This study assessed the physical demands of the 24-week Combined Infantryman's Course (CIC) for Parachute Regiment (Para) recruits and developed physical selection standards for applicants. Fifty recruits were monitored over five separate periods (35 d in total during weeks 1-2, 5, 9, 15 and 19-20). Energy expenditure (doubly labelled water), physical activity (accelerometry) and cardiovascular strain (% heart rate reserve) were measured. There was no overall progression in both the levels of physiological stress (physical activity counts and energy expenditure) and resultant cardiovascular strain during the first nine weeks of training. Applicants' 2.4 km run time and static lift strength measured at selection predicted 10 mile loaded march performance at the end of CIC Para. The introduction of job-related selection procedures and a more progressive approach to training has reduced the incidence of medical discharge from 14.4% to 5.1% and increased overall pass rates from 43% to 58%.