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Old 04-30-2009, 02:21 PM   #1
Justin McCallon
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1 Month until Marine OCS. Could use advice/help

To make a long story short, I unexpectedly was told today that I could (probably) go to Officer Candidate School for the marines on May 27. I have 2 days to decide.

I am going to need to change my training focus to get ready. I have not run more than about 400m in awhile.

I am 6'4/215 lbs. I am pretty strong, but I don't think that is going to get me very far. I really don't know a ton about what I need to be ready for. I have been doing CrossFit for awhile, so I am generally in good shape, but I have some weak points on the muscle-endurance and cardiovascular endurance area.

I want to really focus on improving push-ups (my max is like 35 right now), keeping/improving chin-ups (I did 20 strict today in business attire), keeping/improving sit-ups, and most importantly improving my 5k time. If anyone could give me some training advice on how to do this, I would appreciate it. I can train full time (no school/work) up until May 27.

But, I don't want to be overtrained by the time I get to OCS.


Also, I have some diet related questions. I haven't ever followed the Zone Diet, but I think that might be good for me. Is this possible at OCS? Will I be able to bring protein supplements? Any general advice?

Thanks.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:57 PM   #2
Brad Dougherty
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Re: 1 Month until Marine OCS. Could use advice/help

Keep up the CrossFit to begin with. There is the Muscular Endurance Course down there which is pretty much I think 12 stations and at each station you have a minute to do as many reps of a particular exercise (for example burpees, or push-ups). Also, start running in boots and utes and practice climbing rope. The rope climb can be the make or break sometimes on the O-course. Are you going to PLC juniors or to 10 weeks. I did the PLC program over the course of the last two summers. If you have any other questions, feel free to pm.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:23 PM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: 1 Month until Marine OCS. Could use advice/help

Here's a few previous threads that deal with the same question: http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=45177 WFS
http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=45648 WFS

Get used to working out in nasty hot sticky weather...but being from Wilmington you should be pretty set when it comes to that. Don't suddenly double your activity level in a rush to get ready--you'll just set yourself up for overuse injuries before you even get there. I'd do 2-3 CF WODs and 1-2 CFE WODs per week between now and then to help get prepared. Do as much of your running as possible on grass or dirt to minimize the pounding on your legs. Eating a perfect Zone won't be possible there since you won't be able to weigh and measure and there's no telling what kind of stuff they add to the chow hall food, but you'll do ok if you stick to the meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit-type basics. You should be able to get eggs and cottage cheese every morning for protein needs and meat at all other meals. Worst case, you can make a salad and dump ham and cheese all over it.

Brad--seeing that you're from NY, just out of curiousity who was your OSO's SNCOIC?
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:45 PM   #4
Jakub Kruhlik
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Re: 1 Month until Marine OCS. Could use advice/help

tabata pushups, tabata pull-ups, tabata sit-ups, and 400-800m sprints.
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:54 PM   #5
Justin McCallon
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Re: 1 Month until Marine OCS. Could use advice/help

Hey guys, thanks for the responses.

Can you guys that have gone through give me an idea what to expect day-in/day-out?

And, how important is my 3 mile time going to be? It's pretty bad. I'll be good at the crossfit type stuff, but I just ran 3 miles on a track and it took me 23:50. I think I could drop to 22-23 minutes on a course for sure within a month, but is that going to result in me getting destroyed in everything I do?

I have 2 days to decide whether I want to go this year or next year. This year would be very advantageous, but if I'm not ready for it, then I need to wait.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:05 PM   #6
Allen Reid
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Re: 1 Month until Marine OCS. Could use advice/help

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Originally Posted by Justin McCallon View Post
Hey guys, thanks for the responses.

Can you guys that have gone through give me an idea what to expect day-in/day-out?

And, how important is my 3 mile time going to be? It's pretty bad. I'll be good at the CrossFit type stuff, but I just ran 3 miles on a track and it took me 23:50. I think I could drop to 22-23 minutes on a course for sure within a month, but is that going to result in me getting destroyed in everything I do?

I have 2 days to decide whether I want to go this year or next year. This year would be very advantageous, but if I'm not ready for it, then I need to wait.
It has been 9 years since I went to OCS, OCC-175, which was a fall class. I went through when your 3 mile time at your initial PFT was used to place you into either the "Rabbits", "Turtles", or the "Middle Pack". I ran a 17 something back then and was a rabbit which sucked b/c I had to keep up with the 15 minute guys on a daily basis. 23:50 is slow and you already know that so you have plenty of room to work with. Your body is accustomed to short runs and the longer distances catch up with you. No offense to CFE but you need to put in some road work at distance. When I went through, days were approximately 18-19 hours long (5-6 hours sleep unless you had fire watch) mixed up b/w classrooms, PT, marching across the bridge to chow hall 3x per day, and cleaning gear and barracks. Liberty was secured at the end of week 3 unless you were duty platoon at which time you were relegated to no further than Q-Town. We did primarily muscular endurance work with fartlek runs typical as well. I went in at about 180 pounds, 9% BF, and came out at 163 pounds, 6% BF. My waist size went down to a 31 from a 34. Best of luck if you go. You also need to work on your push-ups, 100 in 2 minutes was common when I went through.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:33 PM   #7
Justin McCallon
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Re: 1 Month until Marine OCS. Could use advice/help

Thanks for the perspective, Allen.

And, yeah, I definitely realize that I have some areas that I really need to work on. This is making me debate whether I should go this year or wait a year. I have pretty good strength #'s because that's what I train for. If I worked on muscle/cardio endurance for a year I could become pretty good at that, too. There's serious benefits for going earlier, but it's a big commitment and I want to make sure I am ready. I'm going to try to push it a little more on a 3 mile run tomorrow and reassess.

Also, Is there any way that I can train to get my body used to improper nutrition and lack of sleep?
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:45 PM   #8
Allen Reid
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Re: 1 Month until Marine OCS. Could use advice/help

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Originally Posted by Justin McCallon View Post

Also, Is there any way that I can train to get my body used to improper nutrition and lack of sleep?
Your heart and head will take care of that.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:49 PM   #9
John Michael Jones
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Re: 1 Month until Marine OCS. Could use advice/help

It will be very difficult/impossible to follow the zone diet during OCS. You get 3 meals a day (I think, it's been 9 years since I went, wow that is scary), so that immediately will force you to eat far more calories per meal than you should be eating in the zone. You also will have literally 5-10 minutes to eat everything each meal, especially at the beginning, so getting enough carbs from veggies and fruit will be very difficult in such a short period of time.

The running/hiking with weight will likely be the biggest issue for you as others have said, 23min 3 mile will put you towards the slow end of your class. Being slow won't preclude you from getting through it, and you'll likely get alot faster, the big issue is your mental toughness and ability to see it through. If you do decide to go, get a pair of boots (get your OSO to help make sure they fit perfectly) and wear them at least a few hours a day, working up to all day, and do alot of long hikes with a weighted backpack.

Good luck!
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:17 PM   #10
Carl Cobb
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Re: 1 Month until Marine OCS. Could use advice/help

i would suggest 30 60s for running sprint all out for 30 seconds and then a hi speed walk or slow paced jog... do that for about 15 to 20 minutes and you will improve your run time greatly before you go to OCS.... do alot of dips and pullups to help improve your pushups.. burpee pullups work pretty good on improving pushups well it did for me
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