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  • 300 Club

    Join the 300 club
    Report: Stephen Tyler

    IN an Army engaged in a mission as relentless as Op Herrick, the need for soldiers to display superhuman levels of fitness has grown massively.

    Today’s troops hit the ground in Helmand province for patrols lasting several hours, often doing so carrying a hefty weight of personal kit and equipment.

    Underpinning the development of the stamina and power required to cope with the demands of operations is the bi-annual Personal Fitness Assessment (PFA), a Service-wide challenge comprising press-ups, sit-ups and a one-and-a-half-mile run.

    But while the vast majority of military men and women meet the required standard, a growing number are pushing the boundaries of physical excellence by gaining entry to the prestigious 300 Club.

    The elite group takes its name from the maximum achievable PFA score – 100 points are up for grabs in each of the three disciplines – and membership singles soldiers out as being the fittest of the fit.

    SSgt Ewen Gillies (RAPTC) explained: “Fitness is the bedrock of soldiering and the 300 Club adds another layer to that. It gives the soldiers something to strive for and reaching the standard is a huge achievement. It encourages them to really push themselves and it can become very competitive.”

    As with all groups worth joining, gaining entry into the 300 Club is no mean feat.
    To make the grade, soldiers have to complete daunting amounts of press-ups and sit-ups in two-minute bursts before completing the run in a very fast time.

    The standards required vary depending on the person’s age and gender, but each target has been set to ensure that a 50-year-old female has to work proportionally just as hard as a 19-year-old male.

    The disciplines that make up the PFA were selected to develop key military traits such as core strength and stamina, and 300 Club advocate Maj Dave Wilson (5 Rifles) said that they were now more relevant than ever.

    He added: “The tests within it represent a different skill set that applies to different aspects of soldiering.

    “The ability to move at speed is especially relevant in whatever environment we face, but it’s about more than that. The press-ups develop upper-body strength and the guys need a lot of that on ops. Sit-ups develop core stability and that’s another good reflection of what’s needed.

    “It’s good to know they are applicable across the ages and genders so that the guys and girls can all compete equally, whether they are male or female or have been in six months or 22 years.”

    The size of the challenge facing would-be 300 Club members is apparent in the fact that since its launch in October 2009, fewer than 300 Service personnel have met the stringent standards.

    Germany-based 5 Rifles have contributed 17 people to the total thanks to a battalion-wide exercise regime taking in everything from loaded marches to circuit training.

    Maj Wilson told Soldier that gaining membership has become a “badge of honour” for Servicemen and women.

    He said: “It’s well-advertised and well-known and there’s now quite a bit of competition between the guys to get in.

    “We do have additional incentives – they get long weekends or a day off if they achieve the standard – but the real attraction is to get to wear the T-shirt and be able to say you are a member.”

    With operations placing incredible demands on the current crop of British military men and women, the need for physical robustness has arguably never been greater. But as the challenges have increased, so too have the effort levels of those serving and it would take a brave man to bet against the 300 Club welcoming a lot more members through its doors.
    standards to achieve

    Press ups

    SEX/AGE

    UNDER 30

    30-45

    35-39

    40-44

    45-49

    50-54

    MALE

    72

    70

    68

    62

    55

    51

    FEMALE

    46

    41

    37

    33

    31

    28

    sit ups

    SEX/AGE

    UNDER 30

    30-45

    35-39

    40-44

    45-49

    50-54

    MALE

    77

    72

    71

    67

    62

    61

    FEMALE

    77

    72

    71

    67

    62

    61

    run

    SEX/AGE

    UNDER 30

    30-45

    35-39

    40-44

    45-49

    50-54

    MALE

    8min 15sec

    8min 30sec

    9min

    9min 15sec

    9min 30sec

    10min

    FEMALE

    10min

    10min 30sec

    11 min

    11min 30sec

    12min

    12min 45secs







    Soldier Magazine

  • #2
    Got any more details on that, Rod? (asks Flamingo from the sofa, eating crisps and brushing the donut crumbs off his chin while he reaches for the TV remote to switch on Jeremy Kyle )
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

    Comment


    • #3
      I thought it was something to do with the Spartans;

      though fair fkcus to anyone who can do that,

      The setting of a club/association/challange like that can only do good and encourage

      more Soldiers to get fit-

      Can you do the tests through Wii
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

      Comment


      • #4
        Is there an iphone app for it?


        Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

        Comment


        • #5
          How far is the run?

          Comment


          • #6
            mile and a half
            Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'd struggle to make the female requirement.

              It'd be interesting to see this system in the Irish DF.

              Are there any incentives regarding promotion or selection for courses?
              To close with and kill the enemy in all weather conditions, night and day and over any terrain

              Comment


              • #8
                In all seriousness, that's not a particularly hard standard to achieve.

                The only thing people should be having any kind of problems with is the run, as obviously some people aren't as good runners as others.

                People under 30 should be well able for the press ups and sit ups though.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ah it seems easy... But the push ups are impossible! The stipulation is for fingers pointing forward, hands under the shoulder and elbows paralell to each other i.e. all tricep and delts, very little chest!

                  I've actually met a few lads who had done it at soldier selection, all the PTIs and NCOs at the pre-fitness test and ADSC fitness tests had done it... And were wearing the t-shirts! No wonder my 9:17 run time was described as 'adequate'. In my defence, I was 2nd only to a Kenyan!
                  Last edited by gibedepusib0ss; 31 January 2011, 18:18.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Napp View Post
                    Ah it seems easy... But the push ups are impossible! The stipulation is for fingers pointing forward, hands under the shoulder and elbows paralell to each other i.e. all tricep and delts, very little chest!
                    Aha, they left that out of the article!

                    Well then it may not be for everyone, I still reckon it's achievable for someone in good nick, especially with two minutes to do it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      More small print: The run is generally over hilly track, in keeping with the 'military' theme of the...eh... military!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That's a high standard alright. I would struggle with the run for sure. I presume that any 'resting' in the push ups and sit ups must be in the 'up' position?

                        I wonder if anyone could do 72 push ups in two minutes if Irish DF PTIs that I can remember doing the fitness tests were counting! IMO you can still lock your arms out at the top of a push up and go back down in one fluid movement without having to pause at the top and emphasise that you locked out?

                        The test is missing one key exercise IMO. I can remember guys scoring the top in the DF fitness test which is like this with a run, push ups and sit ups. Some of these guys would then barely be able to do one front grip pull up. There used to be a requirement to do pull ups as part of the fitness test to get on the DF Para course. AFAIK the "backpack hoist test" on the Ranger course has a very high failure rate highlighting poor strength in the lats, traps, etc.

                        Was it the Legion or the US Rangers that had a pull up bar outside their Mess Hall where you had to do X amount to get in for your grub.

                        I can't do that many myself but it's a great exercise considering all the muscle groups it involves. There were never too many pull up bars on the sides of buildings or monkey bars (you'd need an assault course that isn't shut down for H&S first!) to work on that type of exercise from what I can remember in DF locations?
                        Last edited by Jessup; 31 January 2011, 18:24.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The test is missing one key exercise IMO. I can remember guys scoring the top in the DF fitness test which is like this just with a run, push ups and sit ups. Some of these guys would then barely be able to do one front grip pull up.
                          From what I've observed, if someone is decent enough at running, push ups and sit ups, they will be athletic enough to do a few pull ups, unless something is dreadfully wrong!

                          edit: I'll keep my ridiculous response there as proof of my stupidity... Didn't read your post fully... guys really couldn't do a single one?!
                          Last edited by gibedepusib0ss; 31 January 2011, 18:30.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jessup View Post
                            That's a high standard alright. I would struggle with the run for sure. I presume that any 'resting' in the push ups and sit ups must be in the 'up' position?

                            I wonder if anyone could do 72 push ups in two minutes if Irish DF PTIs that I can remember doing the fitness tests were counting! IMO you can still lock your arms out at the top of a push up and go back down in one fluid movement without having to pause at the top and emphasise that you locked out?

                            The test is missing one key exercise IMO. I can remember guys scoring the top in the DF fitness test which is like this with a run, push ups and sit ups. Some of these guys would then barely be able to do one front grip pull up. There used to be a requirement to do pull ups as part of the fitness test to get on the DF Para course. AFAIK the "backpack hoist test" on the Ranger course has a very high failure rate highlighting poor strength in the lats, traps, etc.

                            Was it the Legion or the US Rangers that had a pull up bar outside their Mess Hall where you had to do X amount to get in for your grub.

                            I can't do that many myself but it's a great exercise considering all the muscle groups it involves. There were never too many pull up bars on the sides of buildings or monkey bars (you'd need an assault course that isn't shut down for H&S first!) to work on that type of exercise from what I can remember in DF locations?
                            Is the backpack hoist test still there? I got the ARW handout last year from them and it wasn't there, although I'd imagine it's probably part of the gym test?

                            The Brugha has 3 pull up bars outside the gym and 1 inside it. Smashing exercise so it is.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Napp View Post
                              From what I've observed, if someone is decent enough at running, push ups and sit ups, they will be athletic enough to do a few pull ups, unless something is dreadfully wrong!
                              You'd be suprised

                              Comment

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