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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Female Physical Fitness Test (PFT)

The female candidates who read this blog will hopefully forgive me for my lack of knowledge concerning the female-specific aspects of OCS.
What can I say? I’m a male.

We didn’t even have a female platoon in our company.  But one of the things I can straighten out is that all pull-ups in my PFT discussions now apply to males and females.  Women now do Pullups, not the flexed arm hang.

Female candidates get motivated by an SI
Female candidates: different PFT, same motivation
Notice that scores are calculated differently for men and women for both the Pullups and run.
The following is a word-for-word excerpt from the USMC order detailing female PFTs:
Sequence of Events. The sequence of PFT events will be left to the discretion of the CO. All PFT events will be conducted in a single session, not to exceed 2 hours in duration. Movement of Marines from one event to the next should allow adequate time to recover, stretch, and drink water.

Pullups

Great Pre-OCS Workout: Fartlek

Fartlek is a word that translates into “speed play”.  The basic concept of this system is to train the body using different intervals of rest and speed.  Normal Fartlek sessions tend to consist of about 3 to 4 miles, running about ¼ mile or more then resting before doing it again.  The course you are going to familiarize yourself with at OCS is a twisted representation of this concept.

This is a great example of a Fartlek course you can do on your own time in preparation for OCS. Feel free to mix in other exercises found on this site.

The OCS course will consist of running to pre-marked exercise stations along Quantico trails.  Each station is marked with a specific exercise and number of repetitions.  The repetitions increase as you progress through training.  Below is an example of exercises to include in your own Fartlek course, as well as, some recommended distances to space them out.

Each station should have approximately 400m to ½ mile between them.  Each exercise should count between 10-20 repetitions.

Box Jumps

Pull -Ups

Crunches

Wide arm push-ups

Continue your workout

A Simple Pull Up Program To Get Over 20

Once you can do between 10 and 20 deadhangs, do this work out! An important piece of equipment that you might want to buy, if your gym doesn’t have one, is a dip belt. It looks like a weight-lifting belt with a long chain attached to it. Set #1 – Do 5 slow warm-up pull-ups! Take a short rest, 1-2 minutes! Set #2 – Using the dip-belt add … Continue reading A Simple Pull Up Program To Get Over 20

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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