Today we're going to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart; physical training (PT). We're going to give a couple of really good PT sessions that you can take with you to offer a change to the young devil dogs in your charge.

I'm sure a lot of you have had commands that while you were stationed there, the pt schedule was pretty blahhhhh. All you did was the old daily 7 and a run. Well, what I'd like to do is add a little zip to your PTregimen. The next couple of issues will illustrate some individual PT workouts. So let's get started.

The first pt session we're going to talk about is called CARDS.

With this pt session, you'll be working on your chest, triceps, calves and thighs. Items needed are a deck of cards with the jokers included and a nice big area to workout. Ensure before you begin your pt session that you have your Marines stretch all of the body parts involved in the workout as stated above. A good stretching routine to go by is the new Marine Corps daily 16. This stretching routine is a very good one and is currently (1999) being used at the Staff Non-commissioned Officer (SNCO) academy at Quantico.

Anyway, you're going to have your Marines form a huge circle around you. Explain to them that each suit in the deck of cards represents a different exercise. The breakdown is as follows: Spades are push-ups (4 count), Diamonds are side straddle hops (jumping jacks, 4 ct), Clubs can be either mountain climbers or any other exercise. Some people don't recommend doing mountain climbers for safety reasons. Finally, Hearts are boot beaters. Boot beaters are nothing more than a deep squat done at the 4 count cadence. The jokers are eight-count body builders.

What you will do first is have one of your troops shuffle the deck well. Now you have someone to pick on for the arrangement of the exercises. After the deck is shuffled, place it face down on the deck (floor for my civilian readers). You will flip the cards over and everyone will do whatever the number of the specific exercise for the specific suit that is flipped over. For example, if you flip over the seven (7) of spades, everyone will be doing 7 four-count push-ups. For the number arrangements, Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth 11, 12 and 13 respectively. The Aces are worth 15 instead of 1. The jokers are 10 eight-count body builders.

To break up the exercises, which will get very strenuous, every fourth of the way through the deck, do 3 sets of 50 meter sprints. Don't try doing a run after this workout. Your legs will feel like Jello. For those of you who want to try this session on for size, be careful. This workout will test the most avid of physical fitness nuts.

Well, that's the end of the first PT session. Next time we'll cover the new daily 16 and another PT session; the pull-up push--up crunch game.

Good luck with your PT session. Stay pumped, stay motivated and OO-RAH!

Semper Fidelis!