Support the Marine Corps Community

OO-RAH Articles

o-rah motivators. It's the big dawg back to give you the scoop. Last issue we answered some questions from our readers. Well, this issue we're going to continue that train of thought one more time. I encourage anyone to write to Semper Fitness with their inquiries. I believe that many individuals have the same questions that are asked and answered here in our column. Let's get on with the Q & A.

First of all I would like to say that your page is great and it has been helping me enormously. I am currently trying to become aerobically fit because I am joining the Australian Army. I would like to know when you think I should do my aerobic workouts on the days where I do a leg weights routine. Do I complete the aerobic activities sometime before or after the weight sessions?

Yours Sincerely,
Daniel McNamee

First of all, thanks for the kudos Daniel. Second, good luck on joining the military. Not many people have the guts to do what you're doing. I commend you. In response to your inquiry, I wouldn't suggest doing your aerobic workout on the day that you work legs. I don't know how your leg workouts are, but I can't imagine doing aerobics on the day that I work legs. I would suggest that you pick three days out of the week to do your aerobic activity. Preferably on your shorter workout days. Days when you work arms or chest would be good days to do aerobic activity. If you plan on doing aerobics five days a week, you might want to conduct double workouts. One session in the morning and another in the afternoon or evening. This would take some of the strain off of you and allow you to put the most effort into both your aerobic and anaerobic workouts. As far as whether you go before or after your workouts, that would depend on which workout you want to put the most effort into. If you can workout with weights and put a hundred percent into an aerobic workout, go ahead.


I have been working on my upper body strength since April. Three days per week. I do 3 sets of 10 reps of ISO lateral chest (I'm up to 100 lbs per side), Tricep pushdowns (up to 120 lbs per side), Biceps curls (up to 110 lbs per side), Bench press (I'm up to 110 lbs), Iso Lateral behind the neck press (50 lbs per side). I'm pleased with the way my chest and arms are starting to look but my shoulders are still bony. I do 3 sets of 10 reps of dumbbell flyes and bent over flyes with 25 lbs, and I use the Iso Lateral shoulder raise machine with 80 lbs, as well as 3 set of 10 reps of upright rows with 100 lbs and 3 sets of 10 reps shrugs with 120 lbs. What more can I do to build my shoulders up?

Pete Lombardo

Great job on the consistency Pete. If you are having problems stimulating growth in your shoulders, you might want to consider going to total failure, that is, until your muscles are completely exhausted and you can no longer do another without help. The plan would be to conduct one warm-up set of ten reps and then do your other two sets to total failure, doing no more than 6-10 reps. If you make it to ten reps, increase the weight until you cannot do ten reps. This should help to stimulate some growth. Keep me posted on your progress.


I am currently in the application process to go to OCC (Officer Candidate Course) next summer, although my application has yet to be reviewed by the board. I currently have a PFT (physical fitness test) score of 250, with my weakest area being my crunches/situps. My goal is to have a score of 285 by the time the board meets to review my application. Are there any specific training programs you could suggest to improve upon the three elements of the PFT? Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated. I will keep reading your column, looking for some great fitness advice.

Matt Hrutkay

Good question, Matt. What I would suggest you do is look in the Semper Fitness Archive for the articles: "Getting up over twenty pull-ups", "Absolutely great abdominals", and the series on running to help with the PFT. You shouldn't have a problem building up since you already have an excellent PFT score. Good luck hardcharger.


For all of those who write in to Semper Fitness, I appreciate the feedback and the questions. When we post the "Mail Calls" on Semper Fitness, we take the most frequently asked questions and put them on the site. For those of you whose questions did not get answered, don't worry, we'll get to them. Join us next time for a motivating Platoon PT training session called the Masih workout. Until next issue, from the extreme motivator, stay pumped, stay motivated, and OO-RAH!

Semper Fitness Archive

Neither the United States Marine Corps nor any other component of the Department of Defense has approved, endorsed, or authorized this Web site. is now an editorial site to share military stories. If you are looking for informaiton regarding custom t-shirts, please click here.