Applicant Physical Testing Standards

In November, 2013 the Nebraska Police Standards Advisory Council adopted a physical fitness entrance standard for all incoming basic students at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center. The purpose of the entrance testing is to ensure that the prospective law enforcement officer has the physical capabilities to be able to perform the required essential job tasks necessary for law enforcement certification.

Persons with questions about their own physical readiness for law enforcement certification may also refer to the PSAC approved Medical Examination form available on the NLETC web site.

In order to ensure candidates for a deputy sheriff position with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department meet the physical requirements, a physical fitness test has been incorporated into the hiring process. Upon passing the written test candidates will be notified of the time and place for the physical fitness test. Every attempt will be made to hold the physical fitness test on the same day as the written test.

Only persons who have met the fitness requirements described below will be invited to continue with the hiring process.

Beginning in 2015, the physical fitness testing will consist of a Cooper Physical Fitness Test and one of more physical task tests taken from the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center Job Task Analysis battery of tests.

Each component of the physical fitness testing is explained below.

Cooper Test

To successfully complete the Cooper Physical Fitness Test, you must score an overall average of 30% on all testing completed which is based on Cooper Institute gender and age norms.

The Cooper Physical Fitness Test consists of five components:

1. Vertical Jump (1-2 minutes recovery)
2. 1 minute sit-ups (5 minutes recovery)
3. 300 Meter Sprint – Measured 300 Meters on flat surface & timed (5-10 minutes recovery)
4. 1 minute push-up (5 minutes recovery)
5. 1.5 mile run – Measured 1.5 miles on flat surface & timed

The table below shows the 30% threshold for each test for each age and gender group.

 Men 30% StandardsWomen 30% Standards
20-29 yrs30-39 yrs40-49 yrs50-59 yrs20-29 yrs30-39 yrs40-49 yrs50-59 yrs
Vertical Jump18"18"14.5"13"13.5"11.1"9"N/A
1 Minute Push-ups262015101397N/A
300 Meter Sprint62.1 sec63 sec77 sec87 sec75 sec82 sec106.7 secN/A
1 Minute Sit-ups3532272130221712
1.5 Mile Run13:0813:4814:3316:4615:5616:4618:2620:17

These tests will be administered in the above listed order with the prescribed recovery periods between each test. Recovery between each test should be active (i.e. slow walking, gentle stretching)

Vertical Jump Test

The vertical jump is a measure of jumping or explosive power. The applicant will complete the test by standing with a shoulder against the wall and placing a marker on the chart. The applicant will then grab a 2nd marker and jump as high as possible, placing that marker on the chart. The score is the difference between the two markers. One foot must remain in a stationary position until leaving the floor. You may step back with the other foot prior to jumping. You may use your arms to assist in the jump.

Sit-Up Test

The sit-up test measures muscular endurance in the abdominal muscles. The test is performed with the applicant lying on their back with their knees bent at a 90-degree angle and their heels on the ground. A partner will hold their feet but may not kneel on them. The applicant’s fingers must stay interlocked behind their head throughout the entire test. The buttocks must remain on the floor with no thrusting of the hips. When told to begin, the applicant will raise their upper body by bending at the waist and touch their elbows to their knees and then return to the starting position. The applicant will have 1 minute to perform as many repetitions as possible. You may only rest in the upright position. Time will be called out at 30, 45 and 55 seconds.

300 Meter Run Test

The 300-meter run is a measure of anaerobic power. The applicant will perform the test by running a measured course as fast as they can.

Push-Up Test

Push-ups measure the muscular endurance of the upper body muscles in the shoulders, chest, and back of the upper arms. The applicants will place their hands on the ground slightly wider than shoulder width apart, with fingers pointing forward. Their feet may be together or up to 12 inches apart. Their body should be in a straight line from the shoulders to the ankles, and must remain that way throughout the exercise. The applicant will lower their body by bending their elbows until their chest is 3 inches from the ground. (Measured using a partners fist with the fingers in a horizontal position or a 3 inch sponge block) The applicant will then return to the starting position by straightening their arms. The applicant will have 1 minute to perform as many repetitions as possible. You may only rest in the upright position. Time will be called out at 30, 45 and 55 seconds.

1.5 Mile Run

The 1.5-mile run is a test of cardio-respiratory fitness. The applicant will perform the test by running and/ or walking the measured 1.5-mile course as fast as they can. Walking is allowed. It will however make it difficult to meet the standard.

Physical Task Testing

The physical tasks were identified by the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center through the most recent Job Task analysis and approved by Nebraska Public Safety Advisory Council as a part of the 2014 curriculum. All of the listed tasks must be completed during testing at the Training Center prior to receiving law enforcement certification.

One or more of the listed tasks may be tested as part of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department physical fitness testing. Candidates for a deputy sheriff position with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department should anticipate being required to climb or pull themselves over 6’ tall obstacle (fence) as well as any of the tasks listed below:

  • Bend over to help person (200 lbs)  to standing
  • Grip & Hold resisting persons to maintain physical control (200 lbs 5 minutes)
  • Hold/restrain struggling person (200 lbs 4 minutes)
  • Physically defend against and control an attacking person
  • Take down and subdue a resisting person
  • Use repetitive hand movements
  • Kneel &/or bend for sustained period
  • Run 300’ on flat surface
  • Run 200’ on varying terrain
  • Walk up and down 4 flights of stairs
  • Run Up/down 3 flights of  stairs
  • Climb or pull oneself over 6’ tall obstacle (fence)
  • Lift objects (68 lbs) off ground 38” high) w/o assistance
  • Lift objects (180 lbs) off ground (40”) w/assistance
  • Push (38’) vehicle (2 ton) out of traffic by oneself
  • Lift objects (50 lbs) down from elevated surface place on ground
  • Climb/Pull oneself onto a large piece of equipment or object ( platform 5’high)
  • Jump down from elevated surface
  • Jump/vault over ditch, hole or other hazard (36” wide)
  • Kneel, squat and recover to feet
  • Hold a person (150 lbs) suspended in air (stop suicide or rescue a person)
  • Perform strenuous physical activities in a series (sprint, run upstairs, wrestle, pull, carry, etc)
  • Perform duties wearing full duty gear
  • Push door with shoulder
  • Kick door with foot
  • Bend over and push object
  • Carry, by self, an immobile child
  • Carry with someone else an immobile child on a stretcher
  • Drag by yourself an immobile child
  • Drag by yourself an immobile adult
  • Crawl under an obstruction
  • Climb over fence
  • Jump /vault over fence or other barrier
  • Climb through window or other such opening
  • Sprint at full speed (less than 300 yds)
  • Quickly exit or enter cruiser