My pullups, post-PFT…pre-PFT?

I talked to an anonymous Marine officer on recruiting detail about getting into OCS “these days.”  Apparently, with a recent glut of candidates, you OCS hopefuls can’t count on a >225 PFT, the passing grade, as your ticket in.

Some are estimating that with so many qualified candidates, anyone under a 275 isn’t going to be a lock.

You gotta do your pullups!

You gotta do your pullups!


Personally that was concerning (with my 266), but the good news for me was that my application was sent in too early, so I still have chances to redo my PFT.  Since I would have had a near-300 if my pullups were over 15 (75/100 possible points), I am working hardcore on my pullups.

The good news is, Yay!  I set a new personal record this week!  I got 19!  So I am pretty happy about that.  I could only do 10, 11 on a good day in a row last summer and now I’ve worked all the way up to 19.

Hope that’s motivational for you!


6 comments on “My pullups, post-PFT…pre-PFT?

  1. EJ says:

    Talking to a recruiter about OCS now- have not received any training packet… I am a 26 yo female, so how would you sugeest training for the pullups (armstrongs?)? I can currently do about 25 regular pushups, and a few chin ups (although i have no bars to practice on)… crunches are no problem and I’m sure I can train for 3 miles in 6 or so wks…suggestions?

  2. Candidate says:

    Hi EJ, for women you don’t have to do pull ups! The replacement event is a flexed arm hang. See here:

  3. Hey very nice blog!!….I’m an instant fan, I have bookmarked you and I’ll be checking back on a regular….See ya

    I’m Out! 🙂

  4. Candidate says:

    Thanks so much for the comment, man.

    If you have any specific questions I’d be happy to answer them for you.

    Semper Fi!!

    Lt Weeks

  5. Jess says:

    although you are a female and the PFT does not require you to do pull ups, the ocs pass rate for females is: 10% if you can’t do pull ups, can’t do a 70 second flex arm hang, 20% if you can’t do pull ups, can do a 70 sec flex arm hang, and a 70% PASS RATE for females who CAN do 1 dead hang pull up, and a 70 sec flex arm hang

  6. John says:

    Hi Lt Weeks,

    I’m currently workng on getting my pullup count up before my PFT (August or later) and I’m hoping to go to OCS next summer session (May 2011). I was wondering if you had any advise to impart to help get over the 20 rep mark. So far in my training I’m doing ok I’ve got 12 to 13 on a regular basis (non fatigued) and I seem to be getting stronger as I go. I’ve always liifted wieghts and ran put never put much thought into pullups. My problem currently is with the chin bar size at 6’4″ I have pretty big hands and the tiny 1″ bar at the gym gives me next to no traction on my hands durning a pullup. I have expirimented with larger diameter bars with good success and can do pullups using my core and bicep strength with the added traction almost indefinatly.

    Do you happen to know what size bar the Core uses? Also would you happen to have any advice to get my count higher on the smaller bar? Grip exersises maybe?

    Thanks in advance,


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