3 Tips to be stronger for OCS

The Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test, or PFT

The Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test, or PFT, evaluates stamina and physical conditioning. It includes 3 parts: pull-ups or push-ups, crunches or plank pose, and a 3-mile timed run. Pull-ups and push-ups are essential to building the upper body strength necessary to win battles. Crunches and planks are critical to maintaining a strong core and being battle-ready at a moment’s notice. Males must complete the three-mile run in 28 minutes or less. Females must complete the three-mile run in 31 minutes or less.

As a dietitian and running coach, I have prepared many OCS candidates to not only pass their PFT but max out their scores. The PFT is a crucial training evaluation and will reflect your overall standing throughout training.

Here are some great tips to get you started:

#1 Fuel up with simple, easy-to-digest carbs before your running

What you eat right before running can make a significant difference in your training effectiveness and PFT score. Every athlete is different. Therefore pre-run nutrition choices should be individualized. It is important to remember the stomach is a trainable muscle. If you do not eat anything before running, try starting with something small and simple such as half a banana. As you teach your stomach to tolerate food before training, you will increase your nutrition and have significantly more energy on your training runs!

#2 Post-workout nutrition is essential to improve your recovery. 

The better you recover, the harder you can train during your next session. When it comes to post-workout nutrition, it is not all about protein. You might be surprised to learn that you need both carbohydrates and protein after a workout. Timing is everything, don’t delay your post-workout snack/meal. Aim to consume both carbs and protein within 30 minutes after your workout.

#3 As you increase your training, you will need more carbohydrates.

The more miles, time in the gym, and intense your workouts are, the more carbohydrates you will need to consume during the day. Carbs are your body’s preferred energy source and are stored in your muscles and liver to use during training. If your carbohydrate stores are low, you will have little energy to complete your training sessions. As a bonus, keeping your carbohydrate stores stocked can help prevent injury and illness as you prepare for OCS.  

I would love to support your fitness journey and success at OCS. Contact me to learn more about my program.

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