CASE STUDY: Training for Adventures and Life: An Ex-Royal Marine Officer’s Story

This is a case study highlighting how Joe’s basecamp Online Coaching program , has helped Peter Cook not only prepare for his adventures by employing endurance training, trek training and strength training techniques that support his activities of trekking, ski-Mountaineering, Pack rafting, Mountain biking, Diving , sailing and open water swimming but how we have actively employed techniques to help Peter with his longevity training goals, so he can keep doing all the things he loves doing at a level that is helping him lead an incredibly fulfilling and active life. (scroll down for the video)

Peter Cook 

62 Years Old, Maritime Security Consultant, University Lecturer

This adventurous 62-year-old, isn’t just training for current fitness, he is training for the future adventures and experiences he can have with his partner, kids, friends, and family.


“I now feel physically better than I have since leaving the Royal Marines.”

Peter is originally from the UK but now resides in Melbourne, Australia, where he runs a business as a maritime security consultant and teaches as a university lecturer in Maritime security.

He spent much of his professional career as an officer in Britain’s elite amphibious fighting force The Royal Marines, seeing active service all over the world.

After leaving the “Corps” as it is known, Peter became a successful maritime security consultant, and though he kept himself reasonably active, the globetrotting sedentary lifestyle of a consultant took its toll and what was once lean muscle wasn’t so lean anymore.

Before joining the Basecamp Online Program, Peter had joined traditional gyms and though they served their purpose and were good communities, he didn’t find “his people” and he felt as if they were constantly trying to push the square peg of the fitness he needed for his outdoor adventures into the round holes of their own “fitness for the sake of fitness” regimes.

“I like to think of this as a partnership. And it is a developing, involving, and growing partnership.” – Peter Cook


Peter has specific goals around his current activities.

  • Bike Packing the Yarra River from Source to Sea,
  • Cross Country Ski racing (21km Australian Birkebeiner, Falls Creek)
  • Ski-Mountaineering weekend, Kosciusko.
  • Hike Santiago de Compostela to Cape Finisterre with his wife
  • Ski-Mountaineering the Haute Route between France and Switzerland, with his son.

“I think the best part of working with Joe’s Basecamp is and I mean this the nicest possible way, maturity, adaptability and flexibility.”


“Peter has great underlying endurance and discipline built up from his years in the Royal Marines. The downside is also both his knees are shot as a result of his training in the forces and he has been suffering from bio-mechanical issues such as back and shoulders that I put down to his transition to civvy street and office-based work, with lots of international travel for the last 20 years. So, at times where the mind has been willing, Peter has run into problems with the body not being able.

The first thing we did was put Peter through a series of assessments to establish his mobility and bio-mechanical issues. We also started testing his aerobic capacity and his lactate threshold. Given the condition of his knees we did this on a Concept 2 Rowing Machine. Rather than joining a gym Peter preferred to workout at home, we consulted with Peter and helped him build a training environment with minimalist equipment that we could still get the job done.

( There is a link to our comprehensive equipment lists here )

As well as immediate goals, Peters focus is being able to keep doing these activities for as long as he can. Our process is an inclusive and collaborative one. It’s about what is right for you. Peter is keen to learn and understand as well as do, so we supplied Peter with recommended reading, viewing and listening resources to help him with his journey. And have regular catch ups and discussions on aspects of training, longevity, adventure and lifestyle.

We started to work on Peters mobility and his strength. We also researched and recruited the aid of a recommended Osteopath in his area to work with.

Building a broad foundation of aerobic capacity work early on was crucial given Peters short- and long-term goals. This is supplemented with Lactate threshold and Anaerobic work in smaller quantities and a strength program that is focused on functionality, longevity and addressing imbalances in the body that have built up over time.

For activities: As well as the Concept 2 Rower, we had Peter doing regular long slow open water swims, a combination of long, slow bike rides and once per week shorter harder Mountain Bike Rides. Now that he has the last part of his Camino hike lined up, we are including pack hikes/rucks – The problem is Pete’s arthritic knees. But given he is hiking the Camino these have to be done, there is no way to negate them given his goal, so we utilise as many other ways to imrpove his cardiovasular fitness keep them to the amount that I feel we can get the minimum dose response to condition him to hiking with a pack.

For his Bike and Pack rafting goals he already has the skills, so these we sessions we incorporate closer to an expedition, where often he is practicing transitions between bike and pack raft and back again, as well as conditioning himself to time paddling.


Peter’s physical ability ie his functional strength, and stamina have improved all around as well as his technical ability across all disciplines. He has a very solid aerobic foundation, more mobility and is moving a lot better in general.
He has the fitness and capabilities to undertake distance swims, long off-road rides, paddle for distance and hike with a loaded pack. All of which he could repeat day after day.

He now has regular goals locked in that cover all these activities, allow him to test himself and keep him motivated and moving forward.

Nordic Skiing:
Peter completed the 2022 21km Australian Birkebeiner in 2:25:54.7

We calculated that his average heart rate sat 2 bpm under his lactate threshold, which is perfect. The biggest change to his performance now, is technique.
His next goal is the same race in August 2023 our goal is to shave another 5 minutes of his time.

Bike & Pack Rafting:
Yara source to Sea Solo Bike rafting, 2 days

Completed first sections. Felt strong and capable and in control physically throughout, no issues.

Lessons learnt:

  1. More self-management needed re hydration and refueling.
  2. Progress hampered by much more deadfall trees blocking the decent of the river than expected. This made the journey incredibly slow going.
  3. Managing the heavy pack when riding, redistributing the weight across the bike better.

The second half of this expedition is due to be attempted in end of 2023 or beginning of 2024.

Hiking & Ski-Mountaineering:
Camino hike and Ski-Mountaineering weekend – At the time of print, Peter is in training for these as well as another attempt at the Birkenbeiner ski race.

This is where the conditioning for different goals overlaps. His pack training for the Camino, as well as his training for the ski race both contribute to his ability for the ski-mountaineering weekend.

His Camino hike is the very last section of the famous Camino pilgrimage, he has previously completed the rest, interrupted by COVID.


“I think the biggest takeaways for me is I’ve got my physical training mojo back; I think that’s the best way to describe it. I’m keen to do things. I’m keen to get into it, I can see how I’m progressing, how I’m improving, developing. And I’m happy and content with the way that is happening.”

“Also the aerobic base training, which I can see it’s like a deposit account, in my physical well-being, that allows me to be able to draw on it, when I’m out doing things such as diving to skiing to sailing to mountain biking. And that gives me enormous confidence.”

“Lastly the Community, and our group calls, I really get into listening to what other people have been doing, and some of the advice that other people get, because sometimes I haven’t identified the problem that somebody else is talking about. And I pick up on new information, also routinely, Joe gives us an educational phase, about a particular subject.”


I have a question for you…

“What if you get to go on adventures, and live your best life, and NOT worry about whether you were fit enough, and whether you had done the right kind of training or done enough?

What if you could finally know exactly what you needed to do every day and every hour, and KNEW with 100% certainty that following those steps would lead to a fulfilling and adventurous life?

Instead of just reading one of our case studies, what if you actually became one?”

We have limited places available apply here

There are 3 Criteria:

1. You are “coachable” and open to the coaching process.

2. You are a team player and community-minded, having done something selfless for your

community, friends, or family within the last three months.

3. You are committed to challenging yourself, fulfillment, and growth.

PLEASE NOTE: These criteria are non-negotiable

If this is you apply now

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The following is a transcript from an interview that I did with Peter earlier this year.

They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. So, why would someone with 24 years of experience as an officer in Britain’s elite Royal Marines seek out a coach to help with their training?

Question: How long have we been consistently working on your goals? When did you join the program?

Answer: It’s been 18 months since I joined the program. I feel great. I’ve been able to see myself progress in different ways. I had a moment of epiphany about endurance training and understood how it worked for a couple of months. That approach has worked really well for me. By progressively doing everything, I now feel physically better than I have since leaving the Royal Marines. I feel stronger, fitter, and as if I’ve got a gas tank that’s full of fuel. During the ski race, for instance, I was able to keep going for two and a half hours, hovering around my lactate threshold. This achievement, especially as a 60-year-old, makes me proud. While I know 60 is the new 50 and all that, I’m content with my progress.

My main objectives have been to improve overall fitness, maintain robustness, and engage in a wide variety of activities. As highlighted in my recent 2022 review, I’ve taken part in sailing, ski mountaineering, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, bike rafting, mountain biking, packrafting, swimming, and diving, among other things. I’ve transitioned between these activities relatively smoothly, occasionally stumbling but recovering quickly. Even when I’ve fallen off my bike, I’ve managed to bounce back without much trouble.

Question: How long has it been since you left the Corps?

Answer: I left the Corps in 2005. It’s been 18 years since I departed the Marines.

Question: When you mentioned feeling the fittest since you left the Corps, it’s important to note that you haven’t been sitting idle. You’ve remained active and have maintained a sporty lifestyle throughout these years.

Answer: Indeed, I have. My current weight is around 76 kilograms. When I was in the Marines, I weighed a bit more, around 80 kilograms. Over time, I dropped to about 77 kilograms, then gained a few kilos to return to 80. However, that extra weight wasn’t muscle; it was just some excess weight I carried. It was a comfortable weight for me back then, considering my sedentary job and frequent travels. Despite that, I gained valuable experiences from my travels and social engagements. I don’t regret any of it. Now, my focus is on the future.

Two things have always been on my mind: telling my grandchildren stories and being an active presence in their lives, just like my father was with me. This desire has driven me to pursue greater fitness, mobility, and robustness. I want to be able to kick a football around, go skiing, and engage in various activities with my grandchildren for as long as I can. I want to be a good granddad, husband, dad, and all those kinds of great things. This responsibility to my family and the joy it brings me are my main motivations. I intend to be fit enough mentally and physically to be able to do these things. That’s what I’m trying to do and achieve. Also, for my sons to say to me, “Dad, can we do this particular adventure?”

I said, “Yeah, sure. Why aren’t you doing it with your mates?” My son said, “You’re the only one mad enough to do something like that with us.” For me, I take that as a complete compliment. I want to carry on so that they continue to think that way of me as long as I possibly can. This drive has inspired me to improve my diet, sleep, and alcohol consumption. It’s a holistic approach, involving more than just push-ups and rowing machines. Joe’s Basecamp has provided me with the primary direction, but I’m also exploring various other avenues to enhance my overall well-being.

Question: How do you feel the program and coaching have addressed the aspects you’ve discussed?

Answer: The program has been a game-changer for me. When I joined a gym in Melbourne, I encountered a great group of people. However, having spent 24 years in the Marines, I had a slightly different style of fitness, which is more about robustness and resilience rather than focusing on doing a particular thing. My interactions with the gym instructors didn’t yield the results I wanted. After connecting with Joe’s Basecamp and speaking with you, I quickly realised that you understood my background and needs. The introduction to Mark, who shared a similar military background, further solidified my confidence in the program. Our conversations with mutual respect and understanding allowed me to embrace the endurance training. It was almost an “aha” moment, and I was able to draw parallels between the training here and what I’d experienced in the Marines.

At this stage of my life, I’m eager to delve into the science behind the training. Joe’s Basecamp has facilitated that with your ability to explain the reasoning behind various approaches. I’ve eagerly participated in calls and taken advantage of one-on-one discussions with you to explore specific topics. I believe I’m getting substantial value for my investment and have made remarkable progress. My commitment to this lifestyle change extends beyond exercise; it involves dietary improvements, better sleep habits, and a shift in alcohol consumption. It’s a comprehensive approach, and I’m dedicated to pursuing it within my limits. As the saying goes, “You don’t stop moving because you get old; you get old because you don’t keep moving.” I’m determined to keep pushing myself in these areas, inspired by the prospect of sharing adventures with my family and being a positive presence in their lives.

Question: Is there anything else you’d like to add or discuss?

Answer: That covers most of it. I’m incredibly grateful for the guidance and support I’ve received from Joe’s Basecamp. It’s helping me achieve my goals and become the person I aspire to be.

In the inspiring journey of Peter Cook, we witness the power of resilience, determination, and the pursuit of a holistic approach to fitness. As he navigated the realm of tailored endurance training, Peter redefined his physical boundaries and emerged stronger than ever before. His commitment extends beyond the realm of exercise, encompassing dietary enhancements, improved sleep, and mindful self-care. By embracing this comprehensive approach, Peter exemplifies the art of mastering life’s adventures with unwavering enthusiasm.


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