Marine OCS Preparation

I thought this would be the best forum to post this on since I’m new to this specific training. Here’s my situation:

I’m 24, 5’10" and about 175 or so. I’m relatively lean (visible six pack, etc), former long distance runner, and currently run about 5 miles a day and lift every day.

I’m also a law student, which is relevant because I’m going to be applying to the JAG corps for this coming summer. I’m specifically interested in the Marine JAG program, which involves doing OCS this coming summer. Rifleman first, attorney second.

Thing is, I don’t really know how to prepare for this physically. I know how to kill the PT and could probably do well enough right now. But I don’t just want to do a good PT–I want to go into OCS in the right kind of shape to do maximally well there.

What would a routine look like to prepare for this? Frankly, all the reading I’ve done about lifting, diet, and such has involved bodybuilding-type perspectives, while this challenge is fundamentally different and has fundamentally different goals.

Assume that I can train 7 days a week. I would love to hear what others did to prepare for OCS, what folks would recommend for a program, what sort of diet best prepares one for OCS, etc.

Semper Fi (or so I hope to say one day and know the true meaning of those words),

I don’t know if Marine PT is different to Infantry PT, but aside from running, most PT I know of is high-endurance, circuit training type stuff.

A sample workout I have here is, with a 20kg bar (so an Oly Bar if it’s around)

20 Push Ups
20 Sit Ups
20 Military Press
20 Upright Rows
20 Curls

x5. No rests.

(for some reason this one doesn’t have pullups, but they usually feature, maybe that’s why it’s got curls instead)

Then some sort of Triathlon (Sprint distance is fine for me, but you wanna be a marine, so I suggest Full Ironman, Twice.)

There might be a different one for Lawyers, which I guess means you’ll be an officer.

Something like

Open Jelly Bean Packet x 1
Eat all the good flavours (time allowed: 15 minutes)

I’ve got 5-day one here.

(Says nothing about Abs, I assume every day?)

All the usual exercises, Bench, Mil Press, Pulldown, Row, Curl, Dips, Flyes, Lunges, Squats.

Anyway, reps are all 3x12.

I went to OCS a number of years ago but what I really did was a lot of running and a lot of pull ups. OCS is about running you ragged so the endurance so the more you run now the better off you will be.

You have to pass the PFT so you’ll need pull ups but I didn’t really use much raw strength in OCS. You get up, PT, then class time, then some type of run, then drill practice on the drill deck, then chow, then running. Repeat daily and you have OCS.

best of luck!


As far as I know it’s a more civilized boot camp…so like the others have said, just keep improving your cardiovascular abilities as best as possible, get good at pullups/pushups/plank/virtually every bodyweight exercise, and study up on Marine Corps history/facts/drill/etc.

And don’t wash out. That’s just silly. It’s 98% mental, honest.