WOW: New Army Fitness Test

Complete 2 cycles:

400 Meter Run
Clear 5 Low Hurdles
20 Meter Grok crawl
5 Pullups
40 Meter Backwards Weight Drag
20 Meter Balance Beam Farmer’s Carry
50 Meter Weighted Sprint


Warmup: 30 second Grok Squat, three light sprints at 70%.

In last week’s Link Love, I mentioned that the US Army may be instituting a new and improved PT test, one that looks more Primal than not. We applaud this development, and to show our appreciation for the armed services, I thought it’d be fun to try our hand at a slightly altered version of the new test.

Most of these movements are self-explanatory or previously touched upon, like the Grok crawl, the pullup, and running. Clearing low hurdles simply means getting over an obstacle about waist height, either by leaping, vaulting, or climbing over it. You can use the same obstacle over and over again, since most people won’t have five lined up in a row. A Farmer’s Carry means carrying heavy things in your hands at your sides as you walk along a balance beam, or anything that requires balance (you can just walk in a perfectly straight, narrow line); the PT test calls for two 30 pound loads, but use anything that taxes your grip (dumbells, bags loaded with rocks or books, sandbags, etc). For the backwards Weight Drag, use whatever object you used in Flip that Log. For the Weighted Sprint, carry just one of the heavy objects used in the Farmer’s Carry.

If you need to measure out distances, use the “My Maps” tool at Google Maps to create a map of your area and measure distances down to the foot using the “line dragging” tool. Some conversions to help you in case Google isn’t set up for the metric system:

400 meters = 1312.34 feet

50 meters = 164.04 feet

40 meters = 131.23 feet

20 meters = 65.62 feet

Rest for two minutes after the first cycle before beginning the second.

This one is tough, but consider the fact that the folks currently protecting us go through much worse on a regular basis. We should be thankful that we can do this for kicks. Let me know how it goes in the comment section! Do you measure up to a member of the armed services?

A few things to remember:

  • Combat boots are not necessary. In fact, I advise going barefoot or minimal.
  • Weighted sprints are tough. Don’t use too heavy a weight that keeps you from moving fast and causes a ton of joint impact.
  • Grok crawl sprints are most effective when you keep those hips low. Don’t form an upside down V with the ground and try to be conscious of using your arms (pulling yourself as well as pushing), along with your legs. Don’t make it all legs, which is often the instinct.


Perform the entire circuit while holding a stick (to emulate having to hold a rifle). To really make things tough, toss on a weighted backpack or vest for the duration. To make things a bit easier, drop the added weights (make the Weight Drag a backward sprint).

What Are WOWs?

  • Workouts of the Week (WOWs) are an optional component of Primal Blueprint Fitness that add a fractal and often fun and playful quality to the basic PBF protocol.
  • In most cases WOWs should only be completed by those that have mastered Level 4 of each Lift Heavy Things Essential Movement. Also, it’s recommended that WOWsreplace one or both Lift Heavy Things workouts or the Sprint workout (depending on the WOW) each week instead of being done in addition to the Lift Heavy Things and Sprint workouts.
  • Learn more about WOWs and Primal Blueprint Fitness by getting the free eBook. And access all Workouts of the Week in the WOW Archive.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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