Pass the PRMC! The Mindset of a Royal Marine

By Stevo | Thursday 3rd January 2019

Last updated on Tuesday 28th July 2020

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The following is my story, it is a true account, and if you listen to what I say, it will help you pass your PRMC (Potential Royal Marines Course). I have used a collaborative of phots (marine slang for photos) of which some images are blurry to protect identities.

If you have ever wanted to walk among legends, the Marines is for you! There is no greater honour than earning that green beret and being able to fight for what you believe in, and for your country.

Royal Marines Commandos form part of the UK’s elite, rapid reaction force. We are a small contingent of steely-eyed bringers of death and destruction.

It is believed that even Margaret Thatcher once said, “Royal Marines should be kept in a glass box with a sign saying, ‘only break in times of war'”.

Find Your Inspiration

At the age of 15, my eldest brother had hired a library book titled ‘Royal Marines Commando’. On the front cover was a silhouetted figure, cammed up, wearing a green beret and yielding a commando dagger, blackened out blending into darkness. He looked untouchable.

My brother was the fittest guy I knew, and him being four years older than me, he used to thrash me in the gym, in a good way, obviously! Seeing my brother aspire to become a Royal Marine, inspired me to find out who the Royal Marines were.

Then, a few years later, the movie ‘Black Hawk Down’ came out.

This was a turning point for me, and if you haven’t seen it, you should watch it right now! (well straight after reading this lads!) The movie is a true account about how two black hawk helicopters go down in Mogadishu, leaving the crew under attack from Somali forces. The movie captures how special forces fought fiercely, to never leave a man behind.

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I watched the movie a thousand times! It was on all day every day, and when it wasn’t playing, I had the music on from the title screen playing over and over again. The lad’s bravery during this operation and their brotherhood made me want to be part of something like that.

It Was Around This Time That I Knew I Wanted to Be a Marine!

In 2003, the war on Iraq had started and I at the time was still living at home. I remember watching from my mum’s living room as the coalition troops fought their way into Baghdad.

Time passed, and Iraq rolled into Afghanistan, and at the age of 25 in 2008, I made a decision! I applied to the Royal Marines, and I was successful. I passed out of training as an original and went straight to a fighting unit where I deployed on operations.

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The PRMC Blueprint

The PRMC is designed to remove any weak individuals and thin out those lads that shouldn’t be there. Marines want to know that the man next to them will not ‘wrap’ (marine slang for giving up) when he’s too cold, hungry, tired or shot.

A man’s vigour is shown when he is at his most vulnerable! The PRMC will find the men who display the commandos ethos and keep them and spit out those that don’t.

When making it to the PRMC, remember it is a gruelling process for everyone. When you feel the strain, know that you’re not alone.

The PRMC is honking (marine slang for horrendous), you’re permanently cold and wet and thrashed within an inch of your life. It takes a certain type of vigour to be able to pass it. If you do have the minerals to stay and pass, you’ll find yourself accepted into the winner’s enclosure, Royal Marines training.

Why Is the PRMC So Hard?

As raiders, we need to be able to assault an enemy position regardless of the terrain, whether it be a sheer cliff face or an assault from the sea.

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Royal Marines operate in the most extreme conditions and specialise in urban, jungle, desert and arctic warfare. To become a Royal Marine, you must be able to administer your person in conditions where most couldn’t. You must be able to fight through an enemy position when you are sleep deprived beyond what shouldn’t be possible.

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In Afghanistan, we were ‘pinned down’ on many occasions and had to rely on our fitness to avoid enemy fire. Our training would kick in, and we’d win the firefight armed with more dits (stories) to spin when returning home. As we know well, a huge part of being a Marine was being able to tell stories that would guarantee us chicks back home! Our standard operating procedures (SOP’s) were second to none! Marines train religiously so that at any given moment of hostility, they can respond in kind with force subject to eliminate any enemy.

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PRMC Criteria – IMO

If you think you can pass by making the minimum grade set by AFCO, I have to tell you that you’re wrong. If you want to pass the PRMC, in my opinion, you’ll need to be able to do the following as a minimum:

Bleep test                               level 14

1.5 mile run time:                   8 minutes

3-mile run:                             17 minutes

Pull-ups:                                 20

Press-ups (close arm):         100

Sit-ups:                                   100

These recommendations are my own and do not represent any official guidelines. I can guarantee, however, that failing to be able to perform this, you are in my mind preparing to fail.

Shredify will help you achieve the above! The Spartan programme has helped me develop explosive power and draw complete striations out of my muscles. It is the Spartan programme that will help you!

The Reality of Being a Marine – Afghanistan – on Tour

Afghanistan, 2010

The lads and I scrapped toe-to-toe with the Taliban for six months, advancing to ambush on many occasions and surviving enemy contact on a daily basis.

To survive in Afghanistan, you had to be robust! Carrying 100lbs of kit while coming in to contact with the enemy was a daily occurrence. The ground in Afghanistan was littered with IED’s, and we’d patrol wearing pre-fitted tourniquets ready to self-administer should we find ourselves in rag order (alive with limbs missing). Patrolling with multiple weapon systems, enough ammunition, as well as enough water to withstand a three-hour firefight, was hard enough. Add wearing body armour, the 55-degree heat and then scrapping with the enemy in those conditions and you are in hell.

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You have to be fit, as at any time, a calm moment would turn to terror. Out there, the only thing that stood between life and death was you and the lads. We needed to have the ability to fight while keeping a cool head when most would lose theirs!

How Shredify Can Help

I’d highly recommend paying close attention to my recommendations! From experience, I can say that it could be the difference between you passing your PRMC and failing.

In training, the 30-foot rope climb as well as ‘rope regains’ were our bread and butter. You will have to be competent on the ropes to progress through training. Shredify incorporates battle rope training within its programme prescription. Specific exercises that strengthen the back, shoulders and biceps (essential muscles for rope climbs) are prescribed.

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The ropes are an essential part of training, aiding in preparation for possible cliff assaults. Being able to access areas the enemy couldn’t, would help us be victorious in battle.
I helped design ‘Shredify’ based on PT principles. Shredify prescribes reps, sets and exercises that have been scientifically proven to work. The Spartan programme will help increase strength, power, speed and performance and help you pass your PRMC.


The only way you’ll ever stand a chance of becoming a Royal Marines Commando is to ‘get your mind right’. It’s a mindset, and until you realise that it won’t matter how strong, fast or big, you think you are. I’ve seen some absolute units fall down and cry, failing some of the gruesome tests that await you.

You will need to be in both peak physical and mental shape. You need to focus!

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Work hard during training and maximise results by eating well, not going out on the lash and pi**ing your hopes up the wall. You’ll have plenty of time for runashore’s  (nights out) with the lads once you pass out of training.

Before you step off the train at CTC (Commando Training Centre), be ready for the ultimate thrashing of your life! Your civvi origin will rip apart! The training teams mindset is simple, thinking ‘is this lad hard enough? And can I trust he’ll have my back during a firefight so that I can come home to my family and hold them rather than coming home in a body bag!’

My first-hand experience tells me that you’ll need to be the grey man during your PRMC. Dig out blind and keep your head down, don’t stand out for the wrong reasons, and don’t be a kn*b.

Start Training Now, As Tomorrow It Will Be Too Late!

Shredify is what keeps me at my peak fitness, and it is what will help you pass your PRMC. Shredify prescribes HIIT, cardio and resistance training that will get you ready to take on commando training. The key, however, if I haven’t made it clear already is your mindset! So get your mind right! I had the greatest time in the corps, met some of the bravest lads I will ever meet and of whom I owe my life to! They’re family.

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Remember lads, once you get that green lid on your head; it’s yours forever, ‘Once a Marine, Always a Marine’.

‘Do The Impossible’



Adventurer, Co-founder and Director of Shredify. MSc, BSc (Hons)

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