coast guard pt test requirements
Coast Guard

Coast Guard PT Test Standards

The U.S. Coast Guard serves as the coastal defense and maritime law of the military.

It’s comparable to other branches of the U.S. Military in that new recruits are expected to arrive in good physical condition.

As a result, the U.S. Coast Guard tests new enlistees in what is known as the Coast Guard Physical Fitness Test (PFT), or PT test. It’s your responsibility to arrive at basic training ready to complete the Coast Guard PFT standards up to par.

In this article, we will examine Coast Guard PT test standards which are pretty straightforward yet mandatory of all service members.

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Coast Guard Male PT Test Standards

coast guard pt test standards for males
Coast Guard PFT standards demand efficiency in swimming and diving, along with cardio and strength training. Image: Coast Guard Compass

The Coast Guard uses physical fitness test standards to determine if you are physically able to perform the necessary duties of the military branch.

It’s designed to test strength and stamina, as well as address any significant health risks.

The physical fitness test will challenge you in six different activities.

Push-ups and sit-ups are fairly straightforward.

Males have to complete the minimum number of reps within 60 seconds. The run is timed at 1.5 miles.

There is also a timed five-minute challenge to tread in open water.

The 5 ft. platform jump then requires you to swim 100 meters in open water.

The platform jump and swim is not timed.

You just need to be able to complete the activity.

Lastly, the Sit & Reach activity is a flexibility test that requires you to sit with your feet and legs together as you reach toward your feet.

Then, a measurement is taken by determining the length from your knees to your feet.

In order to pass the test, you must be able to reach the posted distance for males.

Male Coast Guard PT Test Standards (Table)

EventLength# of Reps/Time
Push-Ups60 seconds29
Sit-Ups60 seconds38
Long Distance Run1.5 miles12:51
Sit and ReachN/A16.50"
Complete Swim Circuit5 minutesN/A
Platform Jump & Swim100 metersN/A

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Coast Guard Female PT Test Standards

coast guard pt test requirements for females
Female recruits face the same challenges during PFT as male recruits. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Females have different expectations compared to men when it comes to physical fitness test requirements in the Coast Guard.

Once again, the tests are used to gauge your strength and stamina.

The Coast Guard physical fitness test for females consists of the same six activities.

The expectations are the same for females as males for the five-minute treading water as well as the platform jump and swim.

However, the Coast Guard PFT standards are different for females regarding push-ups, sit-ups, long-distance run, and sit and reach exercise.

Female Coast Guard PFT Standards (Table)

EventLength# of Reps/Time
Push-Ups60 seconds15
Sit-Ups60 seconds32
Long Distance Run1.5 miles15.26"
Sit and ReachN/A19.29"
Complete Swim Circuit5 minutesN/A
Platform Jump & Swim100 metersN/A

Related Article:  Coast Guard Height And Weight Requirements

FAQ – Coast Guard PT Test Standards

Let’s examine some of the most commonly asked questions about Coast Guard PFT standards:

coast guard pt standards
There are unique physical fitness challenges in the Coast Guard, including swimming exercises. Image: Coast Guard All Hands

How do I prepare for the Coast Guard physical fitness test (PFT)?

The Coast Guard recommends that you begin training for PFT as soon as possible.

It’s important to also enroll in swimming and/or diving lessons if you are not fully comfortable in the water.

New recruits that arrive at Cape May in New Jersey for Coast Guard Basic Training (CGBT) are expected to be ready to perform the six different activities of the PFT standards.

As a result, it’s important to train in advance with proper workout gear and footwear.

The Coast Guard also recommends that you stop using tobacco products and also use alcohol in moderation (of course, assuming you are over the legal age of 21).

You can also improve physical fitness not only by exercising regularly but also by maintaining a strict, low-fat nutrition plan.

Your workout routine should consist of cardio, weight training, flexibility, and swimming activities.

Is the Coast Guard Physical Fitness Test hard?

The first few weeks of boot camp in the Coast Guard are demanding.

Those that arrive out of shape or with bad habits like smoking cigarettes are at an even further disadvantage.

As a result, you can vastly improve your odds of success by training in advance.

The Coast Guard PFT test is challenging yet not impossible.

Push-ups and sit-ups can be reached both for male and female recruits by practicing the routine often.

The same thing applies to the long-distance run and sit and reach exercise.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard will also assess your skills in the water.

Consequently, make sure you are a good to advanced swimmer that is also comfortable treading in the water for at least five minutes as well as diving.

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What is the Coast Guard PFA standards?

The Coast Guard Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) is conducted as a prerequisite for certain Coast Guard jobs or training.

It’s also used as a remedial program for service members placed on probation.

The PFA assessment will test three primary factors: muscular strength, aerobic capacity, and endurance.

Coast Guard PFA standards are different from PFT standards because they are determined based on gender AND age group, unlike PFT standards.

How do Coast Guard PFT standards compare to Navy PRT standards?

The U.S. Coast Guard can get transferred to the control of the U.S. Navy at any point under the direction of the president.

As a result, you would expect physical fitness requirements to be similar.

There is certainly a little similarity with the boot camp assessment including the testing of push-ups and 1.5-mile run.

However, the Navy tests for curl-ups, compared to sit-ups with the Coast Guard.


The U.S. Coast Guard has simple to understand and straightforward physical fitness requirements in order to continue training after boot camp.

It’s your responsibility to arrive physically fit and ready to complete the fitness challenge.

The Coast Guard emphasizing swimming, diving, and treading water compared to other branches of the military and their own PFT standards.

Consequently, it’s important to make sure you can swim and dive well, in addition to being strong and capable of running 1.5 miles.

Check out the physical fitness testing requirements for the other military branches below:

Army APFT Standards

Navy PRT Standards

Air Force PT Test Standards

Marine Corps PFT Standards


Travis R.

Originally posted on 08/27/19

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