Skip to comments.Navy to loosen body weight standards in fitness test
Posted on 08/02/2015 7:28:50 PM PDT by markomalley
The Navy will relax the body weight standards in its physical fitness assessment beginning next year, as it moves away from what service leaders say is too narrow a gauge of health and physical ability.
New rules to be announced Monday and set to take effect in January will result in more sailors passing the body composition portion of the physical fitness assessment, or PFA, and participating in the exercise portion of the assessment, Navy officials said. Current rules prohibit anyone who fails the body composition portion from moving on to the exercise test.
The new rules add a single-step abdominal measurement for those who dont meet the Navys maximum weight allowances by height, and they raise body fat limits to a maximum 26 percent for men and 35 percent for women, following Department of Defense standards. They also reduce the number of permitted failures to two in three years from three in four.
Navy officials said the changes are the first step in the Navys move away from an emphasis on body size and toward strengthening the exercise test, known as the physical readiness test, or PRT.
I want them taking PRTs, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Bill Moran said of the changes in a video released by the Navy. I want them testing. I want them physically active. Thats going to improve our overall health at the end of the day.
The fitness assessment is held twice annually. Last year, around 5,000 sailors failed at least one of the two cycles, according to the Navy, the majority because they didnt pass the body weight portion, known as the body composition assessment, or BCA. Only those who exceed the Navys maximum weight allowances by height are currently required to tape-in, or have their body fat percentage calculated by measuring neck and abdomen circumference.
Current rules call for sailors who fail three physical fitness assessments in four years to be separated from the Navy.
As part of the new guidelines, the Navy will erase all but one prior failure from sailor records in January, and it will give those currently being separated for fitness reasons a chance to stay on, provided they pass an exercise test by Dec. 1 of this year.
The service will also overlook body composition failures in this years fall cycle, although it will require all medically cleared sailors to take the exercise test; failing the exercise test will still result in failure of the full physical fitness assessment.
The new rules keep the same maximum weight allowances but add the single-site abdominal measurement before the traditional taping. Male sailors with an abdominal circumference less than or equal to 39 inches will pass the body composition portion and move on to the physical readiness test, as will females with a measurement at or below 35.5 inches.
Those who fail the abdominal measurement will need their body fat composition calculated, using the current taping process measuring neck and abdomen circumference. Even with new body fat maximums, sailors must meet new limits for their age range. Those falling outside their range but under the maximum overall limit will still pass but be enrolled in their commands fitness enhancement program, or FEP, as well as nutritional counseling.
Anyone who fails the taping portion will fail the full body composition assessment and will still fail the full assessment. But under the new rules they must participate in the exercise test.
The new rules also emphasize commander spot checks, or quick assessments of a sailors health outside the physical fitness assessment.
Its not a punitive measure, Moran said in the video. It should never be taken that way. Its more of a way to say, Hey shipmate, Im worried about you, lets go do the test. If it shows we need to get you on a program to better health, then lets do that.
The new physical fitness assessment guidelines are part of a broader effort by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and service officials to emphasize a more holistic look at health and wellness over strict measurements. In a June directive, Mabus asked the services to update nutrition plans, increase access to base gyms, perform fitness spot checks and recognize those who exceed fitness requirements.
Navy officials have said the range of body types across the service make assessing proper body composition difficult. Theyve suggested the body composition assessment may be thrown out altogether in the future as other means of testing health become available, including the use of devices to measure sleep cycles, heart rate and blood pressure. The Navy is currently running trials of those devices and other tests throughout the fleet.
Not all sailors have welcomed talk of changing the fitness assessment. Some say loosening body composition requirements will have a negative effect on the service.
The exercise test may be strengthened in the future, officials say. The physical readiness test currently consists of curl-ups, pushups and a timed 1.5-mile run or similar cardio activity.
Don’t do that. Most of the obese people I see are not capable of the work the military does.
“Maybe you shoulda made ‘em smarter instead of faster.” - Gary Busey from the movie SOLDIER.
Then give them back their french fries, fried chicken, and whole milk dammit!!
Well, you can’t really blame them. After all, in the last 200 years there has never been a time that a ship was on fire, anyone had to drag hoses across a deck, or carry a wounded sailor up narrow stairs.
(What else can that idiot in Washington do to weaken our defenses?)
Men and women will be treated exactly the same except when it doesn't help women.
Gots to make room for the fat lesbos.
I think people can be a little heavier than the average, and drag a hose while wearing full fire gear just as good as the next guy. Look at the NFL, some of those big fat offensive lineman run sub-5 second 40’s.
Read between the lines - most capable and accomplished are leaving the service ...
“Gots to make room for the fat lesbos.”
That thought is not unique to you...heh.
Great - a bunch of Chris Christies in the Navy. It’s bad enough having him running for President.
This is no surprise. Every single decision made is destructive to the service, and I have stopped thinking they are just poor decisions.
God forgive us, we will pay in blood for what they are doing.
Those NFL linemen are athletes. They can run and perform, don’t let their tubby looks deceive you.
They are quite different from your run of the mill overweight person who is hard pressed to run 20 yards.
I think these decisions they are making are criminal.
So we are going to let fatties that can hardly make it to the fridge for a piece of cake in the navy? OK, move over Pootie, we are coming to get ya.
Active Duty ping.
Well... it sounds more like they are loosening the height AND weight requirements. Yeah, 26% is a bit higher for a man but it’s far from morbid obesity. I’m sure the chairforce wouldn’t care ;-)
Back in my time in the weight rule wasn't there. I was 5'10" at 210 lbs and was One on One on the Fire Dept. I was number one nozzleman and pulled many a fire hose. I ran to lots of drills and a few fires fully geared up. I could climb from 6th deck to 010 level and be ready to go. You want the heavier guys on the hose team. For those who don't understand the Navy on a ship fights fires from a squatted position not standing. This is to prevent getting burned to a crisp. We also used two hoses Number One Hose for fighting the fire and Number Two Hose the gooseneck to be placed over One on Ones shoulders so he and the hose team stayed cooled and were safe.
I got out in 1980. I joined the Army National Guards in 1984 and the weight rules were in place. The lowest my weight got was 205 and I could still do the job which was onloading and offloading 155mm shells and drive the truck. Today? No, but I'm 57 and weigh in at 235 and I've lost 2" height.
I would be more worried about how much weight a sailor could carry then how much they way within reason. I knew lots of sailors who would not meet the requirements today but did their job daily. Oh and it wasn't from a lack of exercise LOL. Heavier guys came in handy when my shop had Freon Parties to onload 50 gallon barrels for the chillers.
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