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Fitness for Operational Requirements of CAF Employment ( FORCE )

cld617

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Furniture said:
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.

Navy_Pete said:
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.
 

TCM621

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cld617 said:
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.
 

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Tcm621 said:
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. 

   
 

MJP

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Humphrey Bogart said:
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.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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MJP said:
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.
 

cld617

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Humphrey Bogart said:
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.

Humphrey Bogart said:
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.
 

Edward Campbell

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Tcm621 said:
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.




 

cld617

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E.R. Campbell said:
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.
 

ballz

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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.
 

daftandbarmy

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ballz said:
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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ballz said:
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.

When I was a guinea pig for the FORCE test and DFit, they had the high-tech body composition measurement machines (could have been InBody, I don't remember clearly).  Marvelous amount of information.  I also had access to one at my fancy civilian gym on my last posting.  It would be so useful to have an annual check on this machine and be able to track the trends.  And it's always good for morale to be officially told that you're not so much fat as very muscular.  ;D

Cheers,

AK
 

Haggis

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AK said:
When I was a guinea pig for the FORCE test and DFit, they had the high-tech body composition measurement machines (could have been InBody, I don't remember clearly).

Yes, fellow lab rat, it was the InBody 570.  I found my printouts while cleaning out my files when I released.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Got a funny email today from RCN Chief to the Navy writ large.

Apparently 3500 sailors didn't bother doing the FORCE Test last year and are expired.  I had a chuckle when they said, "members need to sort it out".
 

dimsum

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Humphrey Bogart said:
Got a funny email today from RCN Chief to the Navy writ large.

Apparently 3500 sailors didn't bother doing the FORCE Test last year and are expired.  I had a chuckle when they said, "members need to sort it out".

That...uh, seems like a lot of people.
 

Navy_Pete

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That can't be right; that's half the navy. I wonder if that's a bad data pull or something? 

I'm sure there are probably a number of people that don't make it every year for various reasons, but that seems exceptionally high. Especially given that there is usually a few people at each unit with the secondary duty to schedule the tests that track when everyone is expiring, plus other reports that go to the XOs that cover that off.  Can't really see a scenario where that many people got overlooked or just didn't bother to get it done.

Since they switched to the Force test, the PSP results go in the same day for me, so that part of it seems to work well.
 

dapaterson

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Well, no valid fitness profile means unfit military conditions, so everyone with a lapsed profile should lose all allowances the day it lapsed until they get retested.

Time to bring a stick to the fight, and not milquetoast words.
 

Ostrozac

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Dimsum said:
That...uh, seems like a lot of people.

Depends on how you count ‘The Navy’. Have we sorted out FORCE testing for reservists yet? If not, the NAVRES is a decent chunk of people. There are also people who have legitimate reasons not to be tested, like those who have a test expiring while on a deployment, who have an injury or are on LWOP.

If they are all regular fleet sailors posted to Halifax and Esquimalt? Yeah, that’s a problem. But more a problem for the leadership than the sailors. One sailor skips the FORCE test, that’s the sailor’sfault. 3000 sailors skip a FORCE test, that’s the Admiral’s fault. Units are supposd to be checking PT tests, and not just on PERs and promotions.
 

daftandbarmy

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dapaterson said:
Well, no valid fitness profile means unfit military conditions, so everyone with a lapsed profile should lose all allowances the day it lapsed until they get retested.

Time to bring a stick to the fight, and not milquetoast words.

You mean like the various COs of mine who have waved to us from the curb as my company tabbed last with 55 lbs on during the (13 km) BFT?

P.S. all of us Reservists (even those of us in our 40s and 50s) passed easily.
 

ModlrMike

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This doesn't take into account test dates. You could do you fitness test in Apr, and depart on a six month sail in Feb. You would be lapsed if you didn't test before you left the wall. Not entirely fair to stop someone's allowances when they were unable to test for service reasons.
 

Eye In The Sky

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dapaterson said:
Well, no valid fitness profile means unfit military conditions, so everyone with a lapsed profile should lose all allowances the day it lapsed until they get retested.

Time to bring a stick to the fight, and not milquetoast words.

Not quite;  I've had an *expired* FORCE test but I still flew.  My medical being expired would be an example or something that would ground me but not the FORCE test.
 
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