For some, having a personal trainer serves as a way to keep accountability on your fitness and give you then occasional bump in the right direction. But for others, a personal trainer is the missing link between them either enlisting into the ADF or NOT enlisting in the ADF.
In other words, you may have passed everything in the application process so far except for the dreaded PFA. And your dream of serving in the military is resting on the shoulders of your personal trainer.
That is quite a stressful responsibility to put on your PT, so maybe ask yourself first whether or not you actually need a PT and whether you’re choosing the right one for the job.
DO YOU EVEN NEED A PT?
The short answer is no.
I know I should be saying “yes, you do” as we are a gym. But the fact is that people having been enlisting into the military for years without the guidance of a personal trainer.
I’ll use myself as an example. I joined the Army just after my 18th birthday in 2002. Long time ago right...haha. The process was still very similar. You went to recruiting, picked a job you were eligible for then did some testing. Once you were deemed suitable, you were given a potential enlistment date and told to go and conduct the PFA. The pass marks were the same back then as they are now. 15 push ups, 60 sit ups and 7.5 on the beep test. And I passed on my first go without the guidance of a personal trainer.
The reason I passed first go was because I used to play sport and I also had an active job so fitness wasn’t a big deal for me back then.
This leads us onto the next question…
WHAT IS NEEDED TO PASS THE FITNESS ASSESSMENT IF YOU DON’T HAVE A PT?
Unsurprisingly, relevant training is the major factor in terms of establishing yourself a suitable candidate for the ADF. Poor training = poor preparation = poor pass rate.
Relevant training includes:
- Muscular endurance - ever wondered how some people only just scrape through with the bare minimum amount of push ups and others get over 50 with relative ease? I even have a mate who could get 234 cadence push ups. Yep 234! They even had to restart the recording. This is what you call muscular endurance. The ability for your body to repeatedly carry out the same movement before fatigue sets in.
- Cardiovascular fitness - known as oxygen uptake (V02 Max). Ever wondered how some people can get upwards of level 10, even level 13 during the beep test. This is because they have improved cardio fitness.
- Agility - Sometimes people complain that their legs failed them before their lungs did on the beep test. This is due to a lack of agility and conditioning. Some people are super quick on the turn around at each end and others seems to lose all momentum and waste epic amounts of energy each time they turn around at the line. Your bodies ability to changing direction and sprint off with minimal effort is due to your level of agility and leg power.
- Core strength - I’m not talking about sit ups. I’m talking about your ability to hold yourself in the high-plank position while doing the push up test. And I’m also talking about how much energy your body wastes during the beep test. Some runners just seem so efficient when running and others feel like a walrus with one leg. This is due to their core stability, not just when stationary but also when moving. A strong core equals improved running.
THE HIDDEN ELEMENTS OF PASSING THE PFA WITHOUT A MILITARY PT?
We often tell our ADF applicants that training for the PFA is like a recipe. Say you’re making a mud-cake and you forget to add the flour. What are you left with? MUD!
Certain parts of the recipe need to be added at certain times or else the end product does not look like the picture in the recipe book. Well the same goes for passing the PFA.
Putting all of these elements into your training week whilst making sure you stay injury free is a balancing act and you’ll need to factor them in correctly to ensure you are ready to pass when the time comes.
DIY OR USE A MILITARY FITNESS PROFESSIONAL?
You see all of these happy TBG applicants holding their enlistment certificate just before they depart for basic training or officer school and you’re standing there still wondering how you’re ever going to pass the PFA let alone the other fitness tests once you actually make it to basic training.
Some of the biggest benefits of choosing a PT that knows what you need, such as the coaches at The Barracks Gym, don’t even relate to fitness. These include allowing you to spend more time with your family and friends before departing or allowing you to focus on your extra studies you may need for your specific job like finishing your aviation degree so you can become a pilot. Your fitness is an extremely important part of service in the ADF so why not allow the right person to take care of it for you.
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.