All rookies go into their basic training with excitement and apprehension. It’s in basic training where you will get to know your limits, and through a combination of determination, discipline and knowledge you will also learn to push past them.
You will accomplish things you never thought possible and become the serviceman or woman you’ll be for the rest of your career. It’s an exciting time indeed, but it can also become a scary one. Fortunately, you will have all the guidance, support and coaching you will need.
What you will not receive, however, is hand-holding. After the first week of basic training, rookies are expected to exercise their own discipline and organisational skills to manage their personal fitness training in preparation for your fitness tests. If you want to achieve the results you need, you’ll need a fitness regimen that offers optimum results without impinging on your sparse free time. Which is why The Barracks Gym coaching team has prepared a framework for you to employ. You can download the 8 Week Rookies Training Plan from the resources page.
In this post, we’ll go over the principles of an effective rookie training plan, its structure and best practice to fit neatly into your basic training regimen.
What is the Plan?
The plan is a comprehensive exercise regimen designed to increase your fitness and aptitude in all areas the PFA will be testing you. The program covers 8 weeks’ worth of training providing workouts for 3 sessions per week.
Your workouts are short, sharp and to the point. They were designed to be completed within 30-40 minutes yet will provide a comprehensive full body routine that challenges and improves strength, cardio fitness and muscle endurance. Dynamic stretches are included at the beginning to warm-up your joints, muscles and heart and prepare them for the demands of the main workout.
You will also perform cool down stretches to help you work on your flexibility, mobility and aid recovery, so you don’t face stiffness the morning after. You will be advised on which body parts to focus at the end of each workout. Most of the sessions don't require any special equipment and are designed so you can virtually complete them anywhere.
Stick to this plan, and you will stand a great chance of passing all of your fitness tests with flying colours. We understand that basic training places a lot of demands on your free time. However, this is the stage of your training where prioritising your ambitions and future career in the air force over your free time will pay off on the long-term.
How to Make and Save Time
You may find that even though these sessions have been precision engineered to fit into the busy schedule of a rookie undergoing basic training, you still struggle to find the time for them. If this is the case, you can make your workouts more efficient by sticking to the following time-saving tips.
There isn’t a single aspect of military life that won’t be improved by planning ahead. The same goes for your workout schedule. You’ll slow yourself down if you keep referring to your session plan between exercises. The easiest way to avoid this is to memorise what you’ll be doing before you hit the gym or your chosen workout space. There will ever only be a few exercises to perform in each.
Hydrate Before You Start Your Workout
Hydration is of paramount importance. But if you don’t drink plenty of water before you start your training session, you’ll always be playing catch-up. If your hydration levels are generally stable, you should be able to go for 30-40 minutes without having to drink after each exercise. Also ensure you drink plenty of water just before your workout, this way you won’t need to disrupt your workouts so that you can dash to a water fountain or your water bottle.
Download a TABATA App
Counting down in your head is not exactly reliable. We can develop a habit of counting a little faster when pain sets in or count a lot slower when we’re working out at a more leisurely pace. That’s when your smartphone can come very handy if it has a TABATA app installed. It will help you to keep to the timings for your intervals. Whichever app you choose to use, it’s a simple but profoundly effective way to squeeze every second out of your workout sessions.
Jog to the Gym
Every minute counts, right? Why not jog to the gym and incorporate this as part of your warm-up. Not only is it more efficient, but you’ll also get there faster, too. What’s more, the very act of jogging to the gym will ensure that you arrive already warmed up, energised and with a positive mental attitude which will see you crush your workouts.
Stretch Back at Your Accommodation
Who says you need to stretch while you’re still at the gym? It can be a far more time-efficient way to work out if you leave the stretching component until you arrive back at your accommodation. Please note, this does not make it any less important. Neglect your stretches, and you could find that you wake up stiff and less able to move the morning after depending on the effort you've put in.
Sleep Well and Enough
Finally, don’t neglect the importance of sleep. It’s while we’re asleep that our bodies carry out the essential repair and maintenance they need to operate at peak efficiency. Get in a good night’s rest, and you’ll awaken refreshed, restored and raring to go to reap the benefits of a productive day.
Have any questions about this training plan or in general about how to prepare for your fitness tests? 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.