Marine Corps Body Composition Program

by Stew Smith

The USMC Body Composition Program

The Marine Corps PCP has two main components - The Physical Fitness Test and the Body Composition Program. The Marine Corps' weight and body fat standards are health and performance based, and not based on appearance. Marines are considered not within these standards when their body weight and body fat exceed the maximum limits. Like the Marine Corps PFT the weigh-in is conducted on a semi-annual basis (annually for Reserves). And like the PFT it is conducted in green-on-green T-shirt and shorts, and socks.

How it Works

Your weight is compared to the Marine Corps weight allowance chart. If you meet the standard weight allowance for your height, no further action will be required. You will be measured for body-fat only if you exceed the allowable weight on the chart. If you exceed the body-fat allowance, then you will be enrolled in the Body Composition Program - formerly known as the "Weight Control Program." If you are over the weight on the chart, but meet the body-fat standards, you are considered to be within the required standards, and no further action will be taken.

The Body Fat Standards for Marines are not to exceed 18 percent for males and not to exceed 26 percent for females.

Note: If you fail to lose the required weight/body fat while enrolled in the Body Composition Program, you can ultimately be discharged from the United States Marine Corps.

Check out the Marine Corps weight charts.

Many PT programs to train for the Marine Corps PFT can be found in the following Military.com links:

- Pullups / Flexed Arm Hang
- Pushups and Sit-ups
- Running

Other Marine Corps Fitness Related Links:

- The USMC Recruit Training PFT Standards
- The Marine Corps Fitness Score Charts
- The RECON Marine PFT
- The Marine Corps Weight Charts
- The Marine Corps PFT

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Military.com Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at Military.com. To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at stew@stewsmith.com.


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