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Physical Standards for Federal Law Enforcement

by Samuel Hamilton

Federal law enforcements officers must complete a battery of tests, including the Physical Efficiency Battery or PEB. The PEB measures five key elements of your physical fitness that must be exemplary in order for you to become a federal law enforcement officer. These five elements include body composition, an agility run, a sit and reach flexibility test, a max bench press and a 1.5-mile run.

Body Composition

In order to be a federal law enforcement officer, you need to have a healthy physique. The healthiness of your physique is determined by body fat measurements taken with calipers on three different sites, which depend upon your gender. Men are measured around their chests, abdomens and thighs. Women are measured around their triceps, hips and thighs. Your measurements must then be the same as or better than the 75th percentile of your age group. For example, if you’re a man aged 24 or under, you need to have only 11.19 percent body fat or better.

Illinois Agility Run

In this test, you must get up from a prone position, sprint 30 feet and back, then maneuver through and back four obstacles covering a 30-foot distance, then complete another 30-foot sprint. You are timed while completing this test, and your end time must then be the same as or better than the 75th percentile of your age group. For example, if you’re a woman aged 35 to 39, you must complete the agility run in 19.38 seconds or better.

Sit and Reach

As the name suggests, the sit and reach test gauges your ability to sit and reach, revealing how flexible you are in your hips, legs and shoulders. You’ll sit with your feet against a measuring device and reach forward on a scale, placing your fingertips as far away from you as you can on the scale. Again, you must be able to reach at least as far as the 75th percentile of your age group. For example, if you’re a man aged 50 to 54, you must be able to reach at least 19.2 inches on the scale.

Bench Press

This test determines your maximum bench press on a single fulcrum bench. You must raise a weighted bar up from your chest until your arms lock. Examiners will increase the weight by 5 pounds after each successful press. You must be able to press as much or more weight than the 75th percentile of your age group. For example, a woman aged 25 or under must be able to bench press at least 66.1 percent of her body weight.

1.5-Mile Run

The final test measures your cardio strength and stamina. You will run around a quarter-mile track six times while examiners time how long it takes you to complete a full 1.5-mile run. You must complete your run in the same or less time than the 75th percentile of your age group. For example, a man aged 25 to 29 must be able to run 1.5 miles in 11 minutes and 5 seconds.

About the Author

Samuel Hamilton has been writing since 2002. His work has appeared in “The Penn,” “The Antithesis,” “New Growth Arts Review" and “Deek” magazine. Hamilton holds a Master of Arts in English education from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Arts in composition from the University of Florida.

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