Designed by a team of RAF Physical Training Instructors and supported by the Defence Nutritional Advisory Service (DNAS), the aim of this programme is to gradually re-introduce personnel to exercise and start preparations for taking the RAF Fitness Test in 12 weeks time.
The programme is broken down into three 4 week blocks named ‘Baseline’, ‘Develop’ and ‘Sustain’. Each phase has a specific aim and addresses the components of fitness in a different way, with each week increasing the level of stress placed upon you slightly – this carefully managed progression of stress is what drives adaptation and improves performance.
It has been carefully designed around scientific principles and made pertinent to military personnel, addressing the key components of fitness – strength, speed, power, stamina agility, balance, co-ordination & flexibility. This programme also provides a series of educational videos that explain the principles behind training and nutrition.
"The ongoing pandemic has presented many challenges and to coincide with the gradual easing of restrictions our RAF Physical Training Instructors have created a Return to Fitness Package to assist Regular and Reserve personnel to maintain their health, fitness and wellbeing. Based on a progressive programme of activities and including important nutritional advice, personnel will have access to information leaflets, videos and audio files for use at home, at the gym or outdoors."
Air Commodore Simon Harper
Weeks 1 to 4 will kick off the Return To Fitness programme with bilateral (two limb) movements.
Weeks 5 to 8 aims to build on the great work achieved over the initial 4 weeks in terms of bodyweight exercise and running capacity. This phase moves into unilateral (single limb) movements to further increase strength, balance and control. Running will utilise interval training to develop the cardiovascular fitness and speed necessary while using the Rate Of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale to maximise their benefits.
Week 9 to 12 aims to sustain the effort and improvements made over the initial 8 weeks and directly matches the needs of the RAF Fitness Test. You will notice further progressions in exercise difficulty in terms of sets/reps and tempo; whilst the running sessions will now progress to 3 efforts per week and include change of direction drills/speed work that are designed to mimic the requirements of the Multi-Stage Fitness Test.