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The Fitness And State Of Mind Of A Royal Marines Commando

Approach the impossible with steely grit and intense inner belief by training and thinking like a Royal Marines Commando.

Royal Marines Commando

Image by jpw_para

The Royal Marines are the Royal Navy's amphibious infantry on permanent readiness to deploy across the globe, and is a core component of the UK's Joint Rapid Reaction Force. In short, they're badass and the best of the best at what they do.

Much like the U.S Marine Corps, the Royal Marines are a flexible infantry force. To achieve their goals Marines need a very high level of all around fitness, as well as a positive and determined state of mind.

When I think of a Royal Marine, I see a man who approaches the impossible with steely grit and intense inner belief. These attributes are, in my opinion, applicable to anybody looking to better their life. Be it through self-improvement in your job, your physical fitness or your finances and lifestyle.

Whatever your goals, a positive mental attitude will get you a long way to achieving them. In particular, your determination to succeed. Royal Marines have determination in bucketloads. For a Royal Marines Commando, their state of mind is the driving force. It reminds them that the mind powers the muscles and that they are not special because they are Marines. They are special because of what they do and how they do it. As Aristotle said:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

This is the ethos of the Royal Marines. Their state of mind can be broken down into 4 elements - known as The Commando Spirit.


The Commando Spirit

  1. Courage
  2. Determination
  3. Unselfishness
  4. Cheerfulness in the face of adversity

On paper, these attributes seem simple and anybody looking to put together a quick list of ways to improve themselves could recite them. However in practice, it is much more difficult to apply this Commando Spirit to your everyday life. Many people simply don't have the determination to achieve their goals. I've been as guilty as anyone for merely coasting along and doing the minimum amount of effort to get by. But for a Royal Marine, these are drilled into their minds so deeply that it's no longer a conscious decision. It is part of who they are and I can only imagine the level of clarity and focus that having these attributes drilled into your subconscious will bring.


So how do we achieve this Marine-like mental focus to improve ourselves?


It's actually quite simple. You need to know what you want. It can be difficult to figure this out - but once you know what you want, the only thing left to do is focus yourself absolutely and completely to achieving it. Force out all the negative thoughts. The last thing you should be thinking is "I can't do this!". Of course you can. If you focused all of your mental efforts on how you're going to achieve your goals rather than worrying that you can't achieve them, you'll have a lot more success. Other attributes for you to focus on include:

  • Unity - Whether it's uniting you mind, body and soul or something less clich? like unity with your work colleagues
  • Adaptability - You need to be able to adapt through new workouts or new life approaches based on what has worked and hasn't worked for you in the past
  • Humility - You can't push yourself forward with a pat on the back. When you succeed, be humble and focus on further improvement. Don't gloat!
  • Fortitude - You need the physical and mental strength to endure adversity with courage

If you're still unsure of how to achieve the focused, Royal Marine state-of-mind, here is a list of tips to improve your clarity and give you the steely determination you need to succeed:

  1. From the moment you wake up each day, focus on what you want to achieve and get motivated to succeed.
  2. Cut out (or at least down on) bad habits such as smoking, drinking and eating bad foods. Nothing ruins clarity like impurities in your body.
  3. Focus on your short term goals. Your long term goals will materialise as an effect of the short term goals.
  4. Be as self sufficient and reliant as possible. There won't always be people around to push you so you'll need to learn to push yourself further.
  5. Never be satisfied. Always strive to achieve more.
  6. Don't focus on limitations. Focus instead on what you want to achieve and the steps you need to take to get there.
  7. Believe in yourself. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.
  8. If you struggle or falter, ask for help or advice. I'm happy to help out wherever I can.

The mental stamina of a Royal Marine, coupled with a high level of physical fitness, is what separates them from the mere mortals. They are both core components to the puzzle. Without fitness, all the mental stamina in the world won't help if every muscle in your body is fully exhausted. Without mental stamina, all the fitness in the world won't be enough when everything in your being is telling you to stop. Things like gun fire, bombs, endless walking across the Falkland Islands, the altitude of Afghanistan or the blistering heat of Iraq.

So, besides mental strength, what physical attributes do the Royal Marines have - and how did they get them?


The Royal Marines Training Schedule


Royal Marines are typically more lean that U.S. Marines. Regular cardio exercise and interval/fartlek training are a staple in the training arsenal.

Marines often workout twice a day. In the morning this will usually be 30-45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise such as swimming, running or biking. In the afternoon that's when the fun begins.


Royal Marines Circuit Training


For a Royal Marine, there is a high focus on muscular endurance. They need to be able to give a high level of exertion for prolonged periods of time. The best way to achieve this is through circuit training. As you'd expect, the majority of exercises a Royal Marine performs are based on bodyweight. This allows them to workout wherever they are in the world and can give a fantastic workout in a short amount of time. Here is an example of a Royal Marine workout:


1st SET | 2nd SET | 3rd SET


15 Press-ups | 20 Press-ups | 15 Press-ups
20 Vertical Jumps | 25 Vertical Jumps | 20 Vertical Jumps
20 Squats | 30 Squats | 20 Squats
4 Pull-ups | 6 Pull-ups | 4 Pull-ups
10 Hanging Leg Raises | 15 Hanging Leg Raises | 10 Hanging Leg Raises
15 Box Jumps | 20 Box Jumps | 15 Box Jumps
4 Dips | 6 Dips | 4 Dips
20 Sit-ups | 30 Sit-ups | 20 Sit-ups
10 Lunges | 20 Lunges | 10 Lunges

This circuit should be completed as quickly as possible with no rest in between exercises or sets. You can rest only as long as it takes to get your breathe back to continue.

When performing this routine, Royal Marines ensure that their posture and form is perfect on each exercise. They don't rush to get through them by arching their backs on press-ups or swinging their legs to complete a pull-up.

In addition to circuit training, Royal Marines also perform regular progressive shuttleruns - also known as The Bleep Test.


The Bleep Test


The objective of the bleep test is to run for as long as possible between two points which are placed 20 metres apart; keeping to the speed indicated by the bleeps on the bleep test.

The test is maximal and progressive. It starts out slowly and the speed increases each minute. A single bleep indicates the end of a shuttle run, which means you should be at the 20 metre line when you hear it. As the test continues, the amount of time between beeps shortens. This means that you need to increase your speed to reach the end of each shuttle in time. When you hear three beeps, this indicates the end of a minute, at which point the speed will increase.

Make sure that you start each shuttle with at least one foot behind the 20 metre line and ensure you turn properly by pushing away with one foot or the other to avoid injury.

Here's the link to download the audio file for the bleep test

It's in .wav format so you may need to convert it for use on your iPod or MP3 player.


Ready to become a Royal Marines Commando?


Once you feel like you've achieved a good level of physical fitness and your mental strength and clarity is steely, gritty, determined etc and so on, you can - if you'd like to - apply to join the Royal Marines. For many people, performing the exercises and gaining the mental strength of a Royal Marine is enough. But if you're one of the select few that strive to achieve more than this, then you're exactly what they're looking for!

If you're a Royal Marine, or training to become a Royal Marine, drop us a comment and let us know how the training is going and any tips and advice to become better men.

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what cut out drinking??? are

what cut out drinking??? are you mad!!!! its a boot neck's right to get pissed every night!!! the key is putting a full days work in hung over.


i am proud to have been a royal marine commando. and my advice is get of your fat arse and join the worlds biggest drinking club!!! you will never be without a brother. (or someone to go on the piss with).

see you gipping pigs later a royley royal x x x

I understand the age limit is

I understand the age limit is 37 to join the RM.But what is the oldest recruit that any of the Royal Marines on here have known to apply[or more to the point,made it through]?

UK Marines "leaner" than

UK Marines "leaner" than their American counterparts/betters? That's really hard to believe, after reading that almost-sissy "workout". If you want to talk about Tough, look up the US Navy SEALs. Now there's some real Men. It doesn't get any more hardcore than that.

In reply to the US sailor (it

In reply to the US sailor (it even sounds gay!)

You Yanks are so arrogant that you find it impossible to believe that anyone else in the wourld do anything better than yourselves.

I am an ex Royal Marine but always will be a Bootneck. I have worked with the USMC on several occasions and whilst I will grant them that they are a competent fighting force, most of the ones I have worked with would hold their hands up and admit the superiority of the Royal Marine.

To be honest there is no contest and there should really be no comparison. We do 32 weeks of the most gruelling traing in the wourld just to complete basic training whilst the USMC do just a fraction of that. In fact we did one of the USMC training tests on our potential recruits course before we even joined.

The fitness ragime that the author of this article has published is by no means whatsoever a replection of the fitness ragime. To be honest that may reflect a light session in everyday life. But for the Commando tests it's worlds apart, at the end of the 30 weeks of training, immediately following a 10 day exersise, we complete the endurance course-7 miles of obsticles and tunnels in full fighting order in 72 mins, next day the 9 mile speed march in full fighting order in 90 mins. next day the tarzan assault course in full fighting order- time 13 mins. Next day the 30 mile speed march with full fighting order and stores. Fighting order and rifle weghs some 35lbs. (for more details see the Royal Marines website)

Just anote to finish on; if you ever fancy calling Royal Marines Commando a "sissy" in future, I would pay good money to see the shape of the Globe and Laurel cap badge from his Green Beret imprinted on your forehead! XXX

[...] The Fitness And State

[...] The Fitness And State Of Mind Of A Royal Marines Commando [...]

The Americans never fail to

The Americans never fail to amaze me with their self righteousness!

Your SEALS Get trained by our Special Forces, maybe thats why they are 'real men' because there is a bit of British in each of them, a welcome attribute i might add.

The Royal Marines & Para's are the best 2 preparatives for British Special Forces, the SAS / SBS. Bear in mind that the SAS are considered by many to be the best fighting force on the planet, it kind of puts your SEALs to shame a bit doesn't it?

From my time of service, the only thing i could decipher about the USMC is that it is a fraction of skill mixed with a fuck load of testosterone and American mentality.

I think the cost to train a USM costs in excess of $250,000, a British Marine costs $100,000. Yet if you look at the statistics of like-for-like encounters and deployments, the U.S have lost a hell of a lot more. I don't know what the hell the U.S waste $250,000 on, it must be equipment and explosives, ammunition etc but it can't be going to much use really.

Now lets look at the SAS. Estimates suggest that in total, a fully fledged SAS soldier costs about $3,750,000 to train. Now look at their death statistics, if i am correct, only 1 has died in Afghanistan and hardly any in Iraq.

I completley agree, the us

I completley agree, the us are so arrogant, yes in a war they would beat us but only through sheer numbers. Also the USMC basic training is only 13 weeks long! that is only just half as long as our regular soldiers training! Also it just shows how shit your military is if you have to compare your special forces to our Marines, then how good do you think our SEALs counterparts are(the SBS).

Great article mate.. I must

Great article mate.. I must say, that defiantly cleared a few cob webs. I fly to London (from fiji) early jan 09 to begin my recruitment process for the royal marines and I can not wait. Just one question, how hard/easy is the recruitment process at the careers office, I mean my physical fitness is fine it?s the written tests im worried about. I was not the most cleverest at school and I would be greatfull if you can you give me a heads up on what I am going to face. Thank you

Erm ok well i just went for a

Erm ok well i just went for a 2 day Selection Test for the Army and after passing this I was then told that i was "Too Young" in the final Interview so they will not be placing me in Basic for the Rifles.
This annoyed me and knocked my confidence and made me feel pretty shit, so I looked up about the RMCs.
I was wondering if someone can Email me and let me know if there is any ways i can perpare myelf if i were to under go the selection and training.


The USMC - 'All the Gear no

The USMC - 'All the Gear no idea'

Im joining the Royal marines

Im joining the Royal marines as an officer around september time hopefully. Can i just point out that US sailor didnt even claim to have any solidering background and therefore we can completely ignore their opinion on this and move on :) no point wasting our time insulting someone we dont know.
one thing i have found hard to do during my training is knowing when to stop, i always like to keep on going and going until i feel dead on my feet. with the worry of overtraining and injury i know i should but i think its because i am trying to force the determination of a commando into my head before i get there. Either way i want to go int the SBS so i think i should be training til my eyeballs bleed. agree/disagree?

In Answer to Rich, I don't

In Answer to Rich, I don't mean to be patronising, but I have made my point clear to the US Sailor for reasons that you can not possibly understand yet. If or when you complete Commando training you will do. This brings me on to another point, that as you point out, the US sailor probably has no soldioring experience and should therefore be ingnored. However, as you haven't even started basic training yet, neither do you. Therefore should we ignor your opinion as well. If or when you become a Bootneck, then you have the right to refer to us as "we" and until then I suggest you don't speak as if you are one already.
Anyway, that's the rant over. I may sound arrogant, but you will soon understand that these things are important to us.

With regards to your training. No matter how hard you push yourself now, and how fit you think you are, or where you think your limits are, it will very soon be made clear to you that you are wrong. Believe me there will be plenty of opportunities for your eye balls to blead during commando training.
To be honest, obviously you need to have very good level of basic fitness before starting, but you don't need to try to be super human (you'll be taught that!) All the physical training is progressive so you'll start off in the gym, concentrating on CV, then progressing to the "bottom Field" then getting gradually more weight on you for phys sessions and also speed marches, no one is going to expect you to do a thirty miler in week 2!
To that end, there is really very little point in thrashing yourself now. If you have a good level of fitness it will obviously help you and you won't stand out as being a biff! However what will really hold you up is if you're carrying an injury before you even start, because it will for sure not get any better when you're in training.
The best phys you can do in my opinion, is to concentrate on CV to prepare for the early part of training, but also do some yomping over moorland with weight and boots. It doesn't need to be huge weight, but it will just prepare your body for things to come. Do not run with weight yet, there's not need, they will bring you on to that, and you'll only injure yourself.

As for SBS, it's great to have ambition. However, you would not believe the amount of people who say they want to go SB at the start, but funnily enough they don't ever do it. My advice to you would be take one step at a time, get Commando training cracked first and then have a think about it. There's plenty of other paths you can take, particularly as an officer, and you'll have a much better idea of them by time you finish training.

I hope this has been of help, I make no apologies if I was direct, get used to it! GOOD LUCK!!!

point taken, i'd prefer you

point taken, i'd prefer you to be direct with me rather than try n pump me ego up for a let down. you have shut me up good and proper :) ha
cheers for the advice anyway

can i just point out that i

can i just point out that i made no opinion on this subject and so to ignore my comment on the same basis as the point i made would be inappropriate.

i would just like to say the

i would just like to say the royal marines kick some serious ass!!! i am joining the r.m but i am very worried about the physical fitness test, the 1.5 mile run!!! because i'm not the tallest lad in the world, i feel i'm at a slight disadvantage for making it in 9 min 15 secs. i have been running very regular at 4-5 miles at a time. my upper body strength is fine but the run is worrying me. any suggestions would be great.

Run mate, just keep

Run mate, just keep running.
run 4 or 5 times a week for about the distance you say you are doing and just push it harder and harder every time.

thanks for that rich, i

thanks for that rich, i phoned the marines career office yesterday as this run was really worrying me and they told me i've got to do it in 10mins 30secs now so i feel a little more content about it. because it's done on a treadmill, which was my concern as i hate them, it as eased the pressure. i can do it on the road as i've already test myself i done a 1.5 miler in 9 mins 10secs on the road but i think the treadmills are not the best way to test the time allowed plus they are unbelievably boring

im the same dude, just think

im the same dude, just think of it for the end goal, ten minutes on a treadmill is worth it isnt it?

what are the rest of the

what are the rest of the enterance requirements for the royal marines? As a US citizen i can't enlist in the royal marines, but if i can meet the standards of your finest surely the United States Marine Corps will accept me.

I'm a US Marine thats fought

I'm a US Marine thats fought in Iraq and I have trained with other countries so I can say that I have a lot of respect for the Royal Marines. They bust their ass but as far as combat goes there is nobody in the world that is a better fighting force than the United States Marines. The Royal Marines are tough asses with extremely tough phyiscal training but aren't yet on our level. I've trained with the best from several countries, and that includes Navy SEALS and have not seen a better force in the field than the US Marines.

What do the Royal Marines and

What do the Royal Marines and former Marines do to stay fit? Other than what has been posted. I am a fitness addict.

Royal Marine Training: 32

Royal Marine Training: 32 weeks - Officer: 15 months
USMC Training: 13 weeks

The Americans have always fought on a broad front, and its always gone wrong. The British military is taught how to think, not what to think. They don't require some Colour Sergeant (or Gunnery in your case) constantly bellowing down their ear.

I caught a clip of "Commando: On The Front Line" where there where a couple of YO's doing an exercise with the USMC, and on a number of occassions the US Marines had to stop and cool off in the river because they simply couldn't keep up.

Back to training. before you do the PRMC, or POC, you must complete a 2.4 Km run in 12 minutes 30 seconds, take a one minute break, then another 2.4 Km run in 10 minutes 30 seconds.

No comparison!! I'm retired

No comparison!! I'm retired USMC, and i served with Royal Mrines
on numerous occasions and they are the best. I would doubt even 1%
of U.S. Marines could make it through Royal Marine basic training.I
don't even want to talk about the SAS/SBS. THey are over the top.
Here's another thought, the French Foreign Legion. I know a Marine
who ran the legions O-Course down in French Guyana and only about 10% finished the course and it took them at minimum 3 times as long. U.S. Marines are good at what they do but they should never be included in the same sentence with Royal Marines. Look what the Royal Marines/Paras did in the Falklands in 82. Tough SOB's hands down.

I'm sorry, some yank was just

I'm sorry, some yank was just running his mouth off about the RM having a 'sissy' workout and that if you want to see real men take a look at the Navy SEALs. What!? This workout, as mentioned, is short and tough because it's supposed to be possible to complete anywhere around the world, presumably the RM don't do this workout once or twice a week, and presumably it's accompanied by various other horrifically tough exercises, cardio, weights etc. Plus, the US marines are not as disciplined or efficient or as tough as their British betters, and the SEALs are lesser men in comparison to the SBS. You may have heard of the SBS, they were responsible for (among other things) investigating the Normandy beaches ahead of the invasion.

At 32 years of age and an ex

At 32 years of age and an ex soldier I'm about to embark on my eight month basic and Commando training. Luckily due to my previous military career I had a relatively good idea about what training was needed in order for me to pass my fitness assesment and three day PRMC at the CTCRM. I knew when I decided I wanted to enlist into the Royal Marines as a Royal Marines' Commando, I would have to train harder than the average enlist, purely because of my age. The maximum age for enlistment into the Naval Service is 33 years of age (32 years and 364 days to be precise). I concentrated mainly on running and circuit training. For running I decided on one session of steady state running, one of Fartlek training and one of Interval training which I did on a gradual but steep hill near my home. Circuit training I kept short and sweet, three sets. Sets one and three I carried out the same number of reps/exercise, and set two I increased my repetitions by two to five. I never spent a penny on going to the gym. Gyms and health clubs are full of grunting poseur's, who are more concerned about their fashion sense than getting a good sweat on (the mirror's are for checking form guy's). If you want to pass your Fitness Assesment and PRMC with the hope of getting into the CTCRM for training, then stick to the training programme which can be found on the official Royal Marines website, that's all you need. Usually those with the big mouth's, gobbing off about who's better than who have never been in the Armed Forces (in any country), don't be put off by these plastic tough guy's who probably work in an office from 9 till 5. If you want it got for it.

Thank goodness for the voice

Thank goodness for the voice of experience.
Ernst knows the score- Per Mare per Terram/SemperFidelis.
RMV202910 20/06/1956 Mne. 2Lt RM 17/04/59 etc.etc.
RMA Life Member- Green Beret RM Cdo Association-Member.

Hey Guys, I'm currently in

Hey Guys,

I'm currently in training with the Royal Marine Reserves, just finished wet and dry.. have to say it was a horrible experience, but loved the comaderie straight after :D

Even though I am in training and i'm not as experienced as a few guys on here, the USMC are extremely arrogant and they feel so threatened that the Royal Marines are better, that they have to come on here and start abusing the Bootnecks. It's slightly annoying that a few USMCs think our workouts are sissy as well. USMCs have no clue what our training is like, they have no clue how hard our workouts are, and they will never know what it takes to become a RMC. I am proud to say I am training to become a Royal Marines Commando with the best, and i'm so proud I would gladly be submissive so as to keep the Royal Marine Commando training a secret to any of the USMCs

Nick, Uncle Sam's Misguided

Uncle Sam's Misguided Children are very good. They have fantastic kit in comparison to the RM. Nevertheless as for individuals, Ernst former USMC, now retired, openly states on this forum that he doubts that more than 1% (Yes one percent)of USMC recruits could pass RM basic training.
It is in the thread and can be read by one and all. After all Royal with their type of specific training are more attuned to USMC/Recon or Army Rangers. But our cousins make good oppos when working together.
Per Mare per Terram - Semper Fidelis.

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