Police Fitness Test: Master the Cooper Standard

Aug 13, 2023


Becoming a police officer requires dedication, discipline, and the ability to meet certain physical fitness standards. One crucial aspect of the selection process is the police fitness test, designed to evaluate your overall fitness and ensure you are capable of performing the demanding tasks required on the job.


Among the various fitness tests used by law enforcement agencies worldwide, the Cooper Standard is a common benchmark. In this article, we will guide you through the process of preparing for and successfully passing the Cooper Standard police fitness test.




Understanding the Cooper Standard


The Cooper Standard is named after its creator, Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, and consists of four primary components:


  1. 1.5-Mile Run: This test measures your cardiovascular endurance and overall fitness. The goal is to complete the distance in the shortest time possible.
  2. Push-Ups: Evaluating your upper body strength, the push-up component requires you to complete as many proper repetitions as you can within a specified time limit.
  3. Sit-Ups: This test assesses your core strength and endurance. You must complete as many correct sit-ups as possible within a given time frame.
  4. Sit and Reach: This flexibility assessment measures the range of motion in your lower back and hamstrings. You will be asked to sit on the ground with your legs extended and reach forward as far as possible.






Strategies and Training Tips to Help You Excel in Each Component of the Cooper Standard


1.5-Mile Run:

  • Develop a training plan: Gradually increase your running distance and intensity, incorporating interval training and long runs.
  • Focus on both endurance and speed: Alternate between slower, longer runs and shorter, faster runs to improve your overall running performance.
  • Strengthen your leg muscles: Perform exercises such as squats, lunges, and calf raises to build leg strength and improve running efficiency.
  • Incorporate cross-training: Engage in activities like cycling or swimming to enhance your cardiovascular fitness without putting excessive stress on your joints.


  • Practice proper form: Maintain a straight line from your head to your heels and lower your body until your chest touches the ground. Push back up until your arms are fully extended.
  • Gradually increase repetitions: Begin with a number of push-ups you can comfortably perform and gradually increase the repetitions over time.
  • Strengthen your upper body: Incorporate exercises like bench presses, tricep dips, and shoulder presses to improve your overall upper body strength.


  • Learn the correct technique: Anchor your feet, cross your arms over your chest, and sit up until your elbows touch your knees. Lower your torso back down until your shoulder blades touch the ground.
  • Build core strength: Include exercises such as planks, Russian twists, and leg raises in your routine to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
  • Increase endurance: Gradually increase the number of sit-ups you perform in each training session to improve your endurance.

Sit and Reach:

  • Incorporate stretching exercises: Regularly stretch your hamstrings, lower back, and hip flexors to improve your flexibility.
  • Practice the sit and reach technique: Familiarize yourself with the proper form and technique to achieve the farthest reach possible.
  • Implement dynamic warm-ups: Prioritize dynamic stretching exercises before training to warm up your muscles and increase your range of motion. 




General Tips for Success:


  1. Establish a consistent training schedule and stick to it.
  2. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to avoid overexertion or injury.
  3. Maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated to support your overall fitness goals.
  4. Get enough rest and allow time for recovery between training sessions.