Fitness Assessments

Construction work is physical, and your body is your most essential tool. 

Because being physically fit is key to injury prevention and a long-term career, fitness assessments are part of our application process. Test results are not shared without your consent.

It’s important to know that this testing isn’t done to keep you from getting into your program – it’s to help you, Women Building Futures and your future employers make informed decisions on how to avoid incidents and injuries in training and on the job.

When Will I Be Assessed?

After a successful interview, your recruitment advisor will email you the information you need to book your fitness testing session.

What Am I Assessed On?

In addition to the physical testing, the process includes:

  1. A drug and alcohol test.
  2. A vision test for driving program applicants.
  3. A medical and musculoskeletal (muscle, bone and joint) assessment to determine if you can safely complete the critical strength and mobility testing

If you have any further questions about the drug and alcohol testing, please contact

What Will I Need to Do?

The 25 lb, 35 lb and 50 lb tests that apply to our programs all have the following components. The weight you use depends on the test level.

  • Warm-up step test (3 minutes to pace of music)
  • Floor-to-waist lifts (3 sets of 5 repetitions)
    • lift a box from a table and touch it to the floor
  • Sustained trunk flexion (held for 3 minutes)
    • stand with feet shoulder-width apart, bent forward approximately 45 degrees at the hips.
  • Waist-to-waist lift (2 sets of 5 repetitions)
    • lift a box from a table
    • carry it 10 feet
    • touch the box to the ground
    • return the box to the table
  • 1-hand carry (1 set of 4 repetitions – 2 right-handed, 2 left-handed)
    • carry a weight in 1 hand like a suitcase or toolbox
    • walk 10 feet
    • crouch
    • walk 10 feet
    • crouch
    • return to starting point
  • Long carry (3 sets of 3 repetitions)
    • lift a box from the floor
    • carry it 20 feet
    • touch the box to the floor
    • return to starting point
    • crouch for 1 minute
    • kneel for 1 minute
  • Overhead lift (2 sets of 5 repetitions)
    • lift a weight from a table to overhead (like putting something on a high shelf)

Lift and carry weights

Exercise 25 lb test 35 lb test 50 lb test
Floor-to-waist lift 25 lbs 35 lbs 50 lbs
Waist-to-waist lift 25 lbs 35 lbs 50 lbs
1-hand carry 15 lbs 15 lbs 25 lbs
Overhead lift 15 lbs 15 lbs 25 lbs
Long carry 25 lbs 35 lbs 50 lbs
How heavy is 25 lbs, 35 lbs, 50 lbs, really?

Here are some common items that weigh approximately 25 lbs, 35 lbs and 50 lbs. Comparisons courtesy of SureHire.

How Do I Prepare?

If you want to work on your physical conditioning ahead of the test, here are some ways to prepare at home.

Strength Training

Try starting out with books, soup cans or bottles filled with water, sand or rocks. As you’re ready to add weight, you can replace the bottles with laundry detergent jugs.

Once you’ve mastered the weighted detergent jugs, try adding weight to any of the following:

  • backpack
  • purse
  • briefcase or suitcase
  • grocery bags

If you have a bathroom scale, you can put the bag on it to see how much weight you’re adding.


Use the stairs inside or outside your home and step up and down the first 3 steps for 3 minutes. Put on some upbeat music to help keep your energy up.

Walk 30 minutes a day while carrying weights (grab that weighted backpack and take it for a walk!)

Try shadow boxing.

Resistance Training

If you don’t have resistance bands, try using bungee cords, leggings or pantyhose.

Core Strength

If you don’t have sliders, try using paper plates, dish towels or paper towels instead (depending on your floor).

On Your Test Day

Allow a half-day for testing in case there are delays.

Make sure you’re properly hydrated but restrict your fluid intake 2 hours before your appointment to ensure a proper sample can be collected. If your sample is too diluted, there will be delays.

When you go to the testing centre, wear workout gear, including proper shoes, and be sure to bring:

  • government-issued photo ID
  • your glasses or contact lenses, if you wear them
  • a list of medications, prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs you’re currently using

You will also need to give a medical history.

Important: After completing your paperwork, do not leave the facility until testing is complete. Doing so will be seen as refusal to do the test.

Testing Provider

Women Building Futures partners with SureHire, a leader in occupational health and fitness-to-work testing to conduct these tests.