Marines Physical Fitness Test: How to Prepare

September 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Physical Fitness

Article by Bryant Towell

Marines Physical Fitness Test: How to Prepare – Health

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The Marines Physical Fitness Test is the toughest among the branches in the United States military. You need to score well on the Marine physical fitness test whether you are a recruit or active duty. A great score on the PFT is essential for recruits to make it through Boot Camp, and it is even more important for officer candidates to be accepted into Officer Candidate School. For enlisted Marines, promotion also hinges on a first-class score. Here are some tips on how to prepare for the Marines physical fitness test.

Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are the most difficult exercise in the Marine physical fitness test, but they also present the greatest opportunity for score improvement. Each component of the PFT is worth 100 points, and a perfect score on pull-ups requires 20 repetitions. That means each pull-up is worth five points!

If you struggle with pull-ups and cannot do at least 10, you need to quickly build up your strength. This is best accomplished by doing pull-ups each and every day. Not every set needs to be an all-out effort, though. In fact, it is more productive to constantly practice good form by doing sets of 5 or 6. Do 10 or more of these “easy” sets per day, and you will quickly build up the strength to do 10 or more without letting go of the bar.

If you can already do 10 or more pull-ups, you should try increasing your overall strength by adding weight with a chain belt or weight vest. Using extra resistance can be much more effective than simply practicing with your body weight all the time. Once you take the weight off, your own body will feel lighter, and getting 20 reps will be far easier.

Sit-Ups

Most Marines joke that the sit-up portion of the physical fitness test is a “gift” from the Corps because it is so easy. In fact, many recruiting offices require their recruits to score perfect with 100 sit-ups before they will allow them to ship to Boot Camp.

Still, sit-ups require practice. You can quickly build up the endurance to perform 100 in the two minute time limit, but you can also easily lose it if you slack in your training. An easy way to get your sit-ups in is to do them every morning and night. If you can already do 100, then always do 100. If you can’t, perform as many repetitions as you can, rest a few seconds, and repeat until you get to 100.

Running

The Marine Physical Fitness Test has the longest run of any of the US military’s basic tests – 3 miles for time. A perfect score is a very fast 18:00, and the slowest time allowed is 28:00. Anything over 24:00 is considered very slow, however.

The run is also the hardest portion of the test, even for seasoned runners. The best way to practice is the simplest. You must run, run, and run some more. Don’t use treadmills or other machines at the gym, and run on the actual path you will test on if possible. Cross-training with wind sprints or hill-sprints can be helpful, but don’t neglect simple running on flat ground.

Weight Loss

The Marines physical fitness test is particularly difficult for heavier Marines, even those who are lean and muscular. If you are having trouble with your pull-ups and run time, you may need to lose weight through strict dieting and increased training volume.

About the Author

The Marines Physical Fitness Test is the toughest among the branches in the United States military. You need to score well on the Marine physical fitness test whether you are a recruit or active duty.

Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

Bryant Towell



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The Marines Physical Fitness Test is the toughest among the branches in the United States military. You need to score well on the Marine physical fitness test whether you are a recruit or active duty.












Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

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