The Australian Defence Force Beep Test is rightly feared by new applicants. However, with a few tips and guidelines - and the right fitness regime - you can conquer the terrors of the beep with a lot to spare.
Let’s take a look at how you can improve your Australian Defence Force Beep Test results and make sure you don’t slip up in the recruitment process.
The basics - What is the beep test?
Before we begin, let’s take a closer look at what the expectations will be when you take the Beep Test. Also known as the Multi-Stage Fitness Test, it’s a series of 20-metre shuttle runs or sprints, which goes through different levels. The idea is to reach the other side of the shuttle run before the beep sounds, and the time between beeps shortens after every stage. The test begins at a similar speed to just above walking pace, and by the time you reach level 7.5, you will need to be at full running speed.
And why do you need to train? The simple truth is that without any practice, the Beep Test is incredibly tough. It can be difficult to pace yourself properly, and even though the test to level 7.5 - which needs to be reached if you want to pass Army standard - only take you 6 minutes and 30 seconds, it can be draining. The Navy standard is 6.1, and the Airforce is 6.5.
Don’t use the Beep Test as training
First of all, remember that the Beep Test is an assessment tool. It’s a measure of your fitness, not a way to train. There’s a simple reason why it is foolhardy to keep practicing the Beep Test.
Given that the test starts at slightly above walking speed and continues for one minute per stage, the reality is that you don’t start working hard for a while. And if you are getting to level 4.1 every time you practice, you are only actually running for three minutes! Not to mention the fact that you will only be working hard for the final 30 seconds - it’s a pointless exercise.
Furthermore, the truth is that once you are in the military, your fitness will be judged over a run of 2.4 km, so it makes sense to prepare yourself to run that distance - not just to Level 7.5 of the Beep Test.
If you want to ace the beep test stage of the recruitment process, focus on interval and speed training.
Here, at The Barracks Gym, we focus on 200m, 400m, 800m and 1km intervals, and combine it with Fartlek training - 30 seconds hard pace, followed by 30 seconds easy pace, with 10 repetitions.
You should also try Maximal Aerobic Training, using 15 seconds hard work followed by 15 seconds rest, starting with 12 repetitions and work up to 20 repetitions.
Finally, try distance jogging of 30 minutes every other week to practice your breathing patterns and form.
Doing the test
Once you are ready for your test, there are a few things to remember:
The Beep Test may sound like a walk in the park at the beginning, but if your body is not conditioned to react and pick up the pace as it needs to, you may get out of breath before hitting that target. If getting into the ADF is important to you, focusing your training with the physical requirements in mind will take you there.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch!
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.