Bataan Death March Training Plan

Welcome to Bataan Training!

This workout plan was designed by Jim Cotta (NSCA CSCS) and Amy Cotta (NSCA). Jim is the former head strength coach for the Los Angels Lakers, the author of Men’s Health Workout War, and is the Director of Fitness for Medals of Honor.  Amy is a 5-time Bataan March finisher & founder of Medals of Honor and holds a personal training certification with the NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association), and is the author of Six Weeks to Skinny Jeans.

This Bataan Memorial Death March Training Plan makes a few assumptions

  1. You are currently in good health
  2. Your level of fitness is already moderate to great
  3. You are injury free
  4. You are cleared by your doctor to start this training plan
  5. You have at least 3-days per week that you can train

Download the PDF Training Plan HERE! 

  • This training plan is 15-weeks long and consists of 3-Key Workouts each week and 2-Non-Key Workouts.
  • You can do up to two weight training days per week, if your schedule allows.
  • You can set your key-training days to fit your schedule, but try to get all your workouts in each week.
  • We highly encourage you to do Yoga and add foam rolling to your daily routine.
  • Make sure you take at least one full day off each week to allow your body to recover.
  • Make sure that you warm-up properly before each of your training sessions.

Understanding The Workout Lingo 

  • Time = Duration of the training
  • Intervals = minutes of 0% incline and minutes of maximum treadmill grade %.
  • Pack Weight = % of the maximum amount of weight you assume you will start off with on Bataan morning.
  • Key Training Days = These are your Bataan specific workouts
  • Non-Key Training Days = These include weight training and other “active recovery” workouts

Understanding Your Workouts 

Key Training Day 1

  1. Use the treadmill if possible.
  2. Intervals are based on time and grade of the treadmill for example in week one the  2:2 interval = 2 min @ 0% incline followed by 2 min @ 5% incline. Keep repeating this 2:2 sequence until you’ve reached your desired workout time (in this case 40-minutes).
  3. You will train with and without your hydration pack or rucksack.
  4. If you fitness center allows you can swap out your running shoes for combat boots.

Key Training Day 2

  1. All of your efforts should stay between 60-80% of your maximum heart rate.
  2. You may use a variety of machines including ArcTrainer, StepMill, Elliptical, Bike and Rower

Key Training Day 3

  1. This will be your long effort day.
  2. If you are doing Bataan in boots you will want to wear your boots during these efforts.
  3. Make sure to take along water and nutrition
  4. Eat and drink the same way you plan on doing it the day of the march. I suggest setting an alarm on your watch to go off every 20-minutes to remind you to drink water and take in a small amount of nutrition. See our article on Bataan Nutrition.


Workout #1

  • Dumbbell Step-ups 2×15
  • Dumbbell Row 3×10
  • Dumbbell Incline Chest Press 3×10
  • Walking Lunges 3×10
  • Plank 3×30 seconds each set

Workout #2 

  • Dumbbell Goblet Squat 3×10
  • Lat Pulldown  3×10
  • Romanion Deadlift 3×10
  • Chest Press 3×10
  • Dumbbell Shrugs 3×10
  • Side Plank 2-20 second holds each side

Check Out Our Other Bataan Articles! 

Make sure to visit our booth at in-processing and carry the name of a fallen service member on your pack. Fallen Hero Memorial Bibs are FREE and first-come, first-serve. See you at Bataan!


Posted on December 12, 2017 in Tips, Training

Share the Story

About the Author

Back to Top