Personal Fitness Merit Badge

Steps to beginning Merit Badge
  1. Get approval from your councilor before you begin.
  2. READ, READ, READ, the Merit Badge Requirements. Especially requirements 6, 7, and 8 !!
  3. Complete the fitness test as described in requirement 6 (fitness test is below)
  4. Develop a 12 week program as outlined requirement 7. 
    1. Use the blank logs and examples given below to help develop your plan
    2. The goal of the program is to show improvement in the fitness test outlined below. So your 12 week schedule should include the following:
      1. Every 2 weeks you should do the fitness test (see below) AND record the results on your log.
      2. Running 3 to 4 days a week
        1. You may substitute other cardio (e.g. swimming, cycling, sport practices, etc), but you should be running at least 1 day a week for at least 30 min straight. 
      3. Strength Training 3 to 4 days a week
      4. Flex training should be done prior to every workout. 
  5. Once you have done the steps above, then schedule a meeting with your councilor to review and approve your fitness schedule. A blue card can be filled out during this meeting if one is not already completed.
  6. After approval you may begin your workout schedule.
  1. Do not begin this merit badge unless you are committed to completing the 12 week program.
  2. The MB is typically better suited for older scouts, but any scout can complete the MB. It takes a certain level of maturity and discipline to complete the 12 week workout cycle. 
  3. The 12 week program MUST be completed consecutively. Of course allowances will be made for injury or illness and these should be noted on the workout log. Vacation and school work are NOT excuses to miss more then one day's workout.
  4. If you miss more then 1 week of your schedule, then you may be asked to start over. So be committed to the program.
  5. Once you start the 12 week program, you will be required to email your councilor a weekly copy of your log. 

Key Documents

Fitness Testing

  1. Record your performance on one of the following tests:
  2. Run/walk one mile as fast as you can. (Council Note: unless you have a disability or other condition, all scouts should start this test of running and only walk when absolutely necessary.)

Using a sit-and-reach box constructed according to specifications in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet, make four repetitions and record the fourth reach. This last reach must be held steady for 15 seconds to qualify. (Remember to keep your knees down.)

Here is a great video on a home made box and how to perform the test:


You must do the sit-ups exercise and one other (either push-ups or pull-ups). You may also do all three for extra experience and benefit.
    1. Sit-ups. Record the number of sit-ups done correctly in 60 seconds. The sit-ups must be done in the form explained and illustrated in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet.
    2. Pull-ups. Record the total number of pull-ups completed correctly in 60 seconds. Be consistent with the procedures presented in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet.
    3. Push-ups. Record the total number of push-ups completed correctly in 60 seconds. Be consistent with the procedures presented in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet.
BODY COMPOSITION EVALUATION (Calculating Your BMI percentile):

Step 1 - Multiply your weight in pounds by 703.
Step 2 - Divide the figure you get in No. 1 above by your height in inches.
Step 3 - Divide the figure you get in No. 2 above by your height in inches to get your BMI.
Step 4 - Use the chart in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet to determine the BMI percentile for your age.

As an example, if you are 15 years old, you weigh 130 pounds, and you are 5'8" (68") tall, then:
1. 130 x 703 = 91390
2. 91390 / 68 = 1344
3. 1344 / 68 = 20. This means your BMI is 20.
4. From the chart in the pamphlet, you are at the 50th percentile.