Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test: How Do You Stack Up?

by Nate Alexander on November 10, 2009

Eagle Globe and Anchor USMCToday marks the 234th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  This Band of Brothers is known for battlefield prowess and physical readiness at all times. As a former Marine, I have fond memories of Physical Fitness Testing. In honor of the Marines, I thought I’d share with you  how Marines are tested.  If you are up to the challenge you can  see how you measure up to The Few, The Proud, The Marines.

The Basic PFT: The Marine Corps Fitness Benchmark

The “PFT” or Physical Fitness Test is the benchmark by which Marines are tested for physical preparedness. Marines are not only measured to be physically capable but it also is factored in with academics for promotions. This test is comprised of three components: a three mile run, a maximum set of dead hang pullups and a 2 minute timed set of maximum crunches. The order in which these are done is completely random, though I’ve always done them pullups first, situps second and the run last. This works well for keeping your energy levels up for all three events.

Standards for the Pullups:

Top position of the pullup

Top position of the pullup

This is a dead hang pullup, meaning you can’t use any momentum like a kipping pullup or butterfly pullup. All the way up chin over the bar and all the way down to straight elbows at the bottom. You complete as many pullups as you can without letting go and dropping off the bar. If you drop, you are done with the pullup test.

The goal is a maximum of 20 pullups for a perfect score. Each pullup is worth 5 points for 100 total.

Women testing standards are different. The “Flexed Arm Hang” is performed which is a static hold at the top position of the pullup. A maximum time of 70 seconds is a top score.

Standards for the Crunches:

Start out lying flat on your back, knees bent. Someone can hold your feet or not, its up to you. Cross your arms over your chest and keep them in contact with your chest/ribcage as you crunch up and touch your thighs with your arms. Return to the bottom, shoulder blades touching the ground.  Repeat as many complete crunches as you can in a 2 minute time period, note your count for score. Each crunch counts as 1 point for a maximum of 100 points.

Three Mile Run Time

This was my least favorite. As a matter of fact, I really didn’t look forward to the run but this is necessary to test endurance that is so vital to military readiness.  This test is pretty simple, run 3 miles as fast as possible.  Men can get a top score of 18:00, women 21:00.

Not all Scoring is Equal

The scoring is scaled for age. Top scores vary by age and gender. Perfect run time scores are faster for younger Marines and adjusted higher for older Marines.

Here is the Official Marine Corps Bulletin outlining the PFT. You can see the table showing the score breakdowns on Appendix G.

If you would like to run a PFT and see how you measure up, be sure to use the guidelines I gave you above. Keep track of your results and you can plug them in to this online calculator to get your Marine PFT Score.

There you have it! This is the  test that every United States Marine must do. See how you measure up. Its a great workout to do a  PFT, check your score and then train to improve and beat your score every few weeks.

Feel free to share your comments and scores in the comment section!

Happy Birthday Marines. Semper Fidelis!

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