When you decide to join the U.S. Marine Corps you decide to embark on an incredible journey that will test you mentally, emotionally, and physically. You understand that there are several requirements that you must meet, including certain basic physical requirements that will determine whether you will be eligible for a place in the most elite military group in the country. The Marines strength test or the Marine Corps Initial Strength Test is the first hurdle you will need to leap as a new recruit. It is the test that all recruits take on their arrival at Parris Island, South Carolina for Marines basic training.
If you are unable to achieve the minimum standards of the Initial Strength Test then you may have to take remedial conditioning. To avoid the need for remedial conditioning, you can start your physical training long before you show up for basic. You can get a head start by knowing what the testing involves, to help guide your preliminary training efforts.
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Breakdown of The Marines Initial Strength Test
The Marine Corps Initial Strength test involves a series of three activities. A man must do two pull ups, then do 44 crunches within two minutes, followed by running one and a half miles in 13:30 minutes or less. A woman must maintain a flex-arm hang for twelve seconds, do 44 crunches in two minutes, and run one and a half miles within fifteen minutes or less. It sounds easy on the surface, but there is a lot more to it. Those who don’t consider the benefits of preparation may find themselves under performing or failing completely. This might land them in a Physical Conditioning Platoon for remedial training, an option that delays further training and graduation from basic.
Many of the people who decide to join the Marines fail to account for the intense physical conditioning they will undergo during those 12-13 weeks of boot camp. They might not meet any of the physical requirements if they had to do them now. It takes time and dedication to get to the right physical levels. What better way to prove that you will be ready to accept the commitments of the Marine Corps then to get started the moment you decide to join the Marines?
Since the Initial Strength Test puts different demands on the body, it is important to be well rounded with any exercise or running you do. Like anyone getting started with a fitness program, you need to give yourself plenty of time to work. A few months of steady training prior to your arrival at boot camp can really give you the opportunity to condition your body.
Any training you begin should be carefully arranged so that you are focusing on the requirements of the Initial Strength Test, too. Do plenty of pull-ups and crunches and see if you can meet the time requirements of the Marine Corps. Get all the running you can in at the track, park or along the road. You need to be consistent, but don’t overdo it. It is easy to get carried away with exercise when you’re starting out because you don’t know how strong your body is. To avoid hurting yourself, you will want to start out slow and gradually increase your physical training.
Over the course of a few weeks, you’ll probably notice some differences provided you stuck with a regular schedule. After the breathlessness, weariness, and muscle soreness subside, your body will start to adjust. With running, you should begin timing yourself at the start so each time you make an attempt at the minimum timing, you can rate your progress.
Your efforts might also go smoother if you can find someone else to work out with. The encouragement you will receive from a partner can be priceless. Also, there is nothing like having somebody else there to be accountable to, especially if you have trouble with self-discipline starting out. It can be difficult and discouraging to go it alone, but again, sometimes you have no choice but to work through it no matter what.
Only The First Step
Once you pass the Initial Strength Test, bear in mind that there will be other hurdles during recruit training. The more time you’ve spent on physical conditioning, the better your performance going forward will be.