3-Repetition Maximum Deadlift (MDL) - Army ACFT Event

Perform a three-repetition deadlift, as the weight increased with each repetition. The weight range of the deadlift is 120 to 340 pounds.

Fitness Components:

It is a muscular strength test that represents movements required to safely and effectively lift heavy loads from the ground, jump, bound and tolerate landing.


60-pound hex bar and plates


60 and 100 point scores: 140 pounds and 340 pounds

Proper Technique:

Starting Position

The Soldier will step inside the hexagon/trap bar, feet generally shoulder width apart, and locate the midpoint of the hexagon/trap bar handles.

Phase 1 Preparatory Phase

On the command of “GET SET,” the Soldier will bend at the knees and hips, reach down and grasp the center of the handles (Hexagon/traps bars are not authorized; as an exception, if a dual-handled hexagon/trap bar is used, the Soldier will grasp the lower handles). Arms should be fully extended, back flat, head in line with the spinal column or slightly extended, head and eyes to the front or slightly upward, and heels in contact with the ground. All repetitions will begin from this position.

Phase 2 Upward Movement Phase

On the command of “GO,” the Soldier will stand up and lift the bar by extending the hips and knees. Hips should never rise before or above the shoulders. The back should remain straight – not flexed or extended. The Soldier will continue to extend the hips and knees until reaching an upright stance. There is a slight pause at the top of this movement.

Phase 3 Downward Movement Phase

By flexing the hips and the knees slowly, the Soldier lowers the bar to the ground under control while maintaining a flat-back position. Do not drop or let go of the bar. The hexagon/trap bar weight plates must touch the ground before beginning the next repetition. Weight plates may not bounce on the ground.

Execute three continuous repetitions with the same weight. If the Soldier fails to complete three continuous repetitions under control, he or she is permitted one retest at a lower weight. If the Soldier successfully completes three continuous repetitions on the first attempt, he or she may elect an additional attempt at a higher weight. The maximum number of attempts on the MDL is two.

Recommended Training:

Sumo Deadlift

  • The starting position of the sumo deadlift is the straddle stance with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width and toes pointing outward. When performing the lift with dumbbells or kettlebells start in the straddle stance with a single weight held between and in front of the legs, knees are bent, back is straight and the bar or weight is held in both hands with a grip suited to the lifters capability the equipment and the goal of the exercise session.
  • From the starting position, straighten the knees and slowly raise the trunk to the upright position of attention. Pause before reversing the upward movement to return to the starting position. Maintain a natural arch in the lower back with the head and neck staying in alignment to avoid extending the neck. Do not round out the upper back. The knees and feet remain turned outward throughout the movement. The wider stance permits a lower lifting range of motion. Always lift a weight that can be controlled throughout the range of motion.
  • The same movement is used with different grips for the kettlebell and dumbbell version of this exercise. Repeat this movement for the correct number repetitions and sets required to meet the goal of the free weights session.

Alternate Staggered Squat Jump

  • The starting position for the alternate staggered squat jump is the staggered stance with left leg back and arms at sides the truck is flex slightly forward.
  • On count 1 squat and touch the ground between the legs with the fingertips of the left-hand jump forcefully into the air switching legs in midair to land with the right leg back and arms at the sides.
  • On count 2, squat and touch the ground between the legs with the fingertips of the right-hand jump forcefully into the air switching legs in midair to land with the left leg back and arms at the sides.
  • On the count of 3 repeat count 1
  • On count 4 repeat count 2.
  • After the final repetition return to the starting position.

Forward Lunge

  • Starting position for the forward lunge is the straddle stance. Hold the kettlebells at the sides using a neutral grip.
  • On count 1, step forward with the left leg as the forward lunge allowing the left knee to bend until the left thighs parallel to the ground. Lean slightly forward from the waist and bring the kettlebells to the left and right side of the forward leg.
  • On count 2, reverse the movement performed in count one to return to the starting position.
  • On count 3, repeat count 1 stepping forward with the right leg.
  • On count 4, return to the starting position.
  • Complete one minute of repetition, stopping to rest if necessary, or adjusting the weight and range of movement to match the required performance.

Combat Readiness:

The deadlifts replicate picking up ammunition boxes, a wounded soldier, supplies, or heavy equipment.