The Marine Corps physical training program is rigorous. Throughout basic training, your cardiovascular system, muscular strength and mental endurance are tested. You will have to complete multiple exercises in unpredictable situations and surroundings. Workout conditions include water and heavy lifting tests in addition to fully uniformed, sprint and distance runs. Running is a regular part of the physical training program and you must meet Marine Corps standards.
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Physical Fitness Entrance Requirements
The Marines require a physical fitness test upon entrance to basic training called the IFT or, Initial Fitness Test. The IFT includes a 1.5-mile run under 13:30 minutes for males along with 44 crunches in 2 minutes and two pullups. Females must run 1.5 miles in 15:30 minutes with a 12-second flexed arm hang and 44 crunches in 2 minutes. Not meeting the run time or falling below the allotted scores for the activities equates to placement in a corrective fitness-conditioning program and a delay in starting basic training.
Marine Corps Fitness Standards
Once you actually begin basic training, the PFT or Physical Fitness Test encompasses a 3-mile run, crunches and pullups or arm-hang. To pass this test, males must complete the run in 28 minutes, do a minimum of three pullups and 50 crunches in 2 minutes. Females need to run 3 miles under the 31-minute mark with a flexed arm-hang time of 15 seconds and 50 crunches in 2 minutes.
Fitness During Basic Training
The physical training for recruits consistently increases in intensity throughout basic training. As you progress, your personal level of fitness will improve. There will be workouts wearing full gear, long-distance hikes, obstacle courses and a variety of other physical activities in addition to endurance runs. The length of the runs will vary greatly so running before you go is essential for readiness. Recruits may incur a setback and even be sent home if unable to achieve proper fitness standards.
At the end of basic training, you will have logged extensive miles running and even more hiking, often in boots with a full rucksack. "Over the last three months your Marine has already hiked 90 miles, ran 75 miles and fired 650 rounds with the M16A2 service rifle, and he/she will be a highly motivated, well disciplined and smartly trained individual ready and eager to take on the next challenge." The 12 weeks you spend at Parris Island, S.C., may seem daunting looking ahead, and will be grueling. The feeling of pride and accomplishment upon graduation from basic military training will make every mile well worth it.