When I applied to join the Police I like many people were concerned that I would not pass the physical fitness test. I first took a police fitness test around the year 2002 with Thames Valley Police at their HQ. Back then the test consisted of the bleep test although I cannot recall if the pass level was higher than the current level, a test of pulling and pushing strength and a obstacle course that from memory included running through cones and climbing. I was not the fittest of people but at the same time I was not unfit. I passed the test however. This style of fitness testing was altered in the few years that followed.
Since then I have taken a number of fitness tests and have passed all of them. I am required for my role to take and pass an annual fitness test. I have a very active career. I have made a number of arrests and during the course of some of those arrests I have faced violence, physical attacks and resistance. I have also faced attacks with weapons which has forced me to defend myself against what would have easily been serious harm or even death.
On my last training session I started thinking as I was running in the force gym. I looked around me and there were people looking like they were about to collapse. I could not help but think if colleagues are in that state now running in jogging gear what on earth are they like in full body armour, boots and carrying defence equipment?????? It was worrying. I recalled how fit some of my former Royal Military Police colleagues were and thought to myself that surely civilian police officers should be fitter given as they face a lot more conflict and aggression?
During some of the defence refresher subjects (ground defence and defending from knife attacks) I became very tired very quickly and although we were training using pads and without delivering full strength strikes I thought to myself if this was happening for real I would be dead! Since then I have been thinking about the importance of physical fitness within policing. After all who knows it may one day save my life!
The British Police Fitness Test is easily passed with average fitness. The video below courtesy of Greater Manchester Police explains what is involved.
Everyone has their personal views on the police fitness test. Some people think it is far too easy. Others think that it is too hard. Although I pass this test at least twice a year having experienced incidents of having a foot chase and then immediately after having to try and handcuff a violent prisoner I have identified the need to increase my fitness further.
The Police out in New Zealand’s fitness test is worlds apart from the British one and can be found below. Have a look. ITS SERIOUS BUSINESS!!!
Fitness is vital in policing and I wanted to highlight this issue as its a potentially life saving issue. When I saw that fitness test out in NZ I could not help but think that if that test were imposed here in Britain the pass rate would be low.
Improving our fitness is easy and no we do not have to be bulging with muscles. Changes are being made to the service which includes physical fitness. Have a look at the link I have attached below. From here you can use the very simple guide to find the perfect fitness training program for you. As a tutor I teach people to monitor their development so why not register (for free) on this web site and update your progress as you develop. When you see the results it WILL drive you to keep going!
Who knows, maybe it will save your life!