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New in 2021: Plank and rowing events coming to the Navy’s physical readiness test

Starting in March when the Navy’s physical fitness assessment resumes, sailors will complete a forearm plank event rather than curl ups to evaluate core strength.

The Navy decided to cut curl ups from the test because research indicates planks are better for one’s body and a better measure of core strength.

“[Naval Health Research Center] determined that the forearm plank is a better test of core strength and abdominal muscular endurance,” the Navy said in a NAVADMIN in November.

Sailors between the ages of 17 and 19 will max out at 3:40 minutes for the plank event to receive an outstanding score, although that time is gradually reduced as sailors advance in age. Men and women will be evaluated by the same standards.

Additionally, sailors can choose to complete a 2,000-meter row as their cardio event starting in March 2021.

“The 2000-meter row is a non-weight bearing, low-impact exercise, which reduces impact on the legs,” the NAVADMIN said. “More importantly, rowing provides a full-body cardio workout engaging 80 percent of the musculature of the body.”

The Navy is set to resume the physical fitness assessment starting in March 2021, and the service will complete just one cycle from March to September next year rather than spring and fall cycles.

Learn more about how sailors will be graded on the PRT here.

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