I get it. Your PFA for the Australian Defence Force is still a few months from today, so you may think you have time to start, you have room to be flaky with your workout schedule and think that you will eventually pull it off.
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The reality is, if that’s what you are thinking right now, your mind-set doesn’t seem to be ready for the ADF yet. Think about the end goal.
What is the position you want to see yourself a few years from today? What skills, attitude and habits do you think that future self of yours will had to have acquired and what daily tasks will be involved in that future lifestyle?
It’s not enough trying to figure out how to become that person once you were given the chance. If you really want to become that service woman or man, your journey starts now, ideally yesterday!
The biggest roadblock applicants struggle with in their ADF training is CONSISTENCY. Most of my clients understand that’s the main skill to master, but often struggle to stay on track when life gets in the way. Here are 7 steps to staying consistent with your plan so when you get to the day of your PFA, there will be no doubt that you’ll pass.
Step #1. Initial Assessment
You’re lucky in the sense that you have exercise performance targets to hit which are black and white and are not debatable. But how do you know how far you are from achieving that? Easy. Get yourself assessed in push-ups, sit-ups and the beep test.
The best thing to do would be to ask someone who knows what this is about to do it for you. The next thing is to have everything recorded on video so you can compare your exercise technique to what’s explained on the demonstration videos.
Once you understand how much you need to improve in order to pass, you will have a better sense of urgency to get things moving ASAP!
Step #2. Create a Plan
Sit down with a piece of paper, look at your schedule up till the Assessment Day and work out how often, what days and what times would work best for you to schedule your workouts.
Once you know what you are willing to commit to week in and week out, you can start working out how to use that time for the best results. You will need to work on your cardio fitness at varied intensity levels – runs, sprints, intervals, and also work on your strength training and exercise technique.
What exercises you should be prioritising will depend on your assessment results. Feel free to ask for help at this point. Hiring an expert to creating your training plan can cut out much of the guesswork and streamline your process exactly where you’d like to get to in less time than if you tried on your own.
Step #3. Get into a Routine
Structure is everything in the military, so you are better to create a routine that suits your current lifestyle and commitments the best, but one that you can and will prioritise above all else.
The next step is to set up your schedule and include all your planned sessions: short run, quick push-up practice or a foll blown strength session. Schedule these workouts in your calendar well ahead so there is now room for second guessing when you will be training next.
Step #4. Start Now and Increase Intensity Progressively
Don’t delay the start. Even if it means you include 20 min jogs into your schedule 3 times in the next week and nothing else, just start somewhere. Then add 1-2 gym sessions and some conditioning work as you feel your body is getting more used to working out.
There is a difference between hitting the gym a few times working on what you feel like training and arriving with a set plan to get through, with no room or reason to skip something that you may not like. Likely, the exercises you hate the most will be the ones you need to practice the most too.
Step #5. Keep a Workout and Nutrition Log
This is very important for a few reasons. First, if you get into the habit of logging everything you do in the gym and everything you put in your mouth, there is a higher chance you will adhere to your plan. Accountability is a great motivator. If you have a coach that checks your log regularly, you will be even more inclined to stick to the plan to the T.
I need to mention nutrition here because even if you don’t need to work on your body composition, your diet will be important. What, how much and when you eat can make all the difference in how effective your workouts will be and how quick or slow your body’s recovery will be after a tough session. Make sure your diet fuels your lifestyle and activities, including your workouts.
Step #6. No Excuses
We humans are very keen on making excuses at the first sign of something getting too hard or simply because we lose our motivation, feel tired or don’t feel like doing something. The best way to approach this is to be ready for it and implement a strategy that will help you hit that workout no matter what.
Little sticky notes around your mirror or on your fridge that you know will kick your ass into gear can help. Seeking out a community of people with the same goal and allowing them to push you on these days till you do what you said you were going to do is another way of taking accountability to another level. You always have the option described in step #7 too.
Step #7. Hire a Professional
Working with someone who understands your goals, has got the expertise to get you there and is willing to do what it takes to keep you on track will be a winning strategy and provide a whole new level of accountability.
There are a few stages in your process where only those with military background and also plenty of experience in coaching people are the right people for the job. They can help you to stick to a plan that’s designed specifically for your individual situation, addressing your unique needs and helping you push through plateaus.
The Barracks Gym was founded to help applicants like you pass the physical fitness assessment for the ADF with ease. If you feel it’s time that you reach out for help, feel free to get in touch for a commitment-free chat or simply join our gym Facebook group to get the relevant help you need! https://www.facebook.com/groups/thebarracksgymADFgroup/
Michael and Carly both have walked the path you are about to take and are commited to help you get started with your training for a successful enlistment with free tips and articles.