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Presidential Fitness Challenge

When was the last time you took the Presidential Fitness Challenge? I like home fitness tests, this one the only test approved by the leader of the western world. Regardless of how you feel about the man holding the office, take the Presidential Fitness Challenge and see how you stack up against school age children! It is President's Day after all.

Here are the details of the challenge.

  • Curl ups: Lie on back with knees bent and feet about 12 inches from booty. Have partner hold your feet (or put them under your couch). Arms are crossed with hands placed on opposite shoulders and elbows held close to chest. Curl up touching elbows to thighs and then lower the back to the floor so that shoulder blades touch the floor. That's one rep. Count how many reps you can do in 60 seconds.
    Measures: Abdominal strength and endurance
  • Shuttle Run: Mark two parallel lines 30 feet apart and place two blocks of wood or similar object behind one of the lines. Start behind opposite line. Run to the blocks, pick one up, run back to the starting line, place block behind the line, runs back and picks up the second block and runs back across. Don't forget to time yourself.
    Measures: Speed, quickness and agility

    There are three more elements to the challenge so

  • Endurance Run/Walk: Run or walk a mile as quickly as possible.
    Measures: Heart/lung endurance
  • Pull-ups
    Pull-Up: Hang from a horizontal bar at a height the student can hang from with arms fully extended and feet free from floor, using either an overhand grasp (palms facing away from body) or underhand grip (palms facing toward body). Raise body until chin clears the bar and then lower body to full-hang starting position. See how many you can do.
    Measures: Upper body strength and endurance
  • "V" sit: Mark a straight line two feet long on the floor, this is your baseline. Draw a measuring line perpendicular to the midpoint of the baseline extending two feet on each side and marked off in half-inches. The point where the baseline and measuring line intersect is the "0" point. Sit on floor with measuring line between legs and soles of feet placed immediately behind baseline, heels 8-12" apart. Clasp thumbs so that hands are together, palms down and places them on measuring line. Reach forward as far as possible (have someone hold your feet if you can), keeping fingers on baseline and feet flexed. Hole for three seconds and that is your distance.
    Measures: Flexibility of the lower back and hamstrings

To be presented with the Presidential Fitness Award you need to be in or above the 85th percentile. For a 17 year old girl they are as follows:

  • Curl ups: 44 in 60 seconds
  • Shuttle run: 10 seconds
  • One mile run: 8:15
  • Pull ups: 1
  • "V" sit: +8

So how did you do?

Join The Conversation
kmnafe kmnafe 9 years
Hi everyone! It's wonderful to see all of your responses and read what you remember about the President's Challenge. You might not be aware that the President's Challenge is not just for children in P.E. classes anymore. Many adults are turning to the President's Challenge to participate in our Active Lifestyle Program. The program has an online website where you can keep track of your daily activities. Many adults have also formed groups where they can compare their activity to co-workers, friends and family. It is a great time to get involved in the President's Challenge right now! The National President's Challenge kicks off on March 20th! The challenge is a nationwide call to action for a healthier America. It's fun and it's free! All you have to do is be active for five days a week for six out of eight weeks, and log your activity. For more information on the challenge visit
Allie1506 Allie1506 9 years
I used to love the Presidential Challenge in elementary school. I would beat most of the boys!
SugarKat SugarKat 9 years
I used to get this twice a year. I have a bunch of patches. The worst for me was the pull up and the v-sit. Now, I don't know if I could do the v-sit past my toes, but I'm doing yoga to work on that. The other stuff was ok, but I couldn't run a mile in 8 min. I would suck at it now, but back then I was great. Once I even got 6 pull-ups.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
i did 36 curl ups, I didn't do the shuttle run, i run a mile (and just running a mile, no further) in like 9:30 I didn't do the V thing b/c I have no where to mark it. Cool stuff though. I remember doing similar things in Jr high but never getting anything for it!
alethia037 alethia037 9 years
I loved doing this in school! Could never do a pull-up, but I was always really good at the V-sit!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I don't think I ever did this in school...
ktgrl1818 ktgrl1818 9 years
i did these in school i always got the award :)
ms_dior_cherie ms_dior_cherie 9 years
I can do the one pull up and thats about it ans 4 (not 44) curl ups in 60 seconds...
Swen Swen 9 years
I had to do this in 5th or 6th grade. I got them all, except I couldn't do the shuttle run fast enough. I redid it a bunch of times, and just couldn't do it. So I only got the "National" red lame badge thing instead of the special blue "Presidential" one. Ahhh, I am still very bitter.
imLissy imLissy 9 years
I hated this in school! The only one I could ever do like at all was the curl ups and I don't even think I was able to do that very well. I hated the stupid "V" sit. I have longer legs in relation to the rest of me and I still can't reach very far even though i stretch every day. Made me mad every year I don't remember doing pull-ups in HS. Maybe we didn't have a bar so we did push ups instead, lol.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
I've never done a PFC - but my two nephew both have several patches. They did the Active Lifestyles Program as children where you pick different activities and achieve certain time goals - one each for figure skating accumulating like 100 hours in one or two months and then later for bike riding for time and distance. one has a patch for roller blading (skating) and the other for skateboarding. They used to get a kick out of get the patch and the award from Bill Clinton and having the patch sewn to their jacket for every to see. You can even get an achievement PFC for YOGA! My sister wants one for watching the most Judge Judy shows without moving.
millarci millarci 9 years
I remember doing this when I was a kid. I was so bad at it. Maybe I can do better now.
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