Preparing for any of the United States Marine Corps training programs is not easy and it should only be done with a solid foundation of physical activity. This could require years of athletics or workouts to have the kind of foundation required to excel in the Marine Corps. Personally, a lifetime of sports and learning to be a team player is critical to your success not only through the boot camp or OCS programs but also during your career as a Marine. People who become USMC recruits often make the mistake and think that the USMC will "get them in shape". It is true the USMC will get you in BETTER shape, BUT if you do not go to training with some sort of above average ability, you will suffer in many areas.
Typically the under-prepared, new recruits will become so stressed mentally and physically with remedial training programs (done during "free time"), guilt from failing their team, and over-use injuries that they struggle learning the critical things of their profession like marksmanship, patrolling, land navigation, and many other skills detrimental to their success. A statistically proven method of performing well in any type of military / law enforcement training is to ace the entrance fitness test.
In this case it is the pullups, crunches, and 3 mile run for the USMC PFT. By far, this is the toughest service wide PFT in the military. First pullups require significant upperbody strength in order to lift your body over a bar. It helps to be more lean than overweight as each extra fat pound takes away from your pullup score in fewer reps performed. The three mile run requires more of a base of running training compared to the other services that use the 1.5 and 2 mile timed runs for their standard PFT cardio event.
Here are some related articles to help you with those challenging events:
Pullups - Start here is you cannot get any or too few under the required minimum
Pullup Push Program - Start here if you goal is to max the pullup test (20) and can do 5-10 reps already.
Crunches - Learn to pace yourself with a two minute crunch test to easily max the test
Running Plans - Start here if a beginner
Running to ace the test - Max the Run Program phase 1
Running fast for 3 miles - Max the Run Program phase 2
Testimonial - Stew - I decided to spend this summer at the US Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in the PLC juniors program. Because soccer greatly limits my ability to do military style pt, I was thrilled when I came upon your Six Week USMC OCS/TBS package on the website. I followed your program to the letter for 6 weeks. I showed up at OCS in great physical condition, graduated in the top 10% of my class and ran a 300 Marine Corps PFT (20 pullups,114 crunches in 2 min and a 17:35 3 mile run). I just wanted to write you and say thank you for such a great sport specific resource. It was invaluable to my success, and I just purchased your Marine Recon package and look forward to getting into that in the coming weeks.
USMC Physical Fitness Test (PFT)
Male Marines will perform "dead-hang” pull-ups, abdominal crunches, and a 3.0-mile run. Female Marines will complete the "flexed-arm" hang, abdominal crunches, and a 3.0 - mile run with a pull-up option.
Check out this USMC PFT grading chart below to figure out where your fitness level stands compared to a U.S. Marine.
* Round up all values (e.g., 18:01 to 18:09 equals 99 points)
In order to pass the semi-annual fitness test, Marines must perform the minimum acceptable performance requirements shown in the chart below. Additionally, they must have enough overall points to meet the 3rd class fitness requirements (see below).
USMC is a challenging profession and more information can be found at the StewSmith.com Article Archive
Six Week USMC OCS/TBS Workout book - is a great plan to use if you need to learn how to train for USMC tests and training.
For more specific info on the USMC Fitness Requirements read the following related articles:
Passing the Tape Test – Losing Body Fat / Inches / Weight
Lean Down Diet Plan