Fitness in the RAF is very important as the RAF is always on the move, whether operating in combat zones or on peaceful missions, you must be ready for anything, so you will need to be physically fit. This article discusses RAF fitness training and the sports opportunities in the RAF.
Being fit is about more than being able to run long distances or lift heavy weights. It is about being able to work effectively when tired and to think clearly in stressful situations.
You need to have the resilience, robustness, and health to be able to serve.
After joining the RAF, you have a responsibility to stay fit. There are training and sports facilities available on-base combined with a great fitness culture. This could range from a swim or gym session at lunchtime, play five-a-side football after work or adventurous activities like gliding or climbing
RAF Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT)
You are required to pass the pre-joining fitness test to continue your application to join the RAF.
This test involves a 1.5 mile (2.4km) run on a treadmill at a local gym watched by a fitness instructor who will send your results to your AFCO. You will also need to complete a minimum number of press-ups and sit-ups.
The time limit for the run and the number of press-ups and sit-ups required will vary depending on your age and gender.
You will also have a second fitness test at your Pre-Recruit Training Course (PRTC) which takes place at RAF Halton – where you will do your Phase One training. This will consist of the same elements as the PJFT and you must pass to progress your application. However, instead of the treadmill run you are required to meet a certain level on the Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT or Bleep Test).
Pass standards again vary with age and gender.
The timescale between your two fitness tests could vary from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the role applied for.
The Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT)
The MSFT is an aerobic fitness test that is an objective measure of health and provides an indication of the amount of physical activity you undertake. The test requires you to run between two markers placed 20m apart in response to pre-recorded timing bleeps. After each minute, the bleeps become progressively faster and you will be required to keep running until you can no longer keep up with the bleeps.
RAF Physical Training Instructor (PTI)
Typical responsibilities of an RAF PTI include:
- Conduct fitness and health tests as well as counselling
- Organise sporting and adventure activities
- Manage a wide range of sporting facilities
An RAF PTI covers different areas of fitness coaching, from training personnel to helping people who fail the annual fitness test, encouraging them to change their lifestyles. In the RAF it is possible to attain many civilian qualifications – diplomas in sports therapy, sports massage, aerobics, diet, and nutrition – that will help you in the future.
An RAF PTI can also gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to train as either Parachute Jumping Instructors (PJIs), Force Development Instructors (FDIs) or Exercise Rehabilitation Instructors (ERIs). Opportunities also available in Survival training, Training Consultancy and Leadership development.
RAF Physical Training Instructor (PTI) Training
Your career will start, like all recruits, with a 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire.
The specialist PTI training course of 28 weeks is held at the School of Physical Training, RAF Cosford near Wolverhampton. The course will qualify you in class instructional techniques across a broad range of physical domains and Human Performance, the effects of exercise on the body, leadership, coaching techniques, sports administration, and officiating.
At the end of this course you will gain a Level 2 Gym Instructor as well as be eligible to join the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).
Team Mildenhall Sports and Fitness
The fitness centres offer a variety of activities that include basketball, softball, and flag football.
In addition to team sports activities, the fitness centre has a wide variety of exercise options to include step class, Pilates, circuit training, cycling, cardio kickboxing and Yoga.
Sport in The RAF Centres of Excellence
Centres of Excellence have cutting-edge facilities for RAF personnel to hone skills on. The RAF Halton Centre of Excellence has a tennis centre with 13 outdoor and six indoor courts, a gymnasium, and a bar and dining area.
There is also a Centre of Excellence for rowing, canoeing, cruising, sailing and a wide range of waterborne activities at The Royal Air Force Watersports Centre in Danesfield.
Expeditions and adventures are organised at home and around the world in over 100 activities. These include scuba diving in the Red Sea, climbing peaks in the Himalayas or kayaking the rivers of Canada.
The RAF sponsor elite athletes across a range of sports by giving them the time, equipment and financial support needed to develop their talents to the full and reach the peaks of performance.
When RAF personnel are participating in an authorised sporting event, you are considered ‘on duty’, and do not have to use up any of your annual leave when competing.
The RAF has helped the UK produce national and international champions in boxing, sub-aqua, rally driving, rugby, sprint, cycling, sea angling, canoeing, triathlon, skeleton bob, shotokan karate, motorcycling, microlight, javelin, athletics and snowboarding.
RAF Fitness Training
While preparing for your life in the RAF and doing your RAF fitness training you must get prepared by purchasing your RAF essential items. These can be purchased from Supply Drop conveniently in one place at heavily discounted prices allowing you more time for your RAF fitness training.