seeing the small gains and running with short legs

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Its been about 6 months since I started my physical journey for my police application. My journey has taken me in circles and squiggles up and down the eventful path of what is now my new normal. GOSH it has gone fast.

I have lifted many weights and ran more kilometers than I care to think about. If I told myself 6 months ago that I would be lifting or squatting or pressing what I am today I probably would have laughed, very hard!  I can’t say that I am where I want to be, that will still be some time away but I am damn proud of what I can do. I have never felt better or stronger and when I look back and reflect on how I was feeling I didn’t realize how sluggish I was or if *touch wood* someone was to attack me I wouldn’t have been able to defend myself, but now, I think I could give most people a run for their money if it came to protecting myself.

When I first started my blog I outlined my weekly routine, I’ve pretty much doubled what I started off with and it’s not easy but very rewarding, especially now that I am at the point where I am noticing physical changes. I am happy to admit that in the six months I have lost 6 kg and am half way to being back to my goal weight; its amazing how hard it is to shift the kilos once you’ve eaten too much chocolate and drank too much coffee.

I haven’t completed a beep test in a while but my last test I did do was one of the best I have ever done, in saying this I can’t stop myself from having a rant about being short and running.

WHY can’t my legs grow just for the time that I am running…I just want to make it that little bit easier to cover more distance. I watch my partner run and one of his steps is at least two of mine so by the time he is running comfortably I am sprinting. It’s not fair! I maintain the theory that, yes it requires more energy to use larger muscles BUT energy can be replenished, whereas little legs stay the same. (I know it’s more complicated than that) Has anyone have any ideas on how to fix this?

Anyway, being the end of the year I am feeling reflective on all that I have achieved and not achieved. I hope that the new year brings new challenges and more fitness gains, but most of all I wish all of word-press and beyond much luck and prosperity.

Feeling Healthy

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the newest idea

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Hi everyone, 

I haven’t written on here in a wile so I just wanted to post an update as to where I am. The last time I did the beep test I didn’t do so well, I am still training like usual, for those of you who haven’t read my blog before it usually consists of two days of personal training (full body weights) and then a minimum of 20 minutes cardio. I then try to do cardio and weights another two times a week, on top of a job which is also physically demanding. Lately I have been trying to find my groove, I feel like I fell out of place a little after training so well for weeks and then  not competing the beep test to the score I intended. On top of having a lack of motivation I also had sprained calf muscles which meant I couldn’t run for a week and a half, I am now only just working back into running. Having sprained calf muscles allowed me to try some different cardio workouts like- interval training on a bike and the rowing machine. I found it exciting to be doing different exercises but it didn’t take me long to realize how much I had started to enjoy my running sessions. 

The last beep test I did, my legs felt heavy and didn’t want to go any faster, I thought that doing the intervals on the bike would help- at least wile my calves were recovering but I knew something had to change to be able to move my legs faster. My partner had a brilliant idea of looking up the Km/h to the level on the beep test, I did and the result was really helpful which you can find here. I now know that to reach level 7 I have to be able to run 11.5 km/h for at least 7.5 minutes. I want to be able to go over level 7 which means to do this comfortably I should be running at 12-12.5 km/h for an extended period of 10 minutes or more…am I right?

I put this theory to the test last night- I figured because I was doing fartlek at 6 km/h for two minutes and then 9 km/h for another two lasting for 48 minutes I thought I would start practicing flat out sprinting at 10 km/h for as long as I could last, I only managed to hold the sprint for 2 minutes. I was slightly disappointed but I could feel during that period that my lungs weren’t struggling until the last 30-40 seconds, which meant my lungs weren’t to bad (in my eyes anyway), I figured the time would have been a lot worse if my lungs were giving out straight away. I tried the sprints a few more times with walking in-between, the times looked as followed: 
1. walk for 2 minutes

2. run at 7 km/h for 1 minute

3. Sprint for 2 Minutes

4. walk for 1.5 or 2 minutes

5. run at 7 km/h for 1 minute

6. Sprint for 1.5 minutes

7. walk for 1.5 or 2 minutes

8. run at 7 km/h for 1 minute

9. sprint for 1 minute (I tried to go longer but couldn’t)

10. walk for 1.5 or 2 minutes

11. run at 7 km/h for 1 minute

12. sprint for just under 2 minutes

13. walk for 2 minutes

14. sprint for 1

15. walk for 1

16. sprint for 1.5

and walk to cool down. 

I was impressed with my first attempt at the sprints. I think by doing this for a few weeks and hopefully upping the speed as I go I will be at the level I want to be in no time. I usually like running outside more, however in recent weeks I have found the treadmill to be helpful in the fact that I can monitor the speed closely and guarantee myself that I am running at an increased level.

I hope this makes sense to anyone reading!! I understand It is a little bit of a ramble, but If I don’t get it out I feel as if others might miss out on something they may not have previously thought of. 

Anyway, Have a great day/ night everyone 🙂

 *the feature image is by Alex Pardee, It makes me feel like this is what my writing resembles 😛 

As an after thought, I found this really great website on eating Protein, it dismisses the myths especially for females who are scared to eat it. 

Police Prep

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I hope this blog will give whoever is interested an idea on how to start to prepare for their recruitment, I am speaking through my own experience and what has been working for me so far. 

Tip 1.

Read. Read. Read!

  1. I’ve looked at blogs, the only one I could find that gave me some kind of useful information was Whirlpool Forums. This is what I searched: http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum/?action=search&q=police+recruitment&f=&fg=-1&w=&p=
  2. QLD police website stresses to read a mixture of non fiction and fiction ( I have multiple news sites and science pages on my Facebook, when I have a change I read the stories especially the science posts because they usually have a new word for me to look up and add to my brain, I also try and read one of those stories out a day to a friend or partner to help me vocalize new and difficult sentences. I also have a bookcase of books and I read the newspaper on my breaks at work

 

Tip 2.

Prepare your fitness!!

  1. I recommend having your fitness up to scratch before putting the application in, this was told to me by recruitment.
  2. Each state has a different fitness test, each one gave me an insight on how my fitness should be before I join, even though some of the tests aren’t in the state that I am applying for It doesn’t mean that those other exercises wont benefit me. 
    • For example the QLD website has a scale for the beep test which is graded (most states base their recruitment process on a merit based system; so the more points you get the better!) I f you look at the link it will outline their A, B and C grading of the beep test if that is what they expect you to be after the Academy it will make your life easier being that before you apply and why not be able to pass the physical with ease, it just proves your determination. 
    • Most police websites including the ADF and AFP websites have the beep test recording on them.
  1. NSW Police have a very good ‘how to’ guide on starting to RunGrip Strength and Strength Training.  (follow the links to see what I’m talking about) In the running link you will notice by the time you are through they recommend to do 30-40 minutes of fartlek and 60-70 minutes of an easy run (a pace you can still talk at) per week. This is obviously once you have your fitness to its best, beginners start off with much less, which is also outlined. 
  2. I hired a Personal Trainer as well as my partner is one, I was hoping for double the motivation… which I received! My exercise plan involves an unlimited gym membership with 24 hour access as well as two 30 minute PT sessions a week. These sessions usually run longer for me, those days usually run as follows: I get to the gym 30 minutes before my PT session and do a 15 minute warm up on a treadmill or cross trainer then I stretch for 15 minutes, by this time my trainer has found me and I then start my workout with him, which is usually a full body weights workout ( weights are your friend!! any ladies who believe they will look like Arnold from using weights are wrong, that’s a whole different ballgame. To see the benefits click here.) The full body weights workout allows me to prepare my body for such things like the obstacle course in the test as well as giving me the strength I need to be able to restrain a person AND the many other benefits listed in the link above. Once I have finished my 30 minute training session, my trainer then asks me to do a minimum  20 minutes of cardio (I usually run because I need lots of cardio to pass the beep test) which is then followed by more stretching.
  3. You don’t need a gym membership to get fit (there are many ways to do it at home), however If your anything like me I find it difficult to want to exercise, so by having PT twice a week I know I have to go to the gym on at least those days.
  4. What to do after your workout

Tip 3. 

Some Random Facts

  1. QLD police force will provide their Interview questions 40 minutes before the interview.
  2. If you aren’t willing to take a rural posting then it probably isn’t worth applying, I was informed at the Careers expo that if that box isn’t checked on the application it is almost a no go. 
  3. WA Police will take people whom are colour blind, I’m fairly certain it is the only state that will do so in Australia. 
  4. QLD police website suggests to Google Aptitude tests and you can practice them online for free. 
    1. Psychometric Institute- Australian Police guide
    2. SAPOL Practice exam
    3. Sample Tests – I have found this the best practice site, there are many more, I do believe the questions will be easier, my SAPOL prep book is much easier than some of these questions. 
    4. Police Prep– I purchased the book that included all the states exams. 
  5. Now bare with me here..my memory is being tested, One of the States has a recommendation of talking to at least 7 officers. If anyone is reading this, maybe comment with some of the questions you would ask, it may help the creative process?
  6. Know your minority groups
  7. There is a Policing Tafe course, I asked at the careers expo if it is something I need, and I also asked recruitment. One said that if you have a higher qualification like a diploma or a bachelor there wouldn’t bee a need because you already can prove that you can study, and the other said it is beneficial because it starts you off with some of the laws and processes. So it is up to you what you take from that.
  8. I believe the SAPOL recruit course is going to be extended from 9 months to 12, if it hasn’t been done already.

Tip 4.

Practice your weakness’ 

I’m currently looking at doing some self defence classes and some lessons in a shooting range, to give myself some extended knowledge before I apply, this may not help my application but at least if I do get accepted I will feel a little more prepared. 

My partners Father is also a copper he has asked a friend at work what places in SA that are good for self defense or other techniques such as boxing. These are some that they suggested (located in Adelaidte):

 I also know that some of my other weakness’ are public speaking and mathematics. I have started re visiting some math but not the speaking as of yet (makes me nervous). 

I will leave the tips there for now, I don’t want to overload with too much, and my brain has also left for the moment and I cant think of what else I had to say…

So I hope this is a good starter for everyone.