Getting set for military fitness test
February 11, 2009 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Army entrance fitness test on Monday. What should I do between now and then?

Monday morning, I'll be taking the basic physical fitness test for entrance to the Canadian Forces. The requirement for my age group is 19 push ups, 19 sit ups, a combined hand grip strength of 75kg, and an aerobic step test. I've been preparing for this for a couple of months. I'm quite worried about the push-ups and hand grip, since I've been struggling with push-ups and my last hand-grip reading (in early Dec) was just short of the requirement.

My recent regimen has been to do three sets of 30 push ups and sit ups daily, with a 5k run every other day (at about 6mph). Now that I've got just a few days left, what should I be doing, in terms of exercise and nutrition, to make sure I'm in the best possible shape on Monday morning?

The army's physical fitness guide is here (1.75MB PDF) if that helps.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
Best answer: Rest. Seriously.

Eat a good spaghetti dinner the night before.

If you aren't ready now, nothing you do until between now and Monday is going to help you.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 11:05 AM on February 11, 2009

Be adequately hydrated, too.
posted by nat at 11:08 AM on February 11, 2009

wow! I can't say I ever expected to see you in uniform. Funny thing, I was just perusing the CF website myself looking into what jobs I'd be interested in. According to my husband, their fitness standards have become more lax over the years, and I can't see you having too much trouble. I think even if you fall short, it's not a big deal- that's what basic is for.

Best of luck, old friend!
posted by sunshinesky at 11:08 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding on rest and eating properly so you have energy. I passed out on a selection weekend (and not even a proper one, just for my University army unit) when I had my blood taken because I'd not had a proper breakfast. Embarrassing in the extreme.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:11 AM on February 11, 2009

Best answer: Don't be totally inactive. Jog a little, do a few pushups and situps. Nothing that will make you sore.

Only do nothing on the day just beforehand. Eat breakfast and drink lots of water.
posted by Nonce at 11:24 AM on February 11, 2009

I would rest, eat, hydrate, and try to find an "easy" yoga class to go to a few times, to improve flexibility (and it will also help stamina some).
posted by Danf at 11:29 AM on February 11, 2009

Light exercise, stretching, eat well, rest.
posted by electroboy at 12:06 PM on February 11, 2009

I'd suggest not doing anything substantially different than you're doing now. A big change of habit will probably not have any big positive effect till monday.

I know of a few students who start doing all sorts of crazy "healthy" things before exams, like quitting smoking, or stopping to drink gallons of coffee every day, and then wondering why they're feeling bad for the next days.

Good luck :)
posted by cdx at 2:26 PM on February 11, 2009

Response by poster: I got a lot of sleep the night before, drank a lot of water, and had a good dinner and breakfast. The good news is that I passed the cardio component, which I imagine is where that advice would have been most important (thanks, guys).

Didn't pass the strength components, though. Retake in a month.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 6:01 PM on February 16, 2009

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