Success in surviving Marine Corps boot camp is largely dependent upon preparing before you get there. In the Marine Corps, physical fitness will be part of your daily life and you will be expected to uphold that level of training throughout your career in the Marine Corps.
This training begins usually with the help of your recruiters. They will help prepare you to pass the physical requirements. However, do not rely solely on their help. You must have the self-discipline to stick with a training schedule up to the time you are shipped to boot camp.
A physical fitness training schedule in preparation for boot camp should include a lot of timed running. You need to know how fast and how far you can run within a 12-30 minute time period. The distance you will be running in boot camp is three miles, so your home training strategy should be to run about four to five miles.
One of the very first tasks you must pass is the Initial Strength Test (IST). The IST is designed to assess your beginning physical fitness level. It will also tell you how hard you will need to work to pass the final Physical Fitness Test (PFT). Every recruit must pass the final PFT before he or she can graduate from Marine Corps boot camp.
While in boot camp you will have Physical Training (PT) three days per week. This will consist of running and crunches. Males will also practice doing pull-ups while females will practice the Flexed-Arm Hang. Recruits will PT as a platoon and drill instructors will be right there in your face and exercising right alongside of you.
Aside from PT, you will also do some strength training and you will be running several obstacle courses throughout the 13 weeks you are there. In fact, when you are not sleeping, you will be doing something physical. Marching comes to mind. You will be marching everywhere you go, every single time you go somewhere. So there will be plenty of physical activity, although many are surprised that the actual PT isn’t more than three times per week.
A word of caution about injuries. Another great reason to start your training as early as possible prior to entering Marine Corps boot camp is to build your muscles and strength enough to help avoid injuries. If you are injured in boot camp you many be sent to a recovery platoon to heal. In some cases, if the injury is severe enough you may be discharged from the Marine Corps so it is imperative to do what you can to guard against injury.
Physical training isn’t as bad as one would think in Marine Corps boot camp but there will be times that you will have to “dig deep” to find the strength to finish the tasks set in front of you. It is at these times when must draw on your mental strength, which must be stronger than anything else.