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PHYSICAL AGILITY TEST PREP

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Background

In response to legislation enacted by the 1998 Kentucky General Assembly, KRS 15.382, the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council and the Kentucky Department Of Criminal Justice Training, established physical training standards for pre-selection screening of peace officer applicants. The Department conducted a validation study to determine which areas of physical fitness are necessary to perform the job of a Kentucky peace officer, and the level of fitness necessary to perform the essential functions of Basic Training.

In 1998 a physical agility test battery was approved and adopted by the KLEC for use throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a mechanism to screen applicants. It also has been applied as an entrance and exit standard to the Basic Academy. The original test battery was composed of six items, each reflecting the underlying constructs required to perform police duties, as evidenced by a validated job-task analysis.

Currently, the test battery consists of five items. Dr. Bryant Stamford and Dr. Robert Moffatt completed the present study in the summer of 2009. This new approach employs an “overall” scoring scheme which allows a lower score on one test item to be compensated by a higher score on another test item.

What are the physical agility tests?

Five (5) physical agility tests will be given in three (3) hours, in the following order:

  • Bench Press (% of body weight – conversion)

  • Sit up Test (1 minute time limit)

  • 300 Meter Run

  • Push up Test (2 minute time limit)

  • 1.5 Mile Run

What are the physical fitness areas to be tested?

The physical fitness areas that have been determined to be necessary for Kentucky Law Enforcement Officers are:

  • Aerobic power or cardiovascular endurance

  • Anaerobic power

  • Absolute strength

  • Muscular endurance

How is the test scored?

The matrix below is used to determine the points earned for each event. In order to meet the state standard, an overall minimum of 50 points must be achieved. Failure to meet the overall minimum requirement constitutes a failure for the test battery. Opportunities to retest are granted at the sole discretion of the hiring agency.

BENCH PRESS
(% body weight)

55.3% = 9 pts.

59.7% = 9.5 pts.

64% = 10 pts.

68.5% = 10.5 pts.

≥ 73% = 11 pts.

SIT UPS
(repetitions)

13 = 9 pts.

16 = 9.5 pts.

18 = 10 pts.

-------

≥ 18 = 11pts.

300 METER RUN
(seconds)

68 = 9 pts.

67 = 9.5 pts.

65 = 10 pts.

-------

≤ 65 = 11 pts.

 

PUSH UPS
(repetitions)

14 = 9 pts.

17 = 9.5 pts.

20 = 10 pts.

23 = 10.5 pts.

≥ 25 = 11 pts.

 1.5 MILE RUN
(min:sec)

17:56 = 9 pts.

17:34 = 9.5 pts.

17:12 = 10 pts.

16:44 = 10.5 pts.

≤ 16:15 = 11 pts.

 

BENCH PRESS 

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Measures Absolute Strength

  • Body position: eyes in front of the bar, feet flat on the floor, both hands clasp the bar with a full thumb wrap.

  • A 3-inch high sponge is secured to the bar and must make contact with the chest when the weight is lowered.

  • Hips and back must remain in contact with the bench during the entire lift

  • Feet must remain flat on the floor during the entire lift.

  • An administrator positioned on either side of the bar will assist to un-rack and re-rack the bar during all lifts.

  • One warm up lift is required prior to attempting a lift for points. The weight of this warm up lift must be lower than the weight required to obtain a 9 point value.

  • Lower the bar until contact is made with the 3-inch sponge.

  • From the down position the bar is raised towards the ceiling, until a full, yet soft extension of the elbows is obtained.

  • The test is over when there have been two failed lifts or the 11 point threshold is met.

Training Tips for Bench Press

If possible, consult a fitness trainer to assist you with becoming familiar with the proper use and safety involved in using free weights. Do not attempt the bench press without proper instruction or spotting. A fitness trainer can also assist you with a program according to your body weight.

The starting weight for beginning bench press training is approximately 1/2 of the participant’s body weight. Follow the progression indicated by the chart.

REPS = (Repetitions) The number of times an exercise is repeated

SETS = The number of consecutive repetitions performed without rest

Special Note: Performing the bench press on a universal or machine-based piece of equipment can be significantly different than performing the bench press using free weights. Many universal or machine- based bench press apparatuses do not allow you to take in to account balance issues or the full weight through your entire range of motion. Tests will be administered using free weights, and as such, it is advised that training and/or preparation be practiced similarly.

WEEK 1

WEIGHT: 50% of body weight

REPS: 1

SETS: 8-10

FREQUENCY: 3x week

WEEK 2

WEIGHT: 50% of body weight + 5 lbs.

REPS: 2

SETS: 8-10

FREQUENCY: 3x week

WEEKS 3-8

WEIGHT: 50% of body weight + 5 lbs. each week

REPS: 2

SETS: 8-10

FREQUENCY: 3x week

SIT UPS

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Measures Muscular Endurance

  • 1 minute time limit

  • Feet flat on the floor, no wider than hips width apart, and secured by an administrator.

  • Knees are bent at 90 degrees or tighter (buttocks closer to the feet).

  • Hands are overlapped and placed behind the head. Fingers may NOT be interlocked.

  • Start in the down position.

  • Elbows must cross the vertical plane of the kneecaps to complete the up position.

  • Shoulder blades must contact the floor to complete the down position.

  • Resting in the down position is not allowed and will result in immediate failure.

  • Resting within the 1 minute time limit is allowed in the up position only.

  • Sit-ups are performed until the 11 point threshold is met or until the 1 minute time limit is reached.

Training Tips for Sit Ups

Complete one set of sit ups for the amount of time indicated for the weeks noted. Try to do the suggested program at least three days a week (ie. Monday/Wednesday/Friday).

WEEKS 1-4

3 sets of sit ups:

 1 set for 20 seconds
(then rest for about 1 minute)

1 set for 15 seconds
(then rest for about 1 minute)

1 set for 10 seconds
(then rest for about 1 minute)

WEEKS 5-8

3 sets of sit ups:

  1 set for 25 seconds
(then rest for about 1 minute)

1 set for 15 seconds
(then rest for about 1 minute)

1 set for 10 seconds
(then rest for about 1 minute)

300 METER RUN

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Measures Anaerobic Power

  • Line up at start line.

  • Run 300 meters (984 feet) on the administrator’s command to begin.

  • Entire body must cross the finish line.

  • Running outside the designated lanes/boundaries or shortening the curves will result in an automatic failure on the test event.

Training Tips for 300 Meter Run

Jog the distance twice prior to each training session. Then follow the schedule.

WEEK 1

DISTANCE: 300 meters

REPETITIONS: 2

SPRINT TIME: 77 seconds

REST PERIOD: 2 minutes

FREQUENCY: 1/wk

WEEK 2

DISTANCE: 300 meters

REPETITIONS: 2

SPRINT TIME: 75 seconds

REST PERIOD: 2 minutes

FREQUENCY: 1/wk

WEEK 3

DISTANCE: 300 meters

REPETITIONS: 2

SPRINT TIME: 73 seconds

REST PERIOD: 2 minutes

FREQUENCY: 1/wk

 

WEEK 4

DISTANCE: 300 meters

REPETITIONS: 2

SPRINT TIME: 71 seconds

REST PERIOD: 2 minutes

FREQUENCY: 1/wk

WEEK 5

DISTANCE: 300 meters

REPETITIONS: 2

SPRINT TIME: 69 seconds

REST PERIOD: 2 minutes

FREQUENCY: 1/wk

WEEK 6

DISTANCE: 300 meters

REPETITIONS: 2

SPRINT TIME: 67 seconds

REST PERIOD: 2 minutes

FREQUENCY: 1/wk

 

WEEK 7

DISTANCE: 300 meters

REPETITIONS: 2

SPRINT TIME: 65 seconds

REST PERIOD: 2 minutes

FREQUENCY: 1/wk

WEEK 8

DISTANCE: 300 meters

REPETITIONS: 2

SPRINT TIME: 64 seconds

REST PERIOD: 2 minutes

FREQUENCY: 1/wk

 

PUSH UPS

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Measures Muscular Endurance

  • 2 minute time limit.

  • Shirts and other loose clothing are tucked in.

  • Start in the up position.

  • Hands placed approximately beneath the shoulders. In the down position the thumbs should be within the radius of the shoulder joint.

  • Body position should form a straight line through the head, shoulders, hips and feet and should remain as such throughout the entire motion.

  • Feet together or no wider than hips width apart. The outside of the feet may not exceed the width of the hips.

  • A 3-inch high sponge is placed and secured on the ground by an administrator at chest level.

  • Body is lowered until the chest contacts the sponge. Contact must be felt and heard (crinkling of the cellophane) by the administrator.

  • The lower part of the body (knees, hips, etc) may not make contact with the floor at any time.

  • Body is raised until a full, but soft extension of the elbows is reached. Locking out of the elbows is not advised.

  • Resting is allowed in the up position only. During rest, a pike position is allowed but hands and feet must remain in contact with the floor at all times.

  • Push ups are performed until the 11 point threshold is met or until the 2 minute time limit is reached. 

Training Tips for Push Ups

Complete one set of push ups for the amount of time indicated for the weeks noted. Try to do the suggested program at least three days a week (ie. Monday/Wednesday/Friday).

WEEKS 1-4

3 sets of push ups:

 1 set for 20 seconds
(then rest for about 1 minute)

1 set for 15 seconds
(then rest for about 1 minute)

1 set for 10 seconds
(then rest for about 1 minute)

WEEKS 5-8

3 sets of push ups:

 1 set for 25 seconds
(then rest for about 1 minute)

1 set for 15 seconds
(then rest for about 1 minute)

1 set for 10 seconds
(then rest for about 1 minute)

1.5 MILE RUN

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Measures Cardiovascular Endurance

  • Line up at start line.

  • On the administrator’s command to begin, a 1.5 mile (9820 feet) distance is covered. Walking, jogging, running or any combination thereof may be used through the duration of the test so long as the appropriate distance is covered.

  • Entire body must cross the finish line.

  • Running outside the designated lanes/boundaries or shortening the curves will result in an automatic failure on the test event. 

Sample 8-week beginning runner’s training program*

The training plan that follows is designed to get you to the point where you can run 30 minutes (about 2 miles) at a slow, relaxed pace. It’s a simple, progressive program that begins with more walking than running, and gradually evolves into more running than walking. Once you are able to run 2 miles nonstop, you can decide on your next goal. You might simply want to continue running 2 miles at a time, three or four days per week.

Don’t be intimidated by this program. The first 2 miles are the hardest 2 miles you will ever run. Once you have reached this level of fitness, it’s relatively easy to do more. You simply have to budget the time, and be patient and disciplined in your training.

Here are four key points to consider before you begin the 8-Week Program:

  1. If you are over 40, not accustomed to any exercise, or more than 20 pounds overweight, consult with your physician. Unless you have a known health risk, your doctor will probably encourage you to begin a run-walk program, but it’s always wise to check.

  2. Schedule your workouts. You won’t find time for them unless you make time for them.

  3. Expect bad days. Everyone has them, but they pass quickly, and the next workout is often better than the previous one. So stick with the program.

  4. Don’t rush. In the fitness world, rushing leads to injuries and discouragement. Be patient, and go slow. The goal is to reach 30 minutes of continuous running, not to set any records getting there.

*The Runner’s World Beginning Runner’s Training Program. Amby Burfoot, 2009

WEEK 1

MONDAY:
Run 1 min.
Walk 2 min.
Repeat 10x

TUESDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

WEDNESDAY:
Run 1 min.
Walk 2 min.
Repeat 10x

THURSDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

FRIDAY:
Run 1 min.
Walk 2 min.
Repeat 10x

SATURDAY:
Run 1 min.
Walk 2 min.
Repeat 10x

SUNDAY:
Rest

WEEK 2

MONDAY:
Run 2 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 10x

TUESDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

WEDNESDAY:
Run 3 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 7x
Run 2 min.

THURSDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

FRIDAY:
Run 4 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 6x

SATURDAY:
Run 4 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 6x

SUNDAY:
Rest

WEEK 3

MONDAY:
Run 5 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 5x

TUESDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

WEDNESDAY:
Run 5 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 5x

THURSDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

FRIDAY:
Run 6 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 4x
Run 2 min.

SATURDAY:
Run 6 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 4x
Run 2 min.

SUNDAY:
Rest

WEEK 4

MONDAY:
Run 8 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 3x
Run 3 min.

TUESDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

WEDNESDAY:
Run 9 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 3x

THURSDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

FRIDAY:
Run 10 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 2x
Run 8 min.

SATURDAY:
Run 11 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 2x
Run 6 min.

SUNDAY:
Rest

 

WEEK 5

MONDAY:
Run 12 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 2x
Run 4 min.

TUESDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

WEDNESDAY:
Run 13 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 2x
Run 2 min.

THURSDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

FRIDAY:
Run 14 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 2x

SATURDAY:
Run 15 min.
Walk 1 min.
Run 14 min.

SUNDAY:
Rest

WEEK 6

MONDAY:
Run 16 min.
Walk 1 min.
Run 13 min.

TUESDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

WEDNESDAY:
Run 17 min.
Walk 1 min.
Run 12 min.

THURSDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

FRIDAY:
Run 18 min.
Walk 1 min.
Run 11 min.

SATURDAY:
Run 19 min.
Walk 1 min.
Run 10 min.

SUNDAY:
Rest

WEEK 7

MONDAY:
Run 20 min.
Walk 1 min.
Run 9 min.

TUESDAY:
Run 20 min.
Walk 1 min.
Run 9 min.

WEDNESDAY:
Run 22 min.
Walk 1 min.
Run 7 min.

THURSDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

FRIDAY:
Run 24 min.
Walk 1 min.
Run 5 min.

SATURDAY:
Run 26 min.
Walk 1 min.
Run 3 min.

SUNDAY:
Rest

WEEK 8

MONDAY:
Run 27 min.
Walk 1 min.
Repeat 3x
Run 2 min.

TUESDAY:
Run 20 min.
Walk 1 min.
Run 9 min.

WEDNESDAY:
Run 28 min.
Walk 1 min.
Run 1 min.

THURSDAY:
Walk easy 30 min.

FRIDAY:
Run 29 min.
Walk 1 min.

SATURDAY:
Run 30 min.

SUNDAY:
Rest

GENERAL TRAINING TIPS

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  1. PRACTICE: At some point prior to the test date, practice each of the test events to find out which of the events need the most practice.

  2. DON’T OVER DO IT: Be careful NOT to over do it the night before your test. Don’t make yourself so sore you can’t perform adequately the next day. In fact, it is best just to perform light exercises, stretching, or only fitness activities you are accustomed to the day before your test.

  3. STRETCH: Adequately stretch before and after exercise.

  4. START SLOW: When beginning any physical fitness activity be sure to start slowly and gradually increase your performance during the exercises whether in speed or strength. The longer you have been inactive, the more time you should allow your body to build up to maximum performance levels.

  5. EXCEED THE MINIMUM: While training for the POPS test, attempt to exceed the minimum requirements so that on the day of testing you can be more assured that you will pass the events.

  6. KNOW WHEN TO SAY WHEN: You know your body better than anyone else, acknowledge your limits. If you experience any unusual pains during an exercise, this is your body’s warning signal that something is not right. Sometimes pain is caused by performing an exercise incorrectly. Be sure to check your form. If pain continues, stop the exercise.

  7. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS: Replenish your body’s fluids during and after exercise.

  8. DRESS APPROPRIATELY: Tennis shoes and nonrestrictive clothes are recommended.