Fitness YouTuber and former two-time Olympic track and field athlete Nick Symmonds has subjected himself to a number of military-inspired challenges on his channel lately, including taking on the Navy SEAL fitness test and going up against an Army infantryman in a fitness contest. In his latest video, Symmonds tries to complete both of the fitness screening tests that service members in the U.S. Marine Corps must complete each year.
Also participating are a number of active Marines, whose performance Symmonds will be trying to match or beat, including Corporal Kubinski, Lance Corporal Robles, Corporal Dofelice, Lance Corporal Anderson, Lance Corporal Chambliss and Staff Sergeant Madrigal.
They start with the U.S. Marine Corps physical fitness test (PFT), which consists of max pullups, a plank (which is in the process of officially replacing crunches in the PFT as a more realistic gage of core strength), and a 3-mile run.
Symmonds achieves the 21 pullups needed for a perfect score in the first round, then it’s time for the plank. “Truly one of my least favorite exercises,” he says. “And we need to go 3 minutes and 45 seconds to get a perfect score on this one.” Unfortunately, Symmonds reaches failure at 2:25, falling short of the perfect 100. “I just got my ass kicked,” he says. “Kids, don’t skip core day.”
In order to still get a passing score, Symmonds now has to finish the 3-mile run in 18 minutes. “I have run over 300,000 miles in my life,” he says. “The 3-mile never gets easy. It’s always a slugfest, it’s always grueling, and this is where you have to dig deep.”
He is ultimately successful, hitting the finish line in 17:50. But the challenge isn’t over: next up is the combat fitness test, comprising of three events: movement to contact (an all-out 800-meter run in standard issue boots), ammo can lift, and manoeuver under fire.
Both Symmonds and Kubinski land perfect scores on the 800-meter run with sub-2:50 times. In the ammo can lift, a variation of the overhead press, Symmonds has to lift a 30-pound can as many times as possible in 2 minutes, with more than 100 reps needed for a perfect score. He manages 98 in the allotted time, while Kubinski churns out 131.
The final portion of the test is the manoeuver under fire obstacle course, at which point Symmonds is more of a spectator than anything else. “I will do my best to hang on for dear life, but after five events my legs are jello,” he says.
“This is combat fitness, combat readiness,” Symmonds concludes. “I have trained with some of the most successful athletes in the world, and I can say unequivocally that the Marines I worked out with today are right up there with the best.”
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