Personal Fitness

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Resources include the Personal Fitness merit badge worksheet in PDF format Adobe Acrobat PDF and Word format Microsoft Word DOC document, links, and cross-references to related badges and awards.
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Personal Fitness merit badge
Image:Personal Fitness.jpg
Status: Eagle-required
Created: 1952
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 010
Requirements revision: 2018
Latest pamphlet revision: 2016


Personal fitness is an individual effort and desire to be the best one can be. Regardless of their current levels of personal fitness, in the twelve weeks it will take Scouts to complete the athletic requirements for this merit badge, they will be in better shape, feel better about themselves, have more energy, and gain self-confidence in their overall abilities.

Personal Fitness merit badge requirements

If meeting any of the requirements for this merit badge is against the Scout's religious convictions, the requirement does not have to be done if the Scout's parents and the proper religious advisors state in writing that to do so would be against religious convictions. The Scout's parents must also accept full responsibility for anything that might happen because of this exemption.

  1. Do the following:
    a. Before completing requirements 2 through 9, have your health-care practitioner give you a physical examination, using the Scout medical examination form. Explain the following:
    1. Why physical exams are important
    2. Why preventative habits (such as exercising regularly) are important in maintaining good health, and how the use of tobacco products, alcohol, and other harmful substances can negatively affect our personal fitness.
    3. Diseases that can be prevented and how.
    4. The seven warning signs of cancer.
    5. The youth risk factors that affect cardiovascular health in adulthood.
    b. Have a dental examination. Get a statement saying that your teeth have been checked and cared for. Tell how to care for your teeth.
  2. Explain to your merit badge counselor verbally or in writing what personal fitness means to you, including:
    a. Components of personal fitness
    b. Reasons for being fit in all components.
    c. What it means to be mentally healthy
    d. What it means to be physically healthy and fit.
    e. What it means to be socially healthy. Discuss your activity in the areas of healthy social fitness.
    f. What you can do to prevent social, emotional, or mental problems.
  3. With your counselor answer and discuss the following questions:
    a. Are you free from all curable diseases? Are you living in such a way that your risk of preventable diseases is minimized?
    b. Are you immunized and vaccinated according to the advice of your health-care provider?
    c. Do you understand the meaning of a nutritious diet and know why it is important for you? Does your diet include foods from all food groups?
    d. Are your body weight and composition what you would like them to be, and do you know how to modify them safely through exercise, diet, and lifestyle?
    e. Do you carry out daily activities without noticeable effort? Do you have extra energy for other activities?
    f. Are you free from habits relating to poor nutrition and the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other practices that could be harmful to your health?
    g. Do you participate in a regular exercise program or recreational activities?
    h. Do you sleep well at night and wake up ready to start the new day?
    i. Are you actively involved in the religious organization of your choice, and do you participate in its youth activities?
    j. Do you spend quality time with your family and friends in social and recreational activities?
    k. Do you support family activities and efforts to maintain a good home life?
  4. Explain the following about physical fitness:
    a. The components of physical fitness
    b. Your weakest and strongest component of physical fitness
    c. The need to have a balance in all five components of physical fitness.
    d. How a program like ScoutStrong can lead to lifelong healthful habits.
    e. How the components of personal fitness relate to the Scout Law and Scout Oath.
  5. Explain the following about nutrition:
    a. The importance of good nutrition
    b. What good nutrition means to you
    c. How good nutrition is related to the other components of personal fitness
    d. The three components of a sound weight (fat) control program.
  6. Before doing requirements 7 and 8, complete the aerobic fitness, flexibility, and muscular strength tests along with the body composition evaluation as described in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet. Record your results and identify those areas where you feel you need to improve.
  7. Outline a comprehensive 12-week physical fitness program using the results of your fitness tests. Be sure your program incorporates the endurance, intensity, and warm-up guidelines discussed in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet. Before beginning your exercises, have the program approved by your counselor and parents.
  8. Complete the physical fitness program you outlined in requirement 7. Keep a log of your fitness program activity (how long you exercised; how far you ran, swam, or biked; how many exercise repetitions you completed; your exercise heart rate; etc.). Repeat the aerobic fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility tests every two weeks and record your results. After the 12th week, repeat all of the required activities in each of the three test categories, record your results, and show improvement in each one. For the body composition evaluation, compare and analyze your preprogram and postprogram body composition measurements. Discuss the meaning and benefit of your experience, and describe your long-term plans regarding your personal fitness.
  9. Find out about three career opportunities in personal fitness. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for these professions. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.

NOTE: The text of requirements 6 & 8 above are taken from the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet, not the Boy Scout Requirements book.
The Physical Fitness Tests and Body Composition Evaluation specified for requirements 6 and 8 are as follows:

Record your performance on one of the following tests:
a. Run/walk as far as you can as fast as you can in nine minutes
b. Run/walk one mile as fast as you can.
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.)
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.
a. 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.
b. 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.
c. 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.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Scouts BSA Requirements, 2019 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #648914)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Personal Fitness is available here! (PDF or Word) with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need! Or click here to print just the Personal Fitness requirements. has PDF and Word versions of workbooks for Scouts BSA ranks and merit badges, Cub Scouting ranks and adventures, and STEM Nova awards.

Personal Fitness merit badge is required for the Eagle Scout rank.
Personal Fitness merit badge requires prior counselor and/or parent approval for requirement(s) #7.
  1. The BSA Physical Fitness Troop Program Feature offers meeting and activity plans to include Personal Fitness as one of your monthly themes.
  2. Personal Fitness is a popular merit badge.

Requirement resources

The Troop Physical Fitness Monthly Theme includes meeting and activity materials.
1.a. BSA: BSA Annual Health and Medical Record
1.a.4 Seven Warning Signs of Cancer
1.a.5 American Heart Association: Understand Your Risks to Prevent a Heart AttackCoronary Artery Disease - Coronary Heart Disease
2.c. Mental Health

Act Belong Commit (Australia): Mental Health
Centers for Disease Control (CDC): Mental Health

3.f. Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs

Kid's Health: Smoking Stinks - What You Need to Know About Drugs - Alcohol Dangers
McGruff: (requires Flash enabled): Click on "Advice" > "Guns, Drugs, and Other" > "What You Need To Know About Drugs" (which also covers alcohol)
DARE: (Drug Abuse Resistance Education)
BSA: Drugs: A Deadly Game, Choose to Refuse! Drugs: A Deadly Game! Factsheet
Scout Shop: Drugs: A Deadly Game materials (youth and leader guides) Order form for Drugs: A Deadly Game, Choose to Refuse material Adobe Acrobat PDF (bulk order for youth guides, leader guides, posters, stickers, banners)

4.a-c. Studio Fitness (Rockwall, TX): What Are the Main Components of Physical Fitness?
4.d. BSA: SCOUTStrong Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) ChallengeSCOUTStrong Be MedWise AwardSCOUTStrong Healthy Unit Award
4.e. Scout OathScout Law
6. See the fitness tests chart in the workbook (PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF or Word Microsoft Word DOC document)

US Scouting Service Project: Flexibility Reach test box diagramsProper way to do sit-upsProper way to do pull-upsProper way to do push-ups

7. See the sample goals table in the workbook (PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF or Word Microsoft Word DOC document)
8. See the fitness logs in the workbook (PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF or Word Microsoft Word DOC document)
9. Career opportunities in personal fitness

Sports Career Finder: Jobs in the Health and Fitness Sector Personal Fitness Training Job Options, Duties, and Requirements

Related awards

Sports-related awards
Personal development-related awards

See also

Scouts BSA portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Personal tools