US Marine Takes on the US Navy Seal Physical Test

Everyone loves a good fitness challenge. If you are familiar with youtube you may be familiar with youtube challenges. There is nothing more inspiring than seeing someone out of their element trying to be the best and do their best. The US Navy Seal Physical Test is one of the harder military fitness challenges. Yet, US Sailor Austen Alexander got Marine Matt McDonough to take on the challenge. 

Youtube fitness personalities are generally able to stand up to any military fitness challenge that they attempt but at a very basic level. So, how did an active member of the US Marine Corps do? Well, let’s find out. 

The Warm-Up

Before the challenge gets on the way, Sailor Austen Alexander explains the test to Matt McDonough. Alexander stated that the US Navy SEAL Physical Screening Test also called PST  “is the test that future sailors will take when they are trying to qualify for special operations or special warfare jobs.” 

Navy SEAL PST Standards

The standards set out by the US Navy SEAL is pretty straight forward. Below we will break down the test and its minimum vs competitive standards. 

PST Event:

500 Yard Swim – Must be completed in 12 minutes 30 seconds as a minimum but at least 8 minutes to be competitive. 

Pushups– Must complete 50 as a minimum but requires at least 80 to be competitive. 

Sit-ups- A minimum of 50 is required, at least 80 to be competitive. 

Pull-ups– Requires a minimum of 10 but at least 15 to be competitive. 

1.5 Mile Timed Run– Must be completed in a minimum time of 10 minutes and 30 seconds. It needs to be done in at least 9 minutes to be competitive.  

Now, let’s get into how it went down #challengeaccepted. 

Fitness Challange 1- The Swimming Test 

In sticking to the order of the PST, Matt starts out with the swimming test. Due to the resources they had and for safety reasons, a pool was used and so Matt had to do 12.5 laps in order to get to 500 yards. 

Matt begins swimming and appears to be doing well. Austen then points out that one error Matt is making is “bringing his hand out of the water”. So, tip- If you are attempting the PST try to ensure your hand stays in the water for this challenge.  

Matt makes the adjustment and completes the PST swimming portion in 13 minutes and 39 seconds. From the minimum standards listed above, that’s clearly not a passing score. However, Austen made sure to point out that it’s a “very good starting time”. 

Fitness Challenge 2- Pushups

After a 10 minute stationary rest, they move over to the field to complete the remainder of the Physical Screening Test.  In a span of 2 minutes, Matt completed 74 push-ups. With that score, he clearly met the minimum requirements but was just a bit shy of being competitive, missing the 80 mark by only 6.  

We must also note that Austen acted as a great fitness coach for Matt, as he consistently reminded him to go all the way up, ensuring that he gives his best in a correct form. 

Fitness Challenge 3- Sit-ups 

After a 2 minute stationary rest, its time for sit-ups. Austen explains that for this particular Navy fitness test its different than what the US Marine Corps accepts. For the PST, the sit-up needs to be within 3 inches down from the knee as opposed to the entire thigh. Also, in the Navy, each hand must cross and touch your clavicle as oppose to biceps in the Marine. 

With this new technique, Matt gets on the way. He completes 71 sit-ups in 2 minutes which is above the minimum but below the competitive standards for the Navy SEAL Fitness Test.

Note: For the PST, you are allowed to rest in the up or down position. 

Fitness Challenge 4- Pull-ups

After a 2 minute rest, they move to the gym to complete the pull-ups. Austen explains the technique for the pulls ups and lets Matt know that incorrect form does not count. 

Austen also says that Matt is a ‘calisthenics kinda guy’ so “I expect at least 28”. 

With arms fully extended and ensuing that the chin goes above the bar, Matt completes 25 pull-ups, way above the competitive standard. 

After the pulls-up Matt and Austen chat for a bit, citing that the swim earlier, possibly took a lot of effort, however, 25 was a really good number.

Fitness Challenge 5- 1.5-mile run

After a much need 10 minute break, its time for the 1.5-mile run. In order to get to 1.5 miles, matt needed to do 6 laps around the field. He completes it in 9 minutes and 10 seconds, which is almost a competitive score. 

To end on an epic note, Austen and Matt decided to compete at doing a 50-yard sprint. You would think, Matt will secure the great 2nd place being that he just completed an entire fitness screening. However, he pulls out the win. Good Job Matt and Good try Austen. 

The Wrap-Up

All in all, we saw that the U.S. Navy SEALs Physical Screening Test is no joke. Although many YouTube fitness personalities attempt it, it really takes a lot of physical and mental fortitude to make it through. 

Matt McDonough ended the PST challenge with 4/5, passing everything except the swimming test. While he did not achieve competitive standards on this military fitness test we must say that he sure did an awesome job.

By Shanice DK

Shanice Dk is a freelance web content writer within the health, beauty, and wellness niche. She works with feel-good brands in crafting content that speaks to their audience as well as search engines. Shanice believes in faith, passion, and purpose as she strives to make each day better than the last. Catch up with Shanice at

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