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Police Fitness Test 2021

Steven Jones provides an overview of the Police Fitness Test and how to pass it.

For those who dream about joining the Police Forces as a warranted officer or police community support officer, passing the police fitness test is the first step towards achieving the goal.

What is the Police Fitness Test?

The Police Fitness Test is a physical activity examination test developed to establish whether you have the stamina to become a police officer. The test is not constructed to determine your athletic performance. However, you must be able to demonstrate that you can keep up with the work.

While most refer to the police fitness test as the “bleep” test, you should know that this is only part of the overall assessment. The actual fitness test has two stages, a dynamic strength test and an endurance test.

The dynamic strength test consists of several seated chest pushes and seated back pulls (five of each) on a Dynomachine designed to measure your strength. The most effective way to prepare for this test is by carrying out lots of bench press and lateral pull-down exercises at your local gym. A fitness instructor or personal trainer should be able to help you achieve the desired performance.

The endurance test, also called the bleep test, is the second stage of the assessment and requires you to run several lengths of a 15-metre track.

To pass the police fitness test, you must pass both the dynamic strength and endurance assessments. Candidates who did not pass the test on the first attempt have two more attempts (three in total), with a total of approximately six weeks between each attempt. If you do not manage to pass the test, you will have to wait for at least six months before reapplying.

Why do Police Have Fitness Requirements?

The main reason future police officers are required to pass a fitness test is that they might need to run whilst fulfilling their daily duties. You do not have to be an Olympic athlete, though, and most people who have a reasonable fitness level will pass the test without issues.

The Bleep Test Explained

While the dynamic strength test is seen as relatively easy to pass, most candidates raise concerns regarding the bleep test.

This test involves a multi-stage shuttle run that evaluates your aerobic capacity. It involves running between two points located 15 metres apart – the shuttle, in a determined time.

The test is named the "bleep test" because the pace of each shuttle must be synchronised with a pre-recorded audio tape that bleeps at set intervals. You will start the test at a slower pace that speeds up during the test. To pass the bleep test, you must demonstrate that you can keep up the pace regardless of its speed. Here is what to expect.

The bleep test takes up 3 minutes and 35 seconds. During this time, you must be able to complete 35 shuttles of 15 metres each. The first shuttle is set to be performed at a pace of 7.9kph. By the end of the test, the pace will increase to 9.9kph. In other words, you must increase your running speed during each shuttle to meet the requirements.

How to Pass the Police Fitness Test

The first step to passing the police fitness test is preparing for it by working out and exercising regularly. According to Joining the Police, you should focus on activities developed to increase your cardiovascular fitness. There are two types of activities you should focus on:

  • High intensity interval training (HIIT): ten cycles of 30 seconds sprint + 30 seconds walking
  • Steady running: Sessions of 15-20 minutes running at a steady pace

Both activities should be preceded by a 5-min warm-up and followed by a cool down. You can train several times throughout the day.

During your steady running sessions, you should also incorporate 180-degree turns into your routine. These will help you pivot faster – remember that the bleep test requires you to run back and forth between two points rather than in a straight line.

Running aside, incorporating other aerobic activities into your workout can also help increase your performance. For instance, you could exercise on a cross-trainer, swim, or cycle. Keep in mind that the Police’s test is running-based. Thus, you should do your best to build up your leg muscles.

Six Tips and Tricks

1. Hydration is Key

Like all forms of exercise, aerobic activities will make you lose fluids through sweat. Remember to drink sufficient water throughout the day and always hydrate before and after your training session.

2. Start Slowly

If you have not been quite a fitness junkie, start slowly and build up strength and endurance before increasing the length and intensity of your training sessions.

3. Take Your Time

Even if you are a fitness junkie, do not start training for your Police test at the last minute. Allow for at least six weeks of dedicated training to make sure you will be prepared for your assessment.

4. Always Warm Up

To prevent muscle strains, always warm up before your HIIT or running sessions. Warming up should include stretching and some form of light physical activity.

5. Build-Up Strength, Too

Upping your running game is hardly sufficient when you apply for becoming a police officer. You should also build up your general strength. The easiest way to do this is by incorporating exercises such as crunches and push-ups into your daily training sessions.

6. The Correct Footwear

Make sure you have comfortable and durable footwear for the bleep test. It is important to look after your feet as police officers will often be deployed on foot patrol and need to chase suspected criminals.

If you need good footwear for policing, please try police discount offers. They offer discounts on shoes and footwear for the whole Police Community at competitive prices.

Down to You

Now that you know what the police fitness test is and how to pass it, all you have to do is build a killer training plan. There is only one thing to keep in mind – you are not required to hold the “athlete of the year” title. As long as you have a good fitness level, passing this test should be easy.


Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • JONES, S. (2021) Police Fitness Test 2021 [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/articles/article646.htm [Accessed

About the Author

Steven Jones is a freelance blogger.