Watch two YouTube bodybuilders try the FBI Fitness Test… and ace all strength exercises

Would you be able to qualify to be an FBI Special Agent?

Matt Morsia and Lucy Davis
(Image credit: MattDoesFitness/Matt Morsia)

We evidently like looking at people doing fitness challenges, especially if said people are in a good physical condition. Matt Morsia, a.k.a. MattDoesFitness and Lucy Davis are indeed in a good shape and though it would be a good idea to complete the FBI Fitness Test to see if they could qualify (physically) to enter the ranks of Mulder and Scully. Spoiler alert: they really can.

In a video posted on Matt's Youtube channel, the two athletes go head to head to see who would qualify more to be a special agent. In classic Youtube style, both parties talk a lot during the video but especially Matt who is the host and therefore feels the need to comment on every aspect of his experience.

What's the FBI fitness test?

As the FBI website (opens in new tab) explains, "To ensure Special Agents possess the necessary levels of fitness to best complete any duty required of them, the FBI mandates that applicants be in excellent physical shape."

The trial of this physical readiness is the FBI's Physical Fitness Test (PFT) that admittedly is not as challenging as the Army Combat Fitness Test but it's pretty challenging nevertheless. The PFT includes four plus one exercises, with the additional exercise only being a requirement for candidates in the Tactical Recruitment Program.

The full PFT consists of five exercises in the following order:

  • SIT-UPS: Maximum number of continuous situps in one minute.
  • SPRINT: Timed 300-meter sprint.
  • PUSH-UPS: Maximum number of continuous pushups (untimed).
  • RUN: Timed 1.5-Mile Run.
  • PULL-UPS: Maximum number of continuous pullups.

There can be no more than five minutes of rest between events. At least once while at the FBI Academy, candidates must pass a PFT scoring a minimum of 12 total points with at least 1 point in each of the four events.

It is possible to collect enough points in the first two exercises but since you need at least one point in every event, you must have at least some arm strength to do push-ups as well as a killer six-pack abs capable of churning out almost 60 sit-ups in under a minute (which would give you the score of 10 for that particular exercise).

The pass mark for each exercise (enough to get one point, female/male)

  • SIT-UPS: 35/38
  • SPRINT (in seconds): 64.9/52.4
  • PUSH-UPS: 14/30
  • RUN (in minutes:seconds): 13:59/12:24
  • PULL-UPS: 1/2-3

Those pull-up numbers don't seem too intense but it's worth noting that candidates must do pull-ups at the end of the test after their muscles and lungs are probably well tired. However, any self-respecting athlete should be able to hit those numbers without difficulty.

Read more on the PFT requirements here (opens in new tab).

Matt (and Lucy) Does (the FBI) Fitness (Test)

In the video above, Matt and Lucy go through the events in the following order: push-ups, sit-ups, sprint, 1,5-mile run and finally, pull-ups. As you've probably noticed, this isn't the correct order, so neither of the athletes would qualify, but I totally understand why they wanted to have a good pump before the cardio events commenced. After all, this video is for entertainment, not a training guide.

Needless to say, both Matt and Lucy performs well in strength exercises with Lucy acing sit-ups and Matt killing push-ups. Looking at Lucy's abdominal area and Matt's girthy arms, it's no surprise they found these events less challenging.

A reason for the delay of the run events could be that neither Lucy nor Matt are too keen on them. After all, bodybuilders are not famous for their cardio performance and would instead not move too much if possible. Matt vocalises his dislike by saying just before he does the sprint event, "My hip flexors are sore even though we haven't even started [running]!"

After the sprint, he adds, "If I'd run that [distance] flat out, or as fast as I've could've done, I'd be throwing up on the floor, and there would be no way I'm running the 2.4K (1.5 miles)." Completely understandable, Matt! A pro athlete not only does the exercises but plans ahead. Very wise.

Their 1.5-mile run is more like a jog but then again, bodybuilders carry around a lot of muscle mass which makes them less suited for endurance type activities. The nimbler Lucy certainly schools Matt in this event!

Just before the last event, Matt addresses another issue with their version of the test: candidates must not rest for more than five minutes between exercises. Considering the setup and the edits, they must have rested for longer than this before the events which again would disqualify them from the PFT.

That said, both Matt and Lucy kill the notoriously hard pull-ups with Lucy doing 11 reps and Matt lifting his chin over the bar 13 times. Kudos, guys; that's some performance.

How to train for the FBI Physical Fitness Test?

You don't have to be in the best shape to pass the FBI Physical Fitness Test but it's recommended to have a solid base fitness level before you attempt it.

For the sit-up event, try incorporating more core exercises into your workouts. Here is a list of the best core exercises for reference.

For the push-up event, it's best to practice push-ups. there are many push-up variations and if you're planning on doing them often, I'd recommend using parallettes for push-ups.

Squats and box jumps can help you build explosive strength in your legs for the sprint event. It's a short burst of high-intensity exercise so focus on explosive, sudden movements here.

To ace the 1.5-mile run, try doing interval training or fartlek to train the lungs and your heart. Use a massage gun and a foam roller to warm up/cool down before and after the runs.

As for pull-ups, try training your lats and your shoulders. The bent-over row is a great exercise to get you started as well as banded pull-ups and dead hangs. You want to increase shoulder mobility and grip strength, not just build muscles on your back. You might need a pull-up bar for all this, or a barbell and weight plates for bent-over rows.

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Matt Kollat
Matt Kollat

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar (opens in new tab) and Fit&Well (opens in new tab), and he collaborated with other fitness content creators such as Garage Gym Reviews (opens in new tab).