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Fitness Requirements for the Royal Marines

author image Peter Mitchell
Based near London, U.K., Peter Mitchell has been a journalist and copywriter for over eight years. Credits include stories for "The Guardian" and the BBC. Mitchell is an experienced player and coach for basketball and soccer teams, and has written articles on nutrition, health and fitness. He has a First Class Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from Bristol University.
Fitness Requirements for the Royal Marines
R.M. badge seen on the shoulder or a Royal Marine. Photo Credit MarjanCermelj/iStock/Getty Images

The UK's Royal Marines must pass the longest basic training regime of any NATO combat troops, according to the Royal Navy website. You need to be extremely fit to become a Royal Marine. Successful recruits will demonstrate excellent physical abilities in exercises ranging from running to pushups. Requirements include endurance and general fitness tests, and recruit selection is based on two rounds of assessment courses.


The British Army has used specialist Royal Marines in military operations for nearly 350 years, according to the BBC website. New recruit training takes place at the Commando Training Center in Devon, located in southwest England. Sometimes known as "green berets" based on their distinctive headgear, the Royal Marines have a reputation as some of the toughest military professionals in the world, similar to the United States Marine Corps.

Preliminary Requirements

Fitness testing for the Royal Marines starts with an initial assessment. A medical check ensures that you don't suffer from any heart conditions or similar physical problems. After that you will need to run on a treadmill for approximately 1.49 miles in no longer than 12 minutes, 30 seconds. Shortly after that, you will be asked to run the same distance again, but with a faster time of at least 10 minutes, 30 seconds. If you pass these challenges, you may be invited to the next round of assessment.

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Main Course

Recruits must pass the main Potential Royal Marine Course, or PRMC. The course lasts three days and includes written and verbal exams. However, the focus is on many physical fitness tests. For example, potential recruits must run as a squad for 1.5 miles in under 12 minutes, 30 seconds. You will also have to reach level 11 in the bleep test. The bleep test measures your stamina by forcing you to run between two points that are just under 66 feet apart in increasingly short times. Level 11 means running at approximately 8.5 miles per hour between the two points.

Other Fitness Requirements

In addition to running tests, fitness requirements for the Royal Marines include other challenging exercises, according to the HM Forces website. For example, the stress test includes the following sequence: Sixty pushups in under two minutes followed by two minutes of rest; then 80 situps in two minutes followed by a rest; and finally, six pullups with palms facing away from the body. Other tests include short gym routines and a four minute long assault course.

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