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POC 11th - 13th of June

Discussion in 'Potential Officers Course Dates' started by Scar, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. jungle-man

    jungle-man Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Day 1 isn't too bad. In the gym, the etiquette/form for the exercises is extremely strict. Be prepared to stand absolutely rigid after going 100% at the exercises. Quite a few lads were blacking out. Importantly though, do not fidget - at all! They hate it. Colours got so fed up with it that he made us do 2 camp circuits after the tests. The first one was with heavy mats; 2 men to a mat. This was very hard and made quite a few of us sore the next day. The second was an individual best effort. Needless to say, that 'extra phys' put the fear into us for day 2!

    Day 2 is seriously, seriously tough. The morning session is a hang-out. For me, it was going pretty well until the fireman's carries. The warm up puts you under pressure, but I quite enjoyed it. The assault course isn't too bad physically, but I found the obstacles technically challenging and had to repeat a couple on my best effort run due to bad form. The log exercises are grim, but the harder you all work, the sooner it'll finish. The carries - the last thing you do - crushed me. I'm a big guy, and just assumed I had the leg strength to do it. I had to put my guy down twice during the 200m carry and came in about 20 seconds over time. For the 100m, I came in about 10 seconds under. If you're going for a PRMC/POC, then definitely train for these. It really, really hurts. Heavy farmers' walks will help you out here, but just pick your mate up and run about with him, whether he likes it or not.

    Also, for the regain, bear in mind that you CAN touch the bottom. I fell in, got an almighty shock from the cold, thought I was going under and started freaking out, until the Captain told me I could stand on the bottom easily. Very embarrassing and not quite in line with the 'Leader of Men' vibe.

    You then go for a meal. Contrary to what I'd read elsewhere, we had plenty of time for this. Baked potato and some stodgy pasta. Just mix the pasta into the potato, get some salt on it, and get it down you.

    The Endurance Course is at least twice as hard as Bottom Field. On the way up, we were all *text deleted**text deleted**text deleted**text deleted* ourselves. We were highly fatigued and I think we all found the warm-up pretty intense. The pace round the EC is very fast - faster than I was expecting. We stopped to do a long hill sprint in pairs; the loser from each pair went again. A couple of guys did 3-4 hill sprints here, which can't have been fun.

    We also stopped to carry each other over a flat bit of land. We did 4 variations (I think), which were all killer. My carry buddy and I were the last to finish every single one. We also did a couple of long sprints on the flat, with the losers going again and again.

    Also worth mentioning is the epic, muddy hill which we crawled up. It doesn't sound too bad, but my core was in pieces by the end. There was plenty more crawling to come. Doing lots of planks will help with this aspect.

    After a bunch of tunnels and fast running, we then stopped to carry each other (again) up a very steep, gravelly hill. This was when it got horrific, and a few guys dropped out/got withdrawn at this point. We were all dropping each other and falling over (sometimes deliberately, just to get some rest). Again, 4 different carries, the casualty drag being the worst. My quads felt like they had nothing left by the end of this. Dig in and hug tight to your mate when you're being carried to make it easier for him.

    Hare and Hounds is a real stinker. You have to sprint a mile with extremely fatigued legs. I gave it my all, but came 3rd/4th from the end. By this point you will feel completely cream crackered! I was dazed and my hamstring was very tight and sore. The other lads must have had similar issues. We then had to assemble a jigsaw-type thing as a team. Contribute as you see fit.

    The 3 mile run home is not as bad as what you've just done. The pace isn't as fast, much of it's downhill, and there are no grim surprises on the way. For the first mile I was feeling good. Then we hit a steep hill and changed from running to fast, punchy walking. Although, technically, this was easier, my legs just jellified. I dropped right to the back and had to jog to keep up. We then started running again and I was okay for another mile or so, but I was really starting to struggle. On Leafy Lane, we started the bloody walking again. Another couple of guys and myself were falling several metres behind, then sprinting to catch up. This went on for about five minutes and we were given a couple of strikes. You're either with the squad or you're in the minibus - no jogging in between. After maybe half a mile of this fartlek from me and another lad, the Captain told us to get in the minibus. Damn.

    The discussion exercises are fine. You get some much-needed food/hot drinks beforehand, which you'll be very grateful for. Just stay alert, relevant and on topic. Some guys talk more than others and it's a bit of a free-for-all. Don't be shut out by the more confident ones - you need to speak if you're going to pass.

    On day 3 you have a fun/tough swimming session and your debrief.

    I was given a 3 month recall. I was told that my drive/determination were there and that I 'did well getting as far as I did'. But I was hanging for too much of the Endurance Course/Hare and Hounds; they need the dudes who can hold a strong, consistent pace the whole way round. Also, my 200m carry was slow and I took a long time getting over the obstacles on the assault course. I just didn't quite have the phys in the bag.

    My gym test scores were above average apparently:
    Bleep - 12.5-8
    Press ups - 60
    Sit ups - 51 (I was told to stand up for pausing in between sets. Just bang them out consistently from start to finish).
    Pull-ups - 7

    My essay was strong and so was my leadership during the log race. By brief was a bit scattered though. My presentation finished 30 seconds early - to my surprise - which didn't particularly impress the Captain. We were told on Day 1 that the presentation was to be on something we'd failed at. I got the impression after the debrief that all our presentations hadn't quite hit the mark, so be prepared to write a convincing, clear presentation the night before Day 2 if needs be.

    In terms of training for a POC/PRMC, make sure you run a lot, especially if, like me, running doesn't come naturally to you. Get used to running fast in boots; 6-7 mile runs as fast as possible would be optimal for the endurance course. I did tonnes of hill sprints, which I don't regret as it was top phys, but there were virtually none on the EC, at least on this POC. Booted tempo runs for time would have been more beneficial for me.

    As said above, practise the firemen's carries. It was a big shock to me how brutal these were and it needn't have been. You're not just completing 2 carries in the morning, you're carrying a man about 10 times on the EC. You'll see yourself off if your legs aren't accustomed to it.

    Also, I'd recommend training twice in one day frequently. Say, an interval and circuit session in the morning, then a fast booted run in the afternoon. Day 2 consists of hours and hours of phys, and it's an endurance event. Get used - physically and mentally - to pushing hard when very fatigued.

    Finally, don't mug your legs off. They need to be strong and they need serious endurance. Squats, lunges, hill sprints etc.