Being a solid Corpsman or combat medic in the infantry takes discipline, determination, and, above all, passion. Some aid station medics are more brainiacs than their grunt-like counterparts who lug heavy packs out in the field.
However, many of these ‘docs’ quickly transition from being badasses who put rounds downrange to being the squad’s doctor when someone gets hurt.
When the bullets start flying and the adrenaline pumps through your veins, it’s incredible how fast you can become fatigued if you aren’t physically ready.
You don’t need a bodybuilder’s biceps to keep up with the physical demands of being a combat medic, you just need to strengthen these key areas.
Related: This is what it takes to become a Combat Controller
1. Build up those shoulders
Deployed medical professionals carry stretchers and Army litters for prolonged periods of time. This can tire out your shoulders in a matter of minutes if you’re not prepared.
Build up those shoulders by knocking out a few sets of “shoulder shrugs” during your workouts. It’ll help.
2. Keep that muscle memory tight
Jackie Chan isn’t one of the greatest stuntmen in Hollywood history because he sits in his barracks room playing Call of Duty all day. He continually practices his craft to get better and better every day.
Combat medics should do the same with applying tourniquets and battle dressings.
3. Use those legs for lifting
Docs are going to do a lot of lifting.
Most wounded patients are going to be laying on the ground when you arrive on the scene, and the medic will have to summon the strength to pick them up. If you use too much of your back, you’re looking at injury. Use those legs to lift.
4. Cardio is key
Medics do a lot of running. They run from patient to patient in the event of a mass casualty situation, then, they have to haul ass to the medevac to relay the proper medical information to the in-flight surgeon.
The job can be tiresome if you’re not in good shape. So, workout with a buddy if you need extra motivation, but be sure to get that cardio in.
Also Read: 6 things corpsmen should know before going to the ‘Greenside’
5. Work on that core strength
Docs spend a lot of time kneeling over their patients when rendering care. This position can be incredibly taxing on the torso. So, integrate core workouts into your daily PT sessions.