OCS in Review: Physical Preparation

Although I’m done with OCS, I will be writing a few more posts to help out future candidates. Basically, these are the posts that have been requested, or that I just wish I had to read before OCS.

For physical preparation, much advice I got was wrong, or misleading before I got to OCS. The workouts and much of the training has evolved considerably since past CO’s.

If I had to do it again, I would mimic OCS workouts as much as possible in my own program. So, to that end I’ll detail the current workouts at Officer Candidate School. Enjoy!

PPPA: Push/Pull/Press/Abs

PPPA is often an addition to a run or another workout. This was the only workout that pushed me to my full physical limit. Know your weaknesses, right?

First, pushup/pull-up supersets. For example, 10 pulls, 25 pushes, 8 pulls, 20 pushes, 6 and 15.  The numbers increase each time you do it. By week 8 or 9, I believe it’s something like pull-ups: 16/14/12 and pushups 45/40/35. Ouch.

Marine Corps Pushup!

Marine Corps Push ups!

Ammo can press/crunch supersets come next. I think the ammo cans are 20 or 30 pounds each (full of sand.) This is a great preparation for the CFT and PFT. These are timed events, so you end up doing about 2 min/1.5/1 minute for ammo can presses, alternating with crunches of about the same time.

Fartleks

Fartleks are 3-5 mile runs, interspersed with workouts every half mile or so. Fartleks are very similar to the Run Course/Mec Weight (or something like that) where you just don’t run as far, and do more workouts. An awesome cardio workout.

Example exercises: Pushups, pull-ups, crunches, sit-ups, frog sit-ups (wide knees like you’re doing a groin stretch), diamond pushups, body squats, bend and thrusts, burpees, dips, mountain climbers, sprints

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PFT Page updated

Some helpful running information is now on the PFT page here:

https://manlypat.wordpress.com/physical-preparation/physical-fitness-test-pft-pullups/

Click for PFT

Click for PFT page

PFT Bigger Success!

Hooray! My goal was a 275, but I got a 282 on my PFT, hopefully putting me over the top to getting into OCC-202!

Did the PFT about 0600, and the cooler temperatures definitely helped on the run portion.  I would encourage any other candidates that you can retake PFTs and apply higher scores to your application package.  Good stuff!

Goal:

pft crunches

My PFT crunches, okay not really

Pull-ups: 19
Crunches: 100
Run: 21:20

Performance:

Pull-ups: 20
Crunches: 100
Run: 20:58

USMC OCS-worthy PFT…again!

Tomorrow morning I will run another PFT.  Yes, my package is applied and in to the boards.  However, my 266 PFT is not awesome these days, and my OSO wants me to do better.  He is assured that the board will not meet until August 21, and we can send in any “updates” to the packet before then.  Interesting..

Goal:

19 pull ups, 100 crunches, 21:20 on the run.

95/100/80=275/300

That’s the word anyhow.  Wish me luck!

PFT: Killer Crunch Workout

This is a popular training program for the crunches part of the PFT.

While it is a good program to help you get to and past 100 crunches, remember that it crunches are a one-dimensional component of fitness and are not a substitute for a full core workout. OCS is much more than just the PFT.

Day 1

Do three maximum effort sets. Rest 60-90 seconds between each set. As soon as you stop (even for one second), that set is complete.

Day 2

Pyramid day. Begin with 20 repetitions. Each consecutive set should increase by ten until you can not complete the required amount without pausing. Then do a maximum effort set. Rest 1 second per crunch of the previous set.

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Nearing the End of My Application Process

I now live and work in Washington, DC.

At the end of the month, I head to Pensacola, Florida for some last flight-related physicals.  I am told not to worry about them, but I’ll update the blog to explain what I go through.

For now, my old Pittsburgh OSO is putting me in touch with the DC officer recruiting team to have me run some PFTs to try to get my score up.  Yeah!

The Latest Word on Minimum PFT Scores

  • Hi all, if you’re in the process of applying to OCS now with a PFT score between 225 and 275, I wouldn’t feel totally confident that my score is above the minimum if I were you!  With the economy the way it is, there have been an unusually high number of applicants, especially college grads.  Since the Corps can’t accept everyone, some applicants with passing scores have been rejected, or bumped for consideration in the next pool.  
  • My OSO has heard in the last week that a “probable” score to get in has dropped from 285 to 275 recently.  
  • In other news, officer selection officers have been instructed that air contracts are preferred.  
  • Last tip of the day: you might not hear if you get accepted to OCS until even the month before you would have to deploy!  So hang in there, get that PFT score up, don’t count on OCS class you pick!
  • Just some good tips you all might be able to use. 

 

My PFT Score Is Too Low??

My PFT Score Is Too Low??