Probably one of the best posts I've ever read on these forums. User: Pusser
Pusser said:Sometimes I think folks take the physical fitness requirements for BMQ a little bit too seriously. The way some folks talk, you would think that the CF is made up entirely of muscle-bound triathletes and the only reason they're not on the Olympic team is that their dedication to the defence of the nation takes precedence. Sadly, that's just not the case. Instead, the CF is made up of a lot of very average people for whom, I would argue, the collective level of health and fitness is only marginally above that of the general population. Yes there are a lot of people who are exceptionally fit, but then there are also a lot who are not.
Some folks will show up at BMQ with a good level of fitness. Some folks will show up in exceptional shape and will actually gain weight and go down in fitness because the course won't challenge them enough. There will also be a few who won't have done a thing beforehand and will struggle. Some folks will fail out over fitness, so it's good that you want to be proactive and get in shape before you get there. It will make things easier, but don't get too stressed about it. Did the recruiting centre give you a pamphlet on preparing for BMQ (they used to do that). If they did, that's a good starting point.
Here is my personal advice on getting ready:
1) Eat a normal diet. When I say normal, I mean what most people would consider a normal balanced diet including lots of fruits and vegetables with reasonable amounts of cabohydrates and protein. Unless you need to lose or gain a significant amount of weight, don't do anything strange (e.g. 45-50 almonds? Eight cherry pits? Eat the cherries. Spit out the pits). Have a sandwich and eat a diet you can stick to. If you deprive yourself or force yourself to eat things you don't enjoy, you will fail. If you're really concerned about this, talk to a professional nutritionist/dietician, not some dude at the gym. In my opinion, if you're eating a proper diet, you should have no need for supplements.
2) Exercise, but don't get stupid. It is worth noting that the CF has recently come out against any kind of extreme fitness training (e.g. "crossfit"). Here's what I do:
a) Bicycle to and from work (about 30-35 minutes each way) three days per week. Not only is this good cardio exercise, it's cheaper than driving or taking the bus and is also more comfortable and faster than the bus. Furthermore, it kills to two birds with one stone. I use a heart rate monitor and try to stay in "Zone 3" for the trip.
b) Rugby practice two days per week (I bicycle to and from that too). Soon to be replaced with hockey twice a week.
c) Weight training two days per week. I start with some light cardio (stationary bike and elliptical) to get the blood flowing and then do a "full-body" workout to cover all the muscle groups. My goal is to build endurance and tone, so I work with lighter weights and do more reps than I would if I was trying to bulk up. These workouts also include push-ups and sit-ups in strict accordance with the CF protocol to ensure that my "muscle-memory" will tell that it feels right on the test. The "test" (which is the thing you really need to worry about on BMQ) is the CF ExPres Test and consists of:
1) 20m shuttle run (run 20m turn, run back, repeat until you reach the required stage). Each stage is one minute. Stage 1 is a slow jog and each additional stage increases in speed by 0.5km/h. The stage required to pass is determined by age and sex.
2) Grip test. You squeeze a measuring device with each hand. Again pass level is determined by age and sex.
3) As many continuous push-ups as you can do. Once you stop the test is over, but there is no time limit. Pass level is, you guessed it, determined by sex and age.
4) As many sit-ups as you can do in one minute. Do I need to repeat the age and sex thing?
With exercise, just like your diet, it has to fit with your lifestyle, or you will give up. Recognize, you may have to change your lifestyle. I do not suggest you adopt any kind of routine that revolves around three-hour daily workouts or exotic diets. You won't be able to keep these up once you get into CF training and the result of that can be quite damaging. Be careful of repetitive strain injuries. Give your muscles time to recover. Aerobic exercise (e.g. running, cycling, other cardio) needs about 24 hours of recovery time, while anaerobic activities (e.g. weight training) require at least 48 hours.
Finally, realize that there is a lot more to BMQ than physical fitness. You need to concentrate on what they're teaching you and pass the tests.