Conditioning Obstacle Courses


Conditioning obstacle courses are typically not standardized because of varying topographical conditions; however, individual obstacles within the conditioning course are standardized for both construction and negotiation. Commanders should use ingenuity in constructing courses, making good use of streams, hills, trees, rocks, and other natural obstacles. Since conditioning courses are run against time, they should not be made dangerous.

Conditioning courses should be developed based on the following guidelines:

  • Courses should be horseshoe-shaped with route signs and the finish close to the start.
  • Total course distance ranges from 300 to 450 yards.
  • Courses contain 15 to 25 obstacles placed 20 to 30 yards apart.
  • Obstacles are arranged so that those that exercise the same muscle groups are separated and not performed consecutively.
  • Obstacles must be solidly built with no sharp points or corners and landing pits filled with sawdust or ground tires.
  • Lanes will be wide enough for 6 to 8 Soldiers to run the course at the same time and avoid congestion.
  • Courses will be built and marked so Soldiers cannot sidestep the obstacles or detour around them.
  • To minimize the possibility of falls and injures due to fatigue, the last two or three obstacles should not be too difficult or involve high climbing.

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