Fitness Training

If there are any health issues or concerns regarding your cadet(s), please contact the DCC, an Assistant DCC, or the Fitness Education Officer as soon as possible.
Fitness performance is one of several aspects cadets are tested on in order to earn their achievements and progress in the cadet program. On average, we get 1 to 3 hours per month to spend with cadets to provide both academic and physical training. This simply is not enough to ensure the improvements necessary for cadets to keep progressing.
In Fall 2018, Mobile Composite Squadron introduced a new fitness program initiative to help cadets reach their fitness goals. An important part of this initiative requires cadets to schedule dedicated time EACH DAY focused on improving their fitness. They are to spend time each night recording what they accomplished that day. We ask that you support and encourage your cadet(s) to adhere to this program to help ensure their success.
You play an important role in helping your cadet(s) achieve their full potential. We thank you for your support, both of the CAP program and of your cadet(s).
1. Print the two attached Fitness Tracker Sheets (Cardio Chart and Activity Chart). If you don’t have access to a printer, we can provide you with copies during a Squadron meeting.
2. Maintain both Fitness Tracker Sheets in your CAP binder. They must be available for inspection They will be checked weekly by either Cadet Staff or Senior Member Cadet Leadership.
* Remember, your binder is part of your uniform (regardless of the type of uniform). If you are showing up in uniform, you aren’t in uniform without your binder.
3. Schedule specific times during your day to accomplish your fitness training. Consider this an important DAILY appointment with yourself to focus on improving your fitness. Be consistent in keep that scheduled appointment with yourself each day.
4.  Implement and stay consistent with your nighttime routine:
     a. Document your fitness efforts EACH NIGHT by filling out your Fitness Tracker Sheets. It is best to do this right before bed. Why?
          i. This gives you an opportunity to review what you contributed that day toward meeting your fitness goals. It also helps you end the day reflecting on your accomplishments. Is there room for improvement? If so, make adjustments to your game-plan and commit to do better.
          ii. If you didn’t do as much as you had liked for the day, this also gives you one last chance to fit in some fitness activities. You can always do another 1-minute of push-ups and 1-minute of sit-ups before hitting the sack.
          iii. This will remind you to do your nighttime “static” stretches before going to bed.
Cardio Tracker:

How To Use the Cardio Tracker:
A. Fill out your name, month and year at the top of the sheet.
B. The day of the month (1 thru 31) runs down the left-side of the page. Make sure you are documenting the correct day.
C. When filling out the tracker, place your initials by the correct DAY and the corresponding cardio activity you did for that day.
D. If it is a “Best Time” activity, also include your time in the designated box.
RECOMMENDED Schedule of Cardio Activity:
The RECOMMENDED schedule of cardio activity has been listed on the sheet (Monday thru Saturday). You are not required to do them in that order; however, it is highly recommended that you do.
* NOTE: If you did something different than the scheduled activity for a particular day of the week, initial under the actual activity you performed. You may make notes of deviation in a box such as, “2 mi run/soccer practice.”
Sunday has been provided as a rest day. This is because you will be doing PT on Monday’s at CAP and PT Tests will likely occur on Mondays (occasionally on Saturdays) and you want to be rested and ready to perform at your best.
Mondays, when testing, you will be required to do a “Best Time” run. Therefore, each Monday is the best day to “practice like you play.” Unless you have other athletic obligations on Mondays, on known CAP PT nights, save your cardio for the CAP meeting.
 1. “1 & 1/2 Mile FOR BEST TIME” is just that. Run it in your best time possible. When initialing off on this cardio activity, input your time as well.
a. YES! Practice running 1 and 1/2 miles so that when you test running 1 mile, you won’t be struggling to reach the finish line because you have conditioned your body to have to complete more distance than necessary for your test.
    b. REMEMBER: if we are having PT at CAP, do NOT double up on your cardio. Save your energy for when you get to CAP.
2. “30 Second Sprint 4 Times With Full Breath Recovery”. There are 4 days per week you should be doing these sprints and the days are equally divided between the other cardio training days that require longer endurance. This gives you a break between endurance training days.
    a. Sprints are NOT a distance exercise. This is a time exercise (30 seconds), AND an intensity exercise (give it ABSOLUTELY ALL YOU’VE GOT for ALL 30 seconds).
    b. During the 30 second sprint, your effort should represent your absolute best INTENSITY effort. Imagine you have a starved lion behind you and you are running for your life. At the end of the 30 seconds, you should feel completely exerted. If not, you need to up your intensity on your next sprint.
    c. At the end of EACH 30 second sprint, spend 2 to 2-1/2 minutes walking it off, focusing on regaining normal breathing. If you need more time, take it. The important point is that your breathing returns to normal (you no longer feel “out of breath”).
    d. As soon as your breathing has returned to normal, start your next 30 second sprint.
    e. Repeat this for a total of 4 sprints with 4 recovery periods / walking it off. Don’t skimp on your final recovery period just because you are happy you are done. Still walk it off and focus on regaining your breath. NEVER JUST STOP AND SIT DOWN.

f. Sprints are ideally done on a flat surface but can be done on an incline (going uphill) to increase the challenge level. It is NOT recommend to do these sprints on downhill areas as it is easier to fall; particularly with the level of intensity you should be exerting. So uphill areas are fine, just make sure you are engaged in full intensity.
g. If done properly, doing all 4 of these sprints should take a total of 20 minutes or less out of your day. In other words, if you don’t have time for anything else cardio, you have time to do sprints.

3. “3 Mile Walk/Run/Jog Endurance NOT FOR TIME” is all about distance. Based on your fitness level, you can walk it, jog it, run it… a little of each. It matters less which ones you are doing. The important thing is to get your muscles used to the endurance required to function continuously for a distance of 3-miles.
NOTE: Some cadets will need to work up to this level. Do the best you can and strive to improve upon that effort in each following week. If you are unable to complete a full 3 miles, please indicate that when initialing off on this exercise. This helps track your progress on improving your endurance.
TOO EASY: Work on improving your time. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to run a 5k.
Additional Pacer Run (can be substituted for a Sprint day such as Saturday):
“1 & 1/2 Mile Light Jog” is about pacing yourself so you can maintain consistency. Again, this is not about time. It might take a little trial and error to find what pace you can perform at consistently for the full distance. Do your best and then make adjustments each week until you get it fine tuned. The better you get at running, the quicker pace you will be able to maintain. The goal is to eliminate breaking your stride with having to walk which should help bring your 1 & 1/2 mile pacer run in line with your 1 & 1/2 mile best time effort. If making notes will help you the following week, list them when initialing off on this exercise.
Activity Tracker:

Activity Tracker Download

How To Use the Cardio Tracker:
A. Fill out your name, month and year at the top of the sheet.
B. The day of the month (1 thru 31) runs down the left-side of the page. Make sure you are documenting the correct day.
C. When filling out the tracker, document the SPECIFIC activity you did to include:
     i. Description of activity,
     ii. Total time spent doing the activity, and / or
     iii. Total sets or repetitions of the activity
     * NOTE: Do not include cardio on your Activity Tracker. Document cardio activities on your Cardio Tracker.
In addition to your cardio exercise, you should be doing a MINIMUM of 1 other physical activity. NOTE: You have 6 total blocks per day. To be your healthy best, you are challenged to fill up as many blocks per day as you can.
EXAMPLES OF ACTIVITIES include but are NOT limited to:
– Push-up training. (See “Other Fitness Tips” below.)
– Sit-up training. (See “Other Fitness Tips” below.)
– 50 crunches. (Remember to keep your neck straight with your chin/forehead parallel with the ceiling. Don’t bend your neck or arch it up with your hands behind your head.)
* True “ab crunches” and other “core ab” exercises can be done everyday. The stronger your core, the better you will perform physically across the board.
– 30-minute bike ride.
– 20-minutes of yoga.
– 1 hour paintball or airsoft.
– 16 holes of golf.
– 1 hour football conditioning.
– 30 minutes of drill and ceremony practice.
– 1 hour gymnastics.
– 30 minutes weight training.
– 10 minutes stretching (Review proper stretching techniques on the Fitness Stretching page.)
– These are just EXAMPLES. Get creative. The goal is to get into the habit of doing activities throughout your day, each and every day, that will help you stay physically fit for a lifetime.
Importance of Maintaining Fitness Tracker Sheets:
These trackers are for you and your leaders. Since you are to log in your activity at the end of each day, it will help remind you to look for opportunities to be more physically active. Also, if through this program you still aren’t progressing in your PT Test results, we can evaluate your efforts and help you come up with a game plan to get you to your fitness goals. But if you don’t put in an honest effort, we can’t help you. We get you for PT 1 Monday per month and maybe an occasional Saturday. That is not enough to get you where you need to be. It is barely enough to evaluate your progress and provide some training and mentoring. Your success is dependent on what you do when you aren’t doing PT at CAP. As you will find with most things in life, you will have to ask yourself “How bad do I want this?” And plan and act accordingly to reach your goals.
As always, each of your Cadet Staff Senior Members are here to help, as is your other cadet leaders and mentors. If you have questions or need advice, do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. We are here to support you as you strive to reach your full potential.
EVERY DAY…. STRETCH. It is great in the morning when you first wake up, and great at night before you go to bed. Down to your toes… touch your toes… work toward being able to put your palms on the floor in front of your toes. Reach for the sky… stretch high…alternate the stretch through your hips as you reach higher with one hand, then the other.
Moving helps you be limber… Every chance you get, stop sitting and get moving.
For both sit-ups and push-ups, proper form and repetition are your friend. Keeping Sunday as a rest day, you can do three days each, alternating between push-ups and sit-ups which will provide a rest day in between working the different muscle groups.
Push-Up Training Options:
It is SUGGESTED that push-up training be accomplished on Monday, Wednesday and Friday throughout each week. This will provide Saturday and Sunday recuperation before a potential test day on Monday utilizing those muscle groups.
For push-ups, remember to maintain the stiff as a board technique. Set your toes so your heels can press up against a wall (like you are standing on the wall with your toes planted on the floor). This helps hold everything rigid from your toes and ankles all the way up to through your pelvis, back, neck/head. Hold the stomach in, don’t let the back sway downward. Don’t hang your head down; your neck should remain in alignment with the rest of your back. Keep it all “stiff as a board.”
Beginner Push-Up Training:
On Monday morning, do a test run of as many CORRECT push-ups as you can accomplish in one minute. Once you can no longer maintain proper form, stop counting. Divide that number in half. (If you can do 6, divide it in half for 3.) It is SUGGESTED that Push-up training be Monday, Wednesday and Friday Between Monday and Saturday,  Each day throughout the week, do that number every 2 hours. (In this example, you would do 3 push-ups every 2 hours throughout your day, from when you first wake up until you go to bed.) Do NOT do the practice push-ups based on time, rather focus on correct form. At the end of the day, log it on your sheet (i.e. 3 push-ups, 6 times). The following Monday, retest total correct push-ups in one minute and adjust the number of practice push-ups accordingly.
Advanced Push-up Training:
“Up to” 10 separate times per day, three days per week (alternating days with sit-ups), spend ONE MINUTE doing as many push-ups as you can.
Sit-Up Training:
It is SUGGESTED that sit-up training be accomplished, at a minimum, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The muscle groups used for sit-ups can sustain more frequent training and requires less recovery time between training sessions. This still leaves the entire day of Saturday to recoup before potential testing on Mondays. If you incorporate ab “crunches,” these can be accomplished every day to assist in strengthening your core.
For sit-ups, remember not to put your heels any closer to your buttocks in order to attain the 90 degree angle with your legs/knees. The closer your heels, the harder the sit-up becomes. Remember to breath IN on the way down, blow OUT on the way up. With hands crossed at the shoulder (and must remain in contact with the shoulders at ALL times), once your elbows can touch your thigh, that’s all you need. Repeat… repeat… repeat…
Beginner and Advanced Sit-up Training:
“Up to” 10 separate times per day, no less than three days per week, spend ONE MINUTE doing as many sit-ups as you can.
In addition to your cardio training, there are exercises that will greatly improve your running capabilities. These exercises focus on strengthening Glute muscles and improving hamstring and calf functional strength and performance.
We will be providing a video that will go over these exercises in the near future.
Breaking down the fitness commitment, you are looking at:
– approximately 20 minutes of total time for cardio, six days per week (maybe 30 on your 3-mile day);
– approximately 10 minutes per day of either push-up or sit-up training per day;
– approximately 20 minutes of strength training to include alternating glutes, hams and calves for running; and bi/triceps, chest and shoulders for improved push-ups;
– approximately 10 minutes per day of dynamic/active and static/passive stretching per day.
This equates to approximately one hour divided and scheduled throughout your day. This should be your MINIMUM fitness goal to maximize your returns on fitness improvement. So that is your “cost.”
Your “benefits” includes improved mood, better cognitive function, better sleep, improved physical capabilities, better overall health, and better self esteem and self confidence built through all that you accomplish.
This is worth more than just a PT test, this sets you up for improved fitness and a better life, for the rest of your life.
Keep hydrated throughout your day (water is best…. non-sugar, non-caffeine, no soda… these dehydrate you and can decrease performance). If you are not hydrated, it will bog down your system and make things harder for you. Hydrate throughout your day, every day. Hydration does not start before an activity; hydration starts the day before an activity. Daily hydration always ensures you are better prepared each and every day.
Eat nutrient rich foods. Stay away from junk food and “empty carbs.”
As always, we are here to help. But achieving both academic and fitness excellence are dependent on the effort you put into it.


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