The President's Challenge was a fitness award program for school age children in the United States. The original Presidential Physical Fitness Award began in 1966. Over the years the program has recognized the fitness activities of millions of youth. Now called the President's Challenge, it includes four separate programs, which are detailed below. The awards program was terminated on June 30, 2018.
New Fitness Test (2013-2018)
From 2013, the Presidential Physical Fitness Test is to be gradually phased out and replaced by the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP). The PYFP makes use of the FITNESSGRAM® assessment program, which focuses on health and lifelong physical activity. This new test still includes sprints, push-ups and pull-ups, but now also includes body fat and body mass measurements. There is also a change in the focus of results - certificates and other awards recognize personal gains, instead of focusing on competition. For details of the new test, see the FitnessGram program.
The Old Program
- Active Lifestyle Program - This award encourages both students and adults to include activity in their everyday lives.
- Health Fitness Test - This award encourages students to achieve a healthy level of fitness, and is offered as an alternative to the traditional Physical Fitness Test. The Health Fitness Award is awarded to those who reach qualifying standards in each of five events: partial curl-ups, one-mile run/walk, v-sit (or sit and reach), right angle push-ups (or pull-ups, flexed-arm hang), and Body Mass Index.
- Physical Fitness Test -
This test promotes a basic level of fitness among students, through performances in five physical fitness tests: curl-ups or partial curl-ups, shuttle run, endurance run/walk, pull-ups (right angle push-ups, flexed-arm hang), and V-sit (sit and reach). Three awards were offered:
- The Presidential Physical Fitness Award - which recognizes students who achieve an outstanding level of physical fitness (> 85th percentile).
- The National Physical Fitness Award - for students who demonstrating a basic level of physical fitness (> 50th percentile).
- The Participant Physical Fitness Award - to recognize the participation of other students (< 50th percentile on one or more events).
- Presidential Champions Program - This award challenges students and adults to reach a high level of activity and fitness.
The initial version of the Presidents Test from 1957 included pull-ups, sit-ups, the standing broad jump, the shuttle run, the 50-yard dash, the softball throw, and the 600-yard run. This was the foundation of the test for many years, though small changes to the program were made over time.
- About the FitnessGram® assessment program
- curl-ups or partial curl-ups
- 30-ft shuttle run
- endurance run/walk
- pull-ups or right angle push-ups or flexed arm hang
- V-sit or sit & reach
- Body Mass Index
- See other Fitness Testing Awards
- Poll: What age is appropriate to start fitness testing children?
- More about Fitness Testing Children.
Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.
- Suzzzabelle (2019)
I just have to comment about the Presidential Physical Fitness Award testing. In 1970 under the "original testing" model, I was one of three girls in my school in who was awarded a medal(patch) and certificate. I was truly surprised that I had this physical ability. It sort of opened my eyes. Today at 61, I bench press 90 lbs, curl 20, sit-ups, crunches, you name it. It was The Presidential Physical Fitness test that made me aware of this strength and talent. So sad to see it watered down to please teachers, parents and students. Where will our next Fitness and Olympic winners come from? Certainly not our schools.
- We Suzzzabelle (2020)
I agree they should never water down these physical tests just to satisfy whiny snowflake-in-the making kids n no backbone parents!how are these kids going to handle embarrassing events or disappointing relationships.they will make horrible dating material. no wonder people want to stay single anymore
- Donna Reed Kleipe Suzzzabelle (2020)
In 1969 I won the Presidential Fitness Award in Archery. Someone told me this and said my name was listed in some book, which I have never seen. I got no recognition from my gym instructor or any adult at the time.I received nothing for my efforts, not even recognition. I am still interested in seeing this list for Hallandale Junior High, 7th grade, in Florida . Anyone know if its possible to see
this list or a master copy of it statewide? I would be most appreciative for any help with this. Thanks, Donna Reed
- Tim (2020)
I was a Cross Country runner for my high school (Fresno High School) and took this test in 1965 (17 years old). 600 yard dash; 1:17 (100 points). Pull ups; 20 (100 points). Standing Broad Jump; 8'2" (96 points). Rope Climb; 2.7 seconds (96 points). Sit ups, 90 seconds; 120 (100 points). Total 492/500 for best in my school of 2500 students (3-year high school). NB I didn't bounce my sit ups -- at 14 years old I did 1750 in 1 hr 5 min. No award given -- What should I have received in 1965?
- Manisha shrestha (2017)
will this test helps in interpretation of physical fitness level of students? eg: poor , average
- Saucy Rob (2019)
My comment about "the original testing" model is directed towards how poorly the test scores were curved. I was a very athletic little girl who always scored in the 95th percentile in each test except the 600-yard run, where I purposefully finished in the 50th percentile simply because I despised cross country running of any distance (even as an Oregonian, where it's bred in the blood). Anyway, I always thought it was bullshit that despite dominating all other physical tests among my peers, falling into the 50th percentile on just 1 test disqualified me from the Physical Fitness Award. Did that event carry more weight in the scoring? Or were all results of each test averaged out as I think they should have been?