United States Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test
The United States Marine Corps requires that all Marines perform a Physical Fitness Test (PFT) and a Combat Fitness Test (CFT) once per fiscal year. Each test must have an interval of 6 months (same standards apply for reservists). The PFT ensures that Marines are keeping physically fit and in a state of physical readiness. It consists of pull-ups, crunches and a 3-mile run for males. For females it consists of flexed arm hang, crunches and a 3-mile run.
On 1 October 2008 the Marine Corps introduced the additional pass/fail Combat Fitness Test (CFT) to the fitness requirements. The CFT is designed to measure abilities demanded of Marines in a war zone.
Pull-up or Flexed arm hang
The standard Marine Corps pull-up begins at the "dead-hang" with arms locked out and the body hanging motionless. A successful pull-up is performed without excess motion, the body rising until the chin is above the bar, and body lowered back to the "dead-hang" position.
Changes in grip during the chinning are allowed as long as the feet don't touch the ground and only the hands come in contact with the pull-up bar. There is no time limit. Both an overhand (pronated) and underhand (supinated) hold on the bar can be used.
Until January 1, 2014, female Marines will continue to perform the flexed hang instead of the pull-up. The flexed hang is started with the chin above the pull-up bar. The timer is started and does not stop until the arms become fully extended. The feet may not touch the ground or any part of the pull-up bar at any time.
The Marine Corps had originally indicated that, as of January 1, 2014, female Marines would be required to perform a minimum of three (3) pull-ups in order to pass the PFT. However, in November 2013 it was announced that the Marine Corps would delay the implementation of the policy and that the option of doing pullups or the flexed-arm hang, “will continue into calendar year 2014.” Marine Corps officials want to further evaluate and validate the assumption that pullups are an appropriate metric for assessing upper-body strength in all Marines, said Lt. Col. Neil Murphy, a Marine spokesman at the Pentagon. In the meantime, the Marine Corps is encouraging women to continue training under the assumption that pullups will become the standard measure of physical fitness. According to Lt. Col. Murphy “...further assessment is expected to last into [calendar year 2014]. However, a final timetable has not been established.”
Crunches are executed with the feet flat on the ground together or 12 inches apart (whichever is more comfortable), knees bent at a 90 degree angle, and arms on the ribcage or chest. One crunch is completed when the upper body is lifted until both arms touch the thighs and then lowered until the shoulder blades touch the ground. The arms must be in constant contact with the chest or rib cage; the buttocks must be in constant contact with the ground. The exercise is performed with the heels of the feet kept in constant contact with the ground. The Marine is given two minutes to complete as many crunches as possible.
The Marine runs three miles on reasonably flat ground. (Actual distance may vary slightly.)
Marine Corps PFTs are scored the following way for males:
- Pull-ups: Each complete pull-up is worth 5 points up to a maximum of 100 points (20 pull-ups). Additional pull-ups beyond 20 are not counted and do not add to the score.
- Crunches: Each completed crunch is worth 1 point up to a maximum of 100 points. Any crunches completed after the two-minute time limit are not counted and do not add to the score.
- Three mile run: A perfect score of 100 points is achieved by completing the run in less than 18 minutes. One point is deducted from the score for each additional ten seconds that it takes to complete the run. Completing the run in less than 18 minutes does not add to the score.
Marine Corps PFTs are scored the following way for females:
- Flex-arm hang: The maximum score of 100 points is achieved when the recruit maintains the flex-arm hang for 70 seconds. The clock is stopped when the recruit drops off the bar or the arms become fully extended. The chin at no time is allowed to touch the bar. The score is calculated by subtracting the actual hang time in seconds from the maximum hang time (70 seconds) and deducting two points for each second of difference. It is important to note, however, that the flex-arm hang will no longer be a part of the Marine Corps PFT as of January 1, 2014 (see ALMAR 046/12).
- Crunches: Each completed crunch is worth 1 point up to a maximum of 100 points. Any crunches completed after the two-minute time limit are not counted and do not add to the score. (Note: This is the only event that is scored identically to the male event.)
- Three mile run: A perfect score of 100 points is achieved by completing the run in less than 21 minutes. One point is deducted from the score for each additional ten seconds that it takes to complete the run. Completing the run in less than 21 minutes does not add to the score.
Maximums and minimums
To earn a perfect PFT score of 300 points, a male must do 20 pull-ups, 100 crunches in less than two minutes, and complete the three mile run in 18 minutes or less. A female perfect score is 70 seconds on the flexed arm hang, 100 crunches, and a 21 minute three mile run. Marines who score above a 285 receive certifications as an award for their higher than average fitness.
|Age||Pull-Ups||Flexed Arm Hang||Crunches||3-Mile Run|
The minimum a 17 to 26 year old male Marine must complete are 3 pull-ups, 50 crunches, and a 28 minute 3-mile run. The minimum a female Marine in the same age group must complete are 15 seconds on a flexed arm hang, 50 crunches and a 31 minute 3-mile run. Note that merely completing the minimum in each category is not sufficient for passing the test (i.e., one must achieve a passing score and complete at least the minimum in each category in order to pass the test).
- "CHANGES TO THE MARINE CORPS PHYSICAL FITNESS PROGRAM". 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
- "MARINE CORPS PHYSICAL FITNESS PROGRAM" (PDF). 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
- "CHANGE TO THE PHYSICAL FITNESS TEST". 2012-11-27. Retrieved 2013-03-19.