T Nation

Marine Corps OCS - One Year Away

Not sure if this is the right thread to post this in, because it’s basically training questions.

I’m hoping to be accepted to the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School a year from now, January 2009. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, but it’s thanks to ankle surgery and rehab 18 months ago that I can do it. I’m pretty aware of what goes on at OCS I think, from Captain Fick’s book, the Making of a Marine Corps Officer DVD, speaking to a couple friends who have gone through, and talking to the OSO and his staff in my area two weeks ago.

I’ve gotten the paperwork rolling and it doesn’t look like I’ll even need a waiver for my ankle. So my question is basically about how to train for OCS over the next 12 months. Right now I’m right around the minimum admission standards, can do 8-9 pullups, maybe slightly better than a 24 minute three mile, and I don’t know on crunches, probably decent but not great. Obviously, that’s not good. I want to go in with as good a PFT as possible, at least 270.

I’m 6’, 205 lb. I don’t want to ditch lifting, and I’d think strengthening my muscles and joints can only help, but obviously I’m not trying to bulk up.

Thanks for any help, especially from guys who have been through OCS or PLC.

GD

Military training involves running and bodyweight training. Shed a few pounds and do pullups, situps and crunches everyday. At 6’ I would trim down to about 180 and make sure you are doing miles in less then 6:30. You should also be prepared to do 5 mile runs w/o difficulty.

The tough part of military training is the mental aspect. Don’t think ahead. Go thru each evolution one day at a time. Just stay focused on getting thru the day. Pretty soon you have more behind you then ahead then you are done.

At 6’, why on Earth would you want him to look like an anorexic model at 180lb? He never said he was 200lb and sloppy. What you most definitely should do, however, is strengthen that ankle up as much as possible. If that’s what’s making your runtime lag, then it should be your focal point in training.

Train for endurance, and take good care of your joints.

GD, if you have questions on mindset, send Nate Fick an e-mail. He’s a decent guy. It’s been my experience he’ll respond. Good luck.

I graduated OCC-196 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps 30NOV07.

I’d feel safe saying that my gouge is current.

First, start running more. I’d advocate 20+ mpw at a pace of about 7:15/mile or faster if possible. Make your longest runs at least 6 miles. Add in some hill sprints - the Quantico terrain is a bitch. By the time you ship you should be able to run a sub-20 minute 3 mile.

For pull-ups, possibly consider the Armstrong workout. Google it - As an officer candidate you’ll be expected to demonstrate initiative. Show some. Also, add some weighted pull-ups in there. Its a sure-fire way to break through a plateau.

For sit-ups, do them with extra resistance. I like to kneel in front of a cable with a pull-down rope and do 35 or 40 reps with 160lbs.

Regarding strength training, there is no reason to stop. Realize however, that if you’re an avid lifter you’ll likely lose a considerable amount of strength after 10 weeks of not touching the iron. I’m only just getting back to where I was strength-wise pre-OCS.

I’m an OCS grad, as well. but will be commissioning this May. You already know the basic fitness requirements (3 mile-run, pull-ups, crunches).

You will do all three daily at OCS, but no one will care if you can’t finish your 3rd set of 10 pull-ups, and crunches aren’t even counted outside of the fitness tests. Crunches and pull-ups (especially the pull-up at 5 points per) will get you to OCS, but running will keep you there.

Running is absolutely the most important aspect of fitness at OCS. If you can’t keep up, you will not only catch the attention of the staff, but it will go a long way in their determination of your ability to graduate.

PT should be the happiest time of the day for you (“happiest”). I would suggest leaving with a run time under 20 minutes. This would probably give you a pretty good fitness base to ensure you won’t struggle.

That said, keep training as hard as you can (the Lt. had some good advice about the PFT exercises). Get as big as you want. As long as you can still run, it won’t be a problem (but definitely a big help).

OCS #133. Both of the above gave sound advice. My only addition is a little more simple. Be squared away before you get there. Know your general orders inside and out.

You’re in New Hampshire? If they haven’t changed their M.O. this is bad news for you. You’ll arrive fairly early in the day. You’ll get to sit in the airport all day and wait for the west coasters to get there. No talking to anyone, just sitting, looking straight ahead.

Some basic do’s:

  1. take care of your feet
  2. eat a light breakfast (juice & toast)-
    everyday
  3. eat a big dinner - everyday
  4. never let the DIs know your name - don’t
    stand out good or bad. Be a face in the
    mob.
  5. never volunteer for anything
  6. don’t drink water from the quigley
  7. keep your eyes forward going thru the
    chow line, no talking.
  8. when spoken to, never speak while at
    Parade Rest (from personal experience).
  9. your check will say Dept of Navy - get
    over it
    10)liberty is around week 5 or 6. take the
    train to DC. eat, sleep, rest. drink if
    you dare. you’ll be humpin on Monday

Semper Fi

[quote]RyanRC187 wrote:
I graduated OCC-196 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps 30NOV07.

I’d feel safe saying that my gouge is current.

First, start running more. I’d advocate 20+ mpw at a pace of about 7:15/mile or faster if possible. Make your longest runs at least 6 miles. Add in some hill sprints - the Quantico terrain is a bitch. By the time you ship you should be able to run a sub-20 minute 3 mile.

For pull-ups, possibly consider the Armstrong workout. Google it - As an officer candidate you’ll be expected to demonstrate initiative. Show some. Also, add some weighted pull-ups in there. Its a sure-fire way to break through a plateau.

For sit-ups, do them with extra resistance. I like to kneel in front of a cable with a pull-down rope and do 35 or 40 reps with 160lbs.

Regarding strength training, there is no reason to stop. Realize however, that if you’re an avid lifter you’ll likely lose a considerable amount of strength after 10 weeks of not touching the iron. I’m only just getting back to where I was strength-wise pre-OCS.[/quote]

Congratulations on commissioning Lieutenant, I think I know a classmate or two of yours from OCS. Thanks for all this, have the Armstrong program and am building up my running, gonna be a little while before I can do six miles at a decent pace though.

Thanks for all the replies on this, I appreciate the advice, both on training for OCS and mindset while there.

How would you all recommend integrating lifting into my training though, especially if I’m doing the Armstrong pullup program (pullups 5x a week)? Three day a week total body? Upper-lower split with no back work? I take it I should bump the reps up? Should I minimize leg work with the running I’m doing being first priority?

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
Thanks for all the replies on this, I appreciate the advice, both on training for OCS and mindset while there.

How would you all recommend integrating lifting into my training though, especially if I’m doing the Armstrong pullup program (pullups 5x a week)? Three day a week total body? Upper-lower split with no back work? I take it I should bump the reps up? Should I minimize leg work with the running I’m doing being first priority?[/quote]

Just add the Armstrong routine as a second workout each day and continue with whatever program you’re currently following. If you normally lift in the evening, do it in the morning, or vice versa.

[quote]Contrl wrote:
At 6’, why on Earth would you want him to look like an anorexic model at 180lb? He never said he was 200lb and sloppy. What you most definitely should do, however, is strengthen that ankle up as much as possible. If that’s what’s making your runtime lag, then it should be your focal point in training.

Train for endurance, and take good care of your joints.[/quote]

Much easier to run distances at 180 then 200ibs. imho.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
Thanks for all the replies on this, I appreciate the advice, both on training for OCS and mindset while there.

How would you all recommend integrating lifting into my training though, especially if I’m doing the Armstrong pullup program (pullups 5x a week)? Three day a week total body? Upper-lower split with no back work? I take it I should bump the reps up? Should I minimize leg work with the running I’m doing being first priority?[/quote]

I’d minimize the leg training somewhat. Also concentrate on flexibility, dynamic stretching etc.

Also I’ll give you one more tip. How are your math skills? If they are good then no worries. If not then you might want to brush up. I have seen more people wash out of various training programs due to poor math skills then for any other reason.

So what do you want to head into, Infantry? Armor? Aviation?
Artillery?

[quote]hedo wrote:
GDollars37 wrote:
Thanks for all the replies on this, I appreciate the advice, both on training for OCS and mindset while there.

How would you all recommend integrating lifting into my training though, especially if I’m doing the Armstrong pullup program (pullups 5x a week)? Three day a week total body? Upper-lower split with no back work? I take it I should bump the reps up? Should I minimize leg work with the running I’m doing being first priority?

I’d minimize the leg training somewhat. Also concentrate on flexibility, dynamic stretching etc.
[/quote]

Yeah, am headed down that path anyway, due to hip flexibility having been an ongoing problem for years. Trying to get in the habit of foamrolling and static stretching several times a week, already do brief mobility stuff before lifting.

Not great I guess, got through basic calculus in college with the gentleman’s C. Will try to brush up on them, but figure that’s more something to do before TBS or MOS school, got a fair bit to worry about before OCS.

Infantry, almost definitely. But that’s easy to say right now, I’ve been told that everybody says they want to go infantry until they realize how miserable it is. After that, armor, AAVs, ground intel, engineers, and artillery, probably that order. The math thing scares me a little on artillery, and I had a friend who led a recon platoon in Iraq tell me that artillery spends all their time doing civil affairs stuff now, “Go join the National Guard if you want to do that” (his words).

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
I’ve been told that everybody says they want to go infantry until they realize how miserable it is. After that, armor, AAVs, ground intel, engineers, and artillery, probably that order. [/quote]

But the misery is what makes grunt life fun.

mike

[quote]hedo wrote:

Also I’ll give you one more tip. How are your math skills? If they are good then no worries. If not then you might want to brush up. I have seen more people wash out of various training programs due to poor math skills then for any other reason.

[/quote]

Disregard this. You will not be sitting in the classroom doing math. The academics is pretty easy provided you take the time to read your knowledge.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
hedo wrote:
GDollars37 wrote:
Thanks for all the replies on this, I appreciate the advice, both on training for OCS and mindset while there.

How would you all recommend integrating lifting into my training though, especially if I’m doing the Armstrong pullup program (pullups 5x a week)? Three day a week total body? Upper-lower split with no back work? I take it I should bump the reps up? Should I minimize leg work with the running I’m doing being first priority?

I’d minimize the leg training somewhat. Also concentrate on flexibility, dynamic stretching etc.

Yeah, am headed down that path anyway, due to hip flexibility having been an ongoing problem for years. Trying to get in the habit of foamrolling and static stretching several times a week, already do brief mobility stuff before lifting.

Also I’ll give you one more tip. How are your math skills? If they are good then no worries. If not then you might want to brush up. I have seen more people wash out of various training programs due to poor math skills then for any other reason.

Not great I guess, got through basic calculus in college with the gentleman’s C. Will try to brush up on them, but figure that’s more something to do before TBS or MOS school, got a fair bit to worry about before OCS.

So what do you want to head into, Infantry? Armor? Aviation?
Artillery?

Infantry, almost definitely. But that’s easy to say right now, I’ve been told that everybody says they want to go infantry until they realize how miserable it is. After that, armor, AAVs, ground intel, engineers, and artillery, probably that order. The math thing scares me a little on artillery, and I had a friend who led a recon platoon in Iraq tell me that artillery spends all their time doing civil affairs stuff now, “Go join the National Guard if you want to do that” (his words).[/quote]

Good Luck GD!

Of course I’m partial to armor…

If you got thru Calc you should be OK. It’s not so much sitting at a desk working out problems but field expedient math skills are vital to the aspiring officer.

How do ocs corpmen treat injuries during o course etc, my son in week 3 has bunged up knee ,not sure how bad ,but he didnt get rolled back@ sore ribs ,he got this in o course he writes G-friend way more than us lol so she told us ,he wont tell me as i was in during 1970 ,but i sent him letter and told him to do his best and keep in the game and enjoy the quigley. any help on this would be aoppreciated by any past canidate now a 2nd lt. or better

Gary
irving ,tx

Ibuprofen in the morning and ice after lights (everyone has access to ice). And/or he goes to sick call and gets… ibuprofen and ice (along with a sudden spotlight for missing training).

If this is the end of week 3, congratulations. You get to talk to your son in two days and find out straight from the source!

oh… and a Quiqley Fact:

You don’t enjoy the quigley, the quigley enjoys you.

thanx itcaesar

oh i know the Quigley,i trained in winter also,but when i wrote him i was raggin him he knows whats ahead ,his os told me if there is ice they go around tubes,but tubes wont bother him weve swam in enuff stock tanks and muck in lakes he will be fine ,snakes outta be hibernating,but it will be cold for sure ,do they stay wet all day or change out??ive heard both!!

he trained all winter here in cold ran in shorts in cold 32 or so but id figure they run in sweats ,he enjoys running hes 5’9 157 and his first few timingshe wrotehis gal that he did ok and he did good in woods drill ,were all hunters but i know this is all different 39 years ago all different lol!

thanx for the report i appreciate you for it ,ill tell his mom shes having cows lol he is in flt program but it will be a while before he knows what he qs for im sure he didnt mention roll back or lite duty

Regards;
Gary

[quote]hawkcapt1912 wrote:
don’t
stand out good or bad. Be a face in the
mob.

I am just finishing an ENLISTMENT in the Corps and I’m here to tell you no Marine wants to work for a “face in the crowd” type of bout LT!

Your marines will respect a Hard Charger much more than just the guy who made it. Trust me I’ve seen plenty of LT’s and the ones that stands out are the one that get the respect. You should never give less than all you have. That goes for all Marines not just LT’s.

Other than that I’d say most of the advice is great. Pull-ups are your money maker and running in the Corps is a must.

Semper Fi