Anyone who has ever attempted to complete the Marine Corps PFT will tell you that it is no easy task. Completing the test is challenging enough by itself, let alone attempting to earn a perfect 300 PFT score.
To earn a perfect score, a Marine must execute 20 dead hang pull-ups/chin-ups, 100 crunches in 2 minutes or less, and a 3-mile run in 18 minutes or less. Anyone that could achieve 300 points on this test is a true warrior-athlete. It is a balance between upper body strength and cardiovascular strength.
The Army PFT is different and challenging as well. The APFT consists of push-ups, sit-ups, and a 2-mile run. A Soldier maxes it by executing 75 push-ups in 2 minutes or less, 80 sit-ups in 2 minutes or less, and a 2-mile run in 13:00 minutes or less.
These standards are relative to the age group they belong in, in this case 21-26 year olds.
Now that we have a basic overview of each PFT, let’s take a look at how well they stack up against each other. As you read on I want to pose the following questions. Which PFT is more challenging? If you earn a 300 on one, would you able to earn the same score on the other? Which one produces the better warrior-athlete?
Pull-Ups VS Push-Ups
Hands down the Marine Corps pull-ups are more challenging than the Army push-ups. The exercise itself is simply tougher to execute. The pull-ups are especially more challenging for the taller and muscle bound Marines. It is safe to say that if you can do a pull-up, chances are that you can probably do a push-up, but I wouldn’t say the same for the contrary. When you execute a pull-up, you are moving your entire body weight as opposed to moving only your upper body weight during a push-up.
To support this statement, let us take a look at the primary muscles that each exercise targets:
|Latissimus Dorsi (Lats)||Abdominals||Triceps|
As we can see, both exercises share a lot of similarities. I am willing to stick my neck out there and say that training to do Pull-Ups can make you effective in doing Push-Ups and vice versa, but due to the amount of weight being moved in the Pull-Up it would be more effective.
Crunches VS Sit-Ups
This event belongs to the Army. The sit-ups are a bit more challenging to complete than the crunches. Although a Soldier only needs to do 80 sit-ups instead of 100 crunches, the range of motion of the sit-up is a bit longer. The Marine Corps crunch has a very short range of motion. It would be challenging for a Marine to execute 80 full sit-ups if the Marine is struggling with 100 crunches.
Which is better you say? It depends on your physical condition and your fitness goals. A crunch is generally better to develop your abs while the sit-up is better for your core strength.
3-Miles VS 2-Miles
No contest, this one belongs to the Marine Corps. Marines need to run further and faster to max out. A Marine has to run a mile in an average of 6 minutes per mile for 3-miles. On the other hand a Soldier gets a full 30 seconds longer per mile, and only needs to run 2.
In conclusion, a Marine should fair quite well on the Army PFT, while a Soldier may struggle quite a bit because of the pull-ups and the longer run. I will personally put this claim to the test. I hope that you enjoyed reading this article. Please let us know what you think in the comments… Nothing like a little friendly rivalry!