Our personnel need to be physically fit to meet the challenges they face, both in their daily work and on operational duty. Whatever role you choose, you’ll need to be fit to perform it. This will obviously help with physical tasks – whether it’s setting up a field kitchen or loading kit into a helicopter – but that’s not all it’s about. At times, you will be working under pressure for long periods and being fit will help you to stay alert, think quickly and make better decisions.

The Pre-Joining Fitness Test

You don’t have to be super-fit to join the RAF, but you do need to pass a basic fitness test. You’ll find a good level of fitness essential to get through your recruit training, and the fitter you are when you arrive, the more you’ll get out of it.

For more on the fitness level you’ll need as a recruit, see Health and fitness, and for tips on getting fit see Getting fit.

Keeping fit

Once you’re in the RAF, it’s your responsibility to stay fit. This is not difficult – there are excellent training and sports facilities available on RAF bases, and a great sporting culture within the organisation. What’s more, our Physical Education Officers and Physical Training Instructors run a wide range of activities and can advise you on your personal fitness level.

The annual RAF Fitness Test (RAFFT)

The RAF Fitness Test was introduced in 1994 and everyone must pass it once a year.

It starts with a ‘beep test’ or ‘shuttle test’. You jog a number of times between two points 20 metres apart (‘shuttles’), at increasing speed (controlled by beeps). The younger you are, the more shuttles you need to do. You then do as many sit-ups and press-ups as possible in one minute.

If you fail the test, you’ll be helped by our Physical Training Instructors with a recovery programme to get you up to the necessary standard.

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RAF Fitness challenge

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