Physically and Mentally Preparing for Military Boot Camp

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

You can’t train in a U.S. Marine Corps boot camp without being physically and mentally prepared. You will go through a series of physically and mentally demanding challenges to push yourself beyond your limits. The military boot camp is no place for the faint of heart. If you’re training to be part of the army or marines, you have to give yourself enough time to train your mind and body. In today’s post, we are giving you tips on how to mentally and physically prepare yourself for the demands of military boot camp:

Physical Preparations

You will go through different tests to determine your physical fitness. New Marines recruits should pass the Initial Strength Test or IST at the start of training. The standards for IST starts on a three-day “Receiving Phase.” During this phase, you will do a lot of pull-ups, flexed arm hangs, timed run and crunches. So during your preparation, practice these exercises and time yourself.

At the end of training, you will take another test aptly named Physical Fitness Test or PFT. The PFT test includes exercises like pull-ups, crunches and timed run. You have to complete each exercise in a specific period of time. For example, you have to complete 50 full crunches in two minutes or less.

The other test to prepare for is the Combat Fitness Test or CFT. This is a yearly requirement for all Marines. It will test your physical abilities in combat situations. The CFT is comprised of three main components: Movement to combat, Ammunition lift and Maneuver under fire. Each of these components has a corresponding score of 100 points. A perfect score in CFT is 300. However, the scores will be based on the recruit’s age and gender.

Of course, you are expected to beat the minimum standards to qualify to the Marines. If you barely passed the IST, there’s a good chance you won’t be accepted. Also, those who pass the minimum IST standards tend to have a harder time adjusting to the physical demands of Marines boot camp. In short, you have to pass the IST with ease to qualify for the PFT.

Mental Preparations

After passing the initial tests, you will be subjected to mental tests. These tests include following orders, leaving behind luxuries and doing everything in a timely fashion.

Your drill sergeant expects all recruits to work hard and show discipline. The tests will determine the mental abilities of recruits include intelligence, character, and focus. Unfortunately, it’s the mental strain that makes it difficult for recruits to stay in the program. Once you enter the boot camp, you will not be entitled the respect and courtesy you get from civilian life. You will be shouted at, insulted and embarrassed for slip-ups. You are also expected to obey orders 100%.

Throughout your training, you will leave behind all luxuries including mobile phones, computers or extra clothing. You are expected to live only with bare essentials. You can take identification documents, religious items and the clothes on your back. No extra food, clothing. Not even a watch.

At the start of your training, you will be gone for 13 weeks. During your training, your contact with friends and family is limited. New recruits are only given 30 seconds to notify their families that they have arrived at the camp. The only time you can see your loved ones again is on Family Day. This is the day after you graduate from boot camp.


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