THE US MARINE CORPS KEEPS its combat-conditioning programme engaging by frequently mixing in cool new workouts and physical challenges. The routines aren’t designed to wage war on a man’s body, but that’s exactly what they’d do if you jumped into the programme headfirst. So we created a plan to gradually prepare you physically and mentally for the demands of its military training.

Sandbag Squat

Grab a heavy dumbbell (marines use sandbags) and stand holding it vertically, by one end, against your chest. With your elbows pointing down, bend at the hips and knees to lower your body until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Return to the start.

Sandbag Dead Lift

Stand holding a heavy dumbbell (or sandbag) with both hands under the top of the weight and your arms hanging down in front of you. Keep your chest up and shoulders back. Next, lower your body until the weight touches the floor. Now stand up again.

Pull-Up

Grab a chin-up bar with an overhand grip (palms facing forward) and your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Hang with your arms straight and pull your shoulder blades down. Pull yourself up, and then lower back to the starting position.

Front Squat To Push Press

Stand holding a barbell across the front of your shoulders and bring your elbows forward. Push your hips back and then bend your knees to lower your body. Now quickly stand back up while pushing the bar above your head until your arms are fully extended. Lower the weight. That’s one rep.