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Advice for women on BMQ and other courses [MERGED]

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If you dig around on www.crossfit.com and through their forums you will find a wealth of information on exercising with minimal equipment and on how to make your own equipment at minimal cost.
 

gunshy

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Apart from push-ups and sit-ups which I can find plenty info on, curious if is there is site or info for women on building arm and upper strength at home

Have you tried a kitchen chair or two, to do dips? You can do reverse dips with one (even on a stair case, ottoman etc) and if you can anchor 2 chairs, you can be successful at doing forward dips. Tough but effective!  ;) Good Luck!
 

ltmaverick25

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mellian said:
Beyond that, keeping up with some endurance and lower/core strength through derby practices, and this past month making a bigger effort of skating everywhere. Not sure how that will translate to running/jogging, but I know can skate average of 5 to 7 km in under 30 minutes. I may have to go skate at the F1 track at Jean-Drapeau to confirm.

You will certainly find that running will be more challenging then rollerblading.  In addition to rollerblading everywhere, I would recommend making a point of trying to do a 5km run 3 times per week.  If you can do 5k in about 30min or so, I would say you are at a bare minimum ability.  I say this because I used to do 5k in about 30min, and I found myself way behind the rest of the pack.  I haven't timed myself recently so I cant really give a good estimate for an ideal time.

As for upper body stuff...

Obviously do lots of pushups.  Simple exercise but it works your chest, shoulders, and arms all in one.  Once you find yourself really proficient at these, you can start doing variations.  For example pushups on your finger tips instead of your palms.  These are extremely difficult, but if you can manage them, they will certainly develop forearm strength. 

If you are looking to practice chin ups or something to that effect, I would recommend going to a local park and using monkey bars as a substitute.  You likely wont have to worry about them not being able to support your weight.  If you cant do one unassisted, then just bring a friend along to help push you up by supporting, and pushing your knees.  This is a very effective method to building yourself up to being able to do them unassisted.

Hope that helps
 

Manning001

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Hey girls,
I recently applied to the reg. force NCM as an infantry soldier, but it's closed until April.  Since I want to do a combat job i'm trying to get myself in the best shape possible.  I'm doing a half marathon next weekend and regarding the push-ups, I can do about 200 in a day.  Usually sets of 25-30.  I've realized that with push-ups, they are so easy to improve on.  Just start off doing five if that's all you can do and just keep building that number up every week.  You will improve.  Sometimes it just takes time.
 

armychick2009

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Just spent about an hour going through this thread and found some amusing stuff :D  But, I am definitely glad to see it. Another thread I found interesting before I recently did a course was, "What women should bring to boot-camp". I have some things that I will add to that one. But, back to the gym one...

The PUSH-UPS... my nemesis.... and a lot of others apparantely too. Yes, women aren't 'made' for doing push-ups and that's okay. It just means we have to work harder! But, if it makes you feel any better, men aren't 'made' for doing sit-ups. It's where we can 'catch-up'. I can do sit-ups until the cows come home but some of the men on my course? Had a hard time doing the minimum.

That's okay though -- you just work towards what you can't do and strive to better it. 

Anyways, to add to some of the other topics I've seen on here.

Push-ups. I won't add anything here, pretty much everything has been covered. I still hate 'em. But I'll do 'em.  >:D

Sit-ups. Make sure you are doing proper CF sit-ups! This catches a lot of people off-guard. I'll leave it to you to go research that (I don't want to screw up by saying something incorrectly from memory)! Also be prepared to hold the feet of others doing the test. If you can possibly make it so, do your sit-ups BEFORE you have to hold someone's feet. The woman I had to hold the feet of was a 110-lb powerhouse who churned out about 80 sit-ups in 2 minutes. You can't use any part of your body except your hands to hold down their feet and by the time she did her 80 sit-ups, I was breaking out in a sweat more than she was by trying to keep her down. Then I had to do my own sit-ups and my core (being weak, obviously, you don't need to point it out thanks!) was spent. I managed to do the minimum but it was a far cry from my usual 40-50 sit-ups in 2 minutes. I'll keep this part in mind for basic when I go soon. Lesson learned! (...and I intend my core to be in damn-fine shape by then!!)

Beep-test. Really try to get in on one or do one with someone else to get the experience. Make sure it's really 20 metres and download the MP3 from somewhere and do what you can. If you're fortunate enough to be doing it with other experienced people (as I had), follow the pace of someone else WITH experience. The mistake is going too fast at the beginning and burning yourself out before you get to your level you need. Another lesson learned and will take this  knowledge to basic with me too! Also, learn how to 'pivot' correctly so you don't twist a knee and to ensure you maximize your time best.


Grip-test. I was very worried about this as I'm a bit of a weakling. However, don't sweat it too much. I passed this easily and if *I* can do it, (almost) anyone can. The advice from the person who suggested the weight on a string with a stick and rolling it? Excellent. I'm going to do this now as part of my preparation training. Next time I hope... wait, nope! Next time I WILL  score higher :)


Now a question! The 2.4K timed test -- do they do this in basic as part of the express test? or is the beep test its 'equivalent'? I've decided that while doing longer distances is good, my focus the next few weeks will be SPEED and short-term endurance. This will help with the beep test obviously. I will still do the 2.4k timed runs as part of my prep training but will be incorporating fartlek training (speed-play) over the next while. For those that don't know what this training consists of, here is a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fartlek

I also remember reading how someone said they can't run fast but can go 'long' meaning, they can cover long-distances (20k) at a walking pace without a problem. I've been practicing the 13k and asked a few (male) friends how women seem to fare on these BFT (battle fitness tests). They said that women are (typically) not as fast -- HOWEVER -- they can go longer (at a more consistent pace) than the men before becoming fatigued. So, the end result (typically, they said, keep in mind I am going based on 2nd hand info here!) is that in the end, it works out that while the men can go faster, the women can go longer -- and that they usually finish around the same time. I'm assuming if you're with a group, you all have to stick together anyways. So, it's a moot point.

Anyways - I hope this reply isn't a total 'joke' to the experts here. I'm a total NEWBIE on this and it's just some personal experiences I've encountered lately through some trial and error on my part!

Oh... and before I go? Ladies? Don't let ANYONE mess with your head and get you down. If they doubt you? Criticize you? Prove them wrong. If you have to work twice as hard? Do it. Use the criticism as FUEL to get you through the next workout with improvements! Use mind-games to get yourself past the 'obstacles and barriers'. Use it to create an advantage! 

armychick
 

Loachman

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armychick2009 said:
I've been practicing the 13k and asked a few (male) friends how women seem to fare on these BFT (battle fitness tests).

Variable Mileage Disclaimer: The average age in my reserve-heavy, fairly high-tempo, non-Combat Arms unit is higher than many other units, but we have quite a few younger people as well. I am fifty-three. We also have a fair number of women.

armychick2009 said:
They said that women are (typically) not as fast

To be expected. Typically, they tend to be smaller, and would have to walk relatively (in terms of size) more quickly in order to maintain the same speed. Typically, they are also carrying relatively more weight, and therefore have to work relatively harder.

armychick2009 said:
they can go longer (at a more consistent pace) than the men before becoming fatigued.

"Consistent pace" is likely the key. One does not have to maintain a high speed to pass - 5.4 km/hr will do it. I have found it better to start off slowly (5.5-5.6 km/hr) and build speed after warming up for a km or two. Men, especially the younger ones, tend to be more competitive and will likely crack off at a higher speed (6.0+ km/hr). Some, especially if they have practised more, will be able to maintain that, but many will peak early and slow down. Tortoise and hare and all...

I averaged 5.9 km/hr, passed comfortably, suffered no blistering, and was only slightly stiff and a little slow for a few hours. Decent, well-fitting footwear certainly helped as well.

armychick2009 said:
I'm assuming if you're with a group, you all have to stick together anyways.

On basic courses, most likely. For us, no, which allows for some interesting observations.
 

PMedMoe

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Loachman said:
Decent, well-fitting footwear certainly helped as well.

Too bad you pretty much have to buy your own.  ;)

I just did the BFT on Friday and I was in the "fast" group.  I managed to keep up with them until the halfway point and then, because our timing was really good, I slowed down a little bit.  I still managed to pass one of the other women who is 6 ft tall (I'm about 5'3") about 2 km before we finished.  She asked when we were done how I did it.  Even though I'm shorter, I've always had a fairly long stride.  But yes, consistency in your pace helps a lot.  That and turning off your brain.  :nod:
 

armychick2009

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Thanks for your comments guys! I'm personally not worried about the 13K... I'm good with long-distances myself and am used to carrying a large amout of weight, which I've been increasing. I know my pace is pretty good. I've got short-strides (I'm 5'5) but I keep a quick pace. I probably take twice as many steps as the (taller) guys (well, I *know* I do for a fact actually) but as long as I keep the speed/pace and 'turn off the brain' as you say, I'm good. I do this about three times a week right now but in running shoes. Next step is to do it in the combat boots :D I'm sure that'll make quite a difference. It'll be interesting to see the changes when I do the switch...


"Interesting observations", eh? I can picture it already!!! You probably have the pukers, the whiners, the show-offs and the drop-offs...and...? :)



 
T

TFLY

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Hello everyone,

First time posting to the boards, but reading a fair bit.  I have a few questions to ask and looking for some honest answers. 

I am a 37.5 year old woman and I want to join the services.  Actually my application is already it and I'm waiting to hear something.  I knew it would take some time, as I have applied for ROTP and that processes wasn't expected to start until about now-ish.  But, I have to ask... given my current life, what the likelyhood of getting through basic is.  I REALLY Want it, but that's never enough.  I have three kids (aged 5, 7 and 16 in the new year), and for the past 7 years I have been a stay at home mom not really staying in shape but never getting TOO far out of shape.  I have started working out (P90X, Running, Stretching, Push ups and situps) But feel my progress is SLOW!  Back in my younger year, getting in shape meant just cracking down for 3 weeks.  NOT NOW.  I can't yet run 2.5 km without stopping, but I Can do 11 push ups, 27 sit ups.  My body fat is above normal for my sex and height.  My core strength is weak and so is my endurance.  Do you think it's even possible for me to get into enough shape to START basic?  I know the folks at the recruitting centre say I can, I think they are paid to encourage us.  >:D 

Anyway, this is a dream I had since I was about 20 when I first started the process of joining (much younger and in much better shape) But found myself pregnant and that changed my approach to life.  Here I am 16 years later and I still want to do it.  Any advice you have would be greatly welcomed.
 

Kat Stevens

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For your core, get a stability ball and use it, all the time, they even make a great computer chair.  If you can find a place that does TRX training, give it a try, it will kick your butt.  As for running, well, run more, that's the only way to get better at it, a mill won't make you a better runner,  running will.  And no, you're not too old if you want it.
 

vonGarvin

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In short, no, you're not too old to start.  You'll find that the young 'uns will run farther, faster, etc with apparent greater ease; however, you have some advantages over them: experience and maturity.  You'll probably find that you will be more serious about getting into shape, etc.  Just keep working on it, and it will come. 

Running is simply a matter of mind over matter.  Just run for time and not distance.  Try starting to run for say 30 minutes or so, and don't worry about how fast.  Just start at home (or wherever) and head out for 15 minutes, and then turn around.  So long as you can "just talk" when you run and maintain that pace, you'll do fine.  Good luck, and keep us posted.
 

Loachman

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People far older than you have joined and made it through. It is as much determination as anything. There is no reason why you cannot succeed as well.
 

xena

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When I joined, the Compulsory Retirement Age was 55, and you had to be able to complete a six year Basic Engagement before they'd let you sign.  So, the oldest you could be was 49.

On my course in Cornwallis, we had someone who was exactly that.  A 49 year old grandmother.  She passed.  Even though I myself was in the "older than most" category at 22, we all looked up to her and were inspired by her.  Even the young gazelles that could run for hours.

You can do it, if you've put your mind to it.  And it sounds like you have.

All the best.
 

PMW

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I am 50 and will be starting my BMQ in January at CFB Borden.  I am reg force and my trade is cook.

Good luck in your application to the the ROTP program.
 

Scott

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And you get a hats off from me. I have nothing but respect for anyone who cooks for others in a military type situation (camps, rigs, fire posts, etc, I've seen them all) because you feed people good food for mere pennies a day (in this age of everything done by the lowest bidder)

I just came off a two week hitch offshore and my new best mate was the cook, those guys work their shifts, every second of them.

Anyway, I speak up because I don't see many cooks coming on here and I have a lot of time for anyone doing the trade.

Good luck to you
 

ballz

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TFLY,

As a mom with 3 kids you have probably faced a lot more difficult tasks than basic training has to offer. You are not "that" old either.

Time, like all things, is a resource, and you have the luxery of having lots of it. Since you'd just be applying, your BMOQ is *over* a year away (it wouldn't be until the summer of 2011). That is plenty of precious time to get into the shape you need to be in.

At 11 pushups, you are already past many of the 18-20 year old girls that were on my course, some who needed until week 8 to get the 9 pushups that were required. 27 situps is sufficient. Obviously "sufficient" is never enough, so don't stop working on your core, but, what I'm saying is, you're already clear for 2 categories of the CF Express Test. With over a YEAR to get the other 2 (you may already be in the clear for those as well).

If you need anymore encouragement than that, know that a 46 year old mom was on my BMOQ this summer, and was not lagging behind. In fact, she was the first female to clear the 6 foot wall (an obstacle on the obstacle course), and left all those 20 yr old young guns behind.

Also, you'll probably breeze through inspections if you're anything like the more experienced women that were on my course. Some of them needed more encouragement on physical stuff (no more than some of the young people that showed up out of shape though...) but I was often running to them for help when it was time to get ready for inspections.
 

Celticgirl

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I'm 38 and about to graduate from basic training this coming week. It has not come easily for me, though, I have to tell you. This is my second attempt at it this year, and I believe I'm in pretty good shape for my age. On my last Expres test, I got to level 7 on the shuttle run, 21 push-ups, 51 sit-ups, and 69 handgrip, but I still struggled with the physical aspects of the course considerably. Then again, some of the 'young' folks struggled, too...we had some recourses due to illness and injury these past 13 weeks. It's a demanding course. The 72 hours we spent in the FOB was probably the hardest part of this course for me physically (very little sleep and LOTS of activity), with the 13k ruck march coming in a close second. I have never been challenged like this before in my life, and I am glad I went through it - hard times and all. I am physically and mentally a stronger person for it.

So as for your own goals of joining, I would say just keep building your strength and endurance, and when YOU feel ready, then just go for it. If for some reason, you cannot finish the course, don't give up. Lots of people VR or are recoursed and end up being successful at a later time. For me, I will have completed a full 22 weeks of basic training when I graduate this week.  :p  But being able to become a member of this awesome team has been worth every painful minute of it.

Good luck to you on your journey!  :yellow:

 
T

TFLY

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WOW!!!  Thank you everyone!  This is so encouraging!  I will continue to work at being ready because I want to show myself and my children that anything can be accomplished if you put your mind to it. 

Celticgirl - Congratulations!  Enjoy every minute of your graduation and your new found strength!

Ballz - Great words of wisdom (you must have kids)  I sometimes forget that my "time" as a busy mom will probably help me in this task!  :)

Scott - I'm not hoping for Cook position, but I guess if I can't get my azz in gear to study more, that's where I will be.  Not that it's bad, I just do that now, want something new.  :blotto:

PMW- Good LUCK TO YOU  too!!!!

Xena - Thank you for your kinds words as well.  I also forget that as an older individual, I could actually set an example for some younger women out there.  :)





 

armychick2009

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TFLY,
I'm 31 and back in May when I decided to give this a whirl, I was easily 100 pounds overweight. I could barely walk 2.4 kms let alone run it.  Push-ups? yea right!

Since June 1st, I've lost 40 pounds. Still another 60 to go but, I can run 2.4 kms now. I can do the 13k rucksack "march" in 2 hrs, 10 minutes (cut-off is something like, 2 hrs 20-ish minutes)

Can I do push-ups? Still not the greatest, I can eek out three or four now. But, two weeks ago I couldn't do any. I plan on being able to in the next two weeks, getting up to 9 (the bare minimum) and by the time basic *hopefully* starts in April/May for me, I plan on being able to do at least 25. I will not merely be happy with the minimum but I will strive to get the exemption stage if possible. The only thing that I see right now that could stop me is the beep test... but - we'll cross that bridge when it comes!

If you are determined, and really give it a go -- you'll be able to do this! Seriously, if I can do it anyone can!




 

the 48th regulator

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This thread is no good without pictures.

We want to help you, but we need to see who we are working with!  :nod:

dileas

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