30 Days to a Better Man Day 26: Take the Marine Corps Fitness Test

by Brett & Kate McKay on June 25, 2009 · 53 comments

in 30 Days to a Better Man

marinesrunning.jpg

During the 30 Days to a Better Man project, we’ve been doing a lot exercises for our mind and character, but it’s equally important to exercise our bodies. A man’s health is his most important asset. If you suffer from chronic health problems, it can take a toll on your job, on your bank account, on your family, and on your psyche. And being out of shape and unhealthy saps one’s manly confidence and spirit. Unfortunately, for the past few decades, the fitness level of men, particularly American men, has been going down hill. With cars replacing walking as the primary mode of transportation and desk jobs replacing manual labor, men have become more and more sedentary.

There may have been a time when you were in pretty good shape. Maybe it was in high school or college. But since then, you’ve gotten a job, a mortgage, a wife, and 2.5 kids. But in your mind’s eye, you still think you’re the guy who could bench press 300 lbs and run the 40 yard dash in 4.5 seconds. You might be a bit softer, but overall you feel good.  But the mind can play tricks on you. Slowly through the years the body adjusts itself to a less active lifestyle. The change happens so gradually, that you don’t even notice it. That is until you try to lift a big bag of dirt for your garden or play a pick-up game of basketball. And you’re hit with the realization that you’re not the strapping lad you once were.

While humbling moments like the ones mentioned above can give you somewhat of an idea of your fitness level, an actual fitness test can do a better job because numbers don’t lie. So today we’re going to give ourselves a gut check by taking a physical fitness test. And not just any physical fitness test. We’re taking the U.S. Marine Corps Fitness Test.

How to Perform the Marine Corps Fitness Test

The Marine Corps Fitness tests consists of three exercises: pull-ups, crunches, and a 3.0 mile run. The events are “designed to test the strength and stamina of the upper body, midsection, and lower body, as well as the efficiency of the cardiovascular system.”((MCPFTBCP Sec. 2000(1)))

All the exercises are to be performed in “one single session, not to exceed two hours.”((MCPFTBCP Sec. 2100(2))) Since it’s just you who’s doing the test and not an entire squadron of Marines, it should take you about an hour.

Pull-ups

Find yourself a pull-up bar. If you don’t have one, just go to a park and use the monkey bars. They’re perfect for pull-ups. I also highly recommend investing in the Iron Gym Pull-Up Bar. It’s one of the best and most useful things I ever bought. And you’ll be able to use it at home once the fitness test is done to keep improving your strength.

To begin the test, grab the bar, both palms facing either forward or towards you. I would do it palms facing towards you. It’s easier that way.

The correct starting position begins with your arms fully extended beneath the bar and your feet off the ground.

One rep consists of raising the body with the arms until the chin is above the bar and then lowering your body until your arms are fully extended. The object of this test is to measure your performance from a dead hang position. Thus, whipping, leg kicking, or leg kipping are not allowed and pull-ups using these assistance methods do not count.

You don’t have a time limit to perform your pull-ups, but as soon as you let go, the test is over.

Abdominal Crunches

The ab crunch test has a two minute limit. Perform as many crunches as you can in two minutes.

Cross your arms across your chest or rib cage with no gap existing between the arms and chest/rib cage. Both arms must remain in constant contact with the chest/rib cage throughout the exercise. A single repetition consists of raising your upper body from the starting position until both forearms or elbows simultaneously touch the thighs, and then returning to the starting position with the shoulder blades touching the ground.

Your butt must remain in constant contact with the ground.

You can have a buddy hold your  legs or feet, at or below the knees. If you don’t have a buddy, place your feet under a couch or some other sturdy object.

3.0 Mile Run

Mark out a 3 mile course. One way of doing this is to reset your car’s trip odometer and drive a flat course in your neighborhood to mark out the 3 miles. Another idea is to go to a high school or college track. It’s flat, clear of any obstacles, and it’s measured out for you. Four times around the track is one mile. So for three miles, you’ll have to run around it twelve times.

Time yourself with a stopwatch to see how fast you can run 3.o miles. Run as fast as you can.

Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test Scoring

Each Marine is given a numeric score based on his performance in each event. Based on the total points of the three events, a Marine will be assigned to a physical fitness test class. First class being the highest and third class being the lowest. In order to get the highest possible score on the test you’d have to perform 20 pull-ups, do 100 crunches in 2 minutes, and run 3 miles in 18:00 minutes. Below are a series of charts that shows how scoring and class are determined:

Points Pull-Ups Crunches 3-Mile Run
100 20 100 18:00
99 99 18:10
98 98 18:20
97 97 18:30
96 96 18:40
95 19 95 18:50
94 94 19:00
93 93 19:10
92 92 19:20
91 91 19:30
90 18 90 19:40
89 89 19:50
88 88 20:00
87 87 20:10
86 86 20:20
85 17 85 20:30
84 84 20:40
83 83 20:50
82 82 21:00
81 81 21:10
80 16 80 21:20
79 79 21:30
78 78 21:40
77 77 21:50
76 76 22:00
75 15 75 22:10
74 74 22:20
73 73 22:30
72 72 22:40
71 71 22:50
70 14 70 23:00
69 69 23:10
68 68 23:20
67 67 23:30
66 66 23:40
65 13 65 23:50
64 64 24:00
63 63 24:10
62 62 24:20
61 61 24:30
60 12 60 24:40
59 59 24:50
58 58 25:00
57 57 25:10
56 56 25:20
55 11 55 25:30
54 54 25:40
53 53 25:50
52 52 26:00
51 51 26:10
50 10 50 26:20
49 49 26:30
48 48 26:40
47 47 26: 50
46 46 27:00
45 9 45 27:10
44 44 27:20
43 43 27:30
42 42 27:40
41 41 27:50
40 8 40 28:00
39 x 28:10
38 x 28:20
37 x 28:30
36 x 28:40
35 7 x 28:50
34 x 29:00
33 x 29:10
32 x 29:20
31 x 29:30
30 6 x 29:40
29 x 29:50
28 x 30:00
27 x 30:10
26 x 30:20
25 5 x 30:30
24 x 30:40
23 x 30:50
22 x 31:00
21 x 31:10
20 4 x 31:20
19 x 31:30
18 x 31:40
17 x 31:50
16 x 32:00
15 3 x 32:10
14 x x 32:20
13 x x 32:30
12 x x 32:40
11 x x 32:50
10 x x 33:00
9 x x x
8 x x x
7 x x x
6 x x x
5 x x x
4 x x x
3 x x x
2 x x x
<1 x x x
Class Age 17-26 Age 27-39 Age 40-45 Age 46+
1st 225 200 175 150
2nd 175 150 125 100
3rd 135 110 88 65

Minimum Fitness Requirements

The Department of the Navy has established minimum fitness requirements for all Marines depending on their age to ensure that they’re ready for combat. Most of us probably won’t see action in Afghanistan, but if you can meet the fitness requirements for these tests, you’ll know that you have the physical condition to take on most of life’s challenges. The minimum requirements below would give a soldier enough points to meet a class three standard.

Age Pull-Ups Crunches 3-Mile Run
17-26 3 50 28:00
27-39 3 45 29:00
40-45 3 45 30:00
>46+ 3 40 33:00

After you establish your base, start working on improving through regular exercise. Take the test again in a month to see how much you’ve improved. Try making it a goal to score a perfect 300 on the test.

Today’s Task: Take the Marine Corps Fitness Test

Take an hour after work today and do the Marine Corps Fitness Test. No matter what kind of shape you’re in, it will help you know how fit you are, give you a benchmark to base future progression and regression on, and grant you either some motivation to improve or a sense of satisfaction that you’re ready for action. Tally up your score and share it with us in the Community!

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matt @ Rational Imperative June 25, 2009 at 10:01 pm

I’ve always been looking for practical, easy to benchmark ways to mark physical fitness progress. This is perfect, great post.

2 braindumps June 25, 2009 at 10:21 pm

Good post.
braindumps

3 Jan-Hendrik June 25, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Hello Brett!

First of: I like your Blog very much, and enjoyed the 30-Days-Program. I just have a little correction to make concerning the Pull-Up. You stated, that it doesn’t matter wether you do it with your palms facing towards or away from you.

This is not quite correct. While the Pull-Up with an overhand-grip (palms NOT facing towards you) mainly exercises the latissimus (broad-back-muscle), the other variation with your palms facing you focuses a little more on your biceps.

I prefer the overhand Pull-Up, because it helps building a stronger back, for those of you with back pains!

Keep up the good work, many of your articles helped me a lot!

Greetings from Germany,
Jan-Hendrik

4 Shaun June 25, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I don’t need to do the test to tell you that I’ll fail first go…10 years sitting in front of a computer has a tendency to turn you into pudding…I love this idea though, so I’m making it my goal this year to pass the test. Wish me luck!

5 Mark June 25, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Good idea for today’s entry. I workout every other morning (au natural: just body-weight) and I walk on the alternating mornings. I used to run, but it’s just not worth the harshness on my knees and back. However, today’s entry got me thinking about an idea I’ve been considering for awhile – going barefoot.

So, while a little off from the plan here, you inspired me to start tomorrow morning with my usual 30 minute walk… but this time I’m going barefoot. I’ll probably post something about it over on my site after I try it – but I’m not attempting any big promotion, here. Just thought I’d mention it in case anyone else finds it interesting :)

Either way – thanks for the reminder!

6 Craig June 26, 2009 at 2:16 am

I’ll be having a go at this later. A little tip for anyone really going for the best score they can – most Personal Best times are set late afternoon/early evening.
Remember to hydrate well before and after and some gentle stretching to go with it.
Good luck men!

7 Nick June 26, 2009 at 5:50 am

At first glance, it looks impossible, but that’s because I thought you had to score perfectly in each category. After reading the rules, for my age bracket, I only have to get 200 points, and that’s really fairly easy.

The minimum requirements are ridiculously easy … as long as you can run 3 miles.

8 Nick June 26, 2009 at 5:54 am

Oh and an easier way to mark out 3 miles is to use http://www.mapmyrun.com (It gives you a google map and lets you map out a route and measure the distance.)

9 Kevin June 26, 2009 at 6:08 am

Great challenge. I’m going to use this as an indicator of progress as I haul my flabby behind back into shape. I’ve only been off the fit wagon for about 4 months and already I feel it. So yesterday I began again and, as they always say “it’s a long road back”.

Just a few points of clarity on crunches:

- Are the feet supposed to be flat on the floor?
- Is this portion timed?

10 Brett June 26, 2009 at 6:42 am

@Jan-Hendrik-When I said it didn’t matter which way your palms face, I just meant as far as the rules of the test go-you are allowed to do them either way. But thanks for the extra info.

@Mark-Sounds like an interesting experiment. I’ve always been interested in the barefoot thing and whether it would really work or just leave me with blown out knees.

@Nick-Sweet link. Thanks!

@Kevin-2 minutes. Feet flat on floor.

11 Gerard June 26, 2009 at 6:59 am

@Jan-Hendrik
Indeed, the pullup is performed with palm facing away, and the chin up is performed with the palms facing towards you. Many grip variations exist for the pull up, such as neutral grip (palms facing each other – this works the brachialis muscle a lot), wide grip, narrow grip, and mixed grip.

They have different levels of difficulty and each is a usefull tool in the toolbox.

Check this out:
http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/things_you_should_know_how_to_do_1_the_pullup

12 Jack June 26, 2009 at 9:16 am

I find it a little weird that you have the option of doing either back pull ups or bicep pull ups. I know that portion of the test is supposed to cover the upper body strength but it feels a little inconsistent if some (probably most) people are using the easier method (personally I have stronger arms than back) to achieve better results.

Oh and thank Brett for the pull up bar recommendation! I’ve always wanted one for my weak back but am DEATHLY afraid of falling using a mobile pull up bar. Its not easy to eat it with this bar is it?

13 bobm June 26, 2009 at 9:32 am

Interesting, I’ve made it my goal to pass this fitness test. I’ve never done a pull up in my life and I’m not getting any younger, so I’m adding this to my bucket list.
http://artofmanliness.com/2009/06/11/30-days-to-a-better-man-day-12-create-your-bucket-list/

I’ve been doing 5byX for the past 7 weeks as well as using bands to make a start on this goal. I’ve lost 7 pounds and gone down a pant size, needless to say my wife is pleased.
She’s an old fashioned gal who thinks men should have a bit of muscle and I’m not above using this as a motivator.

A buddy of mine is big into minimalist footwear and if your interested his site is worth checking out. http://www.adventureinprogress.com/tcfmf-introduction.

14 hillmatt June 26, 2009 at 10:45 am

I’m in about the 65% range for all of this, I do this work out about 3-4 times a week to get in shape for the Army, I do plan to see action in Afghanistan though

15 Bill June 26, 2009 at 10:49 am

BTW, the Marines have added this year another fitness test into the mix with the standard PFT. It’s called the Combat Fitness Test. So 4 times a year an active duty Marine will be tested on some event (2x each per year). Reserves will do one of each type of test each year.

http://shock.military.com/Shock/videos.do?displayContent=174021&page=1

There’s a whole new combat fitness training program added as well.

16 Brett June 26, 2009 at 12:42 pm

@Jack-

The pull-up bar has never even come a little loose. And it doesn’t screw into the wall or do anything to your wall. You just hang it over a doorway. And yet it’s rock solid. It’s great. I’ve seen it at Walgreens if you want to run out and get one.

17 Jack June 26, 2009 at 1:33 pm

@Brett

Thanks for the follow up.

I actually do have a Wallgreens right by my house too. I just gotta measure the door frame because the Amazon reviews were saying there a range of thickness the door must have to maximum grip.

Thanks again!

18 Daetan Bayar Huck June 26, 2009 at 2:55 pm

I’m a Marine Corps. officer candidate (similar to ROTC), so I have the pleasure of doing this a LOT. Here’s some tips:

The pull-ups are the most important component! Just one pull up is worth 5 points! Unfortunately, the only way to get better at pull-ups is to DO them. Do them with weight and you’ll increase your pulls significantly. I also like to “grease the slide” by doing one pull up every time I enter my house.

I highly suggest that everyone look up the POSE running method. You run on the balls of your feet and depend on your forward lean to pull you forward. With POSE, there is a 50% reduction of force on your knees and you utilize your muscle elasticity a lot more than traditional heel-strike running. The use of muscle elasticity helps because you expend a lot less energy.

Finally, you can fake the crunches very easily. Don’t. Do serious crunches or sit ups. No hips slamming into the ground to leverage yourself up; you’ll be cheating yourself!

Last week I had shoulder surgery, but I had a solid 297 on my last official PFT before I had the operation. With POSE my run time is finally under 18’00″!

Good luck and semper fidelis!

19 Beat Attitude June 27, 2009 at 4:34 am

@Bill …. That marine corps combat fitness test looks like serious hard work! Lifting a prone human adult half-way through it onto your shoulders…That kind of thing must really need good core and stability muscles… Have you done it?

Great post once again Brett/Kate!

I’ve been feeling that fitness slide a little in the last month or two…It’s that feeling you get when you can’t actually drop for a pushup without feeling like you might damage something.Things start to feel a bit heavier…you start thinking more about fulcrum and balance than just sheer muscle strength. When you’re doing a good all round fitness programme, you feel more ready for any kind of exertion. I find that when I’m training well, I can’t walk past an outcropping handrail or fence or something without thinking whether I could do a pull-up or some other exercise on it! But when I get out of the way of it for a couple of months, all that falls by the wayside.

I’m probably round the 150 mark on a good day (bottom end of 2nd class) but it’d be nice to aim for the top end of that. The pull ups are the significant part. It’s a really pleasing feeling to be able to do ten reps on a pull up bar: gets you pumped, no mistake.

20 Have Pack, Will Travel June 28, 2009 at 7:54 am

I’m a bit disappointed. I’m 27 and pretty active. I’m pretty strong for my small size and lift weights heavily 3 times per week. I do kickboxing and jiu jitsu, although I haven’t done either for a couple of months. Other than running around the softball bases once per week, I haven’t done much cardio.

Whipped out 17 pullups, 40 crunches (probably could have done more if I had somebody to hold my feet) but could only run 1 mile. I used to run track but long distances have always gotten the better of me.

Well, at least I know what I need to work on! :)

21 Scot June 28, 2009 at 10:21 am

Pullups are easy to cheat yourself on if you don’t have someone watching to keep you honest. Crunches aren’t hard, just remember that you don’t need to go all out. The range of motion is actually pretty small. As for running, well, if you ain’t puking you ain’t trying.
Definitely check out the Combat Fitness Test (CFT) as well. It’s much more of a gut check, because even though it’s short, it’s way more intense. It also much more closely mimics the movements and physical demands of fighting.
“The minimum requirements below would give a soldier enough points to meet a class three standard.”
Just a tip, never accuse a Marine of being a soldier. That trash is unsat.
Stay motivated all.

Semper Fi

22 Tom July 1, 2009 at 8:43 am

Some uber-fit guys will find the test on the easy side. That’s ok. As a retired Marine, I can tell you the purpose of the test is to ensure a basic level of fitness that Marines should maintain regardless of their assigned posts, many of which are extremely sedentary, and many of which – like recruiting – involve very long hours which preclude any kind of serious gym time. From this base, it is much easier to build back to a good level of combat fitness.

23 Dust July 2, 2009 at 11:09 am

I took this test the other day. I’m a terrible runner, I think 3 miles is the most I’ve EVER run. I still passed, but barely. I scored a 135 and I’m 23. I did 12 pull ups and 60 crunches, but my 3 mile was 32 minutes….! I did however top it off with 30 push-ups… Since then I’ve run the 3 mile 3 times. Good test, great article!

24 seaniep July 20, 2009 at 12:56 pm

I got a 300 once – I figure that was enough

25 Chaka July 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Just tried this today during my afternoon workout. I got 192 (17 pull-ups, 55 crunches, 26:00 run), which puts me just shy of 1st class for my age (28). Most days I try to do the workout of the day on Crossfit.com. Worth checking out!

26 Phillip August 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm

The Marine Corps Test is a good test, but very limited in that it only tests muscular endurance, which while important is only one part of over all fitness. A better battery tests would be those offered by Sparq training. The tests listed herehttp://www.sparqtraining.com/athletic_assessment/protocol will give you a better over all guage of your total fitness, since it will test anaerobic and aerobic endurance, spped, agility, upper and lower body power.

27 Brady September 3, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Just one thing, a pull up is when your hands face away from you. This is what the test requires. A chin up is when your hands are face toward you and is mainly used to increase biceps strength and is not what is used in this test.

28 Francis September 3, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Hi there

I’m not sure if you’ve answered this already since I don’t yet have enough time to read through all the nice comments. I was wondering though what score/class I should get if my repetitions aren’t indicated in the table above? For example I can do 10 pullups, about 80 crunches in 2 mins, but I can cover the 3 mile run under 14 mins? Is there some sort of formula/extended table I can use?

29 nat September 4, 2009 at 12:52 am

A great help in improving the strength aspects of the Marine Fitness test is to follow the structured 100 pushups program at http://www.hundredpushups.com and 200 situps program at http://www.twohundredsitups.com (also check the 200 squats link on both pages — all 3 programs are inter-linked). All 3 programs assume you will reach your goal in 6 weeks, but in reality, you will hit plateaus even as early as the 2nd week. You can adapt the programs to any bodyweight exercise. For example, I am following the 100 pushups program for parallette pushups (parallettes are for gymnasts, and are a few inches higher than regular pushup handles, allowing for deeper pushups), for weighted squats (with 100 lb barbell), for bridges (favorite neck exercise of wrestlers and boxers) and for pullups. The programs recommend training 3 times a week. In the interim days I run on a treadmill for 30 min. at an incline of 2 degrees, trying to increase the pace each session by 0.1 mph. On Sundays, instead of running, I go swimming, and try to maintain the ability to swim 500m breaskstroke in less than 8 minutes (Navy SEALs goal). Since I’ve reached that goal, I make it more difficult by swimming freestyle a maximum distance (which I try to increase each session) before swimming the 500m breaskstroke. It is instructive and useful to aspire to reach not only Marines fitness goals, but also other units’ test goals (Marines Recon, Navy SEALs, Green Berets, Army Rangers, FBI agent, etc.—Google each). Good luck!

30 WEST September 4, 2009 at 6:43 am

The download banner is spelled incorrectly.. scored 228 on this test

31 Ninja R September 4, 2009 at 9:32 am

@ Francis: No, you don’t get extra points for exceeding the maximum time for the run. 100 points is the most you can receive for one event — if you’re going by the Marine Corps’ scoring system.

If you’re not, you could give yourself whatever extra points you want, but I figure that defeats the purpose. You’re obviously a great runner.

32 trigeek3 September 4, 2009 at 1:19 pm

A good way to map out a running route is to use Google Maps.
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/

33 AB01 September 4, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Thanks, trigeek3. I was looking for something just like that since I started jogging this Summer. 1.2828 miles for an easy run and 2.1827 miles for more serious nights. I can’t seem to get the program to work for trails. Just roads.

34 Rob September 5, 2009 at 10:33 pm

@AB01:

On gmap-pedometer, if you can see your trail from google map’s satellite view, you’re in luck. Just switch to that view, then change the “Draw Route” option on the left to “Manual.” Then just follow the trail. If your trail has lots of little twists and turns, it will be more tedious and take a little longer, but the good news is that you can always save the route to refer to later.

35 Smedley Butler September 8, 2009 at 12:58 am

Brad in the above post, is correct and pull up is with palms away, chin up is with palms towards you. Pull up is harder and therefore USMC standard for many decades. Since when did any Marine Corps physical test go for the easiest exercise? NEVER! DI’s of any era would deride anyone who was doing “chin ups” as a sissy…it’s easier and not the Marine Corps way. BTW, performing the USMC fitness test, which I still pass at 60, is in no way an indication of your ability to be a Marine. You have to earn it maggot!
And to Daetan Bayar Huck the above Marine Corps “officer candidate”, you are only and officer candidate and NOT A MARINE and I find it offensive that you attach this “Marine Corps Officer Candidate” to your posts all over the internet…so kindly request you stow the hubris and not let the sacred words “Semper Fidelis” pass your lips again until earn the right to utter them. Do not appropriate that which you do not own. We’ll be watching you. Count on it.

36 Zac September 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm

“I would do it palms facing towards you. It’s easier that way.” Taking the easy way out is never manly.

37 Chris Forkner September 13, 2009 at 10:19 am

There’s a lot of confusion going on here. Being a Sergeant and having been in the Marine Corps for 5 and a half years now, I’ll illuminate. While technically which way your palms face will change the exercise, we allow either or, a pull up or chin up, I personally do them with my palms outward. The CFT is a more accurate test on your overall physical condition. With the right training anyone can do well on a PFT, but being fit is something else, which is why the Marine Corps developed the CFT. Here’s a tip for your 3 mile run… To run well at three miles…run 6 miles.

Semper Fidelis

38 Gunny B1963 October 6, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Just did the PFT a few months ago. Ran a 17:14 worst time ever. I guess age is catching up with me and not training as hard , 20 dead hang pull ups and knocked out 100 crunches. Easy day. Now I am getting ready for the CFT. If I am not mistaken the PFT measures muscular endurance (crunches) and muscular strength (pull ups) and cardio endurance (3mile run).

39 Justin Wright January 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I’m hoping to take this test myself. I’ve been working out hard lately and hope to give this a shot.

40 Charlie January 27, 2010 at 8:34 am

I think the Army PT Test (APFT) is actually harder. We test on pushups and require full situps, not just crunches. Also, you could try the RPFT (Ranger PT Test), which includes pushup, pullup, situp, and a 5 mile run. HOOAH!

41 Shane January 27, 2010 at 1:19 pm

@ Charlie

Full sit ups when done fast and improperly (as they are in a fitness test or when training for the test) are bad for the back. Crunches mainly test the hip flexors and not necessarily abdominal endurance. Different exercises for different zones.

42 Britt April 3, 2010 at 9:47 pm

I decided to look through the archives and came across this. I find it amusing that I was at USMC Boot Camp when this post was released. Running was always my biggest issue. It’s amazing what 13 weeks can do for someone’s body.

43 Austin May 27, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Word of caution about the Iron Man Pullup bar — be VERY careful to use controlled form. I suffered a level 2 ankle sprain injury last week during training doing explosive pullups (pulling up as hard as possible to generate force), cheated on my form, and the bar accelerated up and back. It flew off the door and my ankle caught underneath the fall of my body weight. It was extremely painful.

44 Heisenberg June 15, 2010 at 6:52 pm

As a former Marine myself, I fully endorse this. But like the other Marines on here, allow me to clarify the pull-ups.
The terms ‘pull-up’ and ‘chin-up’ are/can be used interchangeably. I never once heard any Marine administering the test worry about which is which.
As for which one is harder, it solely depends on your conditioning at the moment. Granted underhand pull ups are easier if you don’t have much back strength, as they do concentrate your biceps more. However, overhand is much easer if you have really strong lats…and the stronger the lats, the wider grip you can use and the shorter the range of motion each rep is.
One thing the author and other Marines didn’t mention, is you can even switch grips mid test, but you have to stay on the bar, and you have to come to a dead hang. Meaning if you did 10 overhand, and want to do 10 underhand, come to a dead hang, switch grips, then commence. \
Oh, and you aren’t allowed to ‘kip’ (use legs for momentum) either.

@Charlie,
Whether or not the Army test is harder depends on who you ask. I personally think someone could work up to 50 (or even 100 pushups) well before they could work up to doing 20 pull ups.
And like Shane said, crunches isolate your abs. And sit-ups can easily be done sloppy which can wreak havoc on your neck and upper back. The Marine Corps used to do sit ups. They switched to crunches for a reason.

@Austin,
I would recommend the Perfect Pull-up bar system. It locks into brackets that you screw fasten to the inside of the threshold of the door of your choice. The bar is easily removed from the door if need be but rests there over your head if you decide to leave it there.

45 Dutch August 12, 2010 at 9:13 am

What am I not seeing here?

Class Age 17-26 Age 27-39 Age 40-45 Age 46+
1st 225 200 175 150
2nd 175 150 125 100
3rd 135 110 88 65
Minimum Fitness Requirements

The Department of the Navy has established minimum fitness requirements for all Marines depending on their age to ensure that they’re ready for combat. The minimum requirements below would give a soldier enough points to meet a class three standard.
Age Pull-Ups Crunches 3-Mile Run
17-26 3 50 28:00
27-39 3 45 29:00
40-45 3 45 30:00
>46+ 3 40 33:00

let’s say we take age 17-26:
3 pull ups 15 points
50 crunches 50 points
28 minutes 40 points
———————————–
105 points

Minimum for class 3 in that age group: 135???

Well it makes sense when I hear you guys have girl Marines too :)

Greetings,

Dutch Marine Corps veteran

Qua Patet Orbis

46 Seth August 14, 2010 at 8:35 am

true the minium adds to 105 but you need at least 135 to pass. it just means for each individual event you need that minimum but overall there is another minimum. and girls have a different test, they have a 3 mile run but more time is alotted, the same crunchs but they do a flexed arm hang not pull ups.

47 John November 3, 2012 at 4:33 am

I’m wondering if you are going to put the other fitness test the Marine Corps has. This is the physical fitness test, but we also do a combat fitness test that works on short bursts of high intensity stamina, strength and energy.

48 Grey man November 26, 2012 at 9:35 am

40 yr old

25 Chins (100 points)
98 Situps
21:50 run

275 points..

49 Joey January 29, 2013 at 6:06 am

24 years old, have been out of training for a while:

152 points,
6 chin / 58 crunches / 24:00.

Can only get better from here, great to have a (re)starting point.

50 John Eckert February 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Former marine turning 65 years old this year, have been a slacker for some years now. Left the fitness center and some of the younger guys were asking my age and some other things like had I been in the military. Yes, USMC. I told them we were running 3 miles in 18 minutes and they commented no way. My reply was when you are 21 years old that should be no problem and explained that a lot of physical training is mental, can do attitude. Just today I exceeded a 1.2 mile walk
in just 16 minutes, not bad for an old jarhead. Looking forward to 4 mile in an hour. Got to build up. Semper Fi to all Devil Dogs and Jarheads.

51 Greyson March 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Is the 3 mile run done with weights? If so, how many lbs?

52 isaiah October 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm

I can do every thing at this point in life im 16 but i have to work harder at the run i am at 13:47 minutes in 2 miles ill improve by recruting time

53 roland portocarrero January 4, 2014 at 5:28 pm

did 20 pullups, 100 crunches and still need to run the 3 mile im turning 17 in may and planning on joining either the navy or corps, the navy pushup section is harder than the marines pullup because i think 20 pullups in 2 minutes is easy compared to 92 pushups in 2 minutes for a perfect score for navy if you ask me, for running my mile time is a 7 so probably like a 28 haha not good but im a sprinter for track

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