Candidate Q: Skinny Lieutenants: Impossible!

Candidate Comment: This is more for peace of mind, than anything else, so feel free to take your time responding. I can run approximately a 275 PFT (I vary from around 270 to 285). However, while working out in a local gym, someone who used to be a Marine told me that I do not have the ‘look’ of a 2nd LT. Not a attractiveness … Continue reading Candidate Q: Skinny Lieutenants: Impossible!

Stop Stretching Before Your PFT Run!

In many ways, the Marine Corps is fifty years behind the times. The physical fitness habits of many young and old Marines are detrimental holdovers from a less enlightened time. Doing more harm than good, many such habits persist well beyond when science and professional sports have found safer, more efficient, or more effective training methods. A primary example is in stretching, especially before exercise. … Continue reading Stop Stretching Before Your PFT Run!

The Ultimate OCS Preparation Workout

Candidates, this is my recommended pre-OCS workout. I would do you a disservice if I only laid out a formula to follow. Instead, I’m going to show the process I worked through to generate this plan, so that you can copy the process and get a personalized workout for yourself. First: Rank Your Goals First, I ranked my workout goals: OCS-specific type activities Run for … Continue reading The Ultimate OCS Preparation Workout

Insanity Workout Review: Good for OCS?

What is Insanity? BeachBody’s Insanity program by Shaun T is a 60 day cardio-intensive at-home DVD workout using no equipment.   The Good No need for lots of expensive equipment or a gym. When you work out at home, there’s less time wasted and fewer hurdles to getting your workout in, so you probably will stick to the program better. Insanity basically ensures you have … Continue reading Insanity Workout Review: Good for OCS?

Burn some fat! Try this example no-gym Fartlek workout

Some of you have expressed an interest in example workouts. A Fartlek is a very simple workout to understand, and is a staple of Marine OCS. Fartleks rock because you can completely tailor it to your own body and needs. Maybe this flexibility leads to analysis paralysis for some? Anyways–get your butt off the couch and try this one out! Each workout station is separated … Continue reading Burn some fat! Try this example no-gym Fartlek workout

Top Fears for Females–Conquered

“Help! How can I beat the tough odds at OCS for females?

If you’ve wondered that, then you’re not alone. In my graduating class, less than 20% of females were remaining. Most of these went immediately to a delay at TBS due to injury. Scary figures, right?

This platoon is about to meet their Sergeant Instructors for the first time

If you are intimidated or discouraged by these facts, STOP! The odds are tough but just let that be motivation. The 1 female in 5 who graduated with us was probably the best prepared and most dedicated. Just determine to be that one and you will become an officer in the Marines. Do not let doubt creep into your mind. You can be the best prepared, and you can do it. Thousands have before you.

I will use this post to answer questions that females have asked before.  I did not have females in my company, but the “neighboring” company did, and obviously I’ve had plenty of female friends successfully complete OCS. I will only answer questions that I think I can do justice to.

Q: What advice do you have for females going in?

A: Overall, it’s no different from my advice for men. Know the most knowledge you can, memorizing all the general orders perfectly and studying all the pubs I have on the site. Study! Work out hard! If you can keep up with the sample workout on this site, you will be in good shape. Get all the sleep you can before OCS. You’ll lose a ton there.

Q:  I am working right now on my upper body strength and I have printed out information to study ahead of time. How many miles a day/week should I be running? Is there a max of miles I should be running at a time? What other upper body exercises should I do to prepare?

A: I recommend working on upper body and core especially, as your loads will be similar to the heavy loads carried by the males. Working in heavy squats and lunges will help develop core and lower body strength ahead of time. I said heavy, no 5 lb Jillian Michaels dumbbells here. For running, aim for 15% increase in mileage per week. If you develop shin splints, run on a softer surface, ease back a little, and do stretching and mobility work. Try foam rollers, for example. For upper body exercises, do push ups, pull ups, bent arm hang, and something to work your shoulders like military pressing dumbbells. They’ll make you hold your rifle out or up for extended periods of time, definitely a good idea to build some deltoid strength.

Q: I see that the attrition rate for females is high of dropping out. How many females typically go to OCS? And how many actually pass? What would be a good PFT to aim for to prepare for OCS? Any other information you have for females and to prepare for OCS this June would be nice.

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What You Need to Know When a Blister Could End Your OCS

With all the humps (forced marches) at OCS, and running in boots, and in wet conditions, my feet never looked worse than as a candidate. Here is my back and forth with an applicant who is getting a pre-OCS practice hump scheduled right after he overdid it in his boots: How can I heal a blister overnight? I am going on a mandatory hike tomorrow … Continue reading What You Need to Know When a Blister Could End Your OCS

Quick N Easy PFT Crunches

To do a correct Marine Corps crunch, lay on your back with your feet flat on the deck, and your butt close to your heels.  Your arms should be crossed on your chest or your stomach.  They cannot come off of your chest/stomach during the PFT. To do a correct crunch, raise your upper body off of the deck until your forearms touch your thighs.  Go back down … Continue reading Quick N Easy PFT Crunches

Killer Crunch Workout

PFT Crunches at OCS

This is a popular training program for the crunches part of the PFT.

While it is a good program to help you get to and past 100 crunches, remember that it crunches are a one-dimensional component of fitness and are not a substitute for a full core workout. OCS is much more than just the PFT.

Day 1

Do three maximum effort sets. Rest 60-90 seconds between each set. As soon as you stop (even for one second), that set is complete.

Day 2

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Armstrong Pull Up Program

Courtesy of Armstrong Pullup Program.com:

Armstrong Pullup Program
The Armstrong Pullup Program is of course the number one pullup workout anywhere for PFT success.

I received this awesome workout from my recruiter. Many of the former candidates, current officers, I know use this, so hopefully some of you will see success with it. I know it’s a long read, but well worth it. Enjoy.

First…do you have a pullup bar? If you want to succeed at OCS–get yourself that piece of gear! If your pullups have plateaued, try the Advanced workout here.

Armstrong Pull-up Program

This program was used by Major Charles Lewis Armstrong, USMC to prepare himself to attempt to set a world record in number of pull-ups completed in a single exercise session. The program provides the necessities for successful physical improvement namely, VARIETY, OVERLOAD, and REGULARITY. Users have achieved remarkable results in only 6 to 8 weeks. This means that most, if not all, have been able to meet the performance level they have set out to achieve, a single set of twenty repetitions. Armstrong Pull Up ProgramIt can not be overemphasized that his program depends upon regularity. Daily performance of the exercises listed in the following paragraphs holds the true key to reaching and to maintaining the twenty repetition level.

The Morning Routine

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