Physical fitness is a big part of life in the Navy. It’s required. To ensure the fleet stays mission ready, each sailor regularly takes the Physical Readiness Test to make sure they can meet the physical demands of military service.
The Navy plans to introduce two important changes to the PRT in the second half of 2020. The goal of changing Navy PRT components is to improve the physical performance of sailors while reducing their risk of injury.
How the Navy PRT works
What is the Navy Physical Readiness Test? The PRT measures muscular endurance and aerobic capacity. It also includes a body composition assessment measuring height/weight, abdominal circumference and body fat. The PRT is conducted twice a year for all active-duty and reserve sailors, and recruits at boot camp are also tested.
The PRT has three events: curl-ups, push-ups and a 1.5 mile timed run. The alternate cardio options to the 1.5 mile outdoor run/walk include the following: a timed 500-yard swim, 12-minute stationary cycle, or 1.5 mile run/walk on a treadmill. Alternate cardio is permitted at the discretion of your commanding officer.
- 1.5-mile run: Run 1.5 miles as quickly as possible.
- 500-yard swim (alternate cardio): Swim as quickly as possible.
- Stationary cycle (alternate cardio): Burn as many calories as possible in 12 minutes.
- 1.5-mile treadmill: Run/walk for best time.
- Curl-ups: Do as many curl-ups as you can in two minutes.
- Push-ups: Do as many push-ups you can in two minutes.
How the PRT is scored
PRT scoring has five levels: outstanding, excellent, good, satisfactory/probationary and failure. To pass the PRT, you must score at least satisfactory/probationary in all three events.
What will be different in 2020
The PRT will change in 2020 by replacing curl-ups with a forearm plank exercise and adding a 2 kilometer indoor row as an alternate cardio option.
- Planking requires you to hold a position similar to a push-up, lifting your torso off the ground and supporting your weight on your toes, forearms and elbows while keeping your body rigid. Planking strengthens your core muscles and is less likely to aggravate lower back injuries than curl-ups.
- Using a rowing machine tests cardiovascular fitness and stamina. It will be offered as an option to the running portion of the test in commands that have rowing machines.
Check to see the latest updates from the Navy on how the new exercises will be used and scored in the PRT.
Other rules for the Navy PRT
These two rules are designed to help sailors with the PRT:
- If you experience unusual distress or fatigue during the test, members will be directed to seek medical attention and may subsequently be authorized a Bad Day makeup before you complete or fail the test. This keeps you safe by letting you to retake the test after being medically cleared.
- If you pass the body composition assessment and score an overall excellent low or better on the physical readiness test, you may have the opportunity to be validated on the subsequent Physical Fitness Assessment cycle and skip the PRT, if you pass the BCA and are within the age-adjusted standards.
Support to prepare for the Navy PRT
The Navy offers several free tools to help you prepare for the PRT, as well as maintain your health and fitness.
- Official Navy PFA focuses on health and fitness, including good nutrition, meal plans and training videos for bettering your form and time on the PRT.
- Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling System is a series of apps that provides best-in- class physical fitness and nutrition information for sailors with different fitness objectives and in different training situations. NOFFS includes:
- Strength Series to develop the strength needed to perform at the highest levels.
- Endurance Series to develop cardiovascular fitness while improving muscular strength.
- Sandbag Series for training in environments with limited equipment options.
- Operational Series with training plans for different Navy platforms: submarines, large-deck and small-deck ships, and group training.