Over the past few years, a change in the overall views and methods to physical fitness has evolved in the Marine Corps. Gone are the days where a 3-mile run, pull-ups and crunches are the sole test of strength and fitness. These metrics still remain, however another test is used to further test Marines on their ability to execute functional fitness techniques, based off of common tasks on today’s battlefield. From carrying ammo cans to dragging other Marines through various obstacles, today’s Combat Fitness Test has become another piece of the Marine Corps’ fitness program.
As a result of this “newer” test (the test has been around for ~3 years now), and the experience gained from over a decade of battlefield experience, many Marines have looked for alternate ways to get into shape and to enhance their ability to perform. One of the preeminent fitness programs that cater to this need has been CrossFit. Marines, and other service members around the globe, have embraced and utilized the techniques espoused by CrossFit to further enhance their fitness levels and take their training to the next level.
Documented on countless forums, blogs, and pictures around the DoD, these CrossFit based workouts have taken the Marine Corps by storm and small, MWR-funded CrossFit type gyms have been popping up around the world, from major installations to small FOBs. It’s hard to find some sort of base that doesn’t have some small space complete with kettlebells, bumper plates, pull-up bars, and rowing machines. nor is it hard to find an “affiliate”, what the CrossFit world calls its local gyms, already established on a base near you. From Camp Lejeune to Twentynine Palms, the Crossfit explosion has resulted in a unique and positive experience for those Marines stationed around the world to better themselves and enhance their strength and lethality.
As a result of the Crossfit wave, the Marine Corps has embraced the experience, and even allowed the 2012 Crossfit Games to use and film part of their annual CrossFit Games aboard Camp Pendleton, CA this past summer. In doing so, the Marine Corps has become one of the biggest proponents of this new, intense version of their beloved combat fitness training program (but don’t quote them on that – officially that is). That’s not to say they sponsor or even endorse CrossFit. It’s just that they recognize that the training you execute in these type of workouts is second to none in the ability to prepare your mind and body for the rigors and stress of combat.
If you as a Marine or a potential recruit or candidate haven’t ever experienced anything resembling combat conditioning, then it would behoove you to give CrossFit or a similar type program a shot. The workouts and movements experienced during a normal period of exercise mimic many of the movements one would experience in a combat environment. The ability to think clearly and focus when you’re hot, sweaty, and tired is one of the basic traits that is expected of all Marines, regardless of rank. That being said, I highly recommend that you go to your local on-base affiliate, try a few classes at a local gym, or just go to Crossfit.com and find some workouts that you can execute in your backyard and see how it goes. The Marine Corps is moving towards this method of fitness, shouldn’t you?[post_analytics]