Value of the Fitness Tests

#2
IMHO the BPFA is a bit pointless, it doesn't realy prove anything. The CFT on the other hand is a fairly usefull test, and I think it should be carried out more often, at least bi-annualy; with some more useful test on the end, other than the lifts and jumps, perhaps the APWT could be combined so you have to do that at the end, or fire and manouvre drills.

Just a tought :?:
 
#3
Guys this all a question of terminology. The word test implies that a persons performance (pass or fail) will be reflected in their CR/ course report / promotion prospects. The problem with this is that some people just dont perform well under pressure. They just kind of go to bits and dont do very well. Bless them.
If however you rename it an assessment then it is a different story. People enjoy assessments. They are fun, they settle your curiosity as to how well/ badly you performed. Add to this an attitude of "I mean when the last time we had to actually run anyhwere?" by the CoC and you are on to a winner.
I reckon that by sacking all tests/ assessments and having a 'Fitness Honesty board' in each unit we will be on a winner. Injuries would drop, man hours saved by not doing unit PT and blokes in post not on those silly PTI courses.
If the tests must stay then may I propose a French United Nationsesque veto whereby senior ranks can ignore any recommendations by the PTI that a person has failed the test. Especially if said senior rank has previously promised to RTU anyone failing the test.
I heard that the BPFA was changing but lets face it it couldnt be any easier. If the army sat one tomorrow at least 50% would fail. A CFT style one would be better but the main problem is that units lack the determination to chase up those who fail. I have never seen anyone punished/ given remedial training to sort out their PT. I am guessing that this is from either an RMP or a Clerk. RMP certainly dont give two shits about phys standards (a few guys excepted) and as i dont know too much about the Clerks, then I shouldn't comment.
Basically the test/ assessment (which is a get out clause for the army anyway) is easy and yet people fail it and nothing happens to them, there is no incentive to do so. The higher pay scale has just come in and so even the fattest laziest LCpl will earn the same popstar wage as those who bother to look after them selves, where is the incentive?
Having spent 9 years in, 7 as a PTI i have just cottoned on that really, no-one gives a toss if you are fit or not. Saying that I will have to throw myself around the area in the morning to shake this ale off.

Any other frustrated PTIs fancy a rant?
 
#4
As an Ex PTI, I back you Mighty-Blighty, I do believe that the CFT should be followed by an APWT for all arms. Also results should be reflected in pay. My other recommendation would be that the weight each person carries should be in proportion to their bodyweight. Obviously personal weapon weights could not be altered, but why should a seven stone person carry the same weight as a seventeen stone person?
 
#5
Agree with both of you that pay and fitness can be linked, perhaps with deployablility and employment. You may still to recognise the worth of a less fit, but long serving indiv who mainatined a high fitness standard during their key service years, but through age, or injury has not had their fitness eroded.
 
#6
to recognise the worth of a less fit, but long serving indiv who mainatined a high fitness standard during their key service years, quote]

Agree too with the above Outstanding, I have known very experienced and useful service members who were totally unfit, mostly in their later years, who's valuable contributions to their unit would have been lost if they were 'chucked out' of the unit because of their fitness level. However, if fitness affected their pay, I wonder how many would rather stay in on reduced pay or get medically discharged?
 
#9
There wasa time when I was a member of a Battalion that did a CFT once a week!

These days there are times when I find it hard to believe how fit I must have been, and worse how unfit I am now by comparison.

Still as I am now too old to even consider joining the TA, though I probably would be accepted for he HSF if they were still around.

Maybe it is time for me to consider the Legion of Frontiersmen, though I might be too young!
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#10
beemer said:
As an Ex PTI, I back you Mighty-Blighty, I do believe that the CFT should be followed by an APWT for all arms. Also results should be reflected in pay. My other recommendation would be that the weight each person carries should be in proportion to their bodyweight. Obviously personal weapon weights could not be altered, but why should a seven stone person carry the same weight as a seventeen stone person?
I disagree. The load you might carry into battle is the same if you're 7 or 17 stone, so the test should reflect that. I also believe that the idea of using bricks/bags of sand as weight is pants. Who takes bricks/bags of sand into battle (waiting out for puns now). The laod that you carry should be the equipment that you take into battle with you. No more, no less.
 
#11
The BPFA is a bit pants. It takes a lots of people over 1.5 miles to warm up properly and get their breathing right etc. Sit ups don't test abdominal strength that much, they test your hip flexors. The cft is a reasonably realistic test and should be carried out more frequently. Some of the tests you have to do at the end of a cft are a bit odd. How many people (not commando trained) can do a regain? Not many and I can't remember ever being taught how to do one. I understand the principle that you should be able to do stuff at the end of a cft but do something realistic such as an apwt. The booties have to shoot once they've finished their endurance course and have to pass. If it's got enough for the booties it should be good enough for us.
 
#14
At my last unit we started a Rumour that the CFT had changed and the total weight was 17 stone including body weight so if you were 17 stone or over it was pt shorts and trainers
was a scream watching the young 5 stone racing snakes panic
 
#16
I disagree. The load you might carry into battle is the same if you're 7 or 17 stone, so the test should reflect that. I also believe that the idea of using bricks/bags of sand as weight is pants. Who takes bricks/bags of sand into battle (waiting out for puns now). The laod that you carry should be the equipment that you take into battle with you. No more, no less.[/quote]

So, you think that the weight of a 7 stone persons spare clothing carried into battle, is the same weight as a 17 stone persons clothing? I think not! Also the idea of using bricks/bags of sand in your back pack is for training purposes. In order to achieve a training affect, a person must use the overload principle. For example, if you wish to achieve a level of fitness where you can comfortably carry a 40kg load over a set distance, then progressive weight carrying exercises up to and beyond that 40kg weight, would ensure that said person could eventually achieve the distance comfortably with the weight.
 
#17
the sand and bricks are used to simulate the weight of ammo boxes issued in wartime scales. etc. If you have been to brecon then you will understand the logic of carrying 4 boxes of link filled with sand or a 94 filled with cement. Most people seem to forget that in a war fighting situation it is not just their personal kit that gets carried, you get used as a pack mule for the rest of the support company to drop of mortar rounds, milan, ammo etc. Normally personal kit is put on the back burner as ammo is the priority. If you cannot carry the weight in the infantry it is not worth being there.
 
#18
beemer said:
In order to achieve a training affect, a person must use the overload principle. For example, if you wish to achieve a level of fitness where you can comfortably carry a 40kg load over a set distance, then progressive weight carrying exercises up to and beyond that 40kg weight, would ensure that said person could eventually achieve the distance comfortably with the weight.
Not sure that overtraining is considered effective anymore , as it places excessive stress on the body. Clearly you need to be ble to carry the weight required and it is essential that you do so to practice; but I think that simply walking around with abig pack on will not in itself make you fit. Both Aerobic and Anaerobic fitness need to take place to fully utilise the body and that is likely to require a a differing series of exercises. Exercise doesn't need to be boring or unimaginative either. There are as many ways of training s you can envisage and good PTI will be able to put you on the right track.

I guess that the thread looked at the value of fitness tests as a measure of unit fitness. I have seen 2 Reg Units tests results recently and on APFA one got 37.9% pass whilst the other got 79.2% pass - does this tell you anything?
 
#19
Going off on a slight tangent, I would appreciate any advice concerning fitness levels:

I am 56 yrs old, retiring from Army Service some 15 years ago.

I recently underwent a quadruple by-pass and am trying to regain a reasonable fitness level for my age.
One of my targets is reaching a reasonable time for 1.5 miles(2.4m). What time would you suggest?

Some 30 odd years ago I was doing it within the 11 minutes (?) allowance - no way would I do that now!
Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

As an after note I attend my local Fitness Centre at least twice a week, and also recently diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2.

Thanks in anticipation
 
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