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Bettering Fitness Standards while Waiting for BMQ

Blamehoffman

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Hey all, first post on Army.ca, tomorrow I start preparing for BMQ (end of October) and by extension my military career. I was planning on training 5 days a week for the next 2 weeks, then ramping up to twice a day focusing on bodyweight exercises and running. BMQ Im not worried about at all,  but Im going into combat arms (Armoured Soldier) so Im wondering what I should do to make things easier for myself down the road.

Heres some personal info and my current reps/fitness levels if it helps at all
- male 5'8, 167lbs, aged 27
- pushups: 40
- situps 30
-pull ups: 10
- 5k time: 28 min

Thanks in advance
 

mariomike

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Blamehoffman said:
Im wondering what I should do to make things easier for myself down the road.

Heres some personal info and my current reps/fitness levels if it helps at all
- pushups: 40
- situps 30
-pull ups: 10
- 5k time: 28 min

Pushups- Try Reading Here First- Merged Thread 
https://army.ca/forums/threads/13145/post-1461257.html#msg1461257
19 pages.

Sit-Ups 
https://army.ca/forums/threads/12868/post-1473818.html#msg1473818
6 pages.

pull ups
https://www.google.ca/search?q=site%3Aarmy.ca+pull+ups&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-CA:IE-Address&ie=&oe=&rlz=1I7GGHP_en-GBCA592&gfe_rd=cr&ei=3KGYWc7oLI-R8QfwnqGQDQ&gws_rd=ssl

Running: Training, Problems, Techniques, Questions, etc 
http://army.ca/forums/threads/22788.100
19 pages.
 

Roger123

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How many times per week should one expect to run during basic training? Is the physical training the same for both BMQ and BMOQ?
 

BeyondTheNow

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Roger123 said:
How many times per week should one expect to run during basic training? Is the physical training the same for both BMQ and BMOQ?

Strictly going for a straight run and how often for any distance varies upon course, weather, staff, etc. There’s a ton of cardio in varying forms though and a lot of instances involving sprints/quickened pace for short durations. Good cardio pre-course is essential.

Ref same PT for BMQ & BMOQ: They have most of the same components physical-training wise, but they’re different courses, different durations and designed to develop different skills in their candidates.
 

Bbmoveup

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Roger123 said:
How many times per week should one expect to run during basic training? Is the physical training the same for both BMQ and BMOQ?

Have decent cardio and work out your legs such as squats etc a ton before basic training. I’m talking 2-3 times a week do leg training!

I’m week 8 and just got platinum on the force test and my legs have been sore since day 2 haha.

 

Coombs438

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Hey !
I just signed up to this because I recently enrolled in the army for combat engineer regular. I go to do my aptitude test on Monday :).

My biggest fear is that I will not be physically fit enough. But I read somewhere  that I don’t do my physical untill I go to BMQ (being optimistic that I’ll get threw the application process).

Any advice ?
 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=Coombs438]  that I don’t do my physical untill I go to BMQ (being optimistic that I’ll get threw the application process).

Any advice ?
[/quote]

Get in shape now. Change your diet, drop weight, goto the gym, start running.

Don't make your plan to shown up to basic training and get in shape there.

 

PuckChaser

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Jarnhamar said:
Get in shape now. Change your dirt, drop weight, goto the gym, start running.

Don't make your plan to shown up to basic training and get in shape there.
Why not? We encourage it with the fat camp they run and not having a PT test.
 

mariomike

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Coombs438 said:
Any advice ?

Three pages of advice,

Bettering Fitness Standards while Waiting for BMQ 
https://army.ca/forums/threads/17044.50

 

BeyondTheNow

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PuckChaser said:
fat camp they run

“Fat Camp” aka Warrior Platoon no longer exists. It’s now called TRP. (Training & Reintegration Program.) Yes, is has recruits who did not pass their FORCE during the 1st week of course. But the percentage of members on that pl who are there because of being fat, lazy and out of shape is low. There are many members on it because of illness (so awaiting recourse) and injuries, many severe in nature like I was. Most are eager to get back into training as fast as possible. I’m tired of the stigma which still surrounds the old Warrior Platoon. I do not, in the least, condone recruits showing up who can’t pass the FORCE. (Even at my worst shape I could still pass it, so there’s zero excuse.) That being said, there are people who get there unable to pass who are in fantastic shape. I was there with a few females who were 4’10” and under who were lean and fast and had excellent cardio and decent enough strength. They couldn’t pass it at first simply because of their size and technique. (The drag) All of them passed after re-trying the test 30 days later while working with PSP to build strength and work on technique. (Incidentally, all graduated course as well.) Anyway, I digress.

My point is that it needs to stop being referred to as “fat camp,” because that platoon can be very helpful to the members who are on it and taking advantage of it. Other recruits (and some staff) have no business turning their noses down at anyone on that platoon, because they don’t know why they’re there, nor how long they’ve been stuck there, nor how hard they’re working to get back. Unfortunately, yes, it’s the lazy few who make it harder for those who are there legitimately, with great attitudes working diligently. But it’s not “fat camp.”

To the OP: As stated in my post above: Zero excuse (unless you’re super short and tiny) for you to get there and not pass your FORCE. Cardio, pushups, weights, more cardio. If you’re all about gains, fine, but you’ll lose them at CFLRS. It’s cardio-intensive PT with some strength-training & conditioning thrown in, but heavy on the cardio. So weights/strength-training is good, but don’t neglect cardio.
 

Eye In The Sky

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BeyondTheNow said:
That being said, there are people who get there unable to pass who are in fantastic shape.

I can't agree with that, sorry.  I think anyone is reasonable shape can meet the mins of the FORCE eval.  I am getting old, I am not able to exercise, I am on TD a lot eating hotel/restaurant food and keeping a weird schedule...I can pass FORCE (silver).

The "minimums" for the FORCE test are EXTREMELY low.  I can walk, and not with a sense of purpose, the Intermittent Loaded Shuttles and pass.  However, the FORCE *test* isn't actually a test.  So, even passing it on doesn't necessarily reflect a given level of fitness, as it is meant to measure a mbr's operational fitness IAW the UOS. 

The FORCE Evaluation on its own is not a physical fitness test. It is a measure of operational fitness – a reflection of the CAF minimal physical employment standard related to common defence and security duties known as the Universality of Service principle.

*I was on staff (BMQ Instr) around '06-'07 when the PT test was removed from Reg Force application processes;  Warrior Platoon which was also called RFT (Recruit Fitness Training) was solely for 'those who could not pass the EXPRES test'.  There were other ST (Suspended Training) or Holding sub-units in the Mega...sounds like it has all been amalgamated into the org you mentioned.  It quickly went from a platoon to Coy size org, and most people in it had...a 'higher BMI'. 

 

BeyondTheNow

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BeyondTheNow said:
That being said, there are people who get there unable to pass who are in fantastic shape.

I can't agree with that, sorry.  I think anyone is reasonable shape can meet the mins of the FORCE eval.  I am getting old, I am not able to exercise, I am on TD a lot eating hotel/restaurant food and keeping a weird schedule...I can pass FORCE (silver).

The "minimums" for the FORCE test are EXTREMELY low.  I can walk, and not with a sense of purpose, the Intermittent Loaded Shuttles and pass.  However, the FORCE *test* isn't actually a test.  So, even passing it on doesn't necessarily reflect a given level of fitness, as it is meant to measure a mbr's operational fitness IAW the UOS. 

The FORCE Evaluation on its own is not a physical fitness test. It is a measure of operational fitness – a reflection of the CAF minimal physical employment standard related to common defence and security duties known as the Universality of Service principle.

*I was on staff (BMQ Instr) around '06-'07 when the PT test was removed from Reg Force application processes;  Warrior Platoon which was also called RFT (Recruit Fitness Training) was solely for 'those who could not pass the EXPRES test'.  There were other ST (Suspended Training) or Holding sub-units in the Mega...sounds like it has all been amalgamated into the org you mentioned.  It quickly went from a platoon to Coy size org, and most people in it had...a 'higher BMI'.


Did you read the examples I followed that statement with? I guess you’d have to see it. One girl, who stood at 4’10”, MAYbe 4’11”, and weighed 100-105lbs soaking wet couldn’t do the dummy drag when she got there. She could run circles around the guys though, was a hockey goalie, could throw out pushups like no one’s business. Think of the drag ratio at that height and weight. All she needed was some fine-tuning and yes, it was her technique. So, say what you will. Just because you didn’t experience it/witness it first-hand should not exclude you from being able to imagine how easy it would be for a person of that stature to struggle. And like I said, she passed and graduated (with a goddamn rucksack that went down to almost her knees, ffs.) The girl was in good shape. As were the others. And I’ve also witnessed males, who were tall and in great shape blow a portion of the test simply because of technique. It happens.
 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=Eye In The Sky]

I can't agree with that, sorry. 
[/quote]

Agree with your disagreement.
 

BeyondTheNow

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Jarnhamar said:
Agree with your disagreement.

Based on? Thanks for your contribution. I can rhyme off any number examples of it happening, both RegF in multiple locations & PRes. I’ve watched perfectly fit people eff it up. Is it the norm? No. Most have zero issues. But it happens. Nerves, trying to go too fast, too slow, whatever. It’s not as much of an anomaly as one might think.
 

Eye In The Sky

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BeyondTheNow said:
Did you read the examples I followed that statement with? I guess you’d have to see it. One girl, who stood at 4’10”, MAYbe 4’11”, and weighed 100-105lbs soaking wet couldn’t do the dummy drag when she got there. She could run circles around the guys though, was a hockey goalie, could throw out pushups like no one’s business. Think of the drag ratio at that height and weight. All she needed was some fine-tuning and yes, it was her technique. So, say what you will. Just because you didn’t experience it/witness it first-hand should not exclude you from being able to imagine how easy it would be for a person of that stature to struggle. And like I said, she passed and graduated (with a goddamn rucksack that went down to almost her knees, ffs.) The girl was in good shape. As were the others. And I’ve also witnessed males, who were tall and in great shape blow a portion of the test simply because of technique. It happens.

Here's a more important point about 'what I did/did not witness';  I witnessed recruits there, as an instructor.  I've witnessed recruits, TQ3 students, PLQ students...Phase 3 Officer students..over many, many years.  For the record, I started Instructing on courses such as BMQ in June 1993;  almost 25 years ago.  So, can we agree I've probably seen more 'trainees' than you have and in a much wider variety of circumstances?  Field training, operations, courses...my opinion comes from a broader swath than simply watching a few people at CFLRS (which I did, as an instructor too).

Point #1.  If you can't move a sandbag weight because of technique, in a gym, in PT gear...you won't be able to move someone my size down the tac tube, thru the overwing hatch, and off the wing...maybe into a 10 man liferaft in sea state 6.  You won't be able to drag someone who just got hit out of the kill zone/line of effective enemy fire, who is full-up battle rattle and you're tired because you've been up for 3 days.  You won't be able to extract a casualty on a pitching, rolling ship that has a fire and they're an oxygen casualty.  And you're wearing all the gear they wear on ships.

UOS...it exists.  Might it change?  Perhaps.  But right now, the FORCE test isn't about whether you can drag a sandbag 'person' in a gym, in shorts and sneakers after a determined rest period.  It is supposed to predict if you can do the stuff I mentioned in the above para, under stress.  If you're struggling with the sneakers in gym test, to pass with the 'mimimum', you aren't going to be able to drag me out of the burning aircraft wreckage, or the armoured vehicle with the ammo load and diesel about to brew up, or get me up the ladder on a ship that is listing because it's sinking.

Point #2 FORCE isn't a PT test.  Have a read.  https://www.cfmws.com/en/AboutUs/PSP/DFIT/Fitness/FORCEprogram/Documents/FORCE%20Operation%20Manual%20PDFs/FORCE%20Operation%20Manual%20-%20Chapter%201.pdf

1. The acronym “FORCE” stands for “Fitness for Operational Requirements of Canadian Armed Forces Employment”. The FORCE Program is the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) fitness program.

2. The FORCE Evaluation on its own is not a physical fitness test. It is a measure of operational fitness – a reflection of the CAF minimal physical employment standard related to common defence and security duties known as the Universality of Service principle.

3. Some trades within the CAF require higher levels of fitness or operational readiness, but the minimum standards for the FORCE Evaluation are meant to reflect the baseline CAF physical employment standard that everyone must meet.

4. The FORCE Evaluation is designed to capture the movement patterns, energy systems, and muscle groups recruited in the performance of common military duties. Common duties include tasks that anyone within the CAF could be called upon to perform regardless of environment, age, gender, rank or occupation, and are represented by an evaluation known as the Common Military Task Fitness Evaluation (CMTFE).

5. The CMTFE includes the following tasks:
a. Escape to Cover
b. Vehicle Extrication
c. Picking and Digging
d. Stretcher Carry
e. Sandbag Fortification
f. Pickets and Wire Carry
6. The scientific relationship between the CMTFE and the FORCE Evaluation allows the performance and standards of the six common military tasks of the CMTFE to be reflected by the four tasks of the FORCE Evaluation.

with the rucksack down around her knees FFS

Imagine if it was a combat loaded ruck, or a combat 'go bag'.  water, rats, ammo, batteries for radios, the radio, and platoon kit like shovels.  Not to mention weapons systems.  Ever carry a C6 around for a couple of days? 

I remember a recruit in my section on a BMQ in 1998.  Same type;  short, slight build.  She was going infantry.  passed the entrance PT test.  The end of our FTX, they did a 15ish km forced march with Full Marching Order.  She didn't make it 1 km.  I carried my ruck on my back, and hers on my front from the better part of the distance from Hersey North/South OP to the hard shelter in DDT1 behind Lindsey Valley.  Before we got there, she ended up on the safety veh...carrying only FFO (webbing) and her wpn.  She ended up at the BHosp.  I brought the rest of my section in from DDT1 thru range control back to H23.

My point?  Point #3  Your 'ruck sack was around her knees' course mate probably wouldn't be able to carry that ruck that far with above the "min required kit" for the old ruckmarch test (BFT). But...we don't carry the BFT kitlist on our backs when we are headed to the 2 way live range.  Can't do it in training likely equals can't do it on ops/in combat. :2c:

Don't let your feelings from your experiences on Warrior/'insert name of the year here' and how you felt people perceived you make you blind to my points.  Getting removed from course sucks;  I was medically RTUd from 2 courses in my career.  I also never ran in the 'fast group' in Cornwallis...
 

Jarnhamar

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BeyondTheNow said:
Based on? Thanks for your contribution. I can rhyme off any number examples of it happening, both RegF in multiple locations & PRes. I’ve watched perfectly fit people eff it up. Is it the norm? No. Most have zero issues. But it happens. Nerves, trying to go too fast, too slow, whatever. It’s not as much of an anomaly as one might think.

You're welcome.

How many force evaluations have you been a part of?
Are you also a force evaluator at your unit?

You said there are fit people unable to pass the test. To me that doesn't sound like someone screwing up once, as you tried to suggest after the fact, but rather they can't pass the force test period.  "unable to pass".

Should we make the test even easier because someone is 4 foot 1 and its not fair to them?

 

Teager

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Coombs438 said:
Hey !
I just signed up to this because I recently enrolled in the army for combat engineer regular. I go to do my aptitude test on Monday :).

My biggest fear is that I will not be physically fit enough. But I read somewhere  that I don’t do my physical untill I go to BMQ (being optimistic that I’ll get threw the application process).

Any advice ?

If your going as a combat engineer get in shape. I've been out for awhile but my QL3 for combat engineer was way more physically demanding than BMQ. The trade itself is a physically demanding trade.
 

BeyondTheNow

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Eye In The Sky said:
Here's a more important point about 'what I did/did not witness';  I witnessed recruits there, as an instructor.  I've witnessed recruits, TQ3 students, PLQ students...Phase 3 Officer students..over many, many years.

If you can't move a sandbag weight because of technique, in a gym, in PT gear...you won't be able to move someone my size down the tac tube, thru the overwing hatch, and off the wing...maybe into a 10 man liferaft in sea state 6.  You won't be able to drag someone who just got hit out of the kill zone/line of effective enemy fire, who is full-up battle rattle and you're tired because you've been up for 3 days.  You won't be able to extract a casualty on a pitching, rolling ship that has a fire and they're an oxygen casualty.  And you're wearing all the gear they wear on ships.

UOS...it exists.  Might it change?  Perhaps.  But right now, the FORCE test isn't about whether you can drag a sandbag 'person' in a gym, in shorts and sneakers after a determined rest period.  It is supposed to predict if you can do the stuff I mentioned in the above para, under stress.  If you're struggling with the sneakers in gym test, to pass with the 'mimimum', you aren't going to be able to drag me out of the burning aircraft wreckage, or the armoured vehicle with the ammo load and diesel about to brew up, or get me up the ladder on a ship that is listing because it's sinking.

FORCE isn't a PT test.  Have a read.  https://www.cfmws.com/en/AboutUs/PSP/DFIT/Fitness/FORCEprogram/Documents/FORCE%20Operation%20Manual%20PDFs/FORCE%20Operation%20Manual%20-%20Chapter%201.pdf

1. The acronym “FORCE” stands for “Fitness for Operational Requirements of Canadian Armed Forces Employment”. The FORCE Program is the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) fitness program.

2. The FORCE Evaluation on its own is not a physical fitness test. It is a measure of operational fitness – a reflection of the CAF minimal physical employment standard related to common defence and security duties known as the Universality of Service principle.

3. Some trades within the CAF require higher levels of fitness or operational readiness, but the minimum standards for the FORCE Evaluation are meant to reflect the baseline CAF physical employment standard that everyone must meet.

4. The FORCE Evaluation is designed to capture the movement patterns, energy systems, and muscle groups recruited in the performance of common military duties. Common duties include tasks that anyone within the CAF could be called upon to perform regardless of environment, age, gender, rank or occupation, and are represented by an evaluation known as the Common Military Task Fitness Evaluation (CMTFE).

5. The CMTFE includes the following tasks:
a. Escape to Cover
b. Vehicle Extrication
c. Picking and Digging
d. Stretcher Carry
e. Sandbag Fortification
f. Pickets and Wire Carry
6. The scientific relationship between the CMTFE and the FORCE Evaluation allows the performance and standards of the six common military tasks of the CMTFE to be reflected by the four tasks of the FORCE Evaluation.

Imagine if it was a combat loaded ruck, or a combat 'go bag'.  water, rats, ammo, batteries for radios, the radio, and platoon kit like shovels.  Not to mention weapons systems.  Ever carry a C6 around for a couple of days? 

I remember a recruit in my section on a BMQ in 1998.  Same type;  short, slight build.  She was going infantry.  passed the entrance PT test.  The end of our FTX, they did a 15ish km forced march with Full Marching Order.  She didn't make it 1 km.  I carried my ruck on my back, and hers on my front from the better part of the distance from Hersey North/South OP to the hard shelter in DDT1 behind Lindsey Valley.  Before we got there, she ended up on the safety veh...carrying only FFO (webbing) and her wpn.  She ended up at the BHosp.  I brought the rest of my section in from DDT1 thru range control back to H23.

My point?  Your 'ruck sack was around her knees' course mate probably wouldn't be able to carry that ruck that far with above the "min required kit" for the old ruckmarch test (BFT). But...we don't carry the BFT kitlist on our backs when we are headed to the 2 way live range.  :2c:

I’m not sure what your point is. You didn’t state any facts or sources that I’m not aware of. Moreover, I don’t disagree with you. I’m simply stating I’ve personally watched people screw up the FORCE. For any number of reasons. Even because they were showboating.

I didn’t create the FORCE nor do I have a say in what it is supposed to be representative of. Being an instructor or not has no bearing on standing there and personally witnessing those participating. It’s even more enlightening when just sitting and observing, period. As neither an assessor or a participant—just watching.

I agree that the FORCE is easy. I said that in my post. But, and it’s obviously a moot point, people who are in good shape fail to meet standard. Disagree? Fine, disagree all you want. But I’ve watched it. Repeatedly. And I fail to understand, with all your experience, how you never saw an individual fail to meet standard for an error as simple as how they were trying to complete the specific item.

We’re debating in a circle though. And my experience and time-period in witnessing certain things isn’t comparable to yours. It is, however, equally as valid. That’s my  :2c:
 

Eye In The Sky

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BeyondTheNow said:
I’m not sure what your point is.

If you re-read, there were several.  I thought I made them somewhat apparent.  But...I went back and made what I see as the 3 points stick out.

You didn’t state any facts or sources that I’m not aware of.

If you want to discount all the experience, sure.  No facts or sources.  :D

Being an instructor or not has no bearing on standing there and personally witnessing those participating.

Sure it does;  I've watched people do PT tests and, more importantly, perform in the field or in the air, for many many years.  That you said that tells me you've never instructed before, lead young soldiers on anything as simple as a BMQ course.

I agree that the FORCE is easy. I said that in my post. But, and it’s obviously a moot point, people who are in good shape fail to meet standard. Disagree? Fine, disagree all you want. But I’ve watched it. Repeatedly. And I fail to understand, with all your experience, how you never saw an individual fail to meet standard for an error as simple as how they were trying to complete the specific item.

Who said I never saw a trainee fail?  Or someone who wasn't on course, just doing the EXPRES test , or the old 2 X 10s, or the BFT, or the firemans' carry after the BFT ruck, or the PT400 test, or the initial PT test when I was at the CABC (Cdn Airborne Center, as it was called back in the day...jump school).  I've, personally, never failed a PT test of the....6? different versions of it I've seen now (of which, I felt the PT400 test was the best).

You've watch people in a gym floor.  Others like me have watched them in the field, on operations, stuff like that.  I'll trust my gut from my experience over what you witnessed at CFLRS (I was an instr there;  I mention it again because you've seemed to missed that); you're not exactly detached from the topic personally;  as you've said, you ended up on Warrior.  I see an element of emotion in your responses; I know what stigma went along with being in that org within CFLRS - as mentioned, I was there when RFT/Warrior started and grew quickly.  I also witnessed what staff and candidates thought/said about recruits who went there.

We’re debating in a circle though.

It happens.  ;D

BLUF - for anyone going to CFLRS...your start goal can be "pass the FORCE test".  your next one should be "IMPROVE ON THAT".
 
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