Preparing for Your Pre-Employment ADF Medical
Before joining the armed forces, you will have to undergo a pre-employment medical and fitness test. Understandably, this is a vital aspect of passing your selection for the Army, Navy or Air Force, as it allows these organisations to assess whether you have a base level of fitness that will enable you to operate in physically challenging environments, and it ensures that you are fit and healthy. The pre-employment medicals and tests can generally be split into two main areas that test physical strength and stamina, as well as health and wellbeing. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is an organisation that trains in a variety of different environments under stressful conditions, and so being physically fit is essential to promote and support mental fitness as well.
To prepare for the first aspect of the medical and fitness test, you just need to train regularly on the build up to your selection date and incorporate a combination of both cardiovascular and strength training. Each branch of the ADF has it's own unique entry requirements that differ for men and women; however, they all share three basic exercises: push-ups, sit-ups and the shuttle run. For example, for a male to pass the fitness test for the Army, he must complete 15 good-quality push-ups, 45 sit-ups with his feet held by his training partner and a score of 7.5 on the shuttle run.
The shuttle run is a great cardiovascular test tool because it forces the participants to run between two cones spaced 20m apart, thus forcing them to stop and turn frequently. This brings in an element of muscular endurance and tests the strength of the calves and ankles as well. The exercise gets progressively harder because participants must reach each cone in time with a beep, which gets faster and faster. The best way to train for this type of exercise is to mark out two points on a flat surface, preferably concrete or dry grass, and download a shuttle run app to an audio device. Cardiovascular endurance plays a key role, as does high intensity interval training (HIIT). Combining these different training techniques will prepare you for anything. The push-ups and sit-ups are also easy enough to train for, and you can easily incorporate them into your weekly training routine. However don't forget to train your whole body, as it's important to ensure you don't have any muscle imbalances.
The second part of the medical tests the flexibility of your joints, your dexterity and checks for any issues with your breathing, hearing and heart rate. You may be asked to perform a few unusual movements like hopping on one leg or performing a squat whilst walking, however this is all perfectly normal.