Marine Corps Initial Strength Test

When you first ship off to boot camp, you’ll be required to do an Initial Strength Test to make sure you are ready to begin training. This is the same test given to you by your recruiter before you enlisted. However, at boot camp, your performance is going to be hindered by lack of sleep, constant stress by your receiving drill instructor, and the culture shock of being in an entirely different world.

If you barely pass the IST to ship out to boot camp, chances are that you won’t be able to complete it once you get there. Then you’ll get sent to a physical conditioning platoon that will lengthen your stay in boot camp. Even if you decide you don’t want to stay, at that point, you won’t have a choice. It may be six months to a year before recruits who aren’t fit for training are discharged and sent home. Think about it: do you really want to spend that long at boot camp? I hope the answer is no. Better to prepare now.

The minimum requirements to pass the Marine Corps Initial Strength Test are:


Pull-ups: 2
Crunches (2min): 35
1.5 mile run: 13:30


Flexed-arm hang: 12 seconds
Crunches (2min): 35
1.5 mile run: 15:00

Again, if you are working to the bare minimum, boot camp is really going to suck. I did 14 pull-ups during my initial strength test at my recruiting center, but in boot camp receiving, I could only complete 6. Keep in mind that the first night you are at boot camp, you will not be able to sleep. You’ll spend the entire night filling out paperwork, getting your head shaved, and being constantly stressed by drill instructors. The following day you will spend doing more of the same, and won’t be able to sleep until the next night.

Wrk to get the highest score you can. The IST is only the beginning. To graduate Marine Corps recruit training, you will have to pass the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) which includes a 3-mile run. Strong recruits make strong Marines. Get on it!

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