View Full Version : Looking for advice on programming for selection

12-26-2016, 16:55
Hopefully this being my first post (other than my introduction) is alright.

I am currently a serving member in the Canadian Forces with the goal to tryout for our SF selection within the 2017 year. My issue is throughout my time in the military, I have always had a sort of powerlifting mentality when it came to training. My job (Firefighter) never really required me to have the endurance required compared to the likes of the infantry. My job is very strength focused along side the ability to work for short durations with high intensity. For example, our annual PT test has to be completed in under 7 minutes (minimum standards) and it is basically Firefit if you guys have ever seen that. Because of this, I have spent the last 5 years in the gym doing the normal body part splits combined with powerlifting routines. I honestly think I went probably two years without running a mile or doing a single pushup

Now with my decision to tryout for selection I have decided to give myself a year to prepare. And with my chain of command being very supportive I have all the time in the world during the year to better myself.

The selection process for our SF isn't easily found and because of the size of our military there isn't much information disseminated online which is why I came here and have spent a good amount of time browsing different topics about your SFAS process. I really cant imaging the processes being extremely different between our two countries so it has given me a good basis to work off of.

On to my question...

Would it be better for me to focus my preparation for the initial PT test or both the test and the actual selection? My issue was if I can't even get in the door, why train for what is through the door.

The minimum entry standards for even qualifying for selection are as follows;

- 1.5 mile run in under 9:21 (<8:00 for max points)
- 48 Pushups (78+ for max points)
- 48 Situps in 60 sec (78+ for max points)
- 9 Pullups (24+ for max points)
- 190lb 1RM Bench (350lbs+ for max points)

All done one after the other.

I don't have any issues with the bench press. It is alot higher and am basically just trying to maintain it while I cut weight (5'10 220lbs trying to get to 175lbs). I also don't have any issues with the situps or pullups (can currently do 13 and as I lose weight I foresee me being able to do more). My issue is the run and the pushups. Like I mentioned before I had never focused on running. My 1.5 mile right now is around 15 min. This is also where my big concern on priorities comes into play.

Reading other posts here has shown me I need to be prepared for long runs so I am torn on what to really focus on. If I can't complete the 1.5 run I won't even get in the door, but if I cannot keep up with the long distance runs during selection I will be a weak candidate. Along side that I have been debating whether or not squats should be in my routine. I am thinking squatting will hinder my running and if that is a priority I am torn as to whether or not I should remove them despite how much they may help me during selection. As for pushups I just cant seem to improve them. I have tried multiple programs designed to increase them but I have been stuck at around 30-40 for a very long time now.

Last but not least, the fitness team responsible for overseeing all of the military's fitness had released a "fitness check" for the unit and it is suggested that each participate should be able to reach at least level 6 if not level 7 on all of the prescribed exercises before even contemplating applying. This adds to my confusion because I keep debating whether or not I should focus on reaching each of the levels as suggested rather than focus on the entry PT test OR focus on actually being successful during selection.

Here is the fitness check I referred to: http://imgur.com/a/psTia

I honestly just don't want to waste time and want to find the most effective way to achieve my goal. My plan right now is to just focus on the entry PT test. Once I can pass that, even if just the minimum standards to move on and include what I foresee being in the selection process ie longer runs and rucking. I have googled a bunch of articles and programs around SF selection by members of the community (or at least claim to be) but they seem to be all cookie cutter articles so I figured I'd ask people who have actually gone through it.

Again sorry for the novel as my first real post.

01-01-2017, 11:40

Seems pretty comprehensive

01-01-2017, 15:01
I may be a bit long in the tooth to respond here, but my initial thought having read your post is this:

Most successful candidates max the PT test. The PT Test itself is nothing more than a requirement to conduct, not train for. The ruck march is the true test that must be prepared for. It is both physically and mentally demanding, allowing opportunity for the candidate to fail on two separate levels. You will be physically and mentally challenged over a very lengthy amount of time, constantly questioning why you chose to subject yourself to a great deal of discomfort. The instructors will be full of ^(&$, and life will suddenly become unfair. Your PT Test will seem trivial as soon as it is over.

If you have not learned how to keep yourself HEALTHY at this point of the game you may find another unexpected surprise or two. Your feet, back, ankles, and overall mental stamina will be tested during Selection. There is no "One" event that you should prepare for, SFAS should (still?) challenge you in a very comprehensive way.

Do your best, prepare for the worst, and stay healthy.

And above all good luck! It's well worth it in the long run.