Within the fitness world, there has been a rise in the so-called “boot camps,” which are accelerated exercise programs that claim to be able to whip people into shape and help them achieve the body of their dreams.

These programs tend to be merely a mix of cardio and exercise drills that work on your core and get you on the road to a regular fitness regime. They certainly don’t reveal the secrets of an actual boot camp or help you understand the true level of fitness that you need to have to defend your country. This is why we reached out to fitness coach Kagan Dunlap who has completed three deployments with the Marine Corps and has over 14 years of experience in the world of fitness. Here, Kagan shares five fitness lessons that can be learned from the Marine Corps.


  1. You are more powerful than you realize

“The Marine Corps helps people evolve into the most powerfully efficient versions of themselves. The lesson here is that we all have the inner strength needed to transform into our most powerful selves. That could mean conquering CrossFit or simply jogging regularly; whatever your goal is, just remember that you have the power to achieve it.”


  1. Start early

“Before the sun rises, Marines get on their feet and start their day with fitness training every weekday. Rising early can feel like a chore for a lot of people but it has the power to transform your life! By getting up early and straight into your fitness training, you start your day with achievement, and you start your day with a positive perspective.”


  1. There is power in numbers

“No matter how strong a Marine is, he is always more powerful with another Marine by his side. From raising your morale to making sure that you actually show up for your daily exercise regime, having a workout partner can give your fitness goals a serious boost.”


  1. Your gym is where you make it

As a Marine, you learn to create a workout space no matter where your outpost is. Remember, you don’t need cutting-edge gym equipment to reach your fitness goals; use water jugs for weights, do a loop of runs up and down a sturdy staircase, just whatever you need to stay motivated outside of the gym.”


  1. Have a mission

“Marines are connected by a shared mission; they work together to complete that mission and never allow themselves to get distracted from it. Make your fitness goals your mission, commit yourself to them fully, and you will achieve every goal that you set for yourself.”


Many of us will never live the life of a Marine and will never truly know the sheer determination, strength, and dedication that they put in every single day of their lives. Yet, Kagan Dunlap believes that everyone can learn something about themselves and through fitness and determination, and remembering that they have the power to conquer every single one of their fitness goals.