Fit Enough To Work? Ask The Marines!

The question about being fit enough to work is ever present in our Engineering discussions in the office as well as with clients.  Time moves along and it is easy enough to think you are fit while in actuality you are living a bit more of a sedentary lifestyle.  Aat Walker Engineering we decided that we should use an actual fitness test to give us a metric for how fit we were as well as simply chart progress to becoming more fit.

So today, on inspiration from a popular book, we’re going to give ourselves a gut check by 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.

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.

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