Author Topic: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )  (Read 777368 times)

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Offline camrose

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1125 on: June 10, 2018, 15:30:55 »
Looking for some input... I am applying to the Army reserves and training for the fitness test. I am at a point where I can easily do 3 of 4 but can't get the sandbag drag. I'm pretty fit, athletic and healthy but weigh barely 90 lbs and about 4'10" - is this even doable for someone my size? I joined the local base gym and have been going to their FORCE training classes and getting pretty frustrated that I can only get the drag barely 1/2 way. My test is scheduled for 2 weeks and I'm thinking just to cancel. Hints anyone?

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1126 on: June 10, 2018, 15:34:09 »
Cut the weight in half when you're doing the practice drags and work on your technique. Once you have it down add more weight.

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Offline cld617

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1127 on: June 10, 2018, 17:10:15 »
Looking for some input... I am applying to the Army reserves and training for the fitness test. I am at a point where I can easily do 3 of 4 but can't get the sandbag drag. I'm pretty fit, athletic and healthy but weigh barely 90 lbs and about 4'10" - is this even doable for someone my size? I joined the local base gym and have been going to their FORCE training classes and getting pretty frustrated that I can only get the drag barely 1/2 way. My test is scheduled for 2 weeks and I'm thinking just to cancel. Hints anyone?

What kind of training are you doing? For someone your size, you really need to be doing some strength focused training like squats and deadlifts to make up the difference. Not only to pass your PT test, but you're going to be at a significant disadvantage when it comes to just moving objects throughout your career.

Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1128 on: June 10, 2018, 19:28:20 »
Physics suck sometimes, but there are people that size that pass it. It's basically leg strength so squats etc help, and starting with low weights to do practice drags.

I'm built like a lever with another 18" on you, so feel your pain.  It can be a pain to get the bags moving, but you just got to dig down and giver!  Keep working at it and don't give up and you'll be good!  No quick solution, but like everything else, hard work and a good attitude will get you there.

Offline BeyondTheNow

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1129 on: June 10, 2018, 21:41:28 »
Make sure you’re using what weight you DO have to its best advantage also. Lean back, almost to where you think your heals will go out from under you, but not quite. Use your body weight to help counteract the weight you’re trying to pull. At your size, it’ll be tough, but yes, it CAN be done. Technique is vitally important.
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Offline OceanBonfire

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1130 on: July 17, 2018, 21:04:31 »
Update: Silly me. I rewatched the video and I noticed I was doing the 20m rush wrong. At every 20m mark, I was laying down outside of the 20m "distance", similar to the starting point, instead of laying down inside the 20m "distance". Therefore I was adding time and distance. I, properly, re-simulated the 20m rush and got it at 39 seconds.
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Offline Gcnav

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1131 on: August 09, 2018, 20:06:25 »
Hi, with the force test is there blood pressure readings before and after that affect of you passed overall?

Thanks

Offline Furniture

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1132 on: July 22, 2019, 09:15:37 »
I care about the CAF. It bothers me that we are know as the poorest, fattest, most unprofessional looking military in a first world country. 

Your experience of international operations is vastly different from mine. Any time I have worked with NATO/Allied forces we are looked at as consummate professionals, though we are generally the oldest and least fit. I think the lest fit part is in large part because of the oldest part. We are very old as far as militaries go, but that's a topic for a different thread.

As to uniforms, I couldn't order new ones from our system because they were all out of stock.( I ordered new 3s weeks in advance, and still had to wait two weeks to get them after I arrived in Ottawa) I had to go to a Canex three hours away to get a new beret.  I shouldn't have to spend my own money for a silly hat that is supposed to be issued, but to have to go to a different base just to get one is embarrassing. So when the troops have a faded "nondescript" beret maybe they are trying, and our system is failing them. Perhaps after years of the system letting them down with uniforms many people have given up...

For those mentioning orders and fitness, I challenge you to prove that anyone you think it too fat hasn't met the required standard. If your want a "looks good in uniform" standard than that needs to be the standard.
Otherwise to quote a classic:

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Offline Dimsum

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1133 on: July 22, 2019, 13:48:09 »

For those mentioning orders and fitness, I challenge you to prove that anyone you think it too fat hasn't met the required standard. If your want a "looks good in uniform" standard than that needs to be the standard.

That's a very good point.  If the CAF thinks the standard is too low (i.e. people are too fat) then raise the fitness standard.  Then we'll be in US military territory of "tape tests" and BMI nonsense.
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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1134 on: July 22, 2019, 14:06:56 »
That's a very good point.  If the CAF thinks the standard is too low (i.e. people are too fat) then raise the fitness standard.  Then we'll be in US military territory of "tape tests" and BMI nonsense.

The BMI thing was done in the early 80s and was dropped.
It rewarded thin unfit people and discredited quite a few people who were fit but a bit chunkier.
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1135 on: July 22, 2019, 14:20:30 »
The BMI thing was done in the early 80s and was dropped.
It rewarded thin unfit people and discredited quite a few people who were fit but a bit chunkier.

BMI is an outdated way of measuring health, it is an indicator but if someone's BMI is high, the military should ask "why is it high?"  Too often we settle for the lowest common denominator.


Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1136 on: July 22, 2019, 14:30:45 »
I hate the BMI; grew up being told I was dangerously underweight and unhealthy (despite doing track, rugby, heavy physical labour etc), which really helps when you are an already shy teen that lacks self confidence. It's an overly simplistic system based on weak science that is misused all the time. It only applies for a specific body type, doesn't work for anyone that is naturally wiry, heavily muscled, or other similar variations.

I assume the uniform is tailored to fit no one well; usually have to go up a few sizes of pants for it to fit on the legs, so looks wonky even after some tailoring, and the shirts aren't any better. Not sure how they manage to be hugely loose around the waist, big around the arms, but tight on the shoulders and riding up the armpits.  Their virtual models must have some really weird proportions not found in nature. The only thing consistent about them is that they never fit well.  Really weird when I can normally buy off the rack stuff no problem and not need any tailoring (with the exception of non-tapered shirts). How people look in uniform should taken with a grain of salt as they make everyone look terrible.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1137 on: July 22, 2019, 14:39:03 »
BMI is still used as part of aircrew medicals...

Quote
I challenge you to prove that anyone you think it too fat hasn't met the required standard

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest the 'minimum standard' accepted now in the FORCE test isn't really much of a standard at all.  I'm sure there are people who pass it every year that aren't anywhere near "fit".  Let's be serious here...our acceptable PT standard is actually really low. 

We have some seriously overweight and out-of-shape people in the CAF, I don't see how anyone could seriously deny that.
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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1138 on: July 22, 2019, 14:43:39 »
The BMI thing was done in the early 80s and was dropped.
It rewarded thin unfit people and discredited quite a few people who were fit but a bit chunkier.

Ditto on that. We had one young officer in the unit  who looked obese and really pooched the BMI (and who as a result , quite unfairly, became a constant target of the Bde Comd) but was one of the fittest guys in the unit.

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Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1139 on: July 22, 2019, 15:32:42 »
BMI is still used as part of aircrew medicals...

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest the 'minimum standard' accepted now in the FORCE test isn't really much of a standard at all.  I'm sure there are people who pass it every year that aren't anywhere near "fit".  Let's be serious here...our acceptable PT standard is actually really low. 


Ironically thanks to physics being overweight actually makes the sandbag drag easier, as you can let your mass do more of the work when you lean back.  Have seen someone with good technique for quickly getting up and down again actually walk the 'stop/drop/jazz hands' portion.  (I suspect for that one I probably resemble a stunned giraffe falling over and scrambling to get back up)

Glad they went with something more task orientated, but find it's one of those tests where you have to train for the specific movements to really improve the test results (like the belly flop). Because it's time based, kind of an odd one to track progress as well, which is one of those things that is good for fitness motivation. Also need a 28.5" waist measurement to hit the max score, and pretty sure that my skeleton is bigger than that.  Passing is easy but no real motivation to do much more than bang it out without an injury now that I'm older with a messed up back.

Offline cld617

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1140 on: July 23, 2019, 14:22:26 »
I challenge you to prove that anyone you think it too fat hasn't met the required standard.

I have had two mbrs who worked for me who could not complete the PT test as a result of ailments which were a direct result of their weight. Literally too fat to pass the standard.

Also need a 28.5" waist measurement to hit the max score, and pretty sure that my skeleton is bigger than that. 

Your waist circumference has zero impact on either whether or not you can reach incentive level, or the score itself. It is simply used as an indicator of health related fitness. Someone with a 55" waist is capable of achieving a Platinum incentive level with the same points that someone with 32" waist can, only at measurements above that do we take a step back and tell them they've failed solely on waist circumference.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 14:28:31 by cld617 »

Offline Tcm621

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1141 on: July 23, 2019, 15:20:33 »
I have had two mbrs who worked for me who could not complete the PT test as a result of ailments which were a direct result of their weight. Literally too fat to pass the standard.

Your waist circumference has zero impact on either whether or not you can reach incentive level, or the score itself. It is simply used as an indicator of health related fitness. Someone with a 55" waist is capable of achieving a Platinum incentive level with the same points that someone with 32" waist can, only at measurements above that do we take a step back and tell them they've failed solely on waist circumference.

I actually like the waist circumference. It is an annual remainder of where you stand. How many people do you know who were fit and well built when they joined and now waddle around? In my experience a fair amount. That doesn't happen over night and it creeps up on you.

I would actually like them to keep a record of PT tests so they could show the trend. If you are fit already but you have 3 years of increasing waist circumference, it's a reminder to watch what you eat or hit the gym a little harder. On the other hand if you are fat and have 3 years of steady decreases in your waist, you know you are making progress in the right direction. In other words, the number is less important than the long term trend until you get to the extreme level of obesity.

I think a 5 year record of Forces test results would be cool too. It could show you where you are getting better or worse over time. I'm sure some smarty pants could come up with a formula which accounts for aging to a certain degree.

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1142 on: July 23, 2019, 16:42:05 »
I actually like the waist circumference. It is an annual remainder of where you stand. How many people do you know who were fit and well built when they joined and now waddle around? In my experience a fair amount. That doesn't happen over night and it creeps up on you.

I would actually like them to keep a record of PT tests so they could show the trend. If you are fit already but you have 3 years of increasing waist circumference, it's a reminder to watch what you eat or hit the gym a little harder. On the other hand if you are fat and have 3 years of steady decreases in your waist, you know you are making progress in the right direction. In other words, the number is less important than the long term trend until you get to the extreme level of obesity.

I think a 5 year record of Forces test results would be cool too. It could show you where you are getting better or worse over time. I'm sure some smarty pants could come up with a formula which accounts for aging to a certain degree.

The waist circumference thing is good because it is generally a good indicator of how fit you are and it also has no influence on the actual test scores.  The ones I hear complaining are usually the people who are shaped like pears.  I heard a number of unfit individuals complaining about how the test is stupid because it has no impact on their ability to supposedly do their jobs.

One event that I find flawed though is the Intermittent Loaded Shuttles.  They say you aren't supposed to "Run" but I've seen people do this weird cheat where they are supposedly "not running" but they aren't walking either.  I think you should just be able to run with the sandbags if you want but I can understand why they wouldn't want that because someone might get hurt.  It's my worst event but the PSP told me there is some "hack" they can teach me.  The guy I did beside who was about 10 seconds faster than me did it and it definitely makes you faster.

They also adjusted the scores this year so it is very hard to get Gold, almost impossible to get Platinum and you have to actually be fit to get Silver.  I was Gold under last years scoring system but have dropped down to Silver.  The PSP staff also said less than 75 people have Platinum in the entire CAF. 

   

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1143 on: July 23, 2019, 17:00:59 »
They also adjusted the scores this year so it is very hard to get Gold, almost impossible to get Platinum and you have to actually be fit to get Silver.  I was Gold under last years scoring system but have dropped down to Silver.  The PSP staff also said less than 75 people have Platinum in the entire CAF.     

I did better this year than last year and fell to silver too, still wouldn't have made the cut for Platinum but would have been close.
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1144 on: July 23, 2019, 17:07:04 »
I did better this year than last year and fell to silver too, still wouldn't have made the cut for Platinum but would have been close.

The difference between Platinum and Gold is miniscule and it's also pretty hard to get Gold, you have to be above 95 percentile in all the events which is pretty hard to train for as it's difficult to strike a balance between strength and conditioning.

Offline cld617

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1145 on: July 23, 2019, 18:44:07 »
The difference between Platinum and Gold is miniscule and it's also pretty hard to get Gold, you have to be above 95 percentile in all the events which is pretty hard to train for as it's difficult to strike a balance between strength and conditioning.

The difference now is the difference between the person recording your times being on the ball or looking away for a second, it's far too reliant on unreliable sources.

Last year Platinum began at 385 points, it's now reserved for people who score 397/400. It's great that it actually means something now for people who put in effort. It should be rare.


One event that I find flawed though is the Intermittent Loaded Shuttles.  They say you aren't supposed to "Run" but I've seen people do this weird cheat where they are supposedly "not running" but they aren't walking either.  I think you should just be able to run with the sandbags if you want but I can understand why they wouldn't want that because someone might get hurt.  It's my worst event but the PSP told me there is some "hack" they can teach me.  The guy I did beside who was about 10 seconds faster than me did it and it definitely makes you faster.


"Run" is far too subjective of a thing to measure when it comes to ensuring someone is in fact not doing it. My last base had PSP scores on their display of those who'd achieved platinum, and one of the younger males had achieved a shuttle time in the 1:4x's, something which anyone who has pushed themselves on that event knows is simply not possible without running loaded. Certain bases are significantly more lenient on this, which in turn soils the scores for everyone else.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 18:49:01 by cld617 »

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1146 on: July 24, 2019, 07:03:31 »
I actually like the waist circumference. It is an annual remainder of where you stand. How many people do you know who were fit and well built when they joined and now waddle around? In my experience a fair amount. That doesn't happen over night and it creeps up on you.
...


Some years ago, 15 or so, I guess, the medical community seemed to decide that "belly fat" was a better indication of health problems than was weight.

For most of the last 10 years of my military career (1980s and '90s) I was on a medical restriction that included limited physical activity and, consequently, my weight (and waistline) showed the effect ~ in that decade or so I went from about 175 to 235 lbs and my waistline went from 34" to about 42." Not long before I retired I managed, with some expert medical help and a (relatively) side-effect-free drug, to manage my (neurological) condition and just before I retired my medical status was changed back to "fit for duty." But during that time most of the medical staff, there were one or two exceptions, said my (obvious and worrisome) lack of fitness was a minor concern and getting my (serious) neurological problem under control was the only real priority.

On retirement, I began to see a younger civilian physician. She referred me to a different specialist, one who had been recommended by my military neurologist but was not approved by the Surg Gen, and she (over about three to five years) effectively "cured" me. Meanwhile, and this is the bit of the story that is germane to the topic, my new general practitioner told me that my belly was a serious problem and, over the next few years, her plan was to slim me down, mainly through exercise and diet, and get rid of a walking stick, which had been the Surg Gen's solution to a couple of problems, one of which was knees that didn't like carrying too much weight. Dr Lee told me that the medical literature told her, and she considers herself a "mainstream" and "up-to-date" GP, that waistline circumference is a better predictor of health problems than is simple weight (BMI). In the intervening years I, very gradually, dropped about 15 pounds, my BMI is still too high, but Dr Lee just laughs and says that I am not overweight, I'm just 2" too short. The key thing is that my waistline is 6"+ smaller than it was when I retired and I "feel" better than I have for about 20 years and some of the lab tests show that I have fewer "problems" than I did on retirement.

I'm not faulting the medical officers (other than perhaps the Surg Gen of the day, I forget his name) who treated me, back in the 1980s and '90s ~ my condition was serious; I could work (in fact it helped a lot to work, very hard, at my demanding and highly technical desk job) but I was told to "take it easy," and to not worry about my BMI. I think, now, with the benefit of hindsight, that was not the best advice.

Not everyone is "shaped," from birth, as we might wish, but most of us are, and I'm guessing that most (not all) of the 40"+ waistlines I see in Ottawa, amongst male uniformed members who are (often) shorter than I, could be trimmed back by a few inches with nothing more than a few changes in a few personal habits. It worked for me and I'm just as lazy as the next guy and I enjoy a pint and (used to enjoy) some junk food as much as everyone else.

Waistline circumference (belly fat) does matter ... I'm quoting professional medical advice, not the internet, and I am proof that one can manage his (or her, I guess) waistline without too much pain and feel better for it, too.




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Offline cld617

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1147 on: July 24, 2019, 09:27:37 »
Waistline circumference (belly fat) does matter ... I'm quoting professional medical advice, not the internet, and I am proof that one can manage his (or her, I guess) waistline without too much pain and feel better for it, too.

Visceral fat (the type that gives men that large hard belly) is one of the clearest indicators of health related issues, either present or in the future. Quite literally choking your organs with fat.

Offline ballz

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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1148 on: July 24, 2019, 09:42:58 »
I think empirical data does show that waistline is more correlated with health than BMI, but I'm surprised that "waist to hip" ratio has not caught on. It's just as simple and cost-effective, but it compares your waist (which grows or shrinks depending on body fat) and hips (which doesn't change much and is a result of genetic build). I suspect it will just take time as even though it's intuitively better, until there are more solid empirical studies, the medical community can't just adopt it on their feelings.

Nowadays you can buy an InBody machine for $15,000. It's as accurate, more importantly as consistent, as a DEXA scan (costs significantly more, like $40 - 50k). DEXA requires a trained technician to operate it, a monkey can operate an InBody machine. It provides body composition, BMI, body fat %, segmental lean analysis, segmental fat analysis, and visceral fat levels. It takes about 60 seconds and prints your results right in front of you.

For some reason, I feel like there's a lot of good things the CAF could do with a machine like this on every base.... but no one is interested in those kind of initiatives because they would take longer than their 2 year posting.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 09:56:38 by ballz »
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Re: Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )
« Reply #1149 on: July 24, 2019, 12:10:00 »
I think empirical data does show that waistline is more correlated with health than BMI, but I'm surprised that "waist to hip" ratio has not caught on. It's just as simple and cost-effective, but it compares your waist (which grows or shrinks depending on body fat) and hips (which doesn't change much and is a result of genetic build). I suspect it will just take time as even though it's intuitively better, until there are more solid empirical studies, the medical community can't just adopt it on their feelings.

Nowadays you can buy an InBody machine for $15,000. It's as accurate, more importantly as consistent, as a DEXA scan (costs significantly more, like $40 - 50k). DEXA requires a trained technician to operate it, a monkey can operate an InBody machine. It provides body composition, BMI, body fat %, segmental lean analysis, segmental fat analysis, and visceral fat levels. It takes about 60 seconds and prints your results right in front of you.

For some reason, I feel like there's a lot of good things the CAF could do with a machine like this on every base.... but no one is interested in those kind of initiatives because they would take longer than their 2 year posting.

And.... parade everyone at 0630hrs and go for a 30 minute run every day, with the ICs at the front and the 2ICs at the back... with the Rottweilers  :)
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