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.
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.
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:
|Class||Age 17-26||Age 27-39||Age 40-45||Age 46+|