In his latest video, former Olympic runner Nick Symmonds tried a challenge which has destroyed plenty of other fitness YouTubers: the United States Army Physical Fitness Test.
Comprising 2 minutes of pushups, 2 minutes of situps and a 2-mile run, the test determines whether an individual has sufficient functional fitness to make it through basic training.
“I feel pretty good about the running,” he says. “I’m a little nervous about the other parts.”
Symmonds starts with the pushups, where he is required to do as many reps as he can to failure in a 2-minute window. He sets himself the target of 60 pushups, but soon begins to tire. “I still have tons of time, but every time I go back to the floor to do a pushup, I just can’t do it, my arms are completely dead,” he says. “I’m a little bit embarrassed, I actually thought I would be better at the pushup event.”
He eventually maxes out at 55 reps. “It’s not even a time issue, it’s just I got so tired after that first set, I couldn’t quite get that speed going again,” he says.
Next up are the situps, where the goal is the same; as many reps as possible in 2 minutes. “I have a feeling these challenges get harder and harder as you go,” he says. He reaches 56 situps in the allotted time, beating his situps by one rep — and the PFT is really taking its toll now. “Oh my god, that hurt,” he says. “Why are we doing this?”
The final round of the test is the 2-mile run. As a distance runner, Symmonds pretty much has this one in the bag, and puts out 8 even-paced laps of the track, finishing at 11 minutes 54 seconds.
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His final score, according to the official PFT calculator, is 255 out of 300. That’s sufficient to get him through basic training, as well as for “maintenance” fitness, but not quite enough to earn him the badge that is given to soldiers with a score of 270 or above.
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