Dave Tate stumbles over his words a bit before getting to the question he has for elitefts Coach Tony Montgomery, which is more or less about the process for joining the U.S. Marines and how Tony trained for it.

Tony confesses he was absolutely not in shape for the Marines when he enlisted, even though he played football in high school. Despite that, he didn’t train for the physical requirements.

"I had to pass the PFT because I was a bigger person; I was always considered overweight in the military. I had to have a first-class PFT. I had to do that first and that gave me a waiver to get in, so I was fit enough to pass that. If you’re not fit enough to pass that, then you can join their MEPS program, and they’ll get you in shape through the reserve unit or get in shape on your own. It depends on what you’re trying to do in the military."

If you’re trying to become a Special Forces operator or some other job that requires a high demand of resilience and ability to push yourself while being in shape, then Tony recommends training to get in shape beforehand. Tony says most of the drops from Special Forces are due to injury, usually stress fractures; they won’t drop you unless you are really bad and fail to make the time requirements.

Building up your resilience for those roles is key to getting in and staying in.

"Beyond that, you just have to know that it’s a game that they play. They’re trying to break you down, and they’ll do a really good job of it. If you’re not in shape, you’ll get in shape because if you’re not, you’re the weak link, and they do their best to make sure that everyone’s on the same page and that the weak link becomes the stronger link over time. That’s really what it was for me."

In a three-month-long boot camp, Tony lost 30 pounds, which he attributes to really being out of shape. Luckily he has a high work capacity, so he’s been able to run well, even as a bigger person.

Dave says he thought that the biggest concern for getting into the military is doing something like training too hard and banging up your knees, which would put you at a disadvantage — but it’s also why he wasn’t ever certain about answering this question. He figured that if someone was in halfway decent shape, they shouldn’t do anything except stay healthy and go in there with the knowledge you’re going to be broken down.

Confirming Dave’s answer as a good one, Tony again reiterates the importance of going in and knowing a lot of the training will be mental in nature and that it is possible to survive boot camp:

"As long as you don’t quit, you’ll be fine. You could be the slowest runner out of the group; as long as you run within their parameters of what the slowest runner is, then you’re fine, as long as you don’t quit."

Editor's Note: We wish to take a moment to thank everyone who has served our country, both living and dead. Our country would not be the same if it weren't for your sacrifices. Thank you.

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