We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Combat Fitness?

By J. Stuchlik
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Combat fitness is a form of exercise that is derived from military training programs, most notably the United States Marines. The program focuses on both aerobic and strength training with minimal specialized equipment and no need for a set exercise location. Combat fitness revolves around four core tenets: "train like an athlete," "strive for a harder core," "take pride in exercise technique" and "don't allow for any weak spots." In the Marines, combat conditioning is tested using a Combat Fitness Test.

In 2003, after seeing a significant increase in the number of non-combat injuries, the Marines decided to update their training methods, using the latest exercise-science studies and techniques. It soon was copied by other military programs around the world and in the private sector. Combat conditioning quickly became a popular method for achieving all-around conditioning.

The four tenets of combat conditioning focus on making combat workouts effective, engaging and simple. The first tenet, "train like an athlete," focuses on power exercises that both strengthen and build impact resistance in order to prevent injuries. The second tenet, "strive for a harder core," eliminates excess weight from the middle and builds stamina. "Take pride in exercise technique" is the third tenet, and it involves focusing on exercises that improve posture and body alignment in order to prevent injury and maximize workout effectiveness. The final tenet, "do not allow for any weak spots," emphasizes a balanced conditioning in strength, stamina, speed and agility.

Combat conditioning rapidly grew in popularity because of it comparative effectiveness versus older conditioning techniques. After spreading throughout the world to elite military programs, combat fitness exploded in the private sector. Numerous fitness gurus, military veterans and martial art instructors each developed their own brand of combat conditioning. Despite numerous philosophical differences, these various versions of combat fitness regimens share a focus on the four tenets of combat conditioning and stress the unimportance of specialized training equipment.

Despite all of the exercise science behind combat fitness, the Marines would not be satisfied with the conditioning if it did not yield quantitative results. In order to do this, the Combat Fitness Test was developed. The Combat Fitness Test has three events that measure a soldier's endurance, strength, agility and speed. It begins with a "Movement to Contact" run of 880 yards in military boots and pants followed by a two-minute drill that awards points for the number of times a 30-pound weight can be lifted over head. The final event of the Combat Fitness Test is "Movement Under Fire," which simulates various combat conditions.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By clintflint — On Apr 09, 2014

@umbra21 - I have a friend who used a workout based on combat fitness training to get into shape for his martial arts class and it worked pretty well. The only thing that he really had to change was that some of the legwork was too hard on his knees, but he had a previous injury to take care of.

By umbra21 — On Apr 08, 2014

@Fa5t3r - Most people aren't going to have the time or the knowledge to craft their own fitness regimen so they could definitely do worse than follow one made up of combat fitness exercises.

Personally I think it sounds a little bit too hardcore for the average person, but I suspect all you'd have to do is half all the numbers or something like that to make it less difficult.

By Fa5t3r — On Apr 08, 2014

It's cool that they updated this recently, since I know a lot of people assume that military training is the be all and end all of fitness regimes.

And developing a decent core really is one of the things that pretty much everyone should be striving for. But I would imagine that they don't do much flexibility work in combat fitness workouts and I also wonder how gender specific it is. Women tend to have different strengths and weakness in exercise than men and need a different routine to capitalize on the strengths and shore up the weaknesses.

I guess what I'm trying to say is not to take it for granted that this is the absolute best fitness regime out there, because it is all relative to what you hope to achieve.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.