This year, the Marine Corps set out to make Marines stronger, faster and generally more fit by raising the service’s physical fitness test standards, and it appears that they succeeded.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jesus Sepulveda Torres

This year, some significant changes to the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test went into effect — tougher standards, new exercises, a revamped sliding grade scale based on age, and more stringent requirements for a top score. As Task & Purpose previously reported, the aim was to make the test more challenging — and the data, as well as feedback from Marines who recently ran the test, indicate that the service may have succeeded.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jesus Sepulveda Torres

The U.S. Marine Corps set out to make its Physical Fitness Test more challenging this year, and initial records obtained by Task & Purpose suggest they’ve succeeded.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jesus Sepulveda Torres

A lot of changes hit the Marine Corps’ annual physical fitness test this year: a sliding point scale based on age; pull-ups for female Marines; a rowing option for those over 46; swap push-ups for pull-ups; and the chance to take the test more than once. Task & Purpose reached out to some of the devil dogs who recently took the PFT to find out how the changes are impacting their performances.

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Photo courtesy of Michael Eckert

When it comes to crushing the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test, it’s all about the pull-ups. Sure, if you can lope along like a gazelle and snag an 18-minute three-mile-run, you’re well on your way to a perfect score, but you still need to max out on pull-ups. With the Marine Corps’ new PFT changes, men between 21 and 35 will need 23 pull-ups for a perfect score, while women of the same age will need between nine or 10.

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