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PRMC(R) - RMR London/Bristol 2nd-4th Feb

Discussion in 'PRMC Diaries' started by Teasly, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Teasly

    Teasly Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2017
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    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    Hi guys,

    Delighted to have passed my PRMC(R) yesterday down at Lympstone. I really enjoyed reading the diaries and feel as though they prepare you well for the challenge, so thought I'd do one myself whilst everything is still fresh in my head. I'm unsure at to how similar a reserve PRMC is to the regs but I know that we have to complete the same elements, just in a different sequence. I'll try and be as brief as possible.

    Bit of background - There must have been around 20 of us there, 4 including myself from the London detachment with the rest coming from different detachments for Bristol. I already knew the guys from London through holding troop so knew they were great lads. It didn't take long at all to mix with the others there to realise that they were decent guys too. It was a great group and the standard was far higher than what I had expected. I think that approx 75% passed in the end and chuffed that all 4 of us London guys did.

    Friday: First night there, we arrived by train by 20:00. I shared the majority of my journey with one of the other London guys which helped calm the nerves. I'd definitely recommend trying to find someone else to travel down with for this reason. Once we arrived, it was all fairly relaxed. We were lectured about the procedure of the weekend and what was expected from us, before being issued our kit. Make sure everything fits well, particularly the boots. Don't be scared to ask to change something, the training team will be more than happy to swap them for you. After this we went for some food, before going to bed at around 23:00. I had an absolutely terrible night sleep! I'm usually a fantastic sleeper so it must have been due to nerves and because I was on the noisiest bunk bed in history.

    Saturday: We woke up around 5:30. After a horrible cold shower we went for breakfast. After a bit of time to let the food go down, it was time for the 3 miler. Gave it my absolute all here and came in with a return time of 8:45. I think I came in around 4th or 5th place. I had a cracking battle with another lad throughout the whole run, where we took it in turns overtaking each other, and this definitely brings the best out of you. Two lads battled it out for 1st and came in just over the 8 minute mark which is a brilliant effort. Interestingly it was a 16 and a 30 year old, proving that age is definitely just a number!

    After another cold shower, we had a quick interview with the Captain there who asked us about ourselves and why we wanted to join and what we brought to the table etc ... It took around an hour for everyone to have one and then we were off for the gym tests. PTIs are strict and one took a particular dislike to me which didn't help. I knew I'd struggle with the no scratching and I paid the price of 20 tuck jumps just before my weakest element of sit ups after he caught me wiping a bit of sweat out of my eye. I tried being as sly as possible but he some how caught me out! The same PTI docked me 5 sit ups for apparently going before the beep, which I'm convinced I didn't do. He's the boss though so I kept my gob shut and had to accept! Just make sure your form is perfect throughout!

    My stats were: Bleep test = 12.0, press ups = 60, sit ups = 62 (After the 5 docked), pull ups = 12

    I wasn't happy with the bleep test result at all, I was hoping for level 13 or at least close to it. My shoes were extremely slippy due to the pouring rain outside. Definitely should have wiped them better before entering the gym. Pull up beam was so much better than I thought though. I forced myself to the front of the queue mind you so that I could go first as I didn't want anyone's sweat on it. I was pretty happy with my results overall and they are pretty much identical to what I was achieving during training.

    After some lunch it was down to bottom field which I was absolutely dreading but it wasn't as bad as I thought. Don't get me wrong, it's extremely tough, but if you've trained well enough you'll be fine. We were constantly sprinting around, spent a huge amount of time crawling through the mud, did various drags and different walks etc. The worst part for me was when we had to do 10 burpees followed by sprinting up a hill, do 10 more burpees and then sprint down the hill, and this was repeated until the PTI decided to stop. It was grim, but it ended eventually! I can't stress enough that it really does pay to be near the front throughout all this. I was consistently in the top 5 and we definitely had more rest waiting for the others to finish the same things.

    Once this was finally over, we spent some time crawling across ropes. Absolutely loved this part! If you listen to their demonstration to the letter, it's easy to execute. We started off on low ropes to practice, before moving straight onto the higher ropes. There's a medium height one first, then a step up to a couple of wooden planks which you have to run across, before stepping up again to the highest rope to crawl across. I had no issues with either of the ropes as I picked up the technique well and just ignored the height. But the planks were horrible. The wind and rain were coming in sideways and if you didn't run across fast enough then you had to do it again. I thought I was great with heights but this certainly tested that thought!

    It was then time for the assault course which was class. We practiced each element before our timed run. Monkey bars were far harder than I expected. My hands were numb from the cold and slippy too which led to me falling into the water on my practice run. I was chuffed with my timed run though. Not sure what time it was, but I was first out of the four you do it alongside and I overtook a good 3/4 people who had started before me. That was the end of bottom field and that was a great feeling!

    Next was the swimming assessment which I'm sure you're all familiar with by now. Jump off the board, breaststroke a length, walk the width, breaststroke again before swimming down to pick up the brick off the bottom of the floor. Very easy as long as you're a reasonably confident swimmer.

    Once we got back to the grots, we had to clean our kit ready for Sunday, another cold shower before heading for some dinner. I absolutely demolished the food here, and again at 9 o'clockers! We were given an early night which was beautiful. Such a good nights sleep this time round, passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow and didn't wake until the alarm at 6:30.

    Sunday: After the normal routine of a cold shower, breakfast etc it was time to travel to the endurance course by minibus. The course was harder than I thought and I thought I'd find it much easier than I did if I'm honest.

    After a big warm up we shot off. Peter's pool comes up pretty soon and submerging yourself in the water is horrible. Takes your breathe away immediately and then your kit weighs a tonne! After a short run, the sheep dip comes. In most other write ups, the majority of lads say they didn't mind this. I hated it. But you just have to trust the other guys who push and pull you through! The rest of the run is extremely up and down, very muddy and you run through a lot of streams and boggyness etc. I found the tunnels the worst part personally. I'm quite a short lad so thought I'd shoot through them, but I was terrible at them! Hands were numb again from the cold so couldn't use them like I wanted to and my knees just got battered. I definitely need to find out the best way to get through them as I didn't know whether to baby crawl or commando crawl, so I kind of did a terrible mix between the two which led to me being extremely slow! There were more tunnels which I could waddle my way through on my feet. Not sure if the taller guys could do the same, but because of this, I found them so much easier and didn't mind them at all. The course feels much shorter than I thought. The two miles or however far it is flies and it's soon over. Once complete, we did the hare and hound type of thing or whatever it is called, where you have to try and keep up with PTI's pace and not slip back. It was quite a quick pace but we soon came to the road where it finished and we were given some water. Final element left was the jog back to camp as a troop. I'm unsure of the distance but think I've read before that it's about 4 miles? I didn't mind this - I knew it was the final element left so I just tried to relax and got myself into a comfortable rhythm. It soon ends and the feeling that you know it's over is fantastic! Once we returned to camp, the final request was to clean down our kit again and generally clean, whilst being called in individually to be told our results.

    It was an absolute cracking weekend and I'm chuffed to bits to have passed it. It was very challenging but I felt strong throughout and I definitely had a bit more in the tank at the end of each element if it was needed I'm honest. I trained my ass off for about 6 months for this so it's great to finally get it passed! Can't wait for the training to begin but unfortunately it's a long wait as it starts in July.

    Few tips I personally recommend
    • Take insoles for the boots, thick socks like football socks as well as tape/plasters to cover your feet if you've got pansy soft feet which like to blister like mine!
    • Take loads of underwear. I must have taken 5 pairs of boxers and socks and this was only enough thanks to the drying room. Take more than you think is enough.
    • Take 2 pairs of running shoes if you've got them. I only took one pair and they got soaked on the 3 miler so were grim for the RMFA.
    • Most important for me. So many times I read to eat big during breakfast and lunch, so I did. I completely disagree with it. I get the logic behind it, but I was left with a huge stitch on both bottom field and the endurance course for a good 10-15 minutes which was horrific. Eat big in the evenings and top up enough at breakfast and lunch in my opinion. I'm sure you all know how much food you need to complete something physically demanding. Don't over do it like I did haha!
    • Train specific. I did the tests a ridiculous number of times and I knew I could achieve enough points to pass which made it very reassuring heading into them.
    • Add a long run into your training plan if you don't already have one. As I said I didn't mind the run back to camp since I now run a fair bit. Legs are heavy by this stage but if you're used to that feeling, it makes it far easier! You could see a lot of guys really flagging during it though.
    • Most importantly is enjoy it. The more you enjoy it the easier it will feel. I absolutely loved it and this definitely made it easier and made the time fly.
    Apologies for the long post but I didn't want to miss anything important out. Feel free to ask any questions about anything.
     
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  2. posh_punter

    posh_punter Royal Marines Commando

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    Great work mate. Good to get it done early, now you've got plenty of time to prepare yourself for starting training.
     
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  3. Teasly

    Teasly Member

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    Thanks pal. Yeh, very happy to get it out the way! How's recruit training going for you and how tough are you finding it? Can't wait to get started, just frustrating having to wait!
     
  4. posh_punter

    posh_punter Royal Marines Commando

    Joined:
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    Well at least you start getting paid for attending holding troop on Wednesdays now.

    RT has been pretty good so far. We're a very tight group which has helped a lot, although we're down from over 40 blokes at the start, to 30 now, due to injuries and personal issues.

    The first few weekends weren't that bad apart from the low temperatures and there was very little rain. However, the last three have been pretty brutal in terms of no sleep, heavy rain and a lot more phys - last weekend was the first time that I had doubts about being able to finish a yomp/ thought I was going to start crying. We've started doing night nav, section attacks, stalking etc. which has been really good and to be honest, the weekends go pretty quickly as you're constantly doing something.

    Essentially, each exercise you think f##k me that was hard, then the next weekend is even worse. To be honest though, the worst thing is having to spend the Monday and Tuesday evenings sorting your kit out before inspection on Wednesday evening, when you want to be sleeping.
     
  5. westy

    westy Well-Known Member

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    See this mate, the yomps you feel like crying, but you battle on and pass and the weekends you think that was hard, is in fact developing you’re Commando State of Mind!! Keep going mate, you’re doing well!!
     
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  6. posh_punter

    posh_punter Royal Marines Commando

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    Well to be honest mate, I think it was the thought that in under 6 hours time I'd be in Nandos that got me through, but it might have been the Commando State of Mind too....
     
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  7. westy

    westy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that may of helped :D
     
  8. Teasly

    Teasly Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2017
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    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    Sounds great @posh_punter haha! 40 guys at the start, I know we still have quite a while until our RT starts but I don't think we'll get even close to that number. We've only had about 20 lads or so at holding troop, so far...

    How long does the training take by the way? I was under the impression about 18 months, but the guys from Bristol said they received their weekend schedule through which starts in April, and it's only 13 months? And I'm guessing training weekends take place roughly every other weekend?

    Keep up the good work though man!
     
  9. posh_punter

    posh_punter Royal Marines Commando

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    Passed PRMC
    You'll get a load of people join in the summer right before training starts, so don't worry.

    We started in August 2017 and will hopefully have our lids by November 2018 - assuming you don't fail anything or get injured. Generally it's one weekend a month, although there are quite a few where we have two exercises in a month, which basically means you have no life. Having it more spread out gives you more time to recover if you get injured, but also more time to forget things.

    To be honest, I'd be up for having exercises every other weekend and getting it done, but I know this would cause work / girlfriend issues for a lot of people and would give you less time for lectures on Wednesday evenings.

    Bristol's timings are different to London's so they'll be right at the end of their recruitment cycle for the next troop already. The 18 months takes into account holding troop too.
     
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  10. Teasly

    Teasly Member

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    All makes sense. Thanks a lot for explaining mate.