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You are here: Home HPRC Blog Finan's Blog: Tips for training

Finan's Blog: Tips for training

published: 03-18-2011 Journal entry icon

Saturday May 8, 2010: This was the first day in my new PFT/OCS[1] workout journal.

Pull-ups: 8

Three-mile run: never finished

Sit-ups/2 min – 59

"Tough times don't last. Tough people do." – Gregory Peck.

This is the quote that I think about every day while I’m training for my upcoming ten weeks at OCS this summer. I have never been OUT of shape, but lately I have wondering how IN shape I truly am. So it got me thinking of what is the best way to train for this “hell” that I have heard of. I started with the traditional “practice makes perfect” strategy and started running every day, doing two minutes of sit-ups, and trying to do 20 correct pull-ups without failing. I have to admit it was very hard, and I was not seeing results as fast as I had expected. I am a martial arts instructor and can roll with a student for 20 minutes without gasping for air, but after 1.5 miles of jogging, I was contemplating sleeping on the sidewalk of the street! Now, everyone knows that a basic principle of getting healthy is discipline, but it starts with disciplining your mind before your body. I have a couple Marine buddies who have gone through OCS, and they gave me a whole bunch of advice. I combined most of the things I wrote down from then and have found some helpful tips for training for OCS:

  1. Switch up your training regimen—so that you do not overwork certain muscles in your body. (See the HPRC website for ideas from various military fitness programs.)
  2. Breakfast is ESSENTIAL!—It gives you the energy to start out your day with a bang.
  3. Know your limits—do not train to the point of pain. When you’ve had enough, call it quits and start again tomorrow.
  4. Consistency is the goal—train most days unless you are sick—or incredibly sore from the 1st day, like I was. Every day does not have to be intense. [HPRC specialist’s note: At least one or two days of rest each week is advisable when ramping up to this activity level. The goal is to get to OCS strong, fit, and ready, not broken before you get there.]
  5. Don’t give up—I imagine that the real thing will be 10x harder then what I am doing to prepare. It helps give me the sense that things are easy now.

Thanks to tips like these—and consistency—I managed to get a 297/300 on my PFT test in December, which allowed me to qualify for OCS training. My score was based off these results:

Pull-ups: 20

Three-mile run: 18:09

Sit-ups/2 min: 100

Nine seconds shorter on my run and I would have had a perfect score of 300! Yes, I was extremely happy about this—but also nervous because now I had one year to graduate, and I had to stay in this kind of shape?!

Saturday March 5, 2011:

Pull-ups: 24

Three-mile-run: 17:56

Sit-ups: 100

Basically, for all those people out there who are trying to get in shape for boot camp, OCS, or even just a PFT test, take these tips into consideration. They have done amazing things for me, and I hope they work for you. Now I have more confidence in myself, more energy, and a better overlook on all this. Start preparing your mind today for what your body will be going through tomorrow.



[1] Physical Fitness Training (PFT)/Officer Candidate School (OCS)