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Old 04-19-2011, 10:01 AM   #1
Jon Pechette
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Default Preparing for Marine Corps PFT and OCS

Next year, probably during the fall, I will be taking the Marine Corps PFT with the hopes of qualifying for Marine OCS. Obviously other factors play into my acceptance besides the PFT, but it needs to be really good. If I get into OCS, which I would attend the following summer, I want to have a perfect score of 300 on the PFT by that time so that I am more likely to do well at OCS and get the specialty that I want.

The Marine Corps PFT consists of max pullups, max crunches in 2 minutes, and a 3-mile run. Perfect scores are 20 pullups, 100 crunches, and an 18 minute 3-mile time.

Current stats:
Age: 21
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 150 lbs
Max Pullups: 20
Max Situps in 2 minutes: 95
3-mile run: about 24 minutes (I suck at running)
Squat: 295# x 3
Deadlift: 340# x 6
Press: 135# x 3
Max Pushups in 2 minutes: 85
400m: 1:06

Running is by far my biggest weak point. I don't think that it would take me much time to get to the point where I could do 20 pullups on a bad day and I could probably do 100 crunches in 2 minutes now. I have been doing 5/3/1 with short, heavy metcons for a while now, which I like, but it's time to stop working on the things that I like and start working on the things that I need. I hate running anything over 400m, so I generally don't, and that's why my 3-mile time is crap.

My question is how would I construct a program to get my 3-mile time down to around 20 minutes or less by next fall (is that possible?) and down to 18 minutes or less by the summer of 2012? I would prefer to increase my absolute strength at the same time if that's feasible, but maintaining it would be all right as well. I want to fit pullups and pushups in too, and maybe some swimming and rucking.

Other stuff: As far as my schedule goes, for the next month (until school is over) my recovery will not be good due to inadequate sleep, food, and mobility work. I'm not working this summer, however, and I can devote as much time as needed to training, so length of workout sessions is not a problem.

Any comments and suggestions are welcome.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:12 PM   #2
Donald Lee
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1. Stop caring about your absolute strength, until you have the fitness required to become an officer. Your absolute strength has little bearing on succeeding at OCS and Basic School.

Learn to love running.

2. Strength train only 1-2 days/week until your endurance is up to par.

3. Stop doing metcons, and run 4-6 days/week. You can do something like 3 slow, long jogs (60 min+) and 1-3 faster runs. The faster runs can be long, like 40 min+ or they can be shorter threshhold type runs that are 20+ min. I'd save the really long faster runs for the end of the week, so you can recover to start the next week.

4. As you get closer to OCS, you can start incorporating more intervals and hill sprints.

5. Do a lot of bodybuilding type work with sets of 10-25+ reps.

6. Read the Ultimate MMA Conditioning thread.

7. Don't try to plan everything out, and just stick with the basics of running a lot. Once your fitness has improved, people can give you more specifics.

Also, OCS has no bearing on your MOS. That is determined solely at Basic School, where you will definitely lose much of your fitness.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:22 PM   #3
Steven Low
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Pretty much what was said above....... gotta just run a lot.

Aim to just maintain strength with 1x a week, and work the rest on endurance
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:06 PM   #4
Chris Butler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald Lee View Post
5. Do a lot of bodybuilding type work with sets of 10-25+ reps.
Why would you want to do bodybuilding training? There's no transfer effect from that at all. If anything it's going to make him slow.

Strength is endurance. That's what I bank on going into my splitboard season.

My recommendation is a 21 day training week with 2 days off between strength sessions.
Running 3-4x per week.
Don't beat yourself into the ground. Recovery is most important. Manage fatigue

You know you can make the 3mi. Endurance isn't a problem. You need more speed.
Speed = Force against the ground.
Do fartleks on 2 sessions, straight run on 1 session and 1 day make an event day since the PFT is done in one shot.

I agree, ditch the met cons. maybe a proper Tabata Protocol (stationary bike) occasionally.
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:11 PM   #5
Donald Lee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Butler View Post
Why would you want to do bodybuilding training? There's no transfer effect from that at all. If anything it's going to make him slow.

Strength is endurance. That's what I bank on going into my splitboard season.

My recommendation is a 21 day training week with 2 days off between strength sessions.
Running 3-4x per week.
Don't beat yourself into the ground. Recovery is most important. Manage fatigue

You know you can make the 3mi. Endurance isn't a problem. You need more speed.
Speed = Force against the ground.
Do fartleks on 2 sessions, straight run on 1 session and 1 day make an event day since the PFT is done in one shot.

I agree, ditch the met cons. maybe a proper Tabata Protocol (stationary bike) occasionally.
Chris, I disagree with everything you said except for not beating yourself into the ground.

Running 3-4 days/week can work, but Jon should not waste time doing other stuff that isn't helpful for OCS when he has so much more to improve in his running. Especially with how competitive getting into OCS is now, I'd reckon that Jon has to get a sub-20 min 3-mile time by February at the latest to have a chance at getting selected. Too many people think they can get in running shape really quickly, and many end up paying for it. OCS can be really tough on the body, and injuries are very common. OCS has softened a lot since 07, but it's still a lot of running, humping, and walking really fast in boots with a pack on and while carrying a rifle. It's pretty hard on your lower body. This is why I say running should be Jon's #1 priority right now.

And all that speed stuff is wrong in this case. And the bodybuilding-type stuff is basically lactic and oxidative work. It has nothing to do with sarcoplasmic hypertrophy in this case. Plus, bodybuilding-type reps don't work well for hypertrophy, without lower-rep strength work, unless you're on steroids.
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:59 PM   #6
Jon Pechette
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Thanks for the responses! I think I'll do what Donald suggested. For recovery should I plan in weeks with less mileage or just rest when I'm not recovering well?
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:13 PM   #7
Donald Lee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Pechette View Post
Thanks for the responses! I think I'll do what Donald suggested. For recovery should I plan in weeks with less mileage or just rest when I'm not recovering well?
You can pretty much go by feel.

I recommended a lot of slow jogging, which builds up your general cardio and the low threshold (low power, high aerobic capacity...which helps with general recovery intra- and inter-workout) muscle fibers in your legs.

You should be able to work up to or already do what I recommended with little trouble.

The key is to not try to work at too high an intensity for too long. You really don't need to work at too high of an intensity right now. You can maybe do one threshhold run (run about as fast as you can...like a PFT run) a week, and the other 1-2 fast runs a week can be just regular hard runs. You probably don't even need very much threshold-type work. You could probably do it just once ever 3-4 weeks if you want.

The thing is...you're not at an advanced or elite stage, so you don't need to follow any strict program to improve. Just focus on building your basic endurance, and then you can up the intensity and speed later.
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:24 PM   #8
Chris Butler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald Lee View Post
Chris, I disagree with everything you said
I guess that makes us even.
Quote:
And the bodybuilding-type stuff is basically lactic and oxidative work.
How does that carryover to running?
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:43 PM   #9
Donald Lee
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Originally Posted by Chris Butler View Post
I guess that makes us even.
How does that carryover to running?
It's two of the three energy pathways, and I was more concerned with the bodybuilding stuff for upper body and ab work than for lower body.
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:57 PM   #10
Mark Fenner
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To the original poster, while it is geared towards a different selection school, you might find the running progressions, core/calisthenic exercises, and philosophy of this to be useful:

http://www.sealswcc.com/navy-seals-p...ing-guide.aspx

I'm not sure if there is a PDF at that link, but you can google around to find one.

Best,
Mark
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