Build strength to maximize CFT score

6/19/2009 By Lance Cpl. Alexandra M. Harris , Marine Corps Air Station Miramar


With the new scoring system for the Combat Fitness Test right around the corner, Marines still have time to build strength and prepare their bodies.

Now is the time for Marines to learn what their strengths and weakness are as they pertain to the CFT.

The three events of the CFT include an 880-yard run, a 30-pound ammunition can lift, and the maneuver under fire course.

To reduce the risk of injury during the CFT and improve chances for a high score, Marines should prepare themselves physically. Before working out, Marines should properly warm-up to help prevent injury. Dynamic warm-ups are best to do before the workout, said Riana Rohmann, a trainer at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Sports Complex.

Dynamic warm-ups can include 5 to 10 minutes of cardio such as a light jog - something that gets the body moving. This helps the body prepare for more intense exercises, explained Rohmann.

“The CFT is very, very anaerobic,” said Rohmann. “Exercises that include short bursts of speed and high intensity will help you prepare the best.”

A combination of sprinting, jumping and running with weights will help build up your body for the CFT.

Plyometrics are also useful in training, said Valerie Villarin, a trainer at the Sports Complex. Plyometrics are exercises that require short and long bursts of speed.

Developing the core of the Marines’ bodies is also essential when training for parts of the CFT. It will help them when they do an event such as the fireman’s carry.

Crunches are not the only thing a person can do, explained Rohmann. Planks are very useful and anything that gets the abs moving, like side-to-side crunches with a medicine ball.

Other exercises Marines can do for core strengthening include kickboxing, indoor cycling and pilates. Setting up a practice CFT will also help Marines prepare for the real thing, explained Villarin.

Training for something like this sometimes requires doing the actual event. After a Marine has finished working out, they should cool down as well to prevent injury, added Rohmann. Stretching the muscles out is important because it helps the body not tighten up.

Anyone interested in CFT specific training can contact the Sports Complex trainers at 858-577-4129 or 858-577-4128.