Without a doubt physical fitness is one of the key ingredients to the success of the Marine Corps. Whether storming a beach, or carrying 70 lbs of gear 20 miles, it takes an enormous amount of physical toughness to be a Marine. This toughness, as every Marine knows, is the result of hard work, grit and sweat spent at countless pt sessions.The quality of a unit's pt program varies according to who is running the program. Some units that have absolutely fantastic programs, and others are merely adequate. When the pt program falls short, it is the responsibility of the individual Marine to close the gap and remain in that fantastic fighting shape that has been winning battles since 1775.

It's not enough to just go to the gym and throw weights around for an hour or so; you need a battle plan, and here at Semper Fitness we plan to give you just that. This week we're going to give you an overview of a five day workout plan that will put lean muscle on your body. If you've worked out with weights before, this overview will be enough to get in the gym and get started; if not, then stay tuned to upcoming columns in which we will break down each workout in detail, and talk about the correct way to do and spot each exercise.

The workout is broken down so that each body part gets worked once in a five day period. This allows plenty of rest for your muscles between successive workouts, and (with two days full rest) allows you to fit the whole workout into a convenient seven day schedule.

Here is the plan:

Monday - Chest

3 sets of bench press
3 sets of incline bench press
3 sets of decline bench press
3 sets of incline dumbbell flies
3 sets of cable cross overs

Tuesday - Quadriceps

3 sets of squats
3 sets of quadricep extensions
3 sets of leg press

Wednesday - Back and Calves

4 sets of pull-ups
3 sets of lat pull downs
3 sets of barbell rows
3 sets of single arm dumbbell rows
3 sets of donkey calf raises
3 sets of seated calf raises

Thursday - Arms

3 sets of seated double arm dumbbell curls
3 sets of easy bar curls
3 sets of tricep extensions
3 sets of standing tricep pulldowns

Friday - Shoulders and hamstrings

3 sets of stiff dead lifts
3 sets of hamstring curls
3 sets of military press
3 sets of standing dumbbell flies

Credit for this workout goes to SSgt Haynes. I've typed it up, but he is the one who introduced me to it.

In the upcoming columns I'll talk about each of these workouts in detail. Until then . . .

Semper Fi