Preparing for your PFA is your main focus when preparing to join the Australian Defence Force (or Police Fitness Test). First, you will have to be ready to pass the beep test at your PFA and then once you are enlisted, you'll be assessed for how fast you run 2.4km during during basic training. Read on to learn why it's imperative to enlist ready to pass a BFA.
Those two tests put slightly different demands on your body, so if you'd like to be able to pass both, you will need a comprehensive approach to your running training. To learn more on this see our article 'A simple method to improve your 2.4km time'.
In this article we list 5 reasons as to why you should be ready to pass a BFA prior to enlisting!
1. BFA STANDARDS ARE SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER
If you’re barely passing your pushups then you’ll struggle when you get to a BFA.
It’s a misconception that the PFA standards are ‘it’. Almost immediately after enlisting or appointing you’re going to be expected to be MUCH fitter than these standards. If you enlist at the PFA standard and then lose fitness at basic training then you have no where to go. Losing fitness is natural as your focus shifts from being primarily on fitness to learning skills that are required within the Military. You’ll become even less fit than the minimum standard.
Where as if you knew you could pass the BFA standards you’ll easily be able to hit the push up standard and smash out a 2.4km run. If you have enlisted with 15 push ups as a male then you need to be prepared to achieve 40 push ups on your BFA. This doesn’t just happen overnight. You need to train hard to be able to achieve this so being prepared for this standard prior to enlisting is going to set you up for success.
2. IT'S YOUR NEW MINIMUM STANDARD
Say goodbye to those PFA standards as they don't exist anymore once you enlist. The PFA is the absolute least fit you want to be as a civilian. The BFA is the least fit you ever want to be as a serving member. Each ‘minimum standard’ is just a stepping stone onto the next level of fitness you should be smashing. You should never go backwards and you should always be striving to continually increase your fitness standard. The BFA will become the standard you are expected to maintain at all times. You shouldn’t need to train for it. You are just ready for it at all times. You could be given a surprise BFA for PT and not be concerned because you know that you maintain that level of fitness. If you enlist and you’re already there, you’ve immediately given yourself one less thing to worry about.
3. IT SHOWS YOU TAKE YOUR NEW JOB SERIOUSLY
Being ready to pass a BFA shows your hierarchy that you take this new job seriously. It shows that you are taking the job seriously by working hard to ensure you adhere to the standards that are expected of you. If you get to your chosen service and show them that you can already meet the standards of the BFA/PFT etc, then your instructors will see you as someone who takes your new role seriously. They won’t flag you as someone of concern as they’ll have evidence that you are taking your job seriously.
4. TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR FITNESS
Have a goal and strive for more than just the lowest level of fitness. As someone who is serving your country and your community, you are a Tactical Athlete. You are someone who’s job it is to stay fit and healthy. You are PAID to be fit. It doesn’t come any better than that. Imagine having a job where fitness is part of your work day, you get access to some of the most high level resources in the country and you are PAID to do all of this. You have to do a fitness test a few times a year but the trade off is that your salary includes the ability to conduct fitness training as part of your work day in facilities you don’t have to pay for. Why would you even want to be a bare minimum performer when that is your reality? Take pride in being fit. Fitness will be your currency as you move forward through your career. It will be what helps you take advantage of opportunities and give you the chance to say ‘yes’ when these opportunities come up.
5. LESS CHANCE OF INJURIES WITH A HIGHER LEVEL OF CONDITIONING
If you are not conditioned for running because you only achieved 6.1 on your Beep Test (which is barely 3 minutes of exertion) then you are putting yourself at a higher risk of injuries as you move forward with your training. If your body is conditioned to running, lifting, pushing, pulling, hinging, squatting and lunging then you are going to be set up to handle your basic training a lot better. If you can not master these movements then you are at a serious risk of injuries that could essentially hold you back in your career progression. If you make things easy for yourself NOW then you are only making things harder for yourself LATER.
We’ll say that again. If you take the easy road now and stick to what’s comfortable, then you’ll only make life harder for yourself down the track. Train now, improve your conditioning, cruise through basic training and stay injury free!
Overall if you put in the hard work now, then you are only going to set yourself up for a successful career. It doesn't have to be hard. It GETS to be easy. You just have to put in the work NOW so that you can enjoy your training and get the most out of basic training.
'Train Hard, Fight Easy'
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