Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
Brace yourselves, the physical fitness test season is approaching. After a well-deserved rest during the holidays, Marines return to base with new resolve and begin preparing for the PFT. However, the new year brings change for female Marines with the implementation of ALMAR 046/12.
In 2013, female Marines will be given the option of replacing their flexed arm hang with pull-ups for the PFT. The new year is only a transitional period to 2014, when the pull-ups will become a mandatory part of the PFT for all Marines.
This change in the PFT also means a change in how we train and the first step is getting out there and doing it.
The best exercise to raise your pull-up proficiency is pull-ups, said Eric Hollis, high intensity tactical training coordinator, West Gym and Fitness Center. Doing multiple sets of pull-ups with a maximum number of repetitions on each set will help build the necessary muscle groups that Marines use when doing the pull-up.
Take a day of rest to help heal the muscles and hit the bars again. Try to beat your personal record. Doing negatives, where you start at the top and lower yourself down as slowly as possible, can add additional strengthening in your training program.
If Marines are having difficulty doing one, try assisted pull-ups. Marines can use rubber bands or partner together to help push each other as they complete regular or negative pull-ups.
The standard set for female Marines is a minimum of three pull-ups to pass the PFT and a maximum of eight to score 100 points on the event.