914th members prepare for 20m-HAMR test

  • Published
  • By Airman Carissa Fisher
  • 914th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Airmen with the 914th Air Refueling Wing will resume Physical Fitness Assessments (PFA’s) beginning in April. This will be the first Unit Training Assembly (UTA) that the Wing will incorporate the new fitness alternative options.

The 20-meter High-Aerobic Multi-shuttle Run (20m-HAMR) is an alternative to the 1.5 mile run, and will also serve as its replacement if weather conditions do not allow for outdoor running. This change will improve mission readiness as Airmen will be assessed on every component year around; but what is it exactly?

The 20m-HAMR is based on the same VO2 max standards and scoring as the 1.5 mile run. This was validated by the Air Force Reserve Exercise Physiologist (EP) team led by Jason Ham, the lead AF EP. A portion of the validated data was collected right here at Niagara led by 914th EP Paul Hackett. Since the research data was collected, the entire active duty AF has adopted the 20-HAMR as an aerobic alternative.

The HAMR is a series of shuttle levels that starts slow and progressively gets faster as each level is attained. One shuttle is 20 meters across the basketball court floor and the member must keep pace with the audible beeps. Once the member exhausts themselves or has attained their desired points they may voluntary stop. They will be told to stop when they miss reaching the line on three consecutive beeps.

Master Sgt. Jessica Bright, 914th Development and Training Flight Coordinator, has been preparing trainees to take the HAMR test to improve her recruit’s readiness.

“I would incorporate a lot of high intensity interval training and different dynamic movements to build up strength and endurance,” said Bright.

Niagara trainees preparing to go to basic training have now gotten a feel for this new fitness alternative run option.

“When you run the mile and a half you can pace yourself to your own standard. When you run the HAMR test you are pacing yourself to music,” said Sara Hillman, Development and Training Flight trainee with the 914th ARW. “I am going to choose to do the mile and a half at my PT test.”

There are also other alternatives to the strength and core endurance portions of the PFA that will be an option for April’s UTA. Hand-release push-ups are an alternative to the traditional push-up for the strength portion of the PFA. Cross-leg reverse crunches or forearm planks are also an alternative to the traditional sit-up core endurance portion.

All in all, the new PFA offers flexibility to the Airman so they can tailor their fitness experience to their liking.

The passing score for a PFA still remains at 75 points with cardio being 60 overall points and core endurance and strength being 20 points each.