The Fairmont State University Police Training Academy places a strong emphasis on
physical fitness and expects students to continue to progress to higher levels of
cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, and endurance throughout the program.
It is important for applicants to prepare for the required Physical Fitness Test in
order to obtain the highest Cooper percentile possible during the testing process.
The following information will assist the applicant with necessary steps to begin
or improve upon a workout program in order to attain and surpass minimum requirements.
Applicants can always seek a certified Personal Trainer or contact Academy staff for
assistance if needed.
Review the percentile standards and testing protocol for the Cooper Testing.
Obtain Medical Clearance
It is important to contact a health professional prior to the start of any exercise
program to determine if such a program is safe for the applicant’s current health
conditions and level of fitness.
Obtain a Baseline
Perform the push-up test, sit-up test, and 1.5 mile run according to testing guidelines
with the assistance of another individual. Document the number of push-ups and sit-ups
obtained as well as a time for the completion of the run.
Participate in a Training Program
Begin cardiovascular training and strength training at least 8 weeks prior to testing.
Cooper Institute suggested timelines for physical improvements are as follows:
- Cardiorespiratory Fitness: 12 Weeks
- Absolute Strength/Muscular Endurance: 8 Weeks
- Flexibility: 4-8 Weeks
- Body Composition (Weight Loss): 12-16 Weeks
The 1-minute push-up and sit-up tests measure muscular endurance. Muscular endurance
is the ability of a muscle to contract repeatedly over time. In order to improve push-ups
and sit-ups (muscular endurance), you must do repetitions of push-ups and sit-ups.
The following is an example of a beginner training plan:
- For 2-3 consecutive days, perform 3-5 sets of as many reps as possible for each exercise.
Follow the 2-3 days of training with a day of rest.
- The 1.5-mile run test measures aerobic power. Aerobic power/activity is any activity
which requires large amounts of oxygen, uses large muscles groups, and can be performed
continuously. The following is an example of a beginner training plan:
- For 3-4 consecutive weeks, run 3-4 days per week. Focus on distances between 1.5 and
2 miles. If the entire distance cannot be run continuously, alternate running and
walking until the full distance is completed. As cardiorespiratory condition improves,
run longer intervals and walk shorter intervals until the full distance can be achieved
Once aerobic exercise has been consistently performed for 3-4 consecutive weeks, interval
training can be utilized to increase speed. Do not perform interval training more
than 2 days per week and do not do interval training on two consecutive days. Interval
training should be performed at an elevated pace. A way to determine if the applicant
is at the correct level of exertion is the “talk” test. The applicant should be able
to state small words or phrases, but should be unable to hold a conversation during
the training. The following is an example of a beginner interval training plan:
- 6-8 run/sprints for 30 seconds on an incline (5% to 10%) either on a treadmill or
natural hill with walking 2:00 minutes recovery in between sprints.
- 6-8 run/sprints for a distance of 400 meters (or 1 lap) around a pre-measured track
followed by walking for a distance of approximately 400 meters for recovery.
After a training program has been followed for approximately 8 to 12 weeks, the applicant
should again perform the sit-up, push-up and 1.5 mile run tests according to the testing
guidelines with the assistance of another individual. Document the number of push-ups
and sit-ups obtained as well as a time for the completion of the run.
Remember to schedule several days of rest and/or minimal physical activity prior to
the actual Police Academy physical ability test.