Royal Marine Commando Circuit Training: The Dirty Dozen

I'm going to dedicate this Article to one of my favourite Military Circuit Training Workouts. This time we talk about The Dirty Dozen Circuit. On a basic level this is a full Body Circuit with a lot of flexibility, and that's been used time and again with fantastic results. All manner of Individuals from those just looking to lose Fat or improve Conditioning to Athletes and Operators working in the top 2% of Performance. I'm going to give you the basic Format to start your own Dirty Dozen Workouts, and I'll also some more Advanced Military Circuit Training Workouts for those who want a real Challenge.


Royal Marine Commando Circuit Training:The Basic Dozen

 The entire Objective behind this Circuit Training Workout is to have a format which be used with no Equipment,in any Location, and with minimal Space. All you really need is a Stopwatch and Training Cloths to be good to go. This can be used for Individual Circuit Workouts, Paired Competitive Circuit Training and full "Group Phys" Boot camp Sessions. The whole point is you can switch this up anyway you want as along as you stay to the Basic Template. Use any Body Weight Exercise you want.

The Basic Dozen goes like this:

>Use an "Arms, Trunk,Legs" exercise order chose  12 different variations.
>Each Exercise will be done for 12 Repetitions.
> Each group of 3 in "Arms, Trunk,Legs" Selection will make a mini Circuit you should have 4 mini Circuits in all.
>You'll perform 3 Rounds each "Arms, Trunk,Legs" mini Circuits meaning you'll be doing 12 Rounds of 12 Repetitions of 12 different exercises.
>In between each set you'll perform 30 seconds shuttles, laps of the gym or 30 Seconds of Step Ups(the favourite variation) on an Aerobic Step).
>Work right through each Circuit with no rest.

The Basic Dirty Dozen Circuit Training Workout would look like this:

Circuit 1
Standard Push Up 12
Sit Up 12
Squat 12
30 Seconds Step Ups Between Each
Repeat 2 more times

Circuit 2
Incline Push Up 12
Twisting Sit Up 12 (Each Side)
Lunges 12(each side)
30 Seconds Step Ups Between Each
Repeat 2 more times

Circuit 3
Pull Ups 12
V Sit 12
Reverse Lunge 12
30 Seconds Step Ups Between Each
Repeat 2 more times

 Circuit 4
Chins 12
Bicycle Sit Up 12(each side)
Split Lunge 12 (each side)
30 Seconds Step Ups Between Each
Repeat 2 more times

Royal Marine Commando Circuit Training: PRMC(Commando Dozen)

This variation has been used extensively in by Potential Recruits to train for PMRC and also by those who already Serve within the Royal Marine Commandos for Conditioning. When applying it this way there are some added principles:

>The same Circuit will not be repeated two days in a row.
>Every round will end with a Burpee Variation
>Each full Circuit Workout will end with a "Best Effort" 1 Km Run
>Do at least 3 Circuits and 3 Runs Week. A Recruit will do 5/5 and at least 1 Swimming Session each Week. This will include 2 full days of rest.
>Split your Sessions between Circuit in the AM and Run in the PM.
>Runs will be between 3 miles to 8 Miles with one run over 10 miles every 2 weeks, and should include at least one Interval Run. If training for PRMC include as many timed 3 Mile Runs as you can,and  use Split 2.4km Test Runs to measure your Progress. You can also down load Bleep Test Apps.

What this can look like:

Circuit 1
Standard Push Up 12
Sit Up 12
Squat 12
Standard Burpee 12
30 Seconds Step Ups Between Each
Repeat 2 more times

Circuit 2
Pull Up 12
Bicycle Sit Up 12(each side)
Lunges 12(each side)
Double Burpee 12 (2 Squats, 2 Press Ups, 2Squat Thrusts, 2 Squat jumps is one rep)
30 Seconds Step Ups Between Each
Repeat 2 more times

Circuit 3
Chin 12
Twist Sit up Sit up 12(each side)
Reverse Lunge 12(each side)
Lunge Jump Burpee 12 (Standard Burpee with a Lunge jump each leg at the end is one rep)
30 Seconds Step Ups Between Each
Repeat 2 more times

End this with a 1km "Best Effort Run" or a longer distance steady paced Run of 3 Miles to 10 Miles. Alternatively as stated use this in Split Sessions training Double or Triple Sessions in a day. In the past I have done this with people using 2 timed laps of a Football Pitch or Running Track. As with the previous example this is just an example but is still follows the format 12 Repetitions, 12 Exercises for 12 Rounds.

Dirty Dozen Circuit:The Sir Ranulph Fiennes Elite Athlete Variation

These variations are based on the templates used by Explorers Sir Ranulph Fiennes in his Elite Athletes Program. They are Circuit Training Programs which are used for those at the 2% level of their Sports. They Make up the Plyometric Elements of a wider training Program. Additional Principles are followed below:

>Use as part of a "Split" Session as the middle of two Cardio Workouts. The Program outlined 30 Minutes of Steady Running,40 Minutes on  Cross Trainer and followed by 30 Minutes on a Rower. You can Split differently, but the aim is the same.
>Use Plyo versions of Exercises where possible.
>This does not follow Arms, Trunk and Legs Template.The general Template is the same 12 different Exercises, 12 Rounds and for 12 Reps.
>Use a Burpee Variation in each Round.
>Try to use as many different Advanced variations of each Exercise as you can include.

An example is as below:

Circuit 1
Feet Elevated  Push Up 12
Mountain Climbers 12(Each Side)
Burpees 12
30 Seconds Step Ups Between Each
Repeat 2 more times

Circuit 2
Dips 12
Squat Thrusts 12
Double Burpees 12
30 Seconds Step Ups Between Each
Repeat 2 more times

Circuit 3
Spider Man Push Up 12(Each Side)
Plyo Jump Jacks 12
Med Ball Slam Burpees 12
30 Seconds Step Ups Between Each
Repeat 2 more times

Circuit 4
Squat Thrust  Push Up 12
Plyo Jump Jack 12
Burpee Pull Ups 12
30 Seconds Step Ups Between Each
Repeat 2 more times


The Beauty of the Dirty Dozen Circuit is that you can do as many different Workouts as you want. You're limited only by your Imagination when you create these for yourself.For more Information you can Contact me via this site or Facebook directly.

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