A tall skinny OCS candidate does pullups

Six Tips for Short or Thin Officer Candidates at OCS

This one goes out to all the normal-sized (or smaller) human beings approaching the challenge of OCS

You belong.

  • Don’t think every candidate there will be 6’2” 180 lbs. This can create a “I will not belong there” or a “I’m not going to do well there” mindset, which can be very hard to get out of for a short candidate.

Eat to compete

  • Eat absolutely everything you can, before and during OCS. Before I went to OCS, I had a very particular palate. I arrived at OCS at 133lbs (I’ve always been super thin). During ROM, however, I ate everything I could because I finally understood that I needed to fuel my body for the long, grueling days that were about to come. During the official weigh in, I weighed 145lbs, a huge increase. During actual OCS, I continued to stuff my face with a ton of carbs and protein: rice and beans everyday. Yogurt every breakfast. Always got chicken if they were serving that, and finished off every meal with 2-3 packets of peanut butter.

Some are rottweilers, some are dobermanns

  • It’s okay to be a lean, mean, fighting machine. In many aspects, it was beneficial. Usually the leaner guys/girls had quicker O-Course times. They had an easier time, generally, with the PT. They generally had higher induct PFT scores. They just tended to be more flexible and agile because of their stature/weight.

Your body is your gym

  • Get very good/comfortable with body weight exercises. You don’t need to be hitting the gym everyday trying to get arms like The Rock. It wouldn’t hurt to build a little more muscle but if you focus on body weight exercises and get very good at them, you’ll do just fine.

Prepare to hike with big weight, even if you’re thin or short

  • One place you should build muscle and strength, however, are your legs (thighs, hamstrings, calves, etc). You can get by by doing body weight exercises for your upper body, but once you throw on that 45 pound ruck sack and have to walk 6 miles, you’ll definitely wish you had some big, strong legs if you don’t already.

Don’t short recovery!

  • Finally, and this is probably the biggest piece of advice I can give, is workout, stretch, recover on your own in the squad bay. If you had a brutal PT session earlier that day, use the given foam roller and stretch. Keep those muscles fresh. If you had an easy PT day or a stretch day, yes that happens, when you’re in the squad bay at night, do some push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups. You don’t need to break a sweat, but you’re helping yourself in the long run. I ended every night with three sets of 20 pushups, held a plank for a minute, and did one max set of pull-ups. It didn’t make me sore for the next day, but it kept those muscles activated, and when you eat a ton of carbs and protein like I recommend you do, that little extra workout at the end of the day will help build more strength and muscle. I started doing that little workout every night during the first week, and by the second week, the PT sessions were much much easier.

Other Reads

The Little End: Lessons from a Short and Skinny Candidates At OCS

Tall and Skinny Candidates at OCS

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