This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
you can’t rest on your laurels. In every aspect of your work. you’ll need to start training now. you will set the standard for the men and women under your command – and this includes physical fitness. Life in the RAF is physically demanding – not simply in terms of running long distances or lifting heavy weights.03 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS FITNESS IN THE ROYAL AIR FORCE As an officer in the Royal Air Force you’ll be expected to lead from the front. including a six-week fitness programme which will bring you up to a minimum level of fitness. which includes a fitness assessment. It also contains advice on getting fit. And the IOT course itself will make huge demands on your physical and mental stamina. TRAINING TIP You don’t need expensive equipment or gym membership to get fit – just a pair of well-fitting exercise trainers and the right attitude. and if you are already fit. Before you’re allowed to start Initial Officer Training (IOT) you have to attend the Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre (OASC). This booklet tells you what to expect from both the OASC fitness assessment and the IOT course.uk/careers . Physical fitness not only enables you to keep your body going.mod. raf. it also keeps your mind sharp when the heat is on. but making decisions in stressful situations and working effectively when you may be suffering from lack of sleep. If you’re not already fit.
you must first attend OASC. You will then have to perform as many press-ups and sit-ups as you can in one minute. The pace is set by a series of electronic bleeps. On the next page are the minimum standards for all aspects of the fitness assessment – they are determined by your age and gender. This four-day selection process includes a fitness assessment – to ensure that all personnel have a basic level of fitness. and for this reason the assessment is often called the ‘bleep test’. More will be expected of you once you join – so don’t stop training! .04 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS THE FITNESS ASSESSMENT To become an RAF officer. so you should be aiming to beat these standards fairly easily. TRAINING TIP The OASC fitness assessment only represents a base level of fitness. Remember: this only represents the minimum standard we expect. The first stage of the fitness assessment consists of completing as many 20-metre shuttle runs as you can – at a steadily increasing speed. IOT will push you far harder.
03 FEMALE Age 17–24 25–29 30– 34 Score 6.10 5.10 8.10 8.06 5.uk/careers .03 PRESS-UPS MALE Age Number (per minute) 17–24 25–29 30– 34 SIT-UPS MALE Age 17–24 25–29 30– 34 13 12 11 FEMALE Age 17–24 25–29 30– 34 Number (per minute) 10 9 8 Number (per minute) 35 31 27 FEMALE Age 17–24 25–29 30– 34 Number (per minute) 25 22 19 raf.05 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS SHUTTLE RUN MALE Age Score 17–24 25–29 30– 34 9.mod.
so you should be looking to get even fitter. The RAF fitness programme outlined in this booklet is an excellent way of improving your all-round fitness. if you are very close to the minimum standard and have excelled in other areas. your fitness training shouldn’t stop. so if you fail the fitness assessment it is highly unlikely that you’ll pass the course. However. A lot more will be expected of you when you start IOT. we may give you the benefit of the doubt. your Offer of Service may be withdrawn. If you fail Physical fitness is one of the key qualities we’re looking for during OASC. If you fail at this stage. why not start now? TRAINING TIP RAF officers are people who don’t give up. Regardless of whether you pass or fail. You will go to the RAF College Cranwell for a familiarisation visit eight weeks before your IOT course is due to start and take the fitness assessment again. but keep going. But you will have to work on your fitness.06 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE FITNESS ASSESSMENT? If you pass First of all. remember that the fitness assessment only represents the minimum standard. Training can be tough. so if you’re looking to do well at both OASC and IOT. .
If you arrive fit. There are two very good reasons for this: You are less likely to fail the course or have to repeat a stage The single largest reason for people failing during IOT is that they are not fit enough.07 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS FITNESS DURING IOT Passing the OASC fitness assessment is just the start. you’ll help to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you.mod. raf.uk/careers . you’ll get more out of the course and give yourself the best possible chance of passing. TRAINING TIP Set yourself clear. You’ll find the course easier If you are fit when you arrive. achievable fitness goals – it will give you something to aim for. IOT is a physically demanding course and we expect you to be fit before you start.
But IOT isn’t just an endless routine of timed runs and press-ups. ‘Looking back. The physical demands will become greater as the course progresses.’ . so you’ll need to continually reassess your fitness level and set yourself new goals. I wish I’d done more fitness training before I arrived at Cranwell – it makes such a difference. Physical fitness is the best way of preparing your body (and mind) for this challenge. so arriving in good shape will impress your training staff and demonstrate that you possess the self-motivation that we look for in our officers. You’ll be tested on arrival. with long days and often very little sleep.08 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS FITNESS GOALS IOT will test you physically in ways you’ve probably never experienced. We’re just looking for a basic level of fitness and a willingness to put in the required effort. and at various stages throughout the course – if you fail to meet the standards we expect of you. You’ll be following a demanding training programme. you’ll have to repeat that stage of your training. We don’t expect superhuman strength or endurance on day one of the course. We see fitness as a personal responsibility.
Flexibility Your body’s suppleness and range of movement. muscular endurance and flexibility. Aerobic How efficiently you can transport oxygen around your bloodstream – effectively. so it is essential that your fitness programme incorporates both aerobic and muscular endurance elements. martial arts. There is an effective combination of aerobic and muscular endurance exercises.mod. a stretching programme and advice on diet and lifestyle. Examples of muscular endurance exercises: press-ups.’ THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FITNESS Fitness has many different components. The key ones for you are aerobic fitness. If you want to prepare for life in the RAF. yoga. how long you are able to continue exercising before fatigue sets in. sit-ups. it’s the perfect way to start. rowing. tricep dips. Examples of flexibility exercises: stretching. Muscular endurance The power and endurance of your muscles. swimming.09 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS ‘I never thought of myself as a “fitness” kind of person before. dorsal raises. cycling. . and that you warm up and cool down before and after exercising. Examples of aerobic exercise: running. gymnastics. IOT will demand all these elements.uk/careers The next 13 pages outline the RAF health and fitness programme. but I really enjoyed it during IOT and I’ve kept it up ever since. raf. and their ability to work against resistance.
try to run on grass rather than tarmac or concrete – it isn’t so hard on your joints. Wear appropriate footwear – a pair of running trainers will improve your performance and lessen the chance of injury. . TRAINING TIP Try finding someone to train with – you can keep each other motivated. above all. during and after exercising. If possible. Drink plenty of water before. talk to your doctor before you start. But it needn’t be – proper preparation will ensure your fitness training is effective. safe and.10 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS GETTING STARTED One of the hardest parts of a fitness programme is getting started. Dress to train: comfortable sports clothing will help you train more effectively and you should always put on something warm after exercising. Here are some tips for getting off on the right foot: If you’re planning to increase the amount of physical activity you do. If you experience pain or sudden shortness of breath when training – stop! See a doctor before exercising again. enjoyable.
there is no better way.uk/careers . It’s been put together by RAF Physical Education staff and is specifically designed to prepare you for the rigours of training. It’s simple to follow and doesn’t require any specialist equipment or gym membership.11 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS THE RAF FITNESS PROGRAMME The following pages outline the official RAF fitness programme. at first you really dread fitness training. so you can fit it in around work or study. ‘It’s strange. so it will quickly develop your all-round fitness. but by the time you get to the end of IOT – because you’ve got so much fitter – you find yourself really looking forward to it. The programme contains both aerobic and muscular endurance exercises.mod. If you want to prepare yourself for IOT. We’ve also ensured that it isn’t a massive time commitment. as well as flexibility advice.’ raf.
Now that your muscles are warm and the blood is flowing. you can start stretching. in a slow. You should do this for about five minutes and it should leave you sweating slightly and breathing a little more heavily. This prepares your body for training and helps prevent injury. SIDES SHOULDERS CALF HAMSTRINGS .12 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS WARMING UP AND COOLING DOWN Before you do any form of exercise. it is vital that you warm up. Start off with a gentle exercise that uses the whole body – jogging or cycling is ideal. This means taking your muscles beyond their normal range of movement. Never bounce the stretch. Hold each stretch for 10–20 seconds. Some points to remember: Stretch gently. controlled manner.
try low-impact exercise like swimming or cycling. simply follow the same programme as you did to warm up: a gentle exercise like jogging or cycling to loosen the muscles.mod. Remember: always warm up and cool down – it’s the best way to prevent injury. If you are able. help you feel less stiff and lessen the chance of cramp or injury. This will help the body relax after training. QUADS INNER THIGHS GLUTEALS raf.uk/careers . it is also vital that you cool down. and then complete the full stretching programme. TRAINING TIP Make sure that you go to a sports shop to get a pair of trainers that are designed for exercise and fit you properly – not fashion trainers.13 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS Cooling down Just as important as warming up. To do this. Injuries and illness Don’t exercise when injured or if you feel unwell – you will only make matters worse.
This is to ensure a gradual progression in your training. This means fitness building exercises that don’t put pressure on your joints (in the way that running will). ‘moderate’ and ‘high’ intensity. ask a training instructor at your local leisure centre for help and guidance.14 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS TRAINING ADVICE Training ‘intensity’ Throughout this fitness programme. you will see references to exercising at ‘gentle’. cannot talk easily Low-impact aerobic exercise One of the key components of this fitness programme is what we call ‘low-impact aerobic exercise’. These include: Cycling Swimming Rowing TRAINING TIP If you’re not sure how to do these exercises. sweating. . Gentle Can breathe normally Moderate Hard enough to increase breathing but can still talk relatively normally High Heavier breathing.
Put your hands in line with your shoulders. DO NOT grip your hands. Alternative: move your feet further away from the bench. PRESS-UPS Position: lie face down with your feet together and toes on the floor. then lower to the floor. raf. Action: starting with your elbows bent. Action: raise your head and shoulders off the floor in a slow. Repeat.mod. Alternative: do at running pace. Repeat. Alternative: put your knees on the ground – keeping your back straight. Position: stand in front of a bench. Repeat. then lower your chest until it is 10 cm (4 inches) off the floor. Place your hands on the edge. fingers facing forwards. Repeat. STEP-UPS SIT-UPS Position: lie flat on your back with your chin on your chest and your knees at 90 degrees. push up until your arms are straight and then lower to the starting position. Action: step onto the bench with your left foot. Alternative: cross your hands behind your back. Alternative: put your hands on your thighs and slide them up to your knees. DO NOT pull your head up with your hands.uk/careers . Keep your feet on the floor. box or step about 30 cm (12 inches) high. Repeat. TRICEP DIPS DORSAL RAISES Position: sit in front of a bench. Then step down with your left foot. controlled motion. box or step about 30 cm (12 inches) high. Here are the exercises that make up the RAF muscular endurance circuit – and the correct way to perform them. Action: raise your head and shoulders until your elbows touch your knees. Action: push up until your arms are straight. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees at 90 degrees. and bring the right foot down to join it. Place your hands at the side of your head. with your fingers facing forwards. then return to the starting position.15 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS THE RAF MUSCULAR ENDURANCE CIRCUIT One of the core components of the RAF fitness programme is a circuit of muscular endurance exercises. Position: lie face down with your feet together and your hands at the side of your head. then bring your right foot up to join it.
16 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS THE RAF FITNESS PROGRAMME The next six pages outline the six-week RAF fitness programme. If you follow this programme you will find your fitness improves dramatically. . Each activity has a tick box so that you can record your progress. WEEK ONE Mon Fitness test (record your scores below): – 1.4 km) in your best time – As many press-ups as you can manage in 1 minute – As many sit-ups as you can manage in 1 minute Tues Low-impact aerobic activity for 20 minutes at gentle intensity Weds 2 circuits: – 15 tricep dips – 20 sit-ups – 7 press-ups – 15 dorsal raises – 25 step-ups Thurs Rest day Fri 20 minute run at moderate intensity Sat Repeat Wednesday’s muscular endurance circuit Sun Rest day TRAINING TIP Make a note of your fitness test results (Monday) – you will take the test again at the end of the programme. so you can see how much you’ve improved.5 mile run (2.
’ raf. but before long I was actually really enjoying it.uk/careers .mod.17 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS WEEK TWO Mon 20 minute run at moderate intensity Tues Low-impact aerobic activity for 25 minutes at gentle intensity Weds 2 circuits: – 17 tricep dips – 23 sit-ups – 8 press-ups – 17 dorsal raises – 27 step-ups Thurs Rest day Fri 20 minute run at moderate intensity Sat Repeat Wednesday’s muscular endurance circuit Sun Rest day ‘Getting started on my fitness was definitely the hardest part.
18 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS WEEK THREE Mon 25 minute run at moderate intensity Tues Low-impact aerobic activity for 25 minutes at gentle intensity Weds 2 circuits: – 19 tricep dips – 26 sit-ups – 9 press-ups – 19 dorsal raises – 29 step-ups Thurs Rest day Fri 25 minute run at moderate intensity Sat Repeat Wednesday’s muscular endurance circuit Sun Rest day/swim ‘IOT tests you all the time – not just physically. the better you are at handling the pressure.’ . but mentally as well. The fitter you are.
mod.uk/careers . raf.19 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS WEEK FOUR Mon 20 minute run at moderate intensity Tues Low-impact aerobic activity for 30 minutes at gentle intensity Weds 2 circuits: – 21 tricep dips – 29 sit-ups – 10 press-ups – 21 dorsal raises – 31 step-ups Thurs Rest day Fri 25 minute run at moderate intensity Sat Repeat Wednesday’s muscular endurance circuit Sun Rest day/swim TRAINING TIP Don’t be tempted to cut corners when no one is watching – you’re only cheating yourself.
20 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS WEEK FIVE Mon 30 minute run at moderate to high intensity Tues Low-impact aerobic activity for 30 minutes at moderate intensity Weds 2 circuits: – 23 tricep dips – 32 sit-ups – 11 press-ups – 23 dorsal raises – 33 step-ups Sun Rest day/swim Thurs Rest day Fri 30 minute run at moderate intensity Sat Repeat Wednesday’s muscular endurance circuit TRAINING TIP Don’t let fitness become a chore – find an exercise or sport that you enjoy and make it part of your weekly routine. You’ll find you begin to look forward to it! .
21 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS WEEK SIX Mon 30 minute run at moderate to high intensity Tues Low-impact aerobic activity for 30 minutes at moderate intensity Weds 3 circuits: – 25 tricep dips – 35 sit-ups – 12 press-ups – 25 dorsal raises – 35 step-ups Thurs Rest day Fri 30 minute run at moderate to high intensity Sat Fitness test (record your scores below): – 1.5 mile run (2.uk/careers . raf. you need to keep training to stay at that level.mod.4 km) in your best time – As many press-ups as you can manage in 1 minute – As many sit-ups as you can manage in 1 minute Sun Rest day/swim TRAINING TIP Fitness is progressive – once you’ve reached a good standard.
Wrong fuel – Fatty foods (fast food. Make sure you drink lots of water instead. It causes approximately 30 per cent of all cancer deaths and is a major contributor to heart disease and breathing conditions. making it harder for you to absorb oxygen. but avoid eating just before you exercise. Fresh fruit and vegetables are good energy sources and also provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals. chips) or foods with a lot of sugar (chocolate. Smoking Smoking is responsible for thousands of deaths every year. blocked arteries and high cholesterol. Diet For an engine to run at its best. Protein foods like meat. sweets. Exercise makes you dehydrated and alcohol increases this effect. Right fuel – Carbohydrates such as potatoes. rice. it needs the right fuel – and the same is true of your body. It will make it harder for you to exercise effectively and is also bad for you. bread and pasta will give your body the energy it needs. fish and soya will help you build muscle.22 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS A LIFESTYLE CHOICE Exercise is a vital part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. . Alcohol Try to limit your intake of alcohol – especially before and after training. fizzy drinks) can lead to weight gain. Indian and Chinese takeaways. but it isn’t enough on its own. If you want a healthy tomorrow – quit smoking today. It also reduces your ability to exercise by damaging your lungs. TRAINING TIP Eat healthily.
or to find out about the range of careers on offer.uk/careers .mod. For more information about life in the Royal Air Force.23 FIT TO LEAD PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL RAF OFFICERS CONTACT INFORMATION If you have any further questions. or want to know more about the OASC fitness assessment. visit raf. please contact your local Armed Forces Careers Office.
religion. and offers opportunity to all. gender. a rewarding career and skills for life. for reasons of combat effectiveness. 3/06 Prepared for the Royal Air Force by COI AIRF 270316 The information in this booklet was correct at the time of publication but may have changed since.The RAF vision An Air Force that: is trained and equipped to generate air power as a vital contribution to the security of the UK and as a force for good in the world. irrespective of race. sexual orientation or social background. © Crown Copyright 2006 . is proud of its heritage but modern and flexible. Please check with our careers information staff for current details. Equal opportunities The RAF values every individual’s unique contribution. ethnic origin. However. the RAF Regiment is open to men only. fosters professionalism and team spirit founded on commitment and self-discipline. PUB 771 Printed in the UK.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.