few workout sessions just to keep things growing and keep my body confused!

Don’t Know How To Prepare For The Police Fitness Test?Try Following a Law Enforcement Specific Workout Program.
Additional Tips On The Police Fitness Test

The weight that you must press is determined by your age and weight; therefore, the following are generic guidelines that will help you develop upper body strength.

If you have access to weights, determine the maximum amount that you can bench press one time, (when using free weights, make sure you have a spotter).

Take 50% of that weight, this will be your training weight. You should be able to do 8-10 repetitions of that weight, for three sets, (this will be a total of 24-30 repetitions). You should increase your weight in increments of 2 ½ – 5 pounds weekly.

If you do not have access to weights, it is possible to increase your upper body strength by doing sets of 3 sets of push-ups 3-4 times a week. Start your training by doing sets of 10 push-ups per set, or as many as you can do until you can do 10 push-ups per set.

Below is a list by rank of cities and states with the toughest law enforcement fitness standards:

LAPD Physical Fitness Test – Advice on How to Pass It

Let me cut to the chase and tell you the LAPD physical fitness test is no laughing matter. In fact, over half of all prospects will fail the police fitness test.

The LAPD fitness test also know as the physical abilities test,  is not for those who are out of shape and unprepared. Other than NYPD’s intense physical agility test, LAPD has one of the toughest police fitness requirements in the country.

If you’re not in superb shape going into the test, you should wait to test until you are truly prepared. You won’t pass if you’re out of shape… PERIOD!

The fitness test was designed to measure a recruits physical ability to perform the various tasks of a police officer. That’s why doing cable exercises and fluff workouts will  not effectively prepare you for the LAPD fitness test. You need a police specific workout program that will develop and improve the following your level of fitness  in the following categories:

  • Muscular strength and endurance (sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups)
  • Aerobic Capacity (1.5 mile run)
  • Anaerobic Power (300 meter sprint)

Developing the above fitness categories are absolutely critical if you want to successfully pass the Physical Abilities Test (PAT). The fitness test is comprised of two portions.  The first portion is designed to measure strength, agility, and endurance. The second portion measures aerobic capacity and it usually is administered the time of the medical evaluation.

It is a pass or fail test. If you pass the Physical Ability Test (PAT) there is no guarantee you’ll be able to make it through the physically demanding academy; this is why it is critical to continue training well after the PAT.

You should know that if you pass the PAT and subsequently get sent to the police academy, the fitness  test there is even tougher. Don’t get lazy if you pass the PAT because down the line you’ll be challenged even more.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I want to emphasize that doing steady pace workouts will not get you anywhere in terms of getting into elite shape. You must follow a law enforcement specific workout plan that encompasses the three major fitness categories I mentioned above.

Here’s a good 7 day workout split that can help you effectively schedule your training program from week to week.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday from Saturday Sunday
Warm-up Rest Day Warm-up Rest Day Warm-up Warm-up Rest Day
Total body  Strength &
Endurance Workout30 minutes
Multi-Joint  Strength &
Endurance Workout30 minutes
Total Body
Strength &
Interval training
Interval training
Interval Training25- minutes
Cool-down Rest Day Rest Day Cool-down Cool-down Rest Day
Post Workout Protein/Carb Meal Post Workout Protein/Carb Meal Post Workout Protein/Carb Meal

You can download an entire 30 day meal plan and a step-by-step police workout program at Pass The Police Fitness Test. Make sure you change your workout routine every four weeks for maximum results. I hope this article helped you in some way.