So you’ve made the exciting decision to apply for the Defence Force? You’ve probably got a million things running through your head when it comes to ‘what do I need to do now’.
Sure, there are things like the aptitude test, deciding on a job, whether you want to work on a ship, with aircraft or sleep out in the bush for weeks on end. Where could I get posted? What do I do with my dog when I go to Kapooka? Will my boyfriend be cool with all of this? Should I buy a G Shock Watch?
Now all of this is very important and it’s all bits and pieces that form part of the application process, however NONE of this is relevant if you can’t pass your fitness test at the end of the process.
That’s right. You’re PFA (Preliminary Fitness Assessment) is one of the LAST things you’ll do prior to enlisting. You’ll have your YOU session, your aptitude test, decide on a job, go to an assessment day, go for all of your interviews with a defence interviewer, psych and medical, get a letter of offer and only THEN will you be able to move forward to conduct a PFA.
Imagine taking MONTHS to get through this process only to get a job offer, an enlistment date and be all ready to head off to basic training only to fail your fitness test.
There seems to be this myth in the Defence Force Applicant mindset that ‘oh I’ll be right, I’ll start working on my fitness closer to the time’.
Everyone is different. Some people are already fit enough to pass. Some people are pretty close to passing and just need a bit of work tidying up their push-up technique and some people are not even CLOSE and may need 12 months of training to JUST get themselves to a pass mark.
So there are a few things that are important to highlight here.
1. Know WHERE YOU ARE
Accepting that you’ve got work to do and knowing that you’re just not ready yet. This will be 90% of you. You NEED to start working on your fitness WELL before you apply for the Defence Force. If you’re reading this and thinking ‘shit, I’ve already applied’ then it’s in your best interests to start training NOW.
2. PREVENT Panic MODE
No one wants to get to the last minute (so… 2 weeks out from a PFA) and get into a wild panic that they are just not ready yet. We see this all the time. People who come to us thinking about training with The Barracks Gym and then say ‘Ohhh yeahhh… I just might wait till closer to the PFA I think’. How do you think that turns out for them? You can’t expect magic in 2 weeks.
It probably took you 10 years to get this unfit. 10 years of irrelevant exercise, poor eating habits, crappy posture and a negative attitude does NOT get undone in 2 weeks.
3. be ready to Win the Job
If you fail your PFA you will lose that job offer. They don’t just let you go into the Defence Force and just ‘see if you pass at Kapooka’. You need to pass before you go and if you don’t, then your job goes to the next in line.
On the flip side of this, if someone who is ahead of you in that line fails their PFA and you get a call up to say ‘A spot has opened up, you’ve got a PFA next week for an enlistment in a month’, are you just going to turn around and say ‘Oh sorry, I haven’t started training yet’.
No… you’re going to make sure you’ve been training properly for ages and say ‘sweet, I’m ready’.
4. Get out of waiting Mode
Wouldn’t you rather be working towards your goal the entire time rather than just ‘sitting around and waiting’. You’ve got no idea how long it’s going to take you to get ready. Hence why you need to start yesterday.
In conclusion, no one wants to miss out on a job offer because they were too lazy, too fearful or too delusional to think they could leave their fitness training to the last minute.
Get off the couch and start training.
What are you afraid of? You’ve got NOTHING to lose by doing some training but you’ve got EVERYTHING to lose by NOT training.
Don’t just assume that ‘you’ll be right’ because chances are you won’t be.
Start training YESTERDAY, I promise you that you’ll never regret the choice to conduct relevant, decent fitness training in the lead up to your PFA, but if you’re standing on the line at your PFA knowing full well that you haven’t done enough to pass and that you should have started months ago… I guarantee you’ll regret it.
Don’t allow yourself to feel this way. BE READY. Start training yesterday!!!
If you would like more advice on getting started with your fitness for the ADF then please feel free to get in touch with The Barracks Gym.
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.