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Willo1546080765

Advice if you want to prepare for a fitness test.

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Willo1546080765

I thought those of you who are preparing for a fitness test, or just wishing to increase and maintain your level of fitness, may be grateful of some advice.

FIRSTLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY

NO PAIN, NO GAIN is total RUBBISH.

If you experience pain (other than soreness for 24-48 hours following exercise) in muscles or joints STOP and rest. Apply R.I.C.E.: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate; if pain persists seek medical attention.

So you want to get fit to pass the fitness test to become a Special or Regular. Alternatively, you may just wish to increase or maintain your level of fitness.

The bleep test, or Progressive Shuttle Run Test, is a test of your cardiovascular fitness with a progressive increase in stress on the body. The beep test is available for our Power Users to download for free here.

The BAD News :)

The bad news is that the level required for entry into most police forces is level 5.4 (much higher for Scotland).

The GOOD News ;)

The good news is that in reality the test to level 5.4 is only around three and a half minutes of hard work. The reason the test is actually shorter that the distance stated above is due to the fact that the test gradually increases the demands on your cardiovascular fitness and you have to keep stopping and turning between the two marks 25 metres apart.

WHERE TO START

Start gradually and build up your fitness as you feel improvement. If you regularly undertake training YOU WILL notice an improvement. Your eventual aim is to be able to run 1½ miles in 10 minutes 30 seconds giving you an excellent chance of passing the bleep test (adrenaline and nerves on the test day may affect your performance).

Running or circuit training are too of the best exercises for improving your cardiovascular fitness (burning around 600-800 calories per hour); circuit training has the added benefit of allowing for resistance training in the form of press-ups, sit-ups etc.. Running does put strain on your joints (particularly if your are overweight), so if you experience this, swimming may be your first option until your weight is reduced.

Rowing and cycling are also ideal; rowing has the major benefit over all other exercises in that it exercises every major muscle group within the body and is not weight bearing.

YOU MUST wear a good pair of running shoes, this is due to the fact that immense forces move through your joints with each step. These should be replaced annually or every 500 miles whichever is sooner. Try to run on dirt tracks, cycle ways, grass etc.. and avoid running soley on tarmac or concrete; as this is likely to produce shin splints (very painful).

To improve and maintain your fitness you will need to undertake exercise for a minimum 20 minutes, three times per week. Always gently warm-up (by walking/jogging slowly before commencing exercise, stretch, undertake your exercise and then warm-down by again walking/jogging slowly.

Initially concentrate on time not distance. As you improve your distance will improve. Eventually you can then concentrate soley on distance (i.e. 1½ miles). An example programme (add an additional run as your fitness improves):

Monday: 20-30 minute run slow pace progressing to 40-50 minute run at a slow pace as your fitness improves.

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 30-40 minute run at medium pace.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 20-30 minute fartlek* run

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest**

** If you feel the inclination you could do some a 50 minute slow run on Sunday. Long, slow runs are excellent for building stamina and can improve our fitness immensely. At the end of the run try to increase your pace for the final 1 or 2 minutes - it's always a good way to end the run.

*Fartlek: no it's not what you think! Fartlek running is where you alter the pace during a run. For example, start with a 5 minute slow pace run, increase to medium pace for 2 minutes, return to slow pace for 3 minutes, sprint for 30 seconds, return to slow pace for 2 minutes, increase to medium pace for 5 minutes and so on until you’ve completed 20 to 30 minute of running.

Walk if you need to during a run, but don’t stop (unless you feel unwell); increase the pace as you feel you are able. As your fitness improves you will be able to walk less and increase the amount of time at a higher pace.

Rest is important. During rest you allow your body to recover and adapt to the demands of the exercise.

RUNNING MACHINES

If you want to use a running machine, ensure that it has an incline of 5 to 10%; otherwise the running will be easier than normal running.

To mimic the bleep test on a running machine, after warming up rest until fully recovered. You now need to start running on the machine at a slow pace, but bear in mind you’ve got 11½ minutes to run as far as you can. Gradually increase the pace continually (as per the bleep test) but at NO TIME decrease the speed once increased. At the end of the 11½ minutes see how far you’ve run; your target is a minimum of 1½ miles.

KEEP AT IT!

You will see an improvement in your fitness if you stick to a regime a regular exercise; as you improve, increase the demands. You will feel better for undertaking regular exercise, with more energy and ability to cope with stressful situations ;) .

Sorry this has been like war an peace. I hope the advice is useful, which is based on my experience of preparing and passing ;) the fitness test. to this day I enjoy regular exercise immensely and it has become an integral part of my life :whistle: .

For an excellent read try 'Fit For Life' by Ranulph Fiennes and 'Survival of the Fittest' by Dr Tom Stroud. If you need clarification or further advice please contact me.

Cheers

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Bubba1546080759

very good advice there :)

If you are not used to physical excerise, it might also be worth joining a Gym/Fiitness Centre. They should have qualified Fitness Instructors who can write up a fitness program for you and advise you on what to do. I told mine I was applying for the Police force, I now have a nice program that incorporates CV work and weights.

And after that you can always relax in the Jacusi :whistle:

I let you know How I get on with mine ;)

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Willo1546080765

Yes, agreed Neil, whatever you find works for you.

Running is particulary great as other than a good pair trainers and some suitable running clothes it is so cheap and can be done anytime; without monthly fees.

If you can find a friend or three to join you, you will have even more motivation to maintain a regular exercise regime.

I wish you well with your test Neil. If you work on the principal that you are going to exceed the standard expected it will be one less thing to worry about during the test day (without getting complacent). Work hard at the exercise and YOU WILL succeed.

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MaW

I need to cycle more... going to lectures and back isn't good enough of course, nor is going over to main campus twice a week.

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Kitty1546080758

Thanks Willo ;) - some very good advice there.

I have injured my knee from doing a mock bleep last week, all that turning and twisting can be demanding on the knees. I tried running yesterday and now it is agony again so total rest for a fortnight I think. (Just what I need when I need to do a re-take of the bleep :whistle: )

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MaW

It's got to be better than doing it on a duff knee though...

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India Delta

as a touch on the elderly side when I enrolled...well 39 actually...but having had a sporty background, i changed my cycling back to running again and built up the stamina in that way sometimes practising in the school gym on a mock bleep test...also the pressups and sit ups for about 3months before hand...and in the heat of the moment during the test i outdid all scores I had previously managed...adrenaline and the camaraderie of the other 'trainees' helped also...got thru the test easily... :whistle:

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Kitty1546080758

Well done 007. There's hope for the elderly yet then :whistle:

Sadly I don't have a sporty background, my idea of exercise was sitting on a horse and letting that do the running :? so I have to build up from years of inactivity.

But I think I am close - and if I ever pass, which I am determined to do, believe me anyone can!

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steve1546080764

I'm quite lucky in this repect because with my public service course we have a fitness session once every week and regularly take part in the bleep test. About a year ago i got 5.5 :cry: and last week i took it and got 9.2 :whistle: . My advice would be if you can't stand training 2-3-4 times a week, then start well before your fitness test, just once a week and you should be fine :wink:

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Kitty1546080758

Willo,

I quote from your earlier post............

The bad news is that the level required for entry into most police forces is level 8.2. This equates to being able to run 1½ miles in 11½ minutes.  

what is that converted into kilometres?

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Kitty1546080758

It's ok - I've got it - 2.4 kilometres :whistle:

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MaW

:o

I can't run that far at all!

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Kitty1546080758

Well it took me 9 mins to do 1.5 kilometres today so I've still got work to do :cry:

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MaW

Keep at it! Keep at it!

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Willo1546080765
Well it took me 9 mins to do 1.5 kilometres today so I've still got work to do  :cry:

Keep a diary of what you've done Kim and then you can see the improvements; it's easy to forget just where you started at after several months and get the impression you're not making progress when in fact you are!

Willo

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