The U.S. Marine Corps provides power projection while utilizing the mobility of the U.S. Navy. They are always in the forefront of battles. They perform functions that are not typically assigned to ordinary soldiers. The Marines are always combat-conditioned, ready for battle at a moment’s notice.


(Pixabay / DanEvans)

It takes a very rigorous training regimen to stay combat-ready at all times. Marines must constantly challenge themselves physically. All able-bodied men and women can apply to be a Marine, but only a select group can keep up with the physical and mental demands.

Basic Training

The U.S. Marine Corps has a 13-week basic training course designed to familiarize recruits with military life and mold them into top flight soldiers. Because the Marines are often the first to deploy, they must be among the toughest and best warriors the country has to offer. During training, the recruits must undergo punishing regimens that push them to their limits and beyond. Only the most determined of the recruits survive basic training.

Initial Strength Test

Basic training aims to prepare the recruits to pass the IST (Initial Strength Test) as well as the PFT (Physical Fitness Test) required for graduation.

Applicants need to make sure that they meet the minimum standards of a Marine recruit. Male applicants must have body fat that is 18 percent or less of their body weight. Female applicants must not have more than 26 percent body fat.

For the Initial Strength Test, which is required of every applicant, a male recruit must perform the following:

  • 2 pull-ups and 35 sit ups in 2 minutes
  • 1.5 mile run in 13:30

Female recruits must perform the following:

  • Flexed arm hang for 12 seconds, 35 sit ups in 2 minutes
  • 1 mile run in 10:30

If the recruits fail to pass the Initial Strength Test, they will be assigned to a conditioning platoon until they are able to meet the requirements.

Physical Fitness Test

The final test for a Marine recruit before graduation is the Physical Fitness Test. Recruits must pass the minimum requirements as follows:

  • Males must do 3 pull-ups, 50 sit ups in 2 minutes, and run 3 miles in 28 minutes.
  • Females must keep a flexed arm hang for 15 seconds, do 50 sit ups in 2 minutes, and run 3 miles in 31 minutes.


Marines must stay in consistently great shape. They exercise daily with workouts that help them maintain optimal full body health. They typically perform calisthenics sets to get their heart rate up and strengthen muscles. The exercises are usually followed by a steady run to build endurance and stamina. Need some inspiration for your own fitness goals? Workout like a Marine.