Generic Fitness Question

This is a question posted on in the Royal Marines section:

Hi folks.

I have a few thoughts on phys which have been running around my brain for the last while. I would like to get an opinion on them from you. Basically they concern maximising the effectiveness of ones training by doing the the things you will actualy have to do to complete the Commando Course as well as things that suport the first things.

It seems to me that the core requirements are to
A - be able to carry a mountain round on your back at a ridiculously fast walking pace (load carry)
B - be able to run like stink for 6 miles with fighting order (endurance course & assault course)
C - be able to jog for 30 miles with fighting order (9 mile speed march and 30 miler)

So here's what's going through my head.
The best way to train for the load carry is to do weights and practice load carrying

The best way to train for endurance and assault courses is to practice running 6 or 7 miles as fast as you can in fighting order.

If you up that to 10 miles as fast as you can you will have no probs with the speed march or the 30 miler.

Which makes me wonder "why all the circuits and hillsprints"?
What is the point? it doesn;t make you run any faster - running makes you run faster. Pressups don't make you stronger - bench pressing does.

The reason is (I think) that the load carrying nature of the tests will favour physicaly strong/sprinter types who will probably struggle with CV rather than thin runner types and they need to up that aspect of their training. So why do "they" not emphasise the strength building aspects for the skiny guys?

You're training to do a job in which you run around in fighting order or humping a big rucksack - so why do anything else?

This has some how disintergrated into a BP vs Push up argument and the the two differ and what crosses over from each exercise.

What are your peoples' thoughts on the quest posed in the thread?

If you are training for specific tasks then train those specific tasks with a peak in mind for a specific time frame.

Use auxiallary training i.e. Crossfit type training to supplement you core training and to improve weak areas you may not know you have.

I'm not a Crossfitter but I like a line of thinking Glassman put out a while back when the question arose of only doing Crossfit workouts you like and he said that most people will tend to gravitate to exercises that they like and/or are good at and neglect exercises that would improve their overall performance.

So focus on your sport/training specific goals and add in 2 to 4 days a week of random conditioning work to keep your body guessing and improve your overall performance.

And to be fair I hate friggin push ups as much as I hate the damned bench press.


The obvious point would be that he's vastly over simplifying the workload that a marine would be expected to do.

In training you will be put through a lot of circuits and do a lot of sprinting, so obviously you need to include those in your training for that reason.

In combat the ability to sprint short distances, heave yourself over obstacles, crawl around on your hands and knees, and generally move like f*ck around the battlefield - including going up and down hills and stairs as quick as possible - without dying from exhaustion are very real requirements.

Bench pressing and carrying a heavy bergen won't help you with any of that.