Sprint Drag Carry ACFT

Sprint-Drag-Carry: Mastering This ACFT Event

Are you ready to conquer one of the most challenging yet rewarding events in the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT)? Welcome to the ultimate guide on mastering the Sprint-Drag-Carry ACFT event—a true test of your anaerobic endurance, muscular strength, and real-world combat readiness. This isn’t just another fitness test; it’s a make-or-break moment that can significantly impact your overall ACFT score. Whether you’re a seasoned soldier or a newcomer, understanding the intricacies of this event is crucial. And the time to act is now. Don’t just aim to pass, aim to excel. Read on to discover expert tips, gear recommendations, and training secrets that will give you the edge you need. For a comprehensive understanding of what you’re up against, don’t forget to check out our ACFT Standards.

The Sprint-Drag-Carry (SDC)

The Sprint-Drag-Carry (SDC) is a key event in the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) designed to assess your anaerobic endurance and muscular strength. Unlike other tests that measure long-term stamina, the SDC focuses on your ability to exert high levels of force in quick, intense bursts. This is crucial for real-world military scenarios, whether you’re sprinting to cover or evacuating a wounded comrade. The skills you develop in this event are directly applicable to battlefield conditions. Additionally, your performance in the SDC has a significant impact on your overall ACFT score. A strong showing can boost your total score, making mastery of this event essential for anyone serious about excelling in the ACFT.

SDC Components and Rules

The Five Components

The SDC is a multi-faceted event, comprising five key components designed to test various aspects of your physical capabilities:

  • Sprint: Tests your speed and acceleration.
  • Drag: Evaluates your lower body and back strength.
  • Lateral: Measures your agility and coordination.
  • Carry: Assesses your grip and arm strength.
  • Sprint: A final sprint to gauge your endurance and recovery.

Key Rules and Regulations

  • Distance: Each component covers a 50-meter down-and-back course, totaling 100 meters.
  • Time Limit: The event is timed, making speed and efficiency vital for a high score.
  • Equipment: The event uses a 90-pound sled and two 40-pound kettlebells.
  • Scoring: Your score is determined by the time taken to complete all five components. To get an accurate estimate of how your performance translates into points, be sure to use our ACFT Score Calculator.

Step-by-Step Guide to Performing the Sprint-Drag-Carry


Sprint SDC
Image credit: U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training YT
  1. Start Position: Begin in a prone position with your head behind the starting line.
  2. Action: On the command ‘go,’ sprint to the 25-meter mark. Make sure one foot and one hand touch the ground at or beyond the line.
  3. Return: Sprint back to the starting line.


Drag SDC
Image credit: U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training YT
  1. Grasp Handles: Grasp each strap handle on the sled, which contains 90 pounds.
  2. Action: Drag the sled backwards over the 25-meter line. The entire sled must cross the line.
  3. Return: Turn and drag the sled back to the starting line.


Lateral SDC
Image credit: U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training YT
  1. Start Position: Stand behind the starting line.
  2. Action: Move sideways to the 25-meter line. Your feet may shuffle but cannot touch or cross over one another.
  3. Touch and Return: Your foot must cross the line, and your hand must touch the ground before returning to the starting line using the same lateral movement.


Carry SDC
Image credit: U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training YT
  1. Grasp Kettlebells: Pick up two 40-pound kettlebells.
  2. Action: Run to the 25-meter line. Step on or over the line with one foot.
  3. Return: Run back to the starting line and place the kettlebells back on the ground. They cannot be thrown.

Final Sprint

  1. Action: Sprint back to the 25-meter line.
  2. Touch and Return: Make sure one hand and one foot touch the ground on or over the line.
  3. Finish: Sprint back to the starting line. The time stops when you cross the starting line.

Form Matters: Minimizing Risk of Injury

Proper form is crucial not only for optimal performance but also for minimizing the risk of injury. Always remember to maintain good posture, engage your core, and use your entire body efficiently throughout each component of the exercise.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

One of the most common mistakes during the sprint portion of the Sprint-Drag-Carry is failing to touch the ground with both a hand and foot at the 25-meter line. This oversight can cost you valuable time, as you’ll have to return to the line to correct it. To avoid this, make sure you touch the ground with one hand and one foot on or above the 25-meter line before sprinting back to the starting line.

Source: US Army SDC

Expert-Approved Equipment and Gear Recommendations

The Ultimate Footwear for Peak Performance

When it comes to optimizing your Sprint-Drag-Carry performance, footwear is not to be overlooked. Our top recommendation is the Nike Metcon series, renowned for its exceptional grip and support. These shoes are engineered for high-intensity workouts and provide the perfect balance of flexibility and arch support, making them ideal for the varied demands of the Sprint-Drag-Carry event. Trust us, investing in a pair of Nike Metcons can be a game-changer for your ACFT score.

Gloves: A Tactical Advantage or a Slippery Slope?

Gloves can be a double-edged sword in the Sprint-Drag-Carry event. While they offer enhanced grip, poor quality gloves can become slippery and counterproductive. That’s why we recommend Mechanix Wear Tactical Gloves. These gloves are designed with moisture-wicking and anti-slip technology, ensuring a firm grip throughout the event. If you’re serious about your performance, these gloves are a worthy investment.

Mastering the Sled and Kettlebells: An Insider’s Perspective

The sled and kettlebells may not be your everyday gym equipment, but mastering them is crucial for excelling in the Sprint-Drag-Carry. We highly recommend the Rogue Fitness Sled and Rogue Kettlebells for your training. These are made with high-grade materials and are designed for optimal weight distribution, making them the go-to choice for many military professionals. Incorporate these into your training regimen to gain a significant edge in the event. Understanding the nuances of these specific pieces of equipment can be the difference between a good and an exceptional performance.


The Sprint-Drag-Carry is a multifaceted event in the ACFT that tests your anaerobic endurance and muscular strength. It simulates real-world battlefield conditions, making it a crucial skill set for any soldier. Proper footwear, optional use of gloves, and familiarity with the equipment can all contribute to a better performance.

Consistency is key when preparing for the Sprint-Drag-Carry. Regular training that focuses on both your physical conditioning and technique can significantly improve your performance and overall ACFT score.

Final Tips for Mastering the Sprint-Drag-Carry

  1. Pay attention to the details, like touching the 25-meter line correctly during the sprint.
  2. Incorporate equipment-specific training into your routine.
  3. Mental preparation, including visualization and stress management, can be as crucial as physical training.

Additional Resources

  1. “The Art of Sprinting: Techniques for Speed and Performance” by Warren Dosanjh
  2. “Kettlebell Training for Athletes” by David Bell
  3. “The Ultimate Guide to the ACFT” by Military Fitness Experts

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