In your quest to become a cop or deputy, you will likely face an agility or physical fitness test. This is no worry, right?

Wrong, you would be surprised how many applicants are washed out in this phase. And most could have passed if they would have invested some sweat equity and trained.

First, if you desire to be a cop, deputy, or to enter the academy, your daily routine should have some physical fitness training in it.

Next, know the requirements that your target agency requires for its entrance exam, its academy fitness standards, and the physical requirements for tenure. Whining and crying "I did not know" is not going to buy you any pity points. We do not give out runner-up awards.

Once you know the standards of the test, study them and ask yourself these questions: Can I do this now? and How can I improve my passing score?

If this is the standard run, press, push-up test, get into the gym for strength training and do some serious track work. Again, start preparing and train up to the tests. Just because you ran track in high school does not mean you can do it now. This style of testing is all elements at one session, so train that way. Running on Monday and practicing push-ups on Wednesday does not cut it. Train as you would test.

And do your homework. Find out if this agency gives an agility test or a job-task related test? Read and study how you can recreate the test and train for it.

Some agencies offer a practice session of the test on a weekend; go and take advantage of the practice. Pro golfers—even guys like Tiger Woods—practice on an unfamiliar course before the tournament. Take a hint from them and know the course that you have to beat. If there are some elements of the test that you have never performed before, go to the local gym and seek advice on how to prepare for them.

Certain tests are combinations of your ability to coordinate upper and lower body strengths. Examples are the climbing of a fence, jumping up to pull yourself through a window, or simulated body drags. A backyard pursuit course requires both aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. When was the last time you trained that way?

Nobody can pass the test for you, nor will you be miracled over the fence; it all falls upon you and your preparation. See you in the gym.

Author

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.

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William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.

View Bio
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