Recommended training prior to POC

Hi, I know ive been asking a lot of questions recently so I just want to say thanks for all your answers!
I have recieved the recommended training schedule for the POC and i'm just wondering if this is the bare minimum and I should strive to exceed it, without over training of course?
Thanks again HCR


War Hero
If you train as advised, you can pass on the training schedule provided you adhere to it.

Read through the physical aspects of the POC & ensure you are training to pass the individual elements in relatively quick succession.

The POC is designed to see whether you are likely to meet the challenge. It is a gruelling test of your physical fitness, and they are assessing your determination and commitment.

But they are looking for a little more than that: your leadership potential and intelligence, how you communicate and whether you can keep a sense of humour even when exhausted. Can you think on your feet?

Before you arrival you will receive comprehensive joining instructions 3 – 4 weeks prior to the course providing all administrative details. The POC DVD, available from your Careers Officer, will expand on all areas of the course.

Passing the POC is about meeting a standard – the standard demanded of a potential Royal Marines Officer – not competing with the others.

Royal Marines Fitness Assessment (RMFA)

Youn undertake the Royal Marines Fitness Assessment (RMFA) in the gym. To begin with, the Physical Training Staff will brief you on the way you will be expected to conduct yourself during the RMFA. You will then begin the Assessment, which consists of the following

ï¬ Progressive Shuttle Run (the ‘Bleep’ Test) - You will run between 2 lines, 20 metres apart, at a pace dictated by bleeps, beginning at ‘level 1’. Each level has several ‘shuttles’ at the same pace and the pace quickens at the start of each new level. Although part of the overall RMFA, this test has a separate pass mark and you must keep up with the bleeps and reach level 11.0 as a minimum. A result of ‘level 15 shuttle 5’ will gain maximum points for the purposes of the RMFA. The first few levels serve as the warm-up for the Shuttle Run itself. Candidates must take care to wear non-slip trainers to aid turning at the end of each shuttle.

ï¬ Press-up Test – The duration of the test is 2 minutes, 60 press-ups will get you maximum points. The body must be kept straight at all times, the chest will be lowered to meet another student’s fist, you must then fully lock out the arms on the upward motion. Your hands will be shoulder width apart and your elbows must be kept into your side, poor form will result in you being stopped.

ï¬ Sit-up Test – Once again the test will last for 2 minutes, 85 repetitions will get you maximum points. Your feet will be held by a partner, your fingers must stay in contact with your temples and your elbows must make contact with the mat on the rearward motion and come up to touch the knees on the upward motion, your knees must be kept together, poor form will result in you being stopped.

ï¬ Pull-up Test – This exercise will be carried out on the wooden beam. You will adopt an “overhand grasp†your body will hang straight and then be pulled up until your chin is over the beam. The exercise will be done to the commands of “bend and stretch†this is to ensure strictness and prevent the use of momentum, you will be told to “drop off†if you do not stay in time. To gain maximum points you must achieve 16 repetitions.

All 4 RMFA tests have a maximum score of 100 points each. The overall RMFA pass mark is 180 out of 400 points (160 for RM Scholars). Any candidate scoring below 180 points on the overall RMFA will be withdrawn from the course.

Confidence Tests & Bottom Field Session

After a thorough warm up prior to beginning the morning’s physical activities. You will then receive a demonstration of the “Commando slide†and “punch into the net†obstacles of the “Tarzan Assault Courseâ€. The course will then be expected to complete both obstacles, allowing the POC staff to gauge candidates’ confidence to operate effectively at heights. The course will then be led to the bottom field where they will receive a demonstration of how to tackle each obstacle on the Assault Course. On completion of the demonstration it will be your turn to do a ‘timed run’.

Then you will be split into teams for the log race, where each team has to carry a log around the course without it touching the ground. For some of the obstacles, you will be the team leader, for others a team member – and on other obstacles there will be no leader designated. First you will have a short time in which to work out how you are going to tackle each obstacle. You will then have to brief your team clearly and positively before putting your plan into action. It will test your drive and assertiveness, how well you communicate under pressure, and how well you work as a team member when someone else is leading. Next you will undertake 2 Fireman’s carries – 200m in under 90 seconds and 100m in under 45 seconds.

Endurance Course

Following another quick change you will be taken to the local training area on Woodbury Common, three miles from Lympstone, for the start of the Endurance Course at 1300 hrs. The course – one of the Commando Tests – consists of a run of six and a half miles over varying terrain. The first two and a half miles will be run as a group over rough ground, including water pools and 5 sets of tunnels. There will be regular pauses for an explanation of how to tackle each obstacle. This is followed by a ‘Hare and Hounds’ race over one mile, where you will attempt to catch up with a member of the Training Team running at the front of the group. The final three miles are conducted as a squad run through the lanes back to CTCRM at 8 minute mile pace, don’t be surprised if the pace quickens towards the end. The Endurance Course tests exactly what the title suggests. Throughout, you will have to show not just physical fitness but the mental desire to keep going despite increasing fatigue.

Battle Swimming Test

The first event of the final day is the Battle Swimming Test. Your performance in this test is not assessed; it is included in the POC so you can gain an insight into other physical aspects of training. Although swimming can be taught at CTCRM in training, it is beneficial for you to arrive with some ability particularly at breaststroke. If not a strong swimmer, a candidate should consider swimming lessons.

Frequently asked questions:

Q. Will I automatically fail the course if I do not complete a test?

A. The POC exists to identify potential. The instructors will consider a candidate’s overall performance throughout the course, however there are a number of criteria tests: Level 11 on the “bleep testâ€, 180 (160 for scholars) on the RMFA, failure to complete one pull-up means it is unsafe to progress to Day 2, failure to conduct any of the high obstacle confidence tests, failure to complete the run back to camp after the endurance course. A candidate may fail the POC if he does not demonstrate the required levels of determination and motivation.

Q. Why has my Bleep Test result been lower than I have previously achieved at home/school?

A. Many Bleep Tests are run using cassette tapes that have become stretched over time. At the POC, only official Bleep Test CDs are used. Furthermore, the effect of candidates’ natural apprehension - before undertaking physical tests in a strange environment - should not be underestimated.

Good luck.
Honour_Courage_Respect said:
Hi, I know ive been asking a lot of questions recently so I just want to say thanks for all your answers!
I have recieved the recommended training schedule for the POC and i'm just wondering if this is the bare minimum and I should strive to exceed it, without over training of course?
Thanks again HCR
It does exactly what it "says on the tin". The recommended training schedule is designed for you to prepare for the POC. However, like any unsupervised training it is the individuals interpretation of the level of intensity that you push yourself to. Your body will tell you if you are overtraining or not. If you feel that you can exceed the "recommended" amount, then do so. Make no mistake about how physically intense the POC is.

Top tip.

When you are on the POC, do not jugde your own performance by how you percieve the others to be doing (either better or worse than you) as you may not be reaching the standard required.

Good luck.


I was an RM recruit the PRMC was a fair bit easier than the POC. Pontential recruits don't undertake the endurance course anymore whereas potential officers do. Most of the POC looks relatively simple however don't underestimate the Endurance course and the run back,you will either love it or fecking hate its guts. Don't take any chances, turn up a fit basterd and you will enjoy yourself.

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