Marines change pull up standards for women

| November 29, 2012

Over the last few days we’ve been discussing how women want to be like men, as far as their occupational endeavors in the combat arms field. I know a few of you mentioned that the USMC was changing their fitness requirements and here’s the Marine Corps Times on that;

[T]he Marine Corps has spent nearly two years evaluating the restrictions it places on women, with an eye toward breaking down longstanding barriers where possible. Within the last year, for instance, officials have opened to female Marines dozens of jobs in tank and artillery units, among others previously the province of men only.

So, it looks like the Marine Corps is doing away with the “flex arm hang” for females – pulling herself up for a half pull up and staying there for as long as she can. They’re going to make women do an actual pull up. Yeah, big news, big change.

That study of 318 female Marines found that, on average, they could perform 1.63 pull-ups. More than 21 percent performed at least three, and 37 percent performed at least three when lower-body movement — a banned practice frequently known as “kip” — was allowed.

I’ve got news for you – women can do more than a half of a pull up. When I was an ROTC TAC NCO, I usually had the first platoon of the first rotation at Advanced Camp which was packed with Airborne candidates who would ship off to jump school after their six weeks with me, so I made everyone do ten pull ups before they could get in the messhall (including myself). The first week or so, the women would need assistance – but then so did the men, but after the third week of doing ten pull ups three times everyday, everyone was doing them just fine. I think they needed to do seven to get into jump school. Funny how that works – if you train for something properly, you can do anything.

Men aren’t built for situps like women are, but they make us do them anyway, and there’s no “men’s sit ups”, like there are “women’s pushups”, are there? So we have to train harder at it than women have to train. That’s life.

Category: Marine Corps

Comments (12)

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  1. BooRadley says:

    Poor Quincy. She’s up to 50 secs on that damn arm hang. 70 is a perfect score. I think this is a good decision- but remember USMC has an initial strength test that you pass or go home the first week.

  2. Ex-PH2 says:

    This is like saying girls can’t do triple axel jumps, which is incorrect. Midori Ito landed them in the 1988 Olympics, and there was a competition going on in 2006 between Kim Meissner and Mao Asada. And there was also the always-infamous Tonya Harding.

    OK, so what’s the difference between men and women for situps? And don’t give me that crap about ‘we have bigger butts’ business, either. That is SO lame.

    Explain, please, because if I go to a weight lifting/body building gym, I will run into men engaging in the competitive sport of ‘I can do more than you can, you pussy’.

  3. Jonn Lilyea says:

    Well,‘we have bigger butts’ is about right. Women have their center of gravity in their hips, whereas men’s center of gravity is in their shoulders, so we’re lifting more of a percentage of our weight with situps than women. It’s a mechanical thing.

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    I keep trying. I mean, I really keep trying to not go off the deep end on those physical differences between men and women, I keep slamming into that “bigger body parts” thing and everything just goes downhill from there.

    However, considering the large percentage of men in the military that I’ve run into/worked with who had testicles for brains, I truly thought that maybe the male difficulty in doing situps had something to do with that.

    Uh-oh, off the deep end again. Sorry about that. Seems like I just can’t win, but I’ll keep trying.

    Maybe I should stick to trying to differentiate between jerkery and assholery.

  5. COB6 says:

    I would sure hate to throw a track in a tank with a crew full 1.63 pull-up folks.

    Or be in a chalk full of paratroopers who couldn’t pull a riser if their life depended on it…ow wait, your life does kinda depend on it and we let them do it anyway.

  6. Flagwaver says:

    It’s funny, I am working with a girl now to prep her for Marine Officer Training. Last month, she couldn’t do a single pull up. Working for an hour and a half per day, she has shaved her 3 mile run time down to 40 minutes from 60 and can do 10 pull ups unassisted. She signs final paperwork in 6 months…

    Want to know how to better your PT performance? ACTUALLY PT!!!

    Most of the McGeneration wants the standards lowered because it is too hard. Well, screw them. If they would put down the X-Box controller and go for a run every now and then, they wouldn’t be too fat-bodied for service and might actually pass their PT test by more than a hair.

  7. Ex-PH2 says:

    So what you’re saying, Flagwaver, is that a daily training regimen of 10 mile runs fully loaded, carrying weapons (and maybe some energy snacks) and all your other stuff is a normal routine?

    Not being sarcastic, just inquiring about this.

  8. OWB says:

    @ #7: Everyone I’ve known who went for some sort of specialized training requiring physical stamina, strength, or other such attributes did exactly that in preparation for their training. Male or female, it sure helps to prepare for the rigors of training.

  9. beretverde says:

    The ruck is the equalizer among men.

  10. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    “Working for an hour and a half per day, she has shaved her 3 mile run time down to 40 minutes from 60.” Hey Flag. Adults walk about 3 miles per hour! Good luck.

  11. Redacted1775 says:

    Women Marines are fighting for this. General Amos is giving them what they want. Not sure what the problem is here.

  12. Eric says:

    Which means that Female Soldiers (Army) should be doing more than 18 push-ups to pass at 17-21. Sit-ups is the same for both in the Army, but the run times are also skewed by a few minutes.

    And yes, scientifically speaking, women have a lower center of gravity, stronger hips, etc., because of the ability to carry children and give birth. Men have to do more push-ups, so women should have to do more sit-ups. In my experience, females in good shape could easily out-do male Soldiers in the sit-up event. A female in my AIT class did 117 and wasn’t even tired, just ran out of time. She was in excellent shape of course, but how many males do 100+ sit-ups for the APFT without even getting tired?

    Of course, the Army recognized long ago that sit-ups needed to be changed to another type of exercise because it can be bad for you, and that R&D thing is working right on schedule 15ish years later and still no new APFT for the Army.