070803-M-0000A-001Just because you plan on enlisting into the Marines, there is no reason to over-hype the physical aspect about being a Marine and especially about boot camp. Anyone can do it if they commit themselves and if they have the heart to push-on when the going gets tough.

It is important that you trust and believe in yourself and do not expect change to happen overnight. Being realistic in what is possible will also do you a lot of good. Do not expect to score a perfect  IST or PFT if you are not in that sort of shape. And keep in mind that not everyone will be able to achieve this great feat. The Marine Corps is filled with people who are in shape and this does not mean all of them are PT studs. Like in anything in life, some will be better than others and this applies to PT, so don’t freak out just because you see others who are faster or stronger than you.

You must also understand that boot camp is meant to get anyone into basic shape and it is not a 13 week PT session. The physical training you do in boot camp is not hard. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the toughest, the PT in boot camp is about a 5-6. What makes it hard is that when combined with everything else going on while in boot camp, this will make any event seem harder than it actually may be. I cannot stress this point enough: Boot camp PT is the most over-hyped event in boot camp, so try not to worry about it.

  • Here is an interesting fact: Over the years many new Marines have told me that their boot camp PFT stats went down instead of going up. This usually happens because while in the DEP, they are doing much more than what you will do while in boot camp. In some cases you can lose run time, or your pull-up total may go down during the official final PFT. If you are running for miles every day and busting out pull-ups on a daily basis as a poolee, this is great. Just understand that while in boot camp you don’t run every day and you don’t run long distances and you don’t bust out pull-ups on a daily basis. So some of you will lose strength and speed while in boot camp.
  • Always remember there is no secret to improving your stats. Do what you can and do it often. And don’t rely on your recruiter to get you into shape. Whether you enlist or not, you can get into shape on your own.
  • Understand that lifting weights is not necessary unless you need to gain muscle. Bulking up can slow you down and in the Marine Corps this type of strength is not necessary. You need to be tough from the inside out and not in a very muscular way. It doesn’t really matter if you can bench press 250lbs or 100lbs. Weightlifting strength does not determine how strong you will be as a Marine.
  • And there really isn’t a need to buy any fancy workout programs or to drink magic potions and or any crap like that. Just get out there and run, do some pull ups, sit ups, push ups and be active. Hundreds of thousands have made it just fine through boot camp and the USMC with just the basics, so understand there is no need for all the drama when it comes to working out.
  • As far as taking classes such as boxing, MMA, Karate and all those other cool courses, just understand that doing things like this is not necessary to become a Marine. If you want to take classes like this, that is fine and they are an excellent way to get your ass into shape, Just don’t get obsessed and end up thinking these classes will make you a better Marine.
  • If you are not yet a Junior in high school, there really is no need to start preparing for the Marines. You will be better prepared for the USMC if you forget about it until you reach your Junior year. At 13, 14, 15, and 16 years old, you really shouldn’t worry about your workouts. You can if you want to, but just understand it is not necessary.
  • If you play high school sports, you are probably already in shape to pass USMC boot camp, so think about that.

Always remember that there is no “best” routine to workout like Marines do. Each of you needs to figure out a simple PT plan that works for you and then try to stick to it and improve it as time goes by. Chances are very good that you will end up trying many different plans and routines until you finally find one that works best for you.

You want to gain strength in areas that will help you in your: Pulling, dragging, carrying, lifting, and pushing events. The more natural your workout is, the better it will benefit you in most cases. Climbing ropes, bars, walls and things like this do you more good than bench pressing as an example. And always work on your endurance and stamina. Just be in the best shape you can possibly be in.

To give you an example of the PT in boot camp and while in the Marines I will use myself as an example: I never played high school sports and I naturally struggle when it comes to running. I did fine in boot camp and I served in an infantry battalion and it was nothing too hard. Like I said, all it takes is desire and heart

Remember, you are not only preparing for boot camp when you work out. You are also prepping for what comes after that, so don’t forget to do some PFT’s and if possible some CFT’s.


Here is a list of some of the exercises that will help you prepare for boot camp and life after it. As far as how many to do and how far to run: These are things you will need to figure out on your own since we’re all different. Trust me, you will eventually figure out a good workout plan that works best for you.

  • push-ups
  • pull-ups
  • running on flat and hilly surfaces
  • sprints of distances up to 100 yards
  • sit-ups
  • crunches
  • stretches of all sorts
  • jumping jacks
  • leg lifts
  • mountain climbers
  • swimming (not only good to gain confidence in the water, but it is an excellent cardio workout)
  • rope climbing
  • wall climbing
  • bar dips
  • bar climbing (monkey bars)

There are plenty of other exercises you can do, but those are the basics to get you started. Remember, lifting weights is not necessary unless you need to gain strength or are a body builder.

50 responses

  1. Ryan

    That is some good advice sir.

    May 21, 2013 at 22:06

  2. Joey

    Would jump roping do me any good?

    May 29, 2013 at 19:21

    • Sure it would. Jumping rope is good for you, so keep at it.

      May 29, 2013 at 19:29

    • Anonymous

      I wouldn’t see why not? I’m not a Marine or anything but if you think about it, he mentioned swimming was a great cardio work out so, jump roping is also a great cardio.

      February 25, 2015 at 21:18

  3. Noah Liptack

    Aye sir!! I am 12 years old and i am joining the young marines this year. I will be in air force jrotc in HS. Can i still join the marines after High School? Also, what workouts should i do if i want to be a future U.S Marine>

    December 11, 2013 at 19:52

    • Of course you can still join the Marines after high school if you do the YM and AFJROTC.

      You can find a list of exercises on this page that you can do to prepare for the USMC. Try not to worry too much about preparing for the Marines right now. Once you are Junior in HS is when you should start prepping for the USMC. For now just don’t get fat.

      And be sure to read through the Future Jarheads website when you get a chance.

      December 11, 2013 at 21:05

  4. Maggie Parker

    I’m a sophomore girl, and my dad (a Marine himself) suggests that I start getting in to shape now. However, running is not my forte. Any tips to help with that?

    December 19, 2013 at 19:46

    • Make sure you read the “Running” page on this site for some tips and advice about running. If after reading it you have some questions, feel free to ask on that page.

      December 19, 2013 at 20:06

  5. Trent

    In 2 years ill be graduating hs. Im 15 6’5 and im in good shape. I was wondering if i need to go farther in my training cause as it is i exceed the requirements of the PFT greatly.

    February 22, 2014 at 19:26

    • What are your PFT stats?

      February 25, 2014 at 20:57

  6. Trent

    Also i need to know if my anger issues will get in my way.

    February 22, 2014 at 19:39

    • Of course they will. If you can’t control your anger, you’re gonna have many problems in the USMC and for the rest of your life.

      February 25, 2014 at 20:58

  7. Tony

    what if one of my goals are to join special forces when im in the marines ? what should I do ?
    I play sports and workout
    I can do 50 push ups and about 5-7 pull ups and run long distance is this good ?

    March 1, 2014 at 17:37

    • Read the “Special Ops” page in the Future Jarheads website.

      March 26, 2014 at 20:37

  8. jose jaimes

    I’m thinking of joining the marins I’m 21 and all that makes me nervous is doing boot camp does everyone have to complete everything on time or as long as we push ourselves?

    April 13, 2014 at 14:07

    • As long as you give it your 100 percent and pass your required events, you will graduate boot camp. Not everyone in boot camp performs at top level or gets things done on time. Read the FJ website for more info about passing boot camp.

      April 13, 2014 at 21:38

  9. Jerrod Carter

    sir I am a 15 year old sophomore and I was wondering do the marines offer college benefits for professional football?

    April 24, 2014 at 17:30

    • The offer financial support to go to college and not to play sports.

      May 6, 2014 at 10:34

  10. josie juliana

    In a junior in high school. i already went to go talk to a recuiter….i have to lose some weight …any advice? I also do Pt on Thrusday..but my job has be kinda tied up so i really dont have time to workout!
    ps. i work at a fast food place
    any advice would be halpful

    May 8, 2014 at 08:18

    • All of our advice can be found on this site and in our main website.

      May 10, 2014 at 21:47

  11. Vanessa Garcia

    My names Vanessa, I’m 18years old and a freshman in college. I’ve recently decided to enlist in the Marines and have full intentions with going out and meeting with a recruiter. However my only fear is that I am really out of shape. I’m 5’2 and around 205lbs. My question is should I get in shape on my own before enlisting or should I train a little and just go straight in and get in shape with the Marines? I still have very little knowledge about the Marines but I’m learning more about it everyday. Thank you for your time.

    May 9, 2014 at 04:24

    • Make sure you read through our website. Id go see a recruiter and let them evaluate you and they will tell you what needs to get done.

      May 10, 2014 at 21:46

  12. 16, Junior in highschool, wanted to join the Corps since I was 9. I can tell you things like an M16 fires a 5.56 NATO round and an Ak47 fires a 7.62. The standard issue sidearm of the usmc is the beretta m9. This is some of the knowledge ive gathered. I want to be a Rifleman/Infantry 0311 but I’ll admit am a little nervous of the name. Being infantry means your going in first right? except for Recon. but im a little scared of getting half of my body being blown off by an IED. I dont want you to be a person that is like “If these are your questions, dont join” but rather give me tips. PLEASE!!!! Im 5’7 and 110 lbs…… kinda sad but thats me. I eat so much (protein included) but stay skinny. I work out and no improvement……. WHY

    June 12, 2014 at 00:45

    • All of our tips are on this site here. And if you want advanced tips and advice, click on the “Advanced Training” tab up above and read through that site. And make sure you read through the “Infantry” page on the Future Jarheads website.

      June 12, 2014 at 14:26

  13. Anonymous

    I am shipping out to boot camp in september, and my workout regimine is as follows, monday-thursday 0800 pt at my rss, friday is when i do the marine corps daily workout sheet, saturday is when i run 3 miles or sprints. I have also played football in high school, so lifting weights is kinda a natural thing to me, if i dont lift, i feel weak, its weird and that is on mondays, wednesdays and fridays. Is that on the lines of overtraining?

    June 23, 2014 at 12:05

  14. Anonymous

    don’t forget flutter kicks and scissor kicks, too- or as they’re usually referred to in the usmc, “swimmers”

    June 26, 2014 at 09:28

  15. Michael G

    I’m 16 5′ 7” and a junior, I’m at a junior vocational school for computer science, any suggestions for jobs in the marines?

    October 13, 2014 at 17:59

    • You first need to check with a recruiter to see if your vocational diploma is going to be accepted for enlistment. As for jobs; you need to figure that out on your own since it is you wishing to serve and who will be the one doing the job. Read here: http://www.futurejarheads.org/howtopickyourjob.htm

      October 13, 2014 at 18:06

  16. Tj Pitts

    I am 19 I graduated and jumped immediately to a factory job and was so unhappy I had to leave it. My family and I have always talked about me joining bc of my character and athletic abilities, but it’s always been pushed under the rug bc of fear not just from my parents but also me. I’m not worried about the physical burdens that will come but more of mental and the small things. I have so many questions as simple as I dip how will that work ? Or as deep as how soon could I be airborne on my way to fight for my country. How can i get answers without being asked to sign this from a recruiter?

    October 20, 2014 at 14:35

    • Many of your questions and concerns are answered in our website, so read it: http://www.futurejarheads.org/

      October 22, 2014 at 07:03

  17. Anonymous

    I want to fight, what branch would be the first to do that?

    October 21, 2014 at 10:43

    • Read the “First To Fight” page on this website here: http://www.futurejarheads.org/

      October 22, 2014 at 07:02

    • Chestyrules

      Marine 0311

      October 31, 2014 at 20:07

      • Read the “First to Fight” page on the future jarheads website and you’ll have your answer.

        November 2, 2014 at 10:39

  18. Chesty_Puller_is_my_hero

    I am a sophomore at HS and i started to workout and run like 2 or 3 months ago, still a long way to join but my question is if is more important running or the upper part of your body to do well when i enlist?

    October 24, 2014 at 19:47

    • Both are very important, so find that perfect balance.

      November 7, 2014 at 13:02

  19. marc .C

    If started to workout and I dnt really no how much repe I should do and also I’m studying for the asvsab but it’s kinda hard for me if u could thing of any way u can help me reply please

    November 1, 2014 at 05:18

    • Find a workout routing that you can do. There isn’t a magical workout plan that works for all of you, so figure one out for you. And no, we can’t help you when taking tests. study it and do your best.

      November 2, 2014 at 10:40

  20. Tom

    Can you please give me an example of what a typical PT session will be like in Bootcamp? Thank you.

    February 4, 2015 at 10:03

    • It’s nothing special and basic stuff you do as a poolee, so there is no need for me to write out a typical this or that.

      February 4, 2015 at 17:49

  21. anthony

    I’m 17 and I have a misdemeanor for marijuana will that ruin my chances of joining the Marine Corps?

    February 24, 2015 at 12:17

    • It shouldn’t ruin your chance. You need to speak with a recruiter.

      February 27, 2015 at 17:29

  22. hi, I am 18 years old and will soon be 19. I am still being homeschooled and will graduate in June. here’s my problem. I want to join the USMC, always have but i’m not in shape at all it seems. I’m not fat but I’m not toned or athletic in any way. I can barley do 15 push ups if I try my very best and maybe 2 pull ups. I use to run but im not good at that either. it seems the goal ive always wanted to accomplish has become a mountain I cant climb. do you have any advice on how I can start taking steps toward fulfilling my dreams and serving my country?

    February 24, 2015 at 14:25

    • All of our advice is here on this site and on our main website, so read it.

      February 27, 2015 at 17:30

  23. Kat

    i’m having trouble finding out what I should go for in the marines

    June 9, 2015 at 09:41

    • Read through our main website and it should help you out.

      June 16, 2015 at 09:23

  24. Ant

    I am 17 and I am over weight I really want to be a marine. I know I need to loose weight but I don’t know where to begin can you help me?

    August 12, 2015 at 20:13

    • Our advice is on this site here and in our other sites, so keep reading.

      September 1, 2015 at 18:13

  25. Paul durazzo

    i’m hoping to join this school year but don’t know what exercise’s to do at home to get a feel of what you guys do

    August 21, 2015 at 21:44

    • All the info you need is right here in this site and in our other sites, so keep reading.

      September 1, 2015 at 18:14

Sound off with your comments!! Don't be shy!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers