Fitness of the modern soldier (An alcohol fuelled rant!)

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by bulldoze, May 24, 2006.

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  1. Does anyone agree that the modern army has become a haven for the weak and lazy in terms of physical fitness? I have harboured this opinion for many a year now and I find myself unable to resist venting my anger on this forum.

    If a soldier has no interest in fitness and health there is no real system in place to ensure that they pass the mandatory tests. The fat and lazy have only to complain of bad knees or bad back or the old stalwart 'shin splints' and they can begin the perpetual cycle of sick chit - get fatter/unfit - fail test - remedial PT - Med centre - sick chit and then maybe eventually achieve the holy grail of getting downgraded.

    I understand the pressures on the doctors. They are mainly experts in disease and medicine and they also have the dual daggers of the hippocratic oath and the fear of litigation hovering over them on every diagnosis.

    I also understand the frustrations of the QMSI's who must rely on the the doctors to certify a soldier fit and the Sergeant Majors to ensure they turn up for PT.

    It seems to me that we have now reached the critical point where much of the heirarchy are either in permanent physio or are downgraded or are just 'too busy' They have no real interest in attending PT or 'mandatory tests' and this gives those underneath them carte blanche to miss PT themselves or let their personal fitness standards slide. And no boss is going to give a poor CR to an individual for not attending PT when he knows he has not attended himself.

    As an example I have just worked out (Ball park figures here!) that in my last three units that 20% of Officers turn up for PT, 30% of Seniors (mostly Sgts) and maybe 40-50% of junior ranks.

    Of course some soldiers have genuine ailments and I feel for them. I have been one of them from time to time in my career and I remember the frustration well. I have no wish to put these people into the bracket that I outlined above.

    To me the solution is clear: Leadership by example. If Company/Squadron/Troop PT is scheduled then the most important personnel to parade are the ones at the top of the heirarchy. If your boss makes a big thing of turning up then there is positive pressure on you to turn up as well. Also if a SSgt/CSgt is going to be coughing up his lungs on a cold winter morning he will be more inclined to make sure that all his juniors have turned up and are doing the same.

    I could go on and on, but the above rant was partly fuelled by a wish to avoid wasting half a bottle of vino and I now find that my anger has subsided and been replaced by a desperate desire to go to sleep.

    One last thought:

    if you lose interest in your fitness, then you lose interest in your health. And if you lose interest in your health then surely you have lost interest in life?
  2. In vino dubious
  3. theres a similar thread to this started by a narrow minded rupert.

    similar not the same, agree with what your saying fella. but im gonna take a shot in the dark and say that you are a fitness freak and have therfore noticed it.

    and if you are a fitness freak: although it is part of the job not everyone shares your enthusiasm for it. and will worm out as much as they can. and by your remarks are doing alot of it and getting away with it!!! :D

    if your not a fitness freak : good observation! your leadership and hanging around with the squad really is an inspiration to the lads. im not taking the piss, at least your there. and the skiving bastards arent. :D

  4. I don't think it is a modern problem, as i remember in the early 90's being really pissed off at the lack of PT that we did. Also the fitness levels of some of the NCO's we had was not very good and i often thought 'how can they be a leader of men we they can't even run 100 yards', but thinking about it how fit do you have to be to sit behind a radio or fill a cab up with fuel. :D
  5. That is the solution, perhaps also to dis-incentivise people missing PT would be to find less desirable activities (subject to their chit) in the meantime, or to build in phys to as many activities as you can so that psychologically soldiers become use to physical activity, etc.
  6. The same question was asked of a Loggie colleague I know who had just come back from a tour in Afghanistan (this was a few years ago). He pointed out that the sophisticated 'bug-out' plan that was to be implemented in the event of an indefensible attack on the base was to grab your bergen and run about 2 miles to the next safe area......

    That's how fit you have to be.
  7. Jez,that is one of the finest answer's to a question I have seen on arrse.Almost as shapely as your avatar.Good drills.
  8. Practical and simple, beautiful
  9. Actually the system now is very good at getting people fit again. The RRUs have made a huge difference. It is true that everyone should be at PT and in fact a good PTI can usually occupy everyone on chits too. Those on physio usually have rehab exercises to do. They should still parade and then do the appropriate trg. Being downgraded is not necessarily the holy grail....I was P7 and now finally P3 (aiming for P2) and it is a nightmare because everyone immediately assumes that you are malingering unnless you have a huge pot on you limb/bits missing. However I did still attend PT and could do circuits with some of the exercises modified. Where possible swimming is always good, there are very few injuries for which an MO/physio will not let individuals swim.
  10. Well mate, the' OLD STALWART'....shinsplints? I carried on through them and got stress fractures the whole length of both shns. Cheers Easy. Now fcuked for life.

    Look I really do not understand people whinging about others fitness standards. It is a matter of PERSONAL pride. Do the best YOU can. You will get it reflected in your CR, as I know of no fatknacker who gets a recommend for promotion. Tolerated maybe...other poor standards definitely but fatknackers getting AY/O ...NO.

    If fatties cant make the grade then it it should be noted on the Troopie's OJAR and you as the fattie's peer should not worry yourself unduly.

    Everyone should be capable of passing a 1030 BPFA/ PFT and the CFT carrying at least 15 kg dependent on Arm.....IF the Army provides 3 PT sessions of a decent length a week INSIDE working hours. That isnt the case in every Unit and even if like me you run 4 mornings a week for 25-30 mins before work, and have ONE additional squadded session(co's run) a week inside work time...IMHO that is not enough to improve andcertainly not enough to get to a standard of a 'HARD PHYSICAL COURSE' but , merely to maintain what fitness level I have.

    If the Army require fitness as part of a job description(and it does in every job) than it should provide the time as well.
  11. How old were the dear, Deer?

    AY/O (and this goes for the rest of you overgrading w@nkers) should only be reserved for the best. One regt I had the misfortune to serve with had more O/AYs than Bs and Cs. So where is the average?
  12. hate pt here but can and have passed bpfa and cft in last week but noted that some muscle toned younger gym queens failed cft imho due to lack of effort and interest and do pt in work time every day first thing but sure its a generation thing that old psgeneration is here does scare me how unfit people are butget graded as fit as they go to gym loads but still beat them on testsas they can only lift gym wieghts and not even lift things in real life as there size and shape is not barbell like grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
  13. Well Im no spring chicken... and I manage under 1030. I sometimes struggle with CFT if I have done no build up trg for a while, but pass easily when I do train for a few weeks beforehand.

    And yes I work with over graded ******* of whom is useless at EVERYTHING except phys! Im disgusted at the overgrading in order to justify writeups for promotion boards and RCB. NEPOTISM AT ITS WORST. He is getting promoted on ability at running and nohing else. Is that fair ?

    IMO A/Y should be reserved for those who are above their peers in 90pc of all aspects and maybe 10pc at the average...this will be different areas according to the individuals strengths...some are very fit, others less so, some are really good at taking on loads of extra work without direction...others less so. etc etc

    However my point is you need 3x30 mins a week minimum to MAINTAIN fitness levels. you need to do a LOT more, IMO inside Army time, to improve.

    We also need as an organisation to stop/reduce the alcohol culture and the sh1te fried food and pies we get for our money. we need good fuel for the engine! Fatties stop eating the crap and start eating the salads! forget about getting value for your money while you have so much energy locked away as a store in yout heaving gut !
  14. Nepotism? is he related to somebody then
  15. What are the opening hours of gyms on camp usually like? Being TA, I don't have a wide knowledge. but I've been on camps where the gym closes about 2 hours after the evening meal. This means if you eat at the cookhouse, your food won't be digested before the gym closes, and if you go the gym before eating, you're going to have to be quick to catch the cookhouse. Not exactly a great encouragement to train.

    If it's any comfort to you (and it shouldn't be, as you could be on ops with one of us!), I've seen TA bods failing to run 1 1/2 miles, and having major problems with the 15kg, 4 mile CFT. Will be intersting to see what happens when it's lengthened.