John Carter of Mars Workout! NCO PT session.

It is a well documented fact I like to PT the NCOs on occasion. Recently I took the Marines out to the NSA Bahrain soccer field for a little light body maintenance. Our workout was gleaned from the Man of Action. He gives specifics on how to conduct the John Carter of Mars workout. I’ve just got a few bad photos for you.

The John Carter of Mars workout is designed to emphasize the bounding power in the legs and hips. Mars has less gravity than Earth so John Carter spends his time leaping over the Martian landscape decapitating horrific monsters, battling larger than life foes, and rescuing Martian princesses. You can see why I appreciate his style.

John Carter and Tars Tarkas on a typical Saturday night on Barsoom.

Each exercise was done in a one minute interval with a 30 second break between each exercise. We did four total rounds for approximately 20 minutes all together.

The first exercise was vaults. With a rifle, each Marine vaulted over six jersey barriers continuously for one minute. In the photos you can see it is pretty dark out. This is because I have to get the Marines out there early before the Sailors take over the field so they can do toe touches and hip rotations. They get a little uncomfortable when Marines are nearby actually sweating.

The next minute we did sprint bounds. The object here was to use maximal effort to leap as high as possible and explode into the next toe strike. Unlike John Carter, we were not able to clear attacking hordes of Tharks.

Keeping focused on muzzle awareness was an additional challenge.

Following the 30 second break, broad jumps were next. This was another max effort exercise with max distance not repetitions being the goal. The addition of the rifle made it an interesting exercise.

After the first two exercises Marines reconsider the wisdom of attacking broad jumps.
Some mistakenly thought I said Planet of the Apes Workout.

Concluding the four exercise circuit were sprints. The object here was to get in five or six 30 yard sprints in one minute. Marines were reminded the “carrying handle” on the rifle isn’t.

America’s 1stSgt and another Marine consider blowing chow for time.
Bunny hops and jogging were grounds for massive amounts of ridicule and negative commentary.

As is my practice, after PT I bring the Marines in for some PME and general discussion on how a culture of physical fitness applies to small unit leadership and swashbuckling.

Me doing my thing.

All in all, not a bad session of physical training.  Just doing our part for the cause of liberty.

Semper Fidelis,
America’s 1stSgt

/ / / /


  1. I had coffee, bacon and pancakes (extra syrup) for breakfast.

    It’s noon, and I’m still sitting around in my slippers.

    Many Thanks to you and your boys for all you do. So I don’t have to anymore.

  2. I feel so lazy all of a sudden. *stares at pajamas accusingly*

    All right. Tommorows goal: get my lazy butt out of bed early and go for a run. I will not be able to even come close to the John Carter goal, but I will run!

    You and your Marines are awesome. I cannot thank you guys enough for being awesome warriors.

  3. A Frazetta fan no less!

    Your Marines don’t have the advantage of a thin Martian atmosphere…


  4. When I saw it was dark,I thought you were just being nice letting them do PT before the hot sun came up.
    Instead you just didn’t want some sailors to feel bad about their toe touches.


  5. I like the rifle touch in all these drills. After all, as a Marine, you’re merely decorative if you can’t leap tall buildings clutching a single rifle.

    I like that you give meaning to the exercise. Meaningless exercise is dull.

    I like your imagination. Engaging the brain can be as important as engaging the body.

    You may come and work out with me any time you like.

  6. Top,
    Great stuff. The old Berlin Brigade we would do weapons PT 3 days a week. We wore our brain buckets, flak jackets and rifles and did all the PT with this stuff.
    As a young PFC, I had the M203 and hated it when we had to do the rifle lifts… but built my arms up. (Glad we didn’t have to do it with our 81mm mortars).

  7. MSgt B, you are an example of retired life I will one day strive to emulate.

    Erika, next time I am going to release tigers onto the soccer field during PT. That will be some awesome warrior action.

    Lin, everyone has their own style. 🙂

    NavyOne, you would be disgusted, I wasn’t exaggerating.

    Shay, as much as I admire your out of the box thinking, I would have to butt-stroke you at PT.

    Powdergirl, what do you mean? This was only LIGHT body maintenance.

    Pax, I try to be original. In this case though, I got the workout from the Man Of Action site.

    Momma, it feels kinda thin after I’m done! Grew up on Frazetta cover art on all my Conan books.

    Mark, I try to be mindful of other’s feelings.

    Book, Okay, but you have to bring your own rifle. We also have much more brain engaging sessions where Marines have to operate radios, call for fire, assemble weapons, treat wounded, etc, all while negotiating physical obstacles. It’s pretty rough.

    CI-Roller, I encourage the Marines to do PT with gear on too. My NCO PT sessions are designed to get them thinking about how to conduct training with variety. Once I saw a fire team coming back from a run with boots, packs, and wearing gas masks. Yikes!

  8. My PT this morning consisted of laundry, cleaning the fireplace, cutting wood and building stuff. I would much rather be running around with my gun (at least I SAY that, sitting here in my comfy chair…).
    You guys are AWESOME!!

  9. A workout that combines strenght building along with cardio could be what we used to call the “jeep push”.

    I guess it’d be the HUMVE Push now though.

    Load up a Humve with weight similar to a combat loaded vehicle sans crew.

    Break up your Marines into teams of 4 or 5.

    Set a course (anywhere from 1 to 3 miles, depending on time avail).

    The teams take turns pushing the vehicle along the course.

    It’s a timed event. Fastest team exempt from fire watch and other such duties until the next tested event.


  10. Gas mask, rifle, flak jacket, and boots runs on warm Camp Lejeune mornings. Popular with 1/6 back in the mists of time. Well, popular with the CO anyway.

    I love the smell puke being washed out of gas masks in the morning. Smells like…..Victory!

  11. 1St Sgt, I assume you miss the old mimeograph machine, but is it possible to lose the streak down the middle of your red stationary?

  12. I felt so guilty this afternoon at work while I was dong some stretches – I got the sudden feeling that I should be vaulting over the table with an arm full of collated books while carrying (something heavy ) (since I’m not allowed to carry at work).
    Also, it occurred to me that the reason the Sailors get nervous is not because the Marines are sweating but because they are carrying weapons….while sweating….

  13. Leslie, cutting wood is great PT! Don’t sell yourself short.

    Grimmy, as we say, it pays to be a winner.

    Jim, you can learn a lot about your buddies on a gas mask run.

    Gary, I miss signing for hard checks in my plt sgt’s office and living in squad bays!

    Leslie, would you be more nervous around Sailors carrying weapons or Marines? Think about that one.

    be603, awesome! Of course, now he’s supposed to know better.

    Kanani, during PT I occasionally have to spritz myself so the Marines will think I’m human.

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