.ITC Prep Advice

DMoney03XX

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Greetings All, I have 4 months until ITC and I am looking for advice/ scrutiny on my Training Prep.

1st Month: Strength based lifting( Low rep High weight), Low Mileage Running(2-3 miles mixed with Sprints (400m)) , Finning (1000m) and Breastroke (slick 1000m) mixed with 30 min of treading.
2nd Month: Higher Rep Med Weigh lifting(Mostly Olympic Lifts), Med Mileage Runnin(4-5 miles) mixed with Sprints, Ruck 2x a month 40# for 5 Miles, finning (1500 m) and breastroke (slick 1000m) mixed with 30 m of treading.
3rd Month: Crossfit Style WODS (from Military Athlete/ SOF WODS), med-higher mileage runs (5-6 miles), Ruck 2x a month 45# for 8 miles, Finning (2000m) and breastroke (cammies 500 m) w/ 30 min treading.
4th Month: Mostly Calisthenics mixed and Olympic Lifts, (5 mile runs w/ Sprints 2x a week), Ruck 3x a month 45# for 3 miles, Finning (2000m), breastroke (cammies 500m) w/ 30 min tread. Agility Drills w/ Cones.

Any advice or criticism would be much appreciated! Im trying to work out a good way of spreading all this out through the week giving my body enough Rest, its a lot to fit in.

Cheers!
 

Stanimal

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*Disclaimer: I am not an ITC graduate. Nor am I a licensed strength and conditioning coach, or a medical professional. My statements are my own opinions and do not necessarily represent those of the Marine Special Operations School. If you choose to follow any of my advice, you do so strictly of your own volition.*

Ok, with that out of the way I can get down to business. First and foremost, congratulations on getting selected. It is a huge deal, but really just the beginning of a long journey. I like the fact that you have a plan to maximize your potential before checking in to ITC. That shows you have some drive, ambition and maturity.
I'll start with the rucks. ITC only does 10 mile ruck runs. That being said, I wouldn't waste my time rucking 3 or 5 miles. Since you have already been selected, I'll assume you are ready for 10 milers and will not need to work up to that distance. Only ruck once per month for at least 10 miles. Make sure your pack weighs at least 45 lbs. dry, not including chow and water. You'll probably be closer to 55 lbs. once you add a full Camelbak. Don't forget the rifle either. Now, I am not saying to run around the base, or your neighborhood with your AR in hand. You don't want that kind of attention. You can substitute the weight of the rifle by carrying a 2x4 (paint it black if it makes you feel better) or a 10 lb. weight. It may seem trivial, but you have to get used to carrying something in hand. You cannot, nor should you want to strap the rifle to your pack. It must be carried at the ready.
As far as running is concerned, think of your run days as one of two things. You are either going to do an aerobic workout, or an anaerobic workout. For aerobic days, run no more than 6 miles slick. You should be able to easily maintain an 8 minute per mile pace or faster. Try to increase speed slowly as the weeks progress. You can run intervals if you want, so long as your overall pace is still within standards. So, every other mile might be an 8 minute pace, while the ones in between might be 7 minute miles. Overall, your pace would be around a 7:30. I like to do this sometimes to break up the monotony of a long run. You get the idea. For anaerobic days, run sprint drills of varying distances. If you are stationed near any hills, make sure you practice sprinting up them. Jog back down to catch your breath, and repeat. A multitude of sprint workouts are available from reputable sources on the internet. I personally like an 8 x 400m with cals on the back end. It is extremely important that you do a proper warm up and a couple of sprints at 50-75% before going all out. Skipping the warm up and going right into full blown sprints is a pulled hamstring waiting to happen.
Finning is huge at ITC. It is a skill that takes time to properly develop. Do not spend money on expensive, fancy fins that you will most likely not be able to wear at ITC. I have seen the fastest finners ever use good ol' Scuba Pros or Rocket fins. Power for finning comes from your hip flexors, not your fins. First time finners often experience severe pain in the hips, knees and ankles. Therefore, they alter their body position to lessen the strain. This equates to more drag in the water, and less efficiency (A.K.A. slower times). Ever see someone executing a front plank with their hips sagging, or their butt up in the air? It's the same principle. They are trying to compensate for weak abdominal muscles with other, stronger muscles. Don't do it. Finning is going to hurt no matter what you do. Take ruck running for example. It sucks. You just have to endure it long enough to make the times and hopefully outperform some of your peers. Get with someone who knows what they are doing, and learn from them. A Recon Marine or MARSOC operator who is dive qualified, and willing to work with you would be a good start. A Marine Corps Scout Swimmer would be the next obvious choice. I cannot stress it enough. Do not put in thousands of meters of finning utilizing the wrong techniques. You will only build improper muscle memory and develop bad habits, which you will then have to break at ITC. From a safety standpoint, make sure you always fin with a buddy, and wear a swimmer's vest just in case something happens. Your standard equipment for finning is as follows: Cammies, booties and fins, Load Bearing Equipment (LBE or equivalent), rubber rifle (dummy corded to you) and a 45 lb. ruck (waterproofed and just buoyant enough so it doesn't sink). Attach your ruck to your LBE with a sling rope and carabiner. That way you won't lose it should you encounter a surf zone.
Strength training is great. It feels good to get stronger, and everyone likes bigger muscles. Just don't get carried away trying to see how much you can bench or curl. It's easy to fall prey to these exercises. When someone wants to know how strong you are, they never ask what your clean and jerk is. It's always bench press. Anyways, you should focus on functional strength. Do compound movements like dead lifts, power cleans and the snatch. Start off with very light weight so you can dial in your technique. These are technical lifts that can result in injury if done improperly or with weights that are beyond your ability. Squats are always a staple in every serious lifters repertoire. Building a big upper body with a weak core and skinny legs is like a house of cards waiting to fall. Build your leg, core and back strength up and the rest of your body will follow suit. Military athlete, Cross fit or Gym Jones all have good workouts that will build strength and cardiovascular endurance. Choose what works best for you. Finally, contact subject matter experts and discuss your goals with them. Ask them for advice based on your current skill level, your goals and how much time you have to get there. Learn as much as you can from books and the internet. There is a wealth of knowledge out there just waiting for you. I recommend this one for starters: "Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches" by Greg Everett
Swimming is another skill set that is often overlooked. Many people are just not comfortable in the water. I've seen 300 PFTers who couldn't swim 100 meters in cammies. Seek out advice from MCIWSs in your unit. Lifeguards at the pool may be another valuable resource. They are often more than willing to teach someone who really has a desire to learn. Maybe you know someone who swam competitively in high school or college. Make friends and go to the pool together. Some Marines claim that they weren't able to practice on swimming as much as they should have due to not having a pool where they are stationed. To these Marines I say, "Find a way"! If you have to swim in open water, then that's what you have to do. Sometimes, MCCS lifeguards can be Nazis at the pool. "You can't do this and you can't do that..." To avoid this, find some open water, take a buddy for safety, and get out there and swim. Work on survival strokes like the breast and side, just like you did in Phase I of A&S. Stick with the stroke that you are the fastest and most proficient at. Never swim less than 500m at a time, and always swim in cammies unless you are doing a warm up or cool down. It's OK to be slick for those. Practice treading water in cammies if possible. Place small weights (1-2 lbs.) in each cargo pocket to weigh you down. Also, practice treading water with your legs only. Hold your hands out of the water and work on your ''frog'' or ''egg beater'' technique. Start slowly by holding that position for 20 seconds. Gradually increase until you can hold it for one minute. Then put your hands down and relax. You are trying to get your heart rate back down. Remember: Treading water is not exercise. It is your rest period between exercises. Got it? Finally, expect everything you do in the pool at ITC to be above and beyond ( harder) what you did in Phase I of A&S. The instructors at ITC do not have time to play games with weak swimmers.
Dynamic warm ups and proper cool downs/regenerative stretching are the key to staying healthy and not sustaining an injury over the next four months. If you take only one thing away from my rambling, it should be this. Do not skimp on the Movement Prep and Regen. If you have only one hour that you can dedicate to working out today, you must consider that at least 30 minutes of that hour will be consumed by the warm up and the cool down. Every year I see solid Marines fall off of ITC's inbound roster due to injury. It takes a lot of dedication and motivation to get out there and put in the work. It's even harder to do the right things before and after the given workout.

My last paragraph has nothing to do with the physical side of MARSOC. I want to talk about the responsibility you share now that you have been selected. Your peers at your unit, for all intensive purposes, will consider you a 0372. Even though you are not an operator yet, people will perceive you as MARSOC because you were selected. You must conduct yourself appropriately. Be polite and professional at all times. Exercise humility. Let your actions do the talking, not your words. Even though you will soon leave your current command for ITC, you still have an obligation to those Marines and Sailors you work with. They are your first priority. Your workouts and personal wants/desires come second. Never forget that. Make sure when you depart your unit, you do so with the respect and admiration of those who served alongside you. If you can do that, you are on the right path to becoming a MARSOC Marine. Semper Fidelis and good luck!
 
Last edited:

DMoney03XX

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Sep 9, 2014
Messages
12
Tha
*Disclaimer: I am not an ITC graduate. Nor am I a licensed strength and conditioning coach, or a medical professional. My statements are my own opinions and do not necessarily represent those of the Marine Special Operations School. If you choose to follow any of my advice, you do so strictly of your own volition.*

Ok, with that out of the way I can get down to business. First and foremost, congratulations on getting selected. It is a huge deal, but really just the beginning of a long journey. I like the fact that you have a plan to maximize your potential before checking in to ITC. That shows you have some drive, ambition and maturity.
I'll start with the rucks. ITC only does 10 mile ruck runs. That being said, I wouldn't waste my time rucking 3 or 5 miles. Since you have already been selected, I'll assume you are ready for 10 milers and will not need to work up to that distance. Only ruck once per month for at least 10 miles. Make sure your pack weighs at least 45 lbs. dry, not including chow and water. You'll probably be closer to 55 lbs. once you add a full Camelbak. Don't forget the rifle either. Now, I am not saying to run around the base, or your neighborhood with your AR in hand. You don't want that kind of attention. You can substitute the weight of the rifle by carrying a 2x4 (paint it black if it makes you feel better) or a 10 lb. weight. It may seem trivial, but you have to get used to carrying something in hand. You cannot, nor should you want to strap the rifle to your pack. It must be carried at the ready.
As far as running is concerned, think of your run days as one of two things. You are either going to do an aerobic workout, or an anaerobic workout. For aerobic days, run no more than 6 miles slick. You should be able to easily maintain an 8 minute per mile pace or faster. Try to increase speed slowly as the weeks progress. You can run intervals if you want, so long as your overall pace is still within standards. So, every other mile might be an 8 minute pace, while the ones in between might be 7 minute miles. Overall, your pace would be around a 7:30. I like to do this sometimes to break up the monotony of a long run. You get the idea. For anaerobic days, run sprint drills of varying distances. If you are stationed near any hills, make sure you practice sprinting up them. Jog back down to catch your breath, and repeat. A multitude of sprint workouts are available from reputable sources on the internet. I personally like an 8 x 400m with cals on the back end. It is extremely important that you do a proper warm up and a couple of sprints at 50-75% before going all out. Skipping the warm up and going right into full blown sprints is a pulled hamstring waiting to happen.
Finning is huge at ITC. It is a skill that takes time to properly develop. Do not spend money on expensive, fancy fins that you will most likely not be able to wear at ITC. I have seen the fastest finners ever use good ol' Scuba Pros or Rocket fins. Power for finning comes from your hip flexors, not your fins. First time finners often experience severe pain in the hips, knees and ankles. Therefore, they alter their body position to lessen the strain. This equates to more drag in the water, and less efficiency (A.K.A. slower times). Ever see someone executing a front plank with their hips sagging, or their butt up in the air? It's the same principle. They are trying to compensate for weak abdominal muscles with other, stronger muscles. Don't do it. Finning is going to hurt no matter what you do. Take ruck running for example. It sucks. You just have to endure it long enough to make the times and hopefully outperform some of your peers. Get with someone who knows what they are doing, and learn from them. A Recon Marine or MARSOC operator who is dive qualified, and willing to work with you would be a good start. A Marine Corps Scout Swimmer would be the next obvious choice. I cannot stress it enough. Do not put in thousands of meters of finning utilizing the wrong techniques. You will only build improper muscle memory and develop bad habits, which you will then have to break at ITC. From a safety standpoint, make sure you always fin with a buddy, and wear a swimmer's vest just in case something happens. Your standard equipment for finning is as follows: Cammies, booties and fins, Load Bearing Equipment (LBE or equivalent), rubber rifle (dummy corded to you) and a 45 lb. ruck (waterproofed and just buoyant enough so it doesn't sink). Attach your ruck to your LBE with a sling rope and carabiner. That way you won't lose it should you encounter a surf zone.
Strength training is great. It feels good to get stronger, and everyone likes bigger muscles. Just don't get carried away trying to see how much you can bench or curl. It's easy to fall prey to these exercises. When someone wants to know how strong you are, they never ask what your clean and jerk is. It's always bench press. Anyways, you should focus on functional strength. Do compound movements like dead lifts, power cleans and the snatch. Start off with very light weight so you can dial in your technique. These are technical lifts that can result in injury if done improperly or with weights that are beyond your ability. Squats are always a staple in every serious lifters repertoire. Building a big upper body with a weak core and skinny legs is like a house of cards waiting to fall. Build your leg, core and back strength up and the rest of your body will follow suit. Military athlete, Cross fit or Gym Jones all have good workouts that will build strength and cardiovascular endurance. Choose what works best for you. Finally, contact subject matter experts and discuss your goals with them. Ask them for advice based on your current skill level, your goals and how much time you have to get there. Learn as much as you can from books and the internet. There is a wealth of knowledge out there just waiting for you. I recommend this one for starters: "Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches" by Greg Everett
Swimming is another skill set that is often overlooked. Many people are just not comfortable in the water. I've seen 300 PFTers who couldn't swim 100 meters in cammies. Seek out advice from MCIWSs in your unit. Lifeguards at the pool may be another valuable resource. They are often more than willing to teach someone who really has a desire to learn. Maybe you know someone who swam competitively in high school or college. Make friends and go to the pool together. Some Marines claim that they weren't able to practice on swimming as much as they should have due to not having a pool where they are stationed. To these Marines I say, "Find a way"! If you have to swim in open water, then that's what you have to do. Sometime MCCS lifeguards can be Nazis at the pool. "You can't do this and you can't do that..." Take a buddy for safety, and get out there and swim. Work on survival strokes like the breast and side, just like you did in Phase I of A&S. Stick with the stroke that you are the fastest and most proficient at. Never swim less than 500m at a time, and always swim in cammies unless you are doing a warm up or cool down. It's OK to be slick for those. Practice treading water in cammies if possible. Place small weights (1-2 lbs.) in each cargo pocket to weigh you down. Also, practice treading water with your legs only. Hold your hands out of the water and work on your ''frog'' or ''egg beater'' technique. Start slowly by holding that position for 20 seconds. Gradually increase until you can hold it for one minute. Then put your hands down and relax. You are trying to get your heart rate back down. Remember: Treading water is not exercise. It is your rest period between exercises. Got it? Finally, expect everything you do in the pool at ITC to be above and beyond ( harder) what you did in Phase I of A&S. The instructors at ITC do not have time to play games with weak swimmers.
Dynamic warm ups and proper cool downs/regenerative stretching are the key to staying healthy and not sustaining an injury over the next four months. If you take only one thing away from my rambling, it should be this. Do not skimp on the Movement Prep and Regen. If you have only one hour that you can dedicate to working out today, you must consider that at least 30 minutes of that hour will be consumed by the warm up and the cool down. Every year I see solid Marines fall off of ITC's inbound roster due to injury. It takes a lot of dedication and motivation to get out there and put in the work. It's even harder to do the right things before and after the given workout.

My last paragraph has nothing to do with the physical side of MARSOC. I want to talk about the responsibility you share now that you have been selected. Your peers at your unit, for all intensive purposes, will consider you a 0372. Even though you are not an operator yet, people will perceive you as MARSOC because you were selected. You must conduct yourself appropriately. Be polite and professional at all times. Exercise humility. Let your actions do the talking, not your words. Even though you will soon leave your current command for ITC, you still have an obligation to those Marines and Sailors you work with. They are your first priority. Your workouts and personal wants/desires come second. Never forget that. Make sure when you depart your unit, you do so with the respect and admiration of those who served alongside you. If you can do that, you are on the right path to becoming a MARSOC Marine. Semper Fidelis and good luck!
Thanks a lot! That was really informative, I appreciate the help.
When it comes to nutrition, I always see diets for sof prep talk about eliminating grains and pretty much all carbs from your diet, is this correct? I figure with all the types of training needed to prepare for itc, that eating carbs is necessary to keep up.
 

Stanimal

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Tha


Thanks a lot! That was really informative, I appreciate the help.
When it comes to nutrition, I always see diets for sof prep talk about eliminating grains and pretty much all carbs from your diet, is this correct? I figure with all the types of training needed to prepare for itc, that eating carbs is necessary to keep up.
I've not completely gone to the dark side yet in regards to nutrition. That is to say, I am not a dedicated paleo guy. There is, however, something to be said for eating healthy foods that are low in saturated fats and sugars, yet high in protein. It is my belief that you will burn somewhere in the neighborhood of 2500-3000 calories a day when engaged in a high-intensity training program. On days where the workout is extremely long or difficult, you could burn even more. Obviously, things like your physical size, age, activity level and metabolic rate factor in to the equation. Unless you are predisposed to carrying extra weight around your middle (see: fat), I would not shy away from some good carbohydrates. Some examples are: whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, fruits and veggies. The Bottom Line Up Front or BLUF is: train hard, but also train smart. Get plenty of rest. Cut out all of the junk food. Candy bars, soda pop, etc. Why put all that time and effort in to your workouts when your nutrition is garbage? That's like putting 87 octane in a Ferrari. Eat lots of protein rich foods, healthy fats, fiber and good carbs. Learn to love the sweet potato if you don't already. If you buy organic ones, you can even eat the flesh. For commercially grown varieties, it's best to peel before eating. If your body doesn't have enough "fuel" to sustain itself during long workouts, you're going to feel sluggish and you'll be "gassed" prematurely.
 

DMoney03XX

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Messages
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I've not completely gone to the dark side yet in regards to nutrition. That is to say, I am not a dedicated paleo guy. There is, however, something to be said for eating healthy foods that are low in saturated fats and sugars, yet high in protein. It is my belief that you will burn somewhere in the neighborhood of 2500-3000 calories a day when engaged in a high-intensity training program. On days where the workout is extremely long or difficult, you could burn even more. Obviously, things like your physical size, age, activity level and metabolic rate factor in to the equation. Unless you are predisposed to carrying extra weight around your middle (see: fat), I would not shy away from some good carbohydrates. Some examples are: whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, fruits and veggies. The Bottom Line Up Front or BLUF is: train hard, but also train smart. Get plenty of rest. Cut out all of the junk food. Candy bars, soda pop, etc. Why put all that time and effort in to your workouts when your nutrition is garbage? That's like putting 87 octane in a Ferrari. Eat lots of protein rich foods, healthy fats, fiber and good carbs. Learn to love the sweet potato if you don't already. If you buy organic ones, you can even eat the flesh. For commercially grown varieties, it's best to peel before eating. If your body doesn't have enough "fuel" to sustain itself during long workouts, you're going to feel sluggish and you'll be "gassed" prematurely.
Thanks a lot man, great information. Appreciate the help.
 

8654Maine

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Stan, spot on with the recommendations.

Endurance is also key.

Since when did 5-6 mile runs become med/higher mileage runs?;-)
 

brokenjar03

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Incredible thread here. Thank you Stanimal for generously sharing your wealth of knowledge.
 

Stanimal

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Stan, spot on with the recommendations.

Endurance is also key.

Since when did 5-6 mile runs become med/higher mileage runs?;-)
Thanks 8654Maine. Yeah, I consider anything 6 and under to be a "short" run. Personally, I don't run anything over 10 unless I am training for a 1/2 marathon or something similar. Most of the guys I know don't run long distances either unless it's for one of those Friday "break offs". Those used to be really popular, but seem to have waned as of late.
 

Stanimal

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The focus of the conversation thus far has been centered around physical fitness, so I thought I would digress into a more mundane, and decidedly less exciting topic. Administrative prep....there, I said it. Selected candidates often want to know what schools they should attend, or what skills they should try to acquire before checking in to ITC. Everyone thinks that SERE or Sniper is a good way to go. Others start trying to get their clearance upgraded to a TS SCI in preparation for all of those high-speed, black ops that are undoubtably just over the horizon. It's all with the best intentions I'm sure, but the simple truth is you don't need to worry about any of that stuff. Besides staying in shape and injury free, the single best thing you can do to prepare for ITC is to make sure all of your personal and professional life is squared away. Knock out all of your annual training before you show up to ITC. That means PFT, CFT, OPSEC training, rifle range, etc. PME is huge. Don't procrastinate! Do your online non-resident PME, and then sign up for the SNCOA resident course that is grade appropriate. The last thing you want to do is show up at ITC asking the proctor, "When am I gonna get to go to PME, 'cause I'm gonna be on the board this year, and I'm gonna get a 'P' if I don't go". After he tells one of your peers to pound sand, you'll be glad you already took care of that.

On another more serious note, make sure your wife (if applicable) is cool with all of the changes that are about to take place. You'll need to discuss things over with her, but if it were me I would treat ITC like a deployment in CONUS. If you've already been through a deployment together, then you know she can handle it. If you haven't, consider ITC a good test. You get zero libbo in the beginning of ITC, so you won't be hanging out with her if you bring her along anyways. (I'm not a marriage counselor, and yes I have been divorced once, so listen to my advice at your own risk.) I'll give you an example, and then I'll give it a rest.

You get selected and are super stoked. You can't wait to get back home to momma, and start prepping for ITC. The two of you live in California on Camp Pendleton, and have been married for about a year. She's just now found a job and started making friends with some of the neighbors and your buddies wives. She's trying to be happy for you, but truthfully she's dreading moving again. Oh well...she loves you, so she sucks it up and starts making preparations to move while you go out and do ruck runs or whatever it is you do. The day has arrived, and the two of you head out to the East Coast. You've managed to secure a place in base housing for her, but you know you're going to be stuck in the student barracks on Stone Bay for awhile. Things are going OK so far. ITC is harder than you thought it was going to be, but you're hanging in there. You try and call your wife everyday, but sometimes you are just too busy or too tired. She is lonely, and hardly knows anyone. Weeks turn into months and your training is going well. You're at a point in the course where you get to go home as time between training events allows. She has found a new job, and started making friends again. (Sound familiar?) Today while training, something bad happens. Maybe you get hurt, or maybe you get dropped for not upholding standards, maybe you just can't take it anymore and you quit (yeah right). Either way, you are possibly going to be forced out of the Marine Corps when your current contract expires. What are you going to do? You definitely don't want to stay in North Carolina. You didn't really have a "plan B". You were so certain that you were going to make it through. Suffice it to say that your wife is less than enthused about the prospect of having to move yet again. This just sucks!

This is just a hypothetical example of how things can go awry, but I think it's very plausible. It's not meant to demotivate or get you to second guess yourself. The overall message is a positive one. Arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible, so you can make the best decisions possible. Not just for you, but for your family too. In the example above, would it have made a difference if you had made it through? What if you graduated as a 0372, and the schoolhouse said, "Congratulations, you're going to 1st MSOB". Now you have to pack up and move back to the West Coast? We were just there! What to do.....go with your gut, follow your heart, or use your brain? I'd say an equal dose of each should help you make the right choices. You've shown you're up to the task, or you wouldn't have been selected.
 

brokenjar03

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@Stanimal, you mention how there aren't many administrative processes that could make a candidate more qualified than the next, but on the opposite end are there administrative processes that, if not done, would result in disqualifying a candidate? For example, if a candidate doesn't have a rifle score this year because they just got off a nine-month float, does that disqualify the candidate from attending A&S?

And, on an entirely different note (but much more personal concern) what does command think of candidates with NJP's? I understand we're allowed to apply, as long as the NJP isn't drug or alcohol related and happened over a year ago, but I've also read elsewhere on this forum that someone wasn't accepted to A&S because he couldn't answer for his Page 11 he received a year prior to applying - a much less significant disciplinary mark than any NJP.
 

Stanimal

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@Stanimal, you mention how there aren't many administrative processes that could make a candidate more qualified than the next, but on the opposite end are there administrative processes that, if not done, would result in disqualifying a candidate? For example, if a candidate doesn't have a rifle score this year because they just got off a nine-month float, does that disqualify the candidate from attending A&S?
Any Marine that doesn't have a current rifle score due to a deployment should have "Class 9" on their BTR where a rifle score would normally go. You should check for yourself to see if you have it. If you don't, go see someone in your S-3 or Co. office about it. Ask yourself, "Did I have an opportunity to go to the range this year?" That's probably what your S-3 is going to ask. If the answer is no, you will be good. Make sure you have the class 9 identifier, and definitely go to the range in FY15. As far as being disqualified from attending ITC goes.... If a Marine has any of the following issues after passing selection, he will probably not receive orders to ITC. Failure to complete his RELM. Injury. Administrative trouble involving UCMJ violations. Failure to obtain/maintain at least a secret clearance. No current NSW physical, and or not fully medically ready. I'm sure there are more examples. In short, the answer is yes. Marines sometimes get selected, and never go to ITC. Seems like a wasted effort to me.
 

Stanimal

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And, on an entirely different note (but much more personal concern) what does command think of candidates with NJP's? I understand we're allowed to apply, as long as the NJP isn't drug or alcohol related and happened over a year ago, but I've also read elsewhere on this forum that someone wasn't accepted to A&S because he couldn't answer for his Page 11 he received a year prior to applying - a much less significant disciplinary mark than any NJP.
Competition is getting much more fierce in the Marine Corps, and MARSOC is not immune to the effects of the drawdown. I have seen Marines turned away for NJPs, Psych issues, alcohol usage, tattoos, etc. One Marine had shoplifted something from the PX, and was not selected. I think he was allowed to come and try out just to see what he was capable of. If a Marine has a blemish on his record, he might still be afforded the opportunity to attend A&S. If he knocks it out of the park with an outstanding performance, the Commander may be willing to accept some risk with that particular individual. However, if his performance is poor or even average, it is unlikely he'll be able to overcome his past discrepancies. After all, MARSOC needs talented and intelligent warriors, not liabilities. All I can tell you is to attend if they'll let you. You can't change the past. That bullet is already down range. You must focus your attention and energy on positively impacting the future. One thing I would encourage Marines to do is stop getting tattoos. I personally like tattoos, and I have several. The problem is that Uncle Sam is not keen on them, at least for the time being. If you don't have tattoos, keep it that way.
 

Sandman3

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Stan hit the mark dead on with your contingencies and making sure home life is squared away before you go. Had a really good guy leave at the end of the course because things were deteriorating back home.
 
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Ape_Hot

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Tha


Thanks a lot! That was really informative, I appreciate the help.
When it comes to nutrition, I always see diets for sof prep talk about eliminating grains and pretty much all carbs from your diet, is this correct? I figure with all the types of training needed to prepare for itc, that eating carbs is necessary to keep up.
Whoa, the last thing you want to do is eliminate carbs from your diet. If you recall the fitness classes they gave you in Phase I, carbs are the most important macronutrient to support the training you're going to be doing. This is your main energy source during exercise. If you revert to a low/no-carb diet, you're depleting your body of glycogen stores, which in turn will speed up fatigue and compromise your immune system. Carbs also play an essential role in recovery by stopping catabolism, or muscle breakdown. Some of the best sources for carbs are bread (whole-grain is even better), pasta, cereal, oatmeal, millet, sweet/baked potatoes, quinoa (also a good source of protein), beans, peas, corn, and sugar.

For your rucks, some of the best things to have in your pocket are energy gels that hit you with 30g of carbs per serving (think 30mins to 1hr ahead), honey packets, gummy bears, scooby snacks, etc. Load your 2-quart up with an isotonic fluid like gatorade or powerade for the electrolytes and carbs on long rucks (fastest delivery of carbs) to prevent cramping and hyponatremia.

I asked the MARSOC / PERRES nutritionist about the Paleo diet because it's kind of what Military Athlete recommends, and he said it is a pretty solid diet, but that it doesn't incorporate enough carbs for the training we're doing.

See you at 15-1!
 

nateadkins11

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Finning is huge at ITC. It is a skill that takes time to properly develop. Do not spend money on expensive, fancy fins that you will most likely not be able to wear at ITC. I have seen the fastest finners ever use good ol' Scuba Pros or Rocket fins. Power for finning comes from your hip flexors, not your fins. First time finners often experience severe pain in the hips, knees and ankles. Therefore, they alter their body position to lessen the strain. This equates to more drag in the water, and less efficiency (A.K.A. slower times). Ever see someone executing a front plank with their hips sagging, or their butt up in the air? It's the same principle. They are trying to compensate for weak abdominal muscles with other, stronger muscles. Don't do it. Finning is going to hurt no matter what you do. Take ruck running for example. It sucks. You just have to endure it long enough to make the times and hopefully outperform some of your peers. Get with someone who knows what they are doing, and learn from them. A Recon Marine or MARSOC operator who is dive qualified, and willing to work with you would be a good start. A Marine Corps Scout Swimmer would be the next obvious choice. I cannot stress it enough. Do not put in thousands of meters of finning utilizing the wrong techniques. You will only build improper muscle memory and develop bad habits, which you will then have to break at ITC. From a safety standpoint, make sure you always fin with a buddy, and wear a swimmer's vest just in case something happens. Your standard equipment for finning is as follows: Cammies, booties and fins, Load Bearing Equipment (LBE or equivalent), rubber rifle (dummy corded to you) and a 45 lb. ruck (waterproofed and just buoyant enough so it doesn't sink). Attach your ruck to your LBE with a sling rope and carabiner. That way you won't lose it should you encounter a surf zone.
I do not want to neglect finning, but as stated, I do not want to show up to ITC with bad habits. I have a gopro that I utilize underwater to critic my swimming technique and improve my form, but I am oblivious to proper finning technique. I have watched video's on YouTube about finning but am unsure if the same techniques transfer to the style required/performed during ITC. The ITC prep guide does not mention anything about finning, only a verbal recommendation from SOO's on our out-brief to practice before we arrive. Without access to any sources(CSO's, Recon Marines, an ocean, etc) you listed, how would you recommend I train in this area to prepare without developing bad habits? I only have access to a 25m pool and lakes. Any links or info to steer me in the right direction would be much appreciated.

P.S. Thank you for all of your information you post, it is very useful .
 

x SF med

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I do not want to neglect finning, but as stated, I do not want to show up to ITC with bad habits. I have a gopro that I utilize underwater to critic my swimming technique and improve my form, but I am oblivious to proper finning technique. I have watched video's on YouTube about finning but am unsure if the same techniques transfer to the style required/performed during ITC. The ITC prep guide does not mention anything about finning, only a verbal recommendation from SOO's on our out-brief to practice before we arrive. Without access to any sources(CSO's, Recon Marines, an ocean, etc) you listed, how would you recommend I train in this area to prepare without developing bad habits? I only have access to a 25m pool and lakes. Any links or info to steer me in the right direction would be much appreciated.

P.S. Thank you for all of your information you post, it is very useful .
In my unit, we finned in the lake for marops prep, before going to the North Atlantic (Maine CONUS, the Viking side of the pond mostly when OCONUS) for our extended Winter ocean infil playtime....

Body position is slightly different when stomach finning surface or submerged, completely different when surface back finning... think about what you are doing, what muscles need to be used, and how you are going to be breathing. surface stomach = snorkel, subsurface stomach = tanks, surface back = don't drown yourself by forgetting to position your head correctly. think about how the differences in body positions just between suface front and back are changing the mechanics of your motions...

all of you kids getting ready to go to any of the A&S's out there get so wrapped around the handle about "is this what they want?" and psych yourselves out... It really gets annoying to those of us that never had access to the amount of G2 you guys get.... All you need is the right attitude, clean orders, a report date and everything on the packing list.... you guys are just too damn afraid of failing, because you worry about failing constantly. CLUE - at some point in your life you are going to fail, no prob, it's what you do to recover after failure that marks you as failure or a survivor or a winner.

Quit fucking worrying and PT, go to the lake and get used to finning.... quit fucking whining about failure and focus on life. What's your backup plan if you are not one of the 50% who pass?
 
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