The U.S. Marine Corps physical fitness test is a popular challenge that has been undertaken by athletes like pro climber Magnus Midtbø, powerlifter Xavier Barkley, and bodybuilder Andy Perez. In his latest YouTube video, former Olympic medalist Nick Symmonds attempted the test, and was joined by a fellow runner and Olympian, Ryan Hall.
Hall made history in 2011 as the only American to complete the Boston Marathon in under 2 hours 5 minutes, but more recently has been on a body transformation journey, having taken up weightlifting; he’s now ripped and can pull 455 pounds in the deadlift.
The Marine Corps PFT has three components: strict pullups to failure, 2 minutes of crunches, and a 3-mile run.
They start with the pullups, and Hall goes first. A minimum of 5 reps is required, while 23 would constitute a perfect score. Hall maxes out at a respectable 20 reps (96 points), after needing to rest in a dead hang towards the end of his set. “I feel like my head’s going to explode,” he says immediately afterwards. Symmonds manages 19 reps (92 points).
Next up are the crunches, where a perfect score would be 110 reps in the 2 minute window. A passing score would be 70. Hall is on pace for a perfect score in the first minute, but then he begins to tire, and only makes it to 93 reps in his time. Symmonds, meanwhile, barely scrapes onto the board with 70 reps. “I’m so weak!” He screams after his set. “That’s so bad.”
The final round is the 3-mile run, which should be easy for two professional runners, right? Symmonds hits the finish line first, with Hall right behind him, at 18 minutes 25 seconds. This earns them both 97 points, and means Hall wins the challenge overall, with 268 points to Symmonds’ 230.
“It hurts so bad,” says Symmonds. “What a mistake.”
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