Military physical fitness tests, or PFTs, are a popular choice of challenge for bodybuilders and athletes to attempt online in the name of content. Some of the most common videos show influencers trying out the Army PFTs from the U.S. and U.K., usually acing the bodyweight exercises and then flunking when it comes to cardio.
In his most recent video, filmed shortly after moving to Marbella, Spain, fitness YouTuber Rob Lipsett takes on the fitness test used by the Special Operations Group, or Grupo Especial de Operaciones (GEO), an elite tactical unit in Spain’s National Police Corps. The physically grueling process helps the GEO whittle down the applicants in terms of their functional fitness, although proficiency in martial arts, marksmanship, underwater swimming and explosives are also sought-after, and only 3 percent of candidates are selected each year.
The test consists of five events:
- 3,000-meter run
- 50-meter sprint
- 50-meter swim
- vertical jump
Rob gets carried away during the 3K run, and ends up running an extra 200 meters as he’s “in the zone,” with a total time of 14 minutes 14 seconds. A minimum time of 12 minutes is needed here in order to qualify for a passing score, so Rob’s not off to the most auspicious start. “That was a disaster, I’m actually ashamed of myself,” he says, but he remains undeterred as he heads straight into the second round: the sprint.
Rob manages 8 seconds in his warmup, then then 7.4 seconds, and then nails a “gold” score of 7 seconds exactly on his third attempt. “Never give up, baby.”
The third round of the challenge is chinups, where 13 consecutive reps are required for a perfect score. Rob cranks out 20 pullup reps in a row before remembering he’s supposed to be doing chinups with an underhand grip, but still hits a golden 13 with relative ease.
Rob wades out into the sea for his 50 meter swim, which he completes in 36 seconds, just shy of a perfect score of 35. “That was the hardest,” he says as he drag himself out of the ocean. “No wonder Michael Phelps eats 11,000 calories a day… Swimming is just such an insane form of cardio.”
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The final test is the vertical jump, where a perfect score is 57 cm. Rob finds a wall that measures more than 90 cm in height, and is able to do a box jump onto it, meaning he passes this round with flying colors too.
“I passed four of them and failed one, so I need to work on my endurance,” he says. “This is also great for a lot of people who don’t have gyms; maybe you’re stuck at home. You can see we did not use a single piece of gym equipment in this video, we did it all outdoors.”
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