USS KEARSARGE, At sea --
According to ALMAR 046/12, female Marines will be required to conduct pull ups as part of their annual physical fitness test starting January 1, 2014.
Sgt. James Vincent, an explosive ordnance disposal specialist assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Griffin, Ga., native, is as a certified personal trainer as well as a womens’ fitness specialist. He shared his expertise to the females during a class in the gym aboard the USS Kearsarge to prepare them for the next annual PFT.
“I wanted to provide a class explaining how to do correct pull ups, what muscles are used, and how to exercise and train those muscles,” said Vincent. “I also gave them a pull up program to help them reach their goals.”
Even though the new standard does not go into effect for another five months, it is important to start training now.
“You can never be too prepared or start training too early,” said Vincent. “A lot of females have trouble with pull ups so it will take some time to build their strength to obtain the max amount of pull ups possible on the PFT.”
According to ALMAR 046/12 the new scoring standard will be as follows:
8 pull ups – 100 points
7 pull ups – 95 points
6 pull ups – 85 points
5 pull ups – 75 points
4 pull ups – 65 points
3 pull ups – 40 points
With a lot of potentially hard work ahead, Vincent wanted to make sure the Marines were not wasting their efforts by working the wrong muscle groups.
He said, “The best way to get better at pull ups is to practice pull ups. If you can’t do a pull up on your own there are different techniques to help aid you, whether it’s a band, a spotter, kipping or jumping pull ups, just practice them and the ability to do more pull ups will come.”
Lance Cpl. Ashley Vallera, a signals intelligence analyst assigned to the 26th MEU from New Bern, N.C. helped Vincent demonstrate proper techniques in pull ups and various other exercises that engage the same muscle groups.
“When I first came on ship, I couldn’t do any pull ups overhand, but I could do a few chin ups. Since the message came out saying we had to do 8 pull ups to earn all 100 points, I started lifting weights to get stronger and I started working on pull ups every day which eventually led me to getting better,” said Vallera. “I went from not being able to do any pull ups to being able to do 10 in just a few months.”
She wanted to make sure female Marines don’t get discouraged if they are not inclined to do well when it comes to pull ups. She said if you stick with it and you are determined to do it you will have no problem.