Pre-Joining Fitness Test

Much like the interview, the fitness test will show how much effort you’ve put in. It’s 100% down to you if you pass or not.

I will say one thing though, it was a lot easier than I expected and if I had known how easy I would find it, I wouldn’t have worried about it at all. 

The fitness test is conducted at a Nuffield Health or Fitness First Gym 

The PJFT is made up of the following parts –

  • 1.5 mile / 2.4 km run on a treadmill in a certain* time
  • A certain* amount of press ups in a minute
  • A certain* amount of sit ups in a minute

*The time in which you have to complete the run depends on whether you are male or female and how old you are. The following table is the current standards as of May 2014. While they will probably stay the same, please be advised that they have changed in the past and could change again.

Click picture to enlarge

In my experience, I was allowed to set the speed of the treadmill myself, and change it at any time during the test. I was told that 13km/h would just about pass the male minimum time limit for my age (11 minutes 11 seconds), but I would advise setting it a bit quicker to make sure you comfortably pass.

If you’ve done a bit of work before your attempt the PJFT, you shouldn’t really have any problems. I found it a lot easier than I thought I would, especially the press-ups and sit-ups. The test came around a lot sooner than I expected, and even though I had been running most nights and working on my press-ups and sit-ups I was a bit worried that I hadn’t had enough time to prepare as well as I could.

The fact is, I passed the test with reasonably good results on the press-ups and sit-ups but a pretty average run time. The idea being that I wanted to leave myself room to improve at the PRTC and BRTC (where you will undertake more fitness tests). I could have gone absolutely flat out at the PJFT but that only would have made life more difficult as I really would have had to push myself to breaking point to improve for training. RAF Halton is where fitness really matters. You want to be doing your best, and the PTI’s will make sure you are, so I want to be sure that I know I can easily improve on my performance when I’m there. Maybe I’m being a bit tactical but it just makes sense to me.

Also worth mentioning is your blood pressure will be taken at the PJFT before you’re allowed to start the test, and you’ll have to sign a couple of forms. Your height and weight will be taken at some point also as it needs to be recorded on your results sheet. 

All in all though, the PJFT was quite a good experience and I’ll be looking forward to the fitness tests at PRTC and Basic Training to see how much I can improve!


42 thoughts on “Pre-Joining Fitness Test

  1. Hiya, first of all great blog! looking forward to the basic training part.
    Iv got my PJFT in a few days and worrying abit over the sit-ups. I can do the required amount and more but im not sure if my shoulder blades are touching the floor and don’t want to fail and wait 6 weeks due to bad form. Will they say early on to go down lower or just fail you?

    • Hi Rob! Thanks for the kind words. I’m sorry my reply is so delayed. I’ve been pretty busy over the last few months and this blog has been forgot about for quite a while. Hope the fitness test went well!

      • No worries mate. Yeah I had my prtc this week just gone and it was a good experience. Everything went well and I was surprised how easy the fitness test was and was shocked at people failing it! Just looking forward to September now!

  2. Hi,
    What order do they do the fitness test in? I would prefer to do press ups / sit ups and then the run – is this allowed.
    Really enjoying reading your blog, Thanks

    • Apologies for the late reply, I somehow missed this message! Fitness test is always run first, then press ups/sit ups. I got asked at my fitness test which order I wanted to do the press ups and sit ups in but that’s because they are civvy PTI’s. Don’t expect a choice at PRTC or beyond!

    • Usually not long. Mine was a week, but some people have the fitness test the next day. Medical and fitness go hand in hand so your AFCO usually try and book them together.

  3. Hi there. Run time is currently 14minutes 10 seconds for the 2.4km. Would they be leniant with this or would this be a fail?????? Just asking.

    • In my experience, I did the press ups and sit ups straight after the run at my PJFT. However, you’ll never have to do it in quick succession like that again. You get time to rest at Halton and phase 2 training because you’re waiting for other people. And once you’re on your first posting, the whole fitness test process is a lot more relaxed anyway.

  4. Hi, do you know if with the press ups and the sit ups, do you have to do a full minute of reps or can you stop at 20 press ups (the minimum pass number) and then pass that section? Many thanks!

  5. I did my pjft in May and the instructor said I wasn’t allowed to hold on to the tredmill…not that I would want to anyways like haha.

  6. I know this question isn’t relevant to the fitness tests,..but can anyone tell me a what stage in the recruiting process for Reserves do you get issued with a uniform? Thanks in advance..

  7. For a 2nd attempt at this, they give you a 6-8 window to re-do it. What happens in that time if you are unwell and unable to attend? Does this affect your application or will they make allowances?

  8. Hi there. Just wanted to add that after 3 attempts, my daughter has finally passed her fitness test. Message to everyone about to do theirs and are a bit worried, dont give up……………..if you want something bad enough you will do this.

      • If you fail more than once, I believe it’s done more on a case by case basis. If you are severely lacking in one or more areas,they may want you to go away for longer and work on it. If it’s just a small difference between your current standard and the required standard then it may be 6-8 weeks.

        Please note that the RAF need enthusiastic and determined people. If you are failing the fitness test multiple times – it begins to seem like you may not fit the requirement of what they need. It’s always best to try and pass things like the fitness test first time.

        Good luck!

  9. Congratulations to your daughter and some good advice. Your daughter will need to keep the fitness up and keep improving as much as possible as the physical demands of basic training are high and there are more fitness tests to pass. Hope the rest of the process goes well for her!

    • Keep up your fitness! Brush up on English/maths so nothing catches you out. Above all, have a positive attitude and be enthusiastic!

  10. Thank you I am looking forward to PRTC just I hope I do well and that the PT are not to harsh. Also when about do you get security checked?

  11. PTI’s are not harsh. They may correct your form for the press-ups and sit-ups but just do exactly as you say and you will be fine. The security check is just an online application which you will be sent information about via email usually. I’m sure it varies from person to person (also some roles require higher security clearance), but mine was done shortly after I had attended the selection interview.

  12. Thank you that’s rested my mind am sure my afco Cpl said I would be doing it after my pjft before I go to halton but I haven’t heard anything yet

    • I can’t remember exactly. It’s a very small, rather insignificant part of the application. All will be explained to you in the instructions.

    • my daughter has just filled her’s in. if you havent done anything wrong, you shouldnt worry. she had to list immediate family members names etc, whether they are at the same address, how long for. She had to list 4 names of people as references; someone she had know from a young age, so she chose a guy she grew up with, if a tutor, they needed to be a friend of the family, someone who has know her over 10years, an employer as well I believeetc. Along those lines. Nothing to worry about. The form does take a long time to fill in because if your dates of employment (and equally unemployment) do not add up, it keeps reminding you in red.

      • Thank you Jo, I appreciate this! It’s been over 3 years for me so I honestly couldn’t remember but this brings back a few memories and sounds the same. Thanks for the info!

  13. Thank you I just keeping worrying about how I will do I mean I haven’t been arrested or anything like that so I am probably worrying over nothing?

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