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Evaluating Fitness: The Navy Physical Readiness Test (PRT)

If you have been running that extra mile, desperately trying to lose weight, then you understand what fitness is all about. Why not try the Navy Physical Readiness Test (PRT)? The PRT is a grilling examination that tests your physical ability. It checks if you are fit to serve in the Navy (or stay in the Navy), a job that requires strict discipline and extreme physical agility. You can apply the PRT to your fitness regimen, altering it slightly to suit your needs.


The PRT is held twice a year by the United States Navy. Before the test is conducted, a body composition assessment (BCA) is taken. The applicant's height/weight ratio and body fat is measured to see if it adheres to the Navy's standards. The PRT consists of four events: sit and reach, curl ups, sit ups and a 1.5 mile run or a 450 meter swim. All events have to be completed on the same day. A minimum two-minute break is necessary between each event, to a maximum of 15 minutes. Every sailor has to undergo the PRT every six months to ensure that he is fit, or risk being discharged from the Navy.

Sit and Reach

This is to test the sailor's flexibility. It is not scored. The sailor sits on the floor with his legs extended. He then stretches and touches his toes, holding them for a few seconds. This should be repeated a few times.

Curl Ups

Curl Ups, or crunches as they are popularly known, are an integral part of any fitness program. This event requires a partner. During this exercise, the sailor lies flat on his back with arms crossed across his chest and knees folded. While his partner holds his feet, the sailor lifts his body off the ground until his elbows touch his thighs. The test measures the number of curl ups a person can do in two minutes. Resting is permitted.

Push Ups

This event tests the upper body strength of a person. The sailor faces the ground and leans on his hands directly beneath the shoulders. Using his upper body strength, the sailor lifts himself until his arms are straight and then brings the body back down as a single unit until the elbows are completely bent. Again, the number of push ups a person can do in two minutes is counted. A rest can be taken, but only in the up position.

1.5 Mile Run or 450 Meter Swim

The run is the last event in the PRT. The time a sailor takes to complete a 1.5 mile run or a 450 meter swim is noted. At times, the swim is not feasible due to a lack of swimming pools. This is at the discretion of the organizers.

The PRT is measured as the average of the three fitness tests, with scores rated as probationary, satisfactory, good, excellent and outstanding. Navy personnel that fail to reach the required standards undergo a remedial program.

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