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Petty officer 1st class Thea Cortez, dental laboratory tech, 1st Dental Battalion, over-head presses during High Intensity Tactical Training aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 7, 2014. HITT focuses on tactical athletes and involves injury prevention, dynamic warm-ups, strength and power components, speed and agility, endurance, flexibility and core stability.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Anna Albrecht

Marine Corps HITT program focuses on tactical athletes

8 May 2014 | Lance Cpl. Anna Albrecht

The Marine Corps is giving Marines the opportunity to embrace their strength and conditioning program, High Intensity Tactical Training, to become better, well-rounded, tactical athletes. 

HITT was launched in October 2012, and teaches injury prevention, dynamic warm-ups, strength and power components, speed and agility, endurance, flexibility and core stability, as well as nutrition guidance. This program views Marines as tactical athletes with a need to be as fit as possible and ready for demands that may come with deployment.

Last year, Camp Pendleton offered one and two-day courses, introducing more than 600 Marines to the program. 

This year, they are hosting six, four-day HITT courses in order to reach out to as many Marines possible.

“We’re trying to educate them not only on the HITT program, but on strength and conditioning principles,” said Joe Artino, Marine Corps Community Service Semper Fit, fitness program supervisor. “We want them to train properly; trying to help them become bigger, faster and stronger so they can do their jobs better, but also in a safe, progressive manner.” 

The four-day course goes into depth explaining HITT’s different types of workouts, including combat HITT, warrior HITT and athlete HITT. Combining these three types of training is meant to increase performance to transfer to combat while building strength, developing powerful elasticity and increasing speed. 

A sound strength and conditioning program can improve combat readiness and overall physical performance. 

Cpl. Devin Ward, an expeditionary field system technician with Marine Air Group 39, took the level one HITT course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., to further his knowledge about fitness and better his Marines. 

“As Marines, we live in a high-intensity environment,” said Ward. “Our exercise program should reflect our livelihood. [HITT] prepares you for the types of things you’re going to encounter as a Marine.”

Ward explained an exercise program that strictly focuses on lifting weights will not make a Marine combat ready. For the most part, Marines aren’t always picking things up all day long, as reflected in weight lifting. HITT can better assist them in correctly lifting things and being conscious of technique as well as improving core stability, strength, flexibility and endurance.

HITT is a relatively new program, continuing to evolve and progress. 

“I’m looking at having this be the Marine Corps’ strength and conditioning program,” said Artino. “I’d like to see it at the [Military Occupational Specialty] schools or even with the recruiters and possibly getting it into the depots. So, as you come in as a [member of the Delayed Entry Program] or a recruit, this is what you learn and what you know. The HITT program is going to be a compliment to [the Marine’s current fitness], but also a foundation of their strength and conditioning program.” 

After completing the course, the Marines receive a level one certificate of completion and can go back to their units, share their knowledge and run HITT workouts with their Marines. 

Sometime this year, they plan to have a level two certificate, which will require Marines to first go through the level one course. It will be similar, but more in depth and with some additions.