This post originally appeared in the 2009 issue of Marines magazine here.
CFT. When some Marines hear those three letters together, they might get a little nervous, sort of along the same lines as hearing the words “the gas chamber.” On the other hand, some Marines may get excited. Nevertheless, the CFT is part of the Marine Corps now, so get ready to get some.
Expand your Focus
Training for the CFT will be different than training for the Physical Fitness Test. The CFT involves more explosive movements and uses a wider range of muscles.
“Don’t try to prepare specifically for the CFT,” said Capt. Roger Head, officer-in-charge of the Marine Corps’ Combat Conditioning Program, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. “We have noticed Marines who train especially for the physical fitness test do well, but can’t perform as well on other physical tasks.”
Sgt. Danielle C. K. Holladay, former chief instructor of the CCP, explained CFT workouts should be geared toward cross training activities: shorter in duration but high in intensity. Also important are interval training and overall upper body development.
Since the CFT is comprised of short duration activities, it’s important to start training the body for maximum production during those times. “This will help you increase your output before your muscles start to burn and your ability to process oxygen fades while conducting intense activities,” Holladay said.
Build for a Constant State of Readiness
It is important to constantly vary your workouts as your body adapts to your routine. Varied training cycles create more effective workouts for your time and effort.