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By Lance Cpl. Jericho W. Crutcher, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego
As the recruits of Charlie Company enter week two of recruit training, they spent the morning under the rising sun conducting a physical fitness session at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, July 28.
The six platoons of Company C began the session with a warm up of sprints then conducted stations of pull-ups, push-ups and crunches. Each station had two platoons worth of recruits attacking the drill. The purpose of this physical fitness session was to show each recruit what areas of fitness he needs to improve on before the initial physical fitness test.
“Working sprints, sit-ups and pull-ups are key things recruits have to consistently work on to do well on the physical fitness test,” said Staff Sgt. Brandon J. Curry, drill instructor, Platoon 2131. “After the workout, they will know what part of their physical fitness needs improved on.”
The initial PFT takes place on day 22 of training, and that is when recruits will know exactly where they stand on their fitness levels, explained 29-year-old Curry, a Winter Haven, Florida native.
Drenched in sweat from working in the San Diego summer heat, recruits pushed their limits at each station to build their cardiovascular stamina, endurance and strength.
“Building strength and endurance is critical because it will be highly demanded for the PFT,” said Recruit Chadwick S. Kieper, Platoon 2131. “Being physically fit is part of being a Marine, so it’s important we hold ourselves to that standard.”
Recruits take on many vigorous challenges to prepare them for obstacles they may face as they progress through training.
Not only do recruits have to train for the PFT, but also the Crucible, which is one of the final challenges recruits must prepare for before graduating recruit training and earning the title Marine. Every physical fitness session should be taken seriously and recruits should get the maximum amount of training out of it, explained 19-year-old Kieper, a Hebron, Indiana native.
Drill instructors observed the recruits closely during each station to ensure they executed the movements correctly and gave their best efforts.
“Staying motivated is important, and drill instructors have no problem keeping us motivated,” said Kieper. “Having a good work ethic and being willing to put in the work to better yourself is part of being a well-rounded Marine.”
The PFT consists of a timed three-mile run, timed crunches and pull-ups. Each recruit strives to attain the perfect score of 300 and conducting physical training of this type helps recruits focus on that goal.