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The USMC Combat Fitness Test and the Cybex Arc Trainer

The Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test (CFT) is an extremely challenging assessment of a Marine’s ability to withstand the “physical rigors of contemporary combat operations” ( The test, conducted in battle dress uniform, includes an 800-yard run, ammo can lift, and maneuver under fire sequence. Combined, these elements assess acceleration, muscular strength and endurance, lower body power, aerobic capacity and endurance, and aerobic and anaerobic power.

Training for this test means, in reality, preparing to enter into a combat environment, and as such, it is no longer plausible for Marines to simply “train to pass a physical.” Marines must have tools and resources that encourage training at the highest possible levels with a minimum of joint stress, resulting in optimal job performance over extended periods of time.

The Cybex Research Institute, in reviewing the CFT, recommends the Cybex Arc Trainer as the one piece of equipment capable of delivering the highest intensity training experience while simultaneously minimizing joint stresses typically associated with H.I.T. applications.

Unmatched Power with Minimal Stress

The Cybex Arc Trainer is unrivalled in its ability to create a high intensity training environment. The Arc is capable of generating an unprecedented 900 watts of power at 180 steps per minute. These characteristics will carry over into the most arduous combat conditions.

More importantly, the patented design of the Arc Trainer guarantees that all forces generated through the moving foot plates will be delivered to the body efficiently and effectively. The result is perfectly balanced loading between the knee and hip joints, producing optimum stimulation of lower body musculature with minimum stress on the joints, especially the knees (ironically, elliptical trainers, while eliminating shock, actually create high levels of patellar compressive loading, and therefore, increase stress levels at the knee).

Unique Programming with Surprising Results

The Arc Trainer’s array of settings and programs provides stimulating workouts for a broad class of users. At 900 watts, the Arc Trainer will challenge even the toughest Marines, but at 50 watts, wounded warriors will find an accommodating environment for recovery and rehabilitation.

The jewel of Arc Trainer programs, however, is its proprietary, Adaptive Power Training mode. Adaptive Power Training is the ultimate in high intensity interval training, the ideal method of training for the CFT. Once set, the Arc Trainer allows Marines to engage in a variety of intervals without ever having to touch another button. More importantly, the resistance of the Arc adapts to the input of the user. The harder the Marine pushes, the more the Arc resists. As the Marine’s output subsides, the Arc backs off.

The benefit of this design is that workloads will always be at the relative maximum capacity of the Marine, without ever exceeding that capacity. If the Marine is capable of driving hard, then the Arc will respond in kind, but as the Marine fatigues, the Arc eases, because it’s the user who defines the workload, each step of the way.

The combined features of the Cybex Arc Trainer – its biomechanically superior design, high power output, and Adaptive Power Training modality – promote training applications that deliver exceptional results.

Independent research, done in association with the Cybex Institute for Exercise Science, demonstrates the true power of the Arc Trainer.

  • Users may train at high intensity with lower heart rate and perceived exertion than comparable exercise on elliptical trainers
  • Users consume more oxygen and generate more energy, thereby further stimulating aerobic capacity, at comparable workloads on elliptical and adaptive motion trainers
  • Biomechanically balanced workloads at the lower extremity, along with high intensity workbouts, result in increased work capacity (in watts) and improved muscular endurance in the legs
  • High intensity training on the Arc, at sufficiently high resistance and speed, increases lower body power and explosiveness
These findings, and more, can be accessed through the Cybex Institute website:

Because of the results of this research, and the high durability and low maintenance requirements of the Arc, it is our considered opinion that the Cybex Arc Trainer is uniquely capable of preparing Marines for the CFT and the rigorous demands of live combat operations.

Respectfully submitted,

Cybex Research Institute