Military Mass – The Lowdown on the United States Marine Corps’ Training Regimen
The United States Marine Corps – one of the most well-respected, longstanding and hard-working branches of the United States Armed Forces. Retaining a strong public image reinforced by their unprecedented protection of the USA, the Marines are often pegged by pop culture as outrageously-buff soldiers marching into combat with rippling six-packs and a rifle in their hands (Rambo, anyone?).
But does all this hype amount to reality? Is their training as tough as the world imagines it to be? Can it really produce the results we see in Hollywood? In this article, we will explore the details of what exactly lies within a U.S. Marine’s training regimen, how much weight they carry on a typical day in deployment, and what type of training can get you prepared for handling that sort of load. It’s time to build some military mass!
Bootcamp Brawn – A Glimpse at USMC PT
While many imagine a regular USMC training session to be filled with 1RM deadlifts and heavy rusted chains set in a dark gritty gym, the actual training routine may surprise you. The USMC’s Physical Fitness Test (PFT) is a thorough examination of a soldier’s foundational strength and endurance, covering all aspects of functional athleticism. Included in a standard training regime are exercises such as:
✓ Bodyweight crunches
✓ 3-mile endurance runs (at sea level and 4,500ft. above sea level)
✓ Maneuverable/contact-response assessments
All these exercises and their targeted rep-range/completion times are determined by the soldier’s age and gender. For the complete spectrum of target times and reps, please refer to the USMC PFT Standards.
How much weight does a US Marine have to carry in equipment?
The commonly held image of a Marine in deployment is one of pure power: bulky, strong, well-armed and loaded to the brim with a variety of equipment. But just how heavy is all that equipment? After all, the Marines must be pretty strong to be able to carry all that gear. According to “a 2007 study by a Navy research-advisory committee,” it was determined that “Marines typically have loads from 97 to 135 pounds.” Now that’s a load!
What training could prepare you for what a US Marine has to carry?
Now that we’ve established that deployed Marines typically carry a hefty weight on their bodies, the question may arise: “How can I prepare myself to carry that kind of weight?”
By far, the best advice is to visit the USMC PFT Prep Program directly; here you can find a 16-week program that should condition you to their highest standards. Aside from that, other ways of training to carry a Marine’s load include endurance training/running, weighted resistance training, and callisthenics/plyometrics; to make these even more intense, consider training with a weighted vest or ankle weights!
It is very important that you are properly prepared to carry a Marine’s load of equipment, for “the VA stated that an increasing number of disabilities due to lower-back problems was a ‘direct result’ of carrying excessive loads for long periods.” So, make sure to progressively overload your training in a safe manner!
Take Home Message
Well, there you have it: the inside scoop on what a regular training session looks like for a United States Marine, how much weight they typically carry while in deployment, and how you yourself can properly train to become prepared for such a load. Use this info to awaken your inner patriot, defend your country, make some gains, and FUEL YOUR AMBITION! Hoo-rah!
Photos featured in this article are of Myprotein Ambassador Dan Rockwell
Bernton, Hal. “Weight of War: Gear That Protects Troops Also Injures Them.” The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times, 12 Feb. 2011. http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/weight-of-war-gear-that-protects-troops-also-injures-them/. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.