Royal Marines vs US Marines, Who’s fitter?
The Royal Marines and US Marines may have a similar name, but their fitness requirements are fairly different.
US Marines – This is a tough one. The first aspect of the test is an untimed pull up test, you receive a score based on how many pull ups you can physically do before dropping off the bar.
Afterwards you are given a 2 minute time limit to do as many abdominal crunches as physically possible. Afterwards you will have to run a 3 mile run in under 28 minutes. The absolute minimum requirements are actually quite low to pass the test though – you only need to perform 3 pull ups in total and 50 crunches within a 2 minute window. If you’re older exceptions are made for your run time and the amount of crunches you should be able to do.
Royal Marines –
The royal marines fitness test is incredibly intense. It begins with two 2.4km runs with a minute rest between each. The first run must be completed in under 12 minutes as part of a group. The second run must be completed in under 10 minutes (yes, they increase the difficult for the second half instead of decrease it). This is to ensure that you absolutely have the endurance to perform like this comfortably. The next stage is the ever dreaded “bleep test”. Two large painted lines on the gym floor are spaced 20 meters apart. You must run to the opposite line whenever you hear the machine bleep. If you fail to make it before another bleep goes off then you finish at that level. Levels are assigned based on the frequency of the beeps, with level 1 being slow and level 11 (which is the minimum pass requirement) being moderately quick.
As many press ups as possible must be performed within a 2 minute window, the maximum amount of points can be obtained by carrying out 60 press ups in 2 minutes.
Sit ups are also performed, 85 in 2 minutes grants you the maximum amount of points.
Afterwards you must complete 8 full overhead grasping pull ups on a wooden beam, this will test your grip strength and upper body strength/endurance.
As the royal marines are sea based warriors, swimming is also assessed. A dive is conducted from a diving platform 3 meters up. followed by 200m worth of breaststrokes and a deep dive to pick up a rubber brick from the deep end of the pool.
Why Are The Requirements So Drastically Different?
Effectively, the Royal Marines could be considered ‘special forces’, they have a very unique and specialised role and as such they require unique and specialised training. To be able to complete this training you need to have a similarly unique level of strength and endurance. If you are unable to complete the fitness test for the Royal Marines it is very likely you could become hurt or seriously injured during training. Whilst this may be the case to a lesser extent for ALL forms of fitness tests in the military, it is doubly so for when preparing for any kind of regiment or unit with such a specific and critical role.