Are you Marine fit?
How to train like a Marine for your best fitness levels yet
The Royal Marines are the UK’s commando force – elite, skilled military personnel who are trained to the very highest level of fitness.
Are you Marine fit? Could you be? Is it possible for a normal person to achieve Royal Marine fitness whilst training around work and other commitments. We’re not sure, but we’re p for the challenge if you are.
How fit are the Royal Marines?
The UK’s Royal Marine commandos are amongst the fittest military personnel in the world. Passing the fitness tests to get in is just the first step. From there it’s an ongoing series of training sessions, tests and challenges to keep the Marine’s in peak physical and mental shape.
The Royal Marines are trained for rapid response to deal with threats and security challenges. And don’t forget, the Royal Marines are amphibius light infantry (one of the Royal Navy’s five fighting arms) so they have to be fit enough to fight in water as well as on land.
What are the Marines fitness tests?
To get into the Royal Marines Commandos, you have to meet the Royal Navy’s eligibility requirements. Then there are extra interviews, tests and checks if you want to become a Marine.
What is the Royal Marines PJFT+
The first test you’ll have to pass is the Pre-joining Fitness Test Plus (PJFT+). Take a look at it – you’d have to be in amazing condition to even get this far. (Why not give it a go – applicants get three attempts.)
- 20 burpees
- 30 sit ups
- 20 press ups
- 1 minute plank
Do this circuit 3 times
5 x pull ups
Is there a Royal Marines swimming test?
With the Royal Marines being an amphibious unit, it’s no surprise that you need to be fit and strong in water. To get into the Marines, you’ll also need to do the following swimming test (no goggles allowed…)
- Step off a 3-metre platform
- Complete 2 laps of the pool breaststroke without touching the sides or the floor
- Tread water for 2 minutes
- Climb out of the pool without using the steps
How do you get into the Royal Marines?
The PJFT+ and swimming assessment is just the start of getting Marine-fit. Successful applicants then go on a 3-day course where they’ll do a V02 max test and a bleep test (you’ll need to achieve level 11, by the way). There’s another swimming assignment plus assessments of press ups (40) sit ups (50) and 5 overhang pull ups.
The final phase of Royal Marine qualification involves four Commando tests – pass these, and recruits get that famous green beret that says they’re now an official Royal Marine Commando.
Fancy trying the tests out yourself? Be our guest:
A 2-mile endurance course featuring tunnels, woodland, water and bogs, followed by a 4-mile run and a shooting test.
A 9-mile speed march that you’ll need to complete in 90 minutes…whilst carrying your equipment and rifle.
An aerial assault course that needs to be completed in 13 minutes, again carrying kit and rifle.
A 30-mile march across the inhospitable terrain of Dartmoor, carrying equipment and rifle, with an 8-hour time cap.
How do the Royal Marines train?
Once you get into the Royal Marines, you can expect your physical training to ramp up and be tested by challenging conditions. As a general rule, Marine training involves fitness, drills, and combat-specific training.
Swimming, endurance work under load, and bodyweight/calisthenics work make up the bulk of Marine commandos’ physical training. Work on those three pillars and you’ll certainly inch your way closer to Marine fitness.
5 ways to get Marine fit (or close enough)
Get in the pool
Royal Marines start their training in a swimming pool and progress to outdoor bodies of water with plenty of challenges. Get Marine fit by dusting off those trunks and heading to the local pool at least twice a week. Mix up your swim training with sprint work and longer intervals rather than just cruising up and down.
Calisthenics feature in every military training programme around the world, and the Marines are no different. Get really good at the bodyweight movements in the fitness tests: pull ups, push ups, and sit ups.
Nothing will get your mind and body fit like really long endurance challenges. Make like a Marine and load up your ruck pack or weighted vest and head out for long hikes.
Sign up to an obstacle course race this summer. Training your body to overcome natural obstacles, tunnels, climbs and hangs will replicate a fraction of what the Marines have to deal with on the daily.
You’ll notice that most of the Marines’ physical work involves carrying equipment and a rifle. We don’t recommend the latter, but you should definitely add a weighted vest to your cardio sessions, long walks, and bodyweight workouts
Get Marine fit with a tactical weighted vest
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