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Fitness FAQ

What are the physical training requirements for a Basic Course trainee?

Answer:  There are five (5) physical fitness components that will be measured in one day as a battery of tests.

1. Vertical Jump. This measures leg power, and consists of measuring how high a person jumps.

2. One Minute Sit Ups. This measures abdominal, or trunk, muscular endurance. While lying on his/her back, the student will be given one (1) minute to do as many bent leg sit ups as possible.

3. 300 Meter Run. This measures anaerobic power, or the ability to make an intense burst of effort for a short time period or distance. This component consists of sprinting 300 meters as fast as possible.

4. Maximum Push Ups. This measures the muscular endurance of the upper body. This component consists of doing as many push ups as possible until muscular failure.

5. 1.5 Mile Run. This measures aerobic power or cardiovascular endurance (stamina over time). To complete this component you must run/walk, as fast as possible, a distance of 1.5 miles.

Testing will be conducted prior to the first week of training and again in the last week. Each component is scored separately and the standard must be met on each and every one.

What are the fitness standards for the ILEA?

ILEA Entry Standards
(Beginning January 2003)
Vertical Jump13.5 Inches
One Minute Sit-ups24
300 Meter Run82 Seconds
Maximum Push-ups21
1.5 Mile Run18 Minutes 56 Seconds

ILEA Exit Standards
Vertical Jump16 Inches
One Minute Sit-ups29
300 Meter Run71 Seconds
Maximum Push-ups25
1.5 Mile Run16 Minutes 28 Seconds

Why was this physical fitness test selected?

Answer:  In 1998 Indiana's Law Enforcement Training Board (LETB) examined the need for physical fitness standards for successful completion of the Basic Course. It was determined to be of utmost importance to implement tests/standards/programs that differentiate between those who can and cannot do the job of a police officer regardless of age, gender, race or disability.

Public safety studies consistently show 20 - 30 strenuous/critical physical tasks that are job related. These tasks are necessary to perform essential functions of the job. There is ample data to document that physical fitness components are the underlying and predictive factors for performing tasks such as:

  • Sustained pursuit / Aerobic power
  • Sprints / Anaerobic power
  • Dodging / Aerobic/anaerobic power and flexibility
  • Lifting and carrying / Muscular strength and endurance/anaerobic power
  • Dragging, pulling and pushing / Muscular strength and endurance/anaerobic power
  • Jumping and vaulting / Anaerobic power/leg power and strength
  • Crawling / Muscular endurance/flexibility/body fat composition
  • Use of force < 2 minutes / Muscular strength and endurance/anaerobic power
  • Use of force > 2 minutes / Muscular strength and endurance/aerobic power

Studies conducted by the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research (CIAR) have determined the areas and levels of physical fitness which are necessary for performing the essential functions of a police officer. The resultant test has scientific evidence for having construct and criterion validity as measuring job related factors, and the established norms are scientifically valid norms based on general law enforcement samples. These single cut points are the lowest recommended standards for any law enforcement basic trainee.

When did the physical fitness standards go into effect for certification purposes?

Answer:  The physical fitness standards have been in effect since January 3, 2000. All Basic Course trainees are required to meet these standards for graduation from basic training.  Additionally, physical fitness standards for entry into basic training went into effect on January 1, 2003.

Are there any minimum physical fitness standards for entry into the Basic Course?

Answer: Before January 1, 2003, there were no entry standards. However, a trainee should enter the Basic Course at a fitness level which will provide them the potential for successful completion of all training, to include achievement of minimum physical fitness standards by the last week of training.   In January 2003, entry standards were established.  Those who fail to meet the entry standards will be denied entry into the basic course.

What will happen to a trainee who fails to meet the standards for successful completion of the Basic Course?

Answer: The exit level physical fitness test is conducted during the last week of the Basic Course. If a trainee fails any of the components, then that officer will be afforded a retest at the agency's written request. If the trainee fails the retest, then the agency head must petition the LETB for a third (and final) attempt.

How can trainees prepare themselves to take the physical fitness test?

Answer:  The ILEA's webpage on Fitness Standards outlines proven workout routines that trainees can follow to prepare themselves for the test.

If a person is hired who is capable of passing the physical fitness test, but cannot attend the Basic Course for six months, what can be done to ensure that this person will be able to meet the standards on the first day?

Answer:   All agencies should encourage their trainees to maintain physical fitness from the time of hire until graduation from the Academy, and indeed, throughout their careers. If there is any time gap between testing, it is the responsibility of the individual to maintain at least the minimum level of physical conditioning. The ILEA's webpage on Fitness Standards illustrates sample exercise routines. Agencies should contact the LETB Executive Director or Deputy Director if they have further questions.

What will happen to a trainee who is injured and cannot participate in all aspects of the test?

Answer:  Applicants must come prepared to participate in all components of the assessment on the first day of training.   Trainees who are injured during basic training and are unable to complete testing at exit must successfully complete testing at a later date when approved by their physician. A graduation certificate cannot be earned until this is accomplished.

My agency has a different set of standards that applicants must meet. Do my agency standards have to conform to the Academy standards?

Answer:  Agencies are encouraged to develop physical fitness programs and standards that exceed the LETB standards. Agencies may conduct their own job-task analyses and validation studies to establish minimum physical fitness standards for their officers. However, agency recruits will still have to meet the exit standards for the Basic Course in order to successfully complete LETB basic training.