Academy Physical Training Preparation
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Academy students are required to participate in the Basic Academy Physical Conditioning Program. You will also be required to pass the job-related work sample test battery (WSTB) before graduating the academy. The WSTB is administered at the beginning, mid-term, and end of the academy.

The Work Sample Test Battery includes these five events:

    Run a 99-yard obstacle course consisting of several sharp turns, a number of curb-height obstacles, and a 34-inch high obstacle that must be vaulted

    Lift and drag a 165-pound lifelike dummy 32-feet

    Run 5 yards to a 6-foot chain link fence, climb over fence, continue running another 25 yards

    Run 5 yards to a 6 foot solid fence, climb over fence, continue running another 25 yards

  • 500-YARD RUN
    Run 500 yards

Each of the five events is timed.  Student performance times are converted to points and summed. Students must accumulate a total score of 384 points to pass.

Additionally, students will perform physical fitness assessments consisting of:

  • 1.5 mile run

  • 1 minute max situps

  • 1 minute max pushups

  • Body-fat composition and weight

The P.O.S.T. Basic Academy Physical Conditioning Program is designed to develop an enhanced level of physical fitness. The program will both prepare the recruit to perform physically demanding police tasks and instill a desire to maintain a high level of fitness throughout their career. The program includes flexibility and strength training, endurance runs, calisthenics exercises, circuit training, and self-defense.

Students who are engaged in a vigorous lifetime fitness program generally do not have problems with the POST-required academy physical conditioning program and Work Sample Test Battery.  It is almost impossible, though, for sedentary individuals to complete the program without problems.  Candidates who enter the basic academy lacking physical conditioning are prone to injuries that can result in removal from the academy.

For best results, your exercise program should already match the descriptions below.

  • Aerobic conditioning, 3-5 days per week, 20-60 minutes each day, continuous jogging on most days each week

  • Muscular strength/endurance, 2-3 days per week, one set of 8-10 exercises including upper body, core, and legs, 8-20 repetitions per set

  • Flexibility, static stretching, at least 2-3 days per week, preferably 5-7 days, 8-12 stretches each day, hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeat each 2-4 times

  • Continuous participation at the above-described levels for the last six months without injury

It is very important to get a medical examination and a doctor's approval before starting any physical activity program.

Fitness Program Basics

WARM UP/STRETCHING - Always begin an exercise session with an appropriate amount of time allocated to warming-up. A warm-up prior to exercise stimulates the cardiovascular system and various muscle groups, which increases performance and reduces your risk of injury. Warm up can consist of walking or cycling at a slow pace and gradually increasing intensity for 5-10 minutes.

Do not stretch until you are warmed up. Stretching should be performed slowly, with moderate tension, holding the stretch for 10-30 seconds. Do not bounce or force a stretch. If you feel pain, stop immediately.

RUNNING - Run 4 to 5 days per week. Start off slow and build up to run 20 to 30 minutes without stopping.  Build up to a distance of at least two miles within 20 minutes without stopping.

If you are new to running, build up slowly. If you are unable to run at a slow pace continuously for 30 minutes you should begin your program with a walk/run routine, alternating five minutes of fast walking with five minutes of running. Gradually build up your running time to 30 minutes. Always complete your workout with a five-minute slow-paced cool-down and stretching of the calves, hamstrings, hip flexors and back.

While you are building up your running stamina, practice good running form:

  1. Run tall with good posture. Your trunk will lean forward from the hips slightly, but try to lengthen your body, lift your chest, and hold in your abdominal muscles.

  2. Let your arms swing at a 90-degree angle between the chest and hipbone, not crossing them over your body. Your arm swing should complement your stride. Relax your wrists and hands. Do not clench your fists.

  3. Power your stride from your thighs, hips, and buttocks muscles. Plant your heel on the ground first and roll onto the toes.

  4. Stay relaxed.

SHOES - Prior to entering the academy, you are encouraged to purchase a good pair of running shoes. The type and proper fit of the shoe is important for any activity program. Programs such as this which involve a lot of running and jogging require special shoes which have been designed specifically for these activities. These shoes should not fit tightly, the soles should be firm and the tops pliable. They should have good support at the arch and heel. Ripple, crepe or waffle soles are excellent for use on hard surfaces. It is important to remember that good shoes and socks are the best prevention against blisters, soreness and aching ankles and knees.

PUSH-UPS - Do as many push-ups as possible (in sets of 10 to 15) every other day. 

ABDOMINAL CRUNCH - Do as many abdominal crunches as possible at least five days per week.

STRENGTH TRAINING – If you are new to strength training, please see a fitness trainer or attend a group class for instruction on proper form and safety. Do strength training 2-3 days per week, one set of 8-10 exercises including upper body, core, and legs, 8-20 repetitions per set.

COOL DOWN - The cool-down is just as important as the warm-up. Abruptly stopping exercise may contribute to cramping, soreness, or more serious problems. It is recommended that you complete your workout with a five-minute slow-paced cool-down, and stretch for ten minutes following your workouts. Remember to stretch while your muscles are still warm.

HYDRATION - Most people do not drink enough water. Water is essential to survival. During hot weather or strenuous exercise, a larger amount of water is eliminated through perspiration in order to regulate body temperature. Therefore, it is critical to drink more water during hot weather or while exercising. A guideline for consumption of water is 64 ounces of water per day.

EATING FOR WEIGHT LOSS – Here are a few tips if you are interested in eating healthier to lose weight. Again, please see your doctor before beginning a weight-loss program.

  • DO NOT EAT FAST FOOD. If you have no other choice - choose wisely - have salad with GRILLED chicken and the light dressing, or a grilled chicken sandwich, or chicken soft tacos. Low fat Subway sandwiches are great. And, no cheese, mayo or sauce on anything.

  • DO NOT EAT ANYTHING FRIED! Watch your fat intake. Use olive or canola oil and choose low-fat foods.

  • EAT BREAKFAST. Preferably oatmeal, as it will last you until lunch. A hard boiled egg and wheat toast is good too.

  • Drink non-fat milk. You will get used to it. This includes Starbucks.

  • Drink water when you feel hungry - then eat. Hunger and thirst can feel the same.

  • If you drink soda, switch to diet. You will get used to that too. Limit drinks with sugar, such as Gatorade or other sports drinks. Limit juice to one glass per day.

  • Limit any foods that are white - bread, rice, pasta, anything with sugar to 1-2 per day. These foods also can raise your blood sugar and cause you to feel hungry sooner.

  • Use Splenda - it really does taste like sugar.

  • Only eat red meat once a week, and choose lean cuts. Remove skin from chicken.

  • Watch your portions – generally, a portion is the size of your closed fist.

  • You may feel hungry at first - good snack foods are low fat or light microwave popcorn, pretzels, carrots, fruit. Buy good foods so you have it readily available.

  • Exercise will curb hunger - use it. Lift weights to build muscle - muscle burns calories even when you are doing nothing. Try to eat 4-5 small meals throughout the day rather than a few large meals - eating increases your metabolism and helps you burn more calories throughout the day.

  • Losing weight is all about math. You have to burn more calories than you take in.


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