Marine PFT Question

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by newhampshirecandidate, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. newhampshirecandidate

    newhampshirecandidate Member

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    I recently took the Marine PFT for the Marine-Option NROTC Scholarship, and to put it bluntly I did terrible. 7 pullups, 65 crunches, 24:00 3 mile run. I have a few questions after completing the test.

    Most Importantly: Can we retake the PFT later in the summer to try and improve?

    If yes, clearly I would need to work VERY hard to improve. I found the Armstrong Pullup Program and I plan to begin that this week to increase my pullups, but I was wondering if anyone has tried the program, and if so, is it really as good as it claims?
    My thoughts for the run were to just run everyday, and also to start doing the runs in my boots, that way the 3 miles in sneakers would seem easier. Does anybody have any better idea for me to try?
    As for crunches, I don't know that there's any program or anything like that to improve, but my plan was to just do as many situps and other ab workouts as I can every day to improve. I'm sure that as I get into better shape this will likely improve a lot, but as with the run, does anybody have a better idea?

    If I cannot retake the test, then I guess I'm out of options for this year, but I'll continue training harder nonetheless.
     
  2. Packer

    Packer Member

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    On the running get with your schools cross country coach and ask for help. If they do summer training ask to train with them.
     
  3. bsherman92

    bsherman92 Member

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    I prefer the Recon Ron pull-up routine to Armstrong. Simply follow the chart: perform the number of reps specified in each column for each week. Some users prefer to perform each week's reps twice because one week may not be enough to increase the number of maximum reps.

    http://webpages.charter.net/bert/reconron.html
     
  4. AVT

    AVT USAFA 2015

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    I saw Recon Ron's program printed and attached to a wall by a pull up bar.
    I've been doing the program for a few weeks now.
     
  5. pilot2b

    pilot2b Candidate Appointee

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    The Marine Captain who is the XO for my district let me and several others retake the pft when I applied for M.O. NROTC last year. It helped me to improve my score by 20 points. I imagine you could ask your XO if it would be possible to retake the pft. Assuming the answer is yes, make sure to give yourself as much time as possible in which to work on your pullups, situps, and running. There are typically 2 boards for the Marines: the first is usually in November and the second is in February. If I were you, I'd try to take the pft again sometime in September.

    For myself, I used p90x ab ripper (with my own additional ab workouts right after the dvd), but any exercise that really works that core area will help. Remember, the Marines do situps with their arms across their chests, holding their biceps. You might want to practice doing it that way as opposed to holding your hands behind your head. It's a little bit harder.

    I've never used the Armstrong pullup workout, but I have friends who have given it two thumbs up. For myself, one method I used was to place a pullup bar next to stairs in my house that I go up and down a couple dozen times a day. Every time I went up the stairs I did X number of pullups (the number went up over time) and every time I went down I did X number of chinups (reminder: pullups= palms facing out and chinups= palms facing towards you). The Marines allow you to do either pullups or chinups during the pft, so find the one that works best for you and work especially hard on that one.

    As far as running goes, you've got the right idea in simply running every day several miles. I might also add in some wind sprints to help your lung capacity. I wouldn't advise running in boots though. It'll make your legs move faster when you put on sneakers, however, it could also put you at greater risk of getting shin splints or some other injury that could hinder your training.

    Best of luck to you! :thumb:
     
  6. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    newhampshirecandidate: I suspect you can retake the PFT. This is really an important discussion with the Officer handling your application. Let him know you don't want to submit the packet yet - that you want to improve your score. In fact, this is probably a critical discussion as he needs to see your commitment and dedication to improving. He will have input on the application.

    Sometimes they have potential applicants work out with the local recruiting office Marines (who often run PT programs for poolees). You will need to do a lot more on your own, but this could show interest, drive, etc.

    By my calculations, you scored a 164 out of 300 in the PFT. This is a 3rd class score and - all things being equal - will not make you competitive. You really want to obtain a 1st class score (which I think is 225+). In my opinion, Pull-ups (5 points each) is where you can really improve and gain points. I would also think you could achieve the max crunch of 100 pretty quickly. Running is tougher to improve upon but will improve after lots of miles and work. Maxing your pull ups and sit ups and retaining the 24:00 min run would get you to a 264/300 which is very respectable.

    Don't forget that the application is a combination of academics, leadership, interview and PFT. You need to be highly competitive in each area.

    Good luck!
     
  7. newhampshirecandidate

    newhampshirecandidate Member

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    Packer: Thanks for the advice, I actually got the XC coach's email from one of my friends on the team and sent him an email explaining my situation and asking for help.

    bsherman and AVT: I found the Recon Ron Program so I'll have to look more in depth and see which one I think would suit me better, but thanks for the extra source for advice!

    pilot: Thanks to you too for answering the question about even being able to retake the test. As far as abs go I think that's also something that the school XC coach could help with, or the friends I have who are on the team because they're all in phenomenal shape. As far as running with boots, I got that advice from a former Marine, and they are Army-issue boots, not like hiking boots or anything like that. But I'll definitely make sure to take it carefully in them so that I don't get hurt and set myself back.

    USMCGrunt: You are correct about my score and a first class score. I'm planning on using either of the pullup programs advised to try and get as close to 20 as I can, and I plan on running, running, running, and then running some more. I feel like just getting into better shape would make the crunches easier (not that I won't be doing extra ab workouts though) and my goal for retaking it is to try and max the pullups and situps and get into the 22:00 minute range for the run.

    Thanks to all for the advice!
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Don't just do distance running. Do sprints and intervals. Also, work on overall fitness as well. Cross train. My DS would run two miles to a place he could do some indoor rock climbing, and then ran two miles home when he prepped to retake the PFT. He also ran intervals. The rock climbing really helped improve his pullups and the intervals seemed to help his run time. Of course he didn't get a scholarhsip either but I don't think it was his PFT scores. :smile:

    Also, keep up with your fitness throughout your senior year. You can always do the prgram without a scholarship and apply for an in-school scholarship. DS's PFT scores are now 300. I'm counting on him getting a scholarhsip during his sophmore year. He better, because I'm retiring in 10 days!
     
  9. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Be careful not to confuse low body fat (revealing the abs by reducing the fat deposit on top of them) with core strength necessary for PFT sit-ups. There is a HUGE difference between have a "six pack" because of a low body-fat content (which is typical of many track/distance athletes), and having core strength. You can have a very defined small six pack due to (male) 8% body fat, but not be able to do well on the PFT test for situps.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  10. newhampshirecandidate

    newhampshirecandidate Member

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    I understand the difference between actual an strength and, as my very skinny friend calls it, a "skin-pack." But our schools X-C runners basically eat, run, sleep, and do core workouts and they have real an strength so I feel they could help me out. Thanks for clarifying though.
     
  11. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    newhampshirecandidate: We have kind of gotten away from your original question. You asked: "Most Importantly: Can we retake the PFT later in the summer to try and improve?"

    Let us know what you find out so future candidates can benefit from your experience.
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    They definitely let you retake it. My DS did and I know of many others from past threads who did as well.
     
  13. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    NH - Sound advice on here. I am a former USMC Officer and taken the PFT I don't know how many times. USMCGrunt has it right, the easiest way to improve your score from a points perspective is pullups. Work to max our your crunches. Realistically I would shoot to double your pullups, max situps and work to get down towards a 21 minute 3 miles. With some work over the next 2-3 months this is all attainable. Follow your cross country coaches advice on rest and recovery. That is important factor in any training. Also, ditch the boots, wear your sneakers. Don't want extra injuries.
     

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