T Nation

Military/Law Enforcement Physical Prep


The economy sucks, I'm now a few years away from 30, and I'm about damn tired of getting laid off every year or 2. I looked at military or law enforcement as a possible career right out of college, but ended up going the IT route for financial and career reasons. Now I find myself at 27 considering giving it a go before I am to old to make a career out of it or sign up depending on the branch. I'm relatively strong, but my cardio and endurance are terrible (yeah I know I'm bad).

I'd like to spend the next 6 or so months getting into Marine boot camp ready state, while I do some research and consider the military branch and law enforcement options. I figure if I am as ready as possible for the Marines, my options are open and I shouldn't have to bad a time with whatever I end up doing.

I assume weight lifting is out for this period of time, and jogging/running/hiking combined with lots of bodyweight work are my new mistresses for the next half a year or more. I figure worst care scenario I come out of this with better endurance and cardio and I can pick lifting back up once I'm in or once I decide to do something else.

Does anyone have any program resources, links, or ideas for me? I'm having trouble finding anything that isn't either trying to sell me a book or a flame-war over which branch is best.


really man, it's about training for the actual events.

marine corps events are 3 mile run, pullups, and situps.

get those down to where you can max them for you age bracket (max them on the 18yr old scale if you want baller status)

that being said, there's no reason why you can't continue to weight train, especially if you have 6 months before you plan on joining. just make sure your run time stays in check.

i noticed you mentioned college, will you be enlisting or commissioning?



For running/general calisthenics look up the Marine OCS website. On there they have a nice 12 week progression of running and other exercises. For pullups, I would suggest the 'Armstrong Pullup Program' or 'Recon Ron'. For pushups there's the '100 pushup program' which is supposed to get you to 100 pushups in a set. You can always just google a 5k training template for running, usually 12-16 week progressions. Weight lifting is most certainly not out. The military doesn't want marathon runners. There's alot of buddy carries/ruck marches/obstacle courses/log pt in bootcamp or OCS. You can still train with weights, but focus more on getting as strong as possible without hindering your run time/calisthenic endurance. (That's the boat I'm in atm)


I myself have trained for the canadian rcmp physical as well as the calgary fire dept physical. And what worked best for me because im fairly strong but have poor cardio, is I continued lifting weights with the same frequency, I however cut back on the intensity. So I basically worked to maintain my strength, and then I ran my ass off on the treadmill. Keep in mind these physical evaluations are timed, so in my opinion; steady state cardio isnt the greatest of ideas, I went more for intense cardio. As well, keep in mind that this is what worked best for me, you have to consider what will work best for you.

Are you sure your strength is good enough? Should you maybe lose some weight? How poor is your cardio? Think about everything and make your plan as simple as possible. The other guys on this site may tell you something different and I say listen to them as alot of them as far more knowledge and experience then me. But whatever you do. Giver er shit!


Thanks for the replies.

HolyMacaroni: I've got my bachelors and the student loans to prove it, so I'm thinking commissioning would be the way to go. If nothing else the pay seemed a step up, so if I can get out of debt and save up some cash while I'm in I'd be happy. Sounds like good advice then, I'll focus on baller status for for the events I may run into, and use any juice I have left for lifting.

Therizza: Sounds good, I'll look up those programs and see about incorporating them into my routine.

bradden: Those fire department physicals are no joke, I have a friend who just completed the training in the US, and he said USAF bootcamp was a breeze in comparison. Higher intensity sounds good... sonofabitch, just noticed a dead pixel in my monitor... anyway, I'll look into the programs mentioned above and hopefully some sprint intervals will be in there.


glad to hear.

although i'll tell you what man, if you really are thinking about doing the whole career thing. i'd enlist for a few years (i think shortest is like 4 active and 3 reserve) so you can get sweet enlistment bounus and all that jazz. plus you'll have prior enlisted service, which your troops will really appriciate.

also by enlisting initially, you have a shot at the governent paying off your student loans. not sure what it's like in the marines, but i know the army pays up to 60k of loans (yes, 60 thousand). also, by having college credits you'll go in automatically out of bootcamp as a PFC if im not mistaken, maybe even a specialist.

after 4 years of service you could then go to OCS, now you have the initial enlistment bonuses, prior service, loans paid off, a bigger paycheck, AND time in service to make that paycheck even fatter.

think about it


The biggest problem is the run. Three miles in eighteen minutes ain't no picnic.

And so's ya know, I don't believe the Corps offers any enlistment bonuses.


now that you mention it, i don't think they have the student loan repayment program either.

that's what you get for wanting to join the poorest, most underfunded branch of the DoD OP :stuck_out_tongue:




Low blow HolyMac, low blow...


The Corps has bonuses, they're just shitty and hard to get. They have a quota for each recruiting district and it's tough to actually get them to pony up the bonus for you.

Plus, they're not very much anyway. I think you can get a $4,000 bonus for enlisting 5 years as a cryptolinguist, for example. It's a highly technical job, a 5 year hitch and you're still only getting 4 grand. And I think you're right, I don't think the Corps does student loan forgiveness even though the Navy does.

Apparently you have to want to be green, not make it.


I've been thinking about a linguist position. They must really need them if they're offering incentive.


Good to know, I was basing my fitness level on the Marines since they seemed to have the most rigorous standards, but I'm not set on them as my branch of choice. I had qualified to commission as a navigator for the Navy right out of school, but I'm not sold on that either.

The thought of enlisting did cross my mind, call it "street cred" or whatever, I'll take a look at the bonus structure and whatnot. If they want to give me the last 20 something of my student loans and a cash bonus, it might be worth it.


if you go 35Papa in the army, i'm still pretty certain you can get a SWEET enlistment bonus (15-20k) not 100% sure if they are still that high, but worth looking into


sorry to initially veer your thread off topic. back to working out and all that jazz

some other stuff i wanted to tell you is, these next few months i would try to incorperate weights as much as possible, and especially once/if you commission, continuing to try and pack on muscle. as an officer you're going to have to lead men, and if you can't carry the machine gun, fireman carry the biggest guy in your platoon, or hoist yourself up over walls with ease while wearing full battle rattle, how can you expect that of your men?

this also goes with LOOKING like you can do all of these things. i know, it sounds stupid and superficial, but it's true.

also, having an impressive build, while not everything, will IMO greatly enhance your command presence.

just something to think about as well


I've already enlisted in the Corps.

Fortunately, I have simple tastes.


hahaha. my bad.

sorry for the initial digs. i have the upmost respect for the devil dogs, but DAMN, you guys really get shafted financially and with gear issue. (from what i've heard)


I'm not a Marine yet (I ship in November) but from what I've seen and heard, you're not wrong. Hell, we're not allowed to sit more than two people on the couch at the recruiting office because it's so old it might collapse.


And yet they have the most expensive uniforms...