CFAV Fitness


Why do you want bouyant when you have to duck dive to the bottom of a pool and drag someone up?

Unless they are being used as a floatations device.


Nope, the NPLQ (renewed every few years) includes a timed swim - not meeting the standards = no pass = no job.


But a higher dive = more weight to break water surface tension = deeper dive? Am I getting this wrong?

On the suggestion of lowering standards in the name of gender equality, I’m quite certain that in the 90’s there were quite a lot of wimmin in the west coast American lifeguards. I studied them carefully whenever it was on TV or there was a VHS available. Very carefully. I didn’t see any blokes.

Edit to add: do not go an Google fat lifeguards. What has seen cannot be unseen.


That’s just as well, considering the standards are so low anyway.


What if you aren’t diving into the pool?

What if you are conducting a water rescue outside of a pool?

What if you are duck diving to reach a casualty?

Any self respecting lifeguard would have the pride to train to exceed those standards.

The professional does not expect to rise to an occasion, but to fall to their lowest form of training.


Fortunately, being a lifeguard isn’t one of the roles a CFAV needs to fill.


I may have set my aim a little high for you.


But they will not be, as the whole lifeguard thing came about from Teflon’ s observations at his local pool. The standards I got from Google are the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification. Qualifications relevant to a pool.

You inadvertently have acknowledged that different roles need indifferent standards. Pool Lifeguard standards are not relevant to any job other than pool lifeguard.

By your own rationale, then, RAF fitness standards are relevant to the role that the RAF carry out. And therefore not relevant to the roles that CFAV carry out, despite us wearing the same uniform.

I could call anyone not fit enough to pass SF selection a “disgusting fat body”, but just because they are not at that standard, doesn’t mean they can’t function in the role they occupy.

Edited to add that I include myself in the group of people unable to pass any SF fitness test!


Actually, when I failed selection there were still tubbies passing me - there were some really fit blokes who were gone by week 3, and blokes who just looked like randoms off the street who were still going strong at week 12. Moobs and all…

It wasn’t fitness per se, it was mental and physical ‘hardness’ that got people through it - there were certainly people I was fitter than who were still going when I failed.

I didn’t get injured, or slap the DS, or any of the normal fairy stories, I simply wasn’t physically or mentally hard enough, and was there for the wrong reasons.

STA Patrols was probably physically and mentally more demanding, but because I was older, bit more focused, bit more laid back, more experienced, and doing it because it was a natural progression I found it easier - not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but I didn’t feel the internal pressure that i think helped me fail selection for 22, just a more measured confidence that I could do what was being asked of me.

(Derail, but who cares…).


Completely different. You can not compare SF selection to lifeguard standards.
And it’s most certainly not about being a sculpted god. Yea fair one lads carrying a few pounds in a professional fighting force but some of the life guards I have seen were horrendous. And quite honestly this aren’t high standards.
Now that doesn’t mean I am saying they need SF swimming tests.

Beach life guard is slightly different granted but still pretty low standards. And level 1,2 and 3 water rescue is again a different kettle of fish.

Mental toughness, resilience and determination is a completely different topic and I would more than happy to debate or talk about how science can not measure the will to succeed or motivation, or how the mind can push the body beyond its limits.

But the basic standards for the RAF are low. We as a society need to strive to get the young people more educated and interested in taking their fitness seriously, instead of allowing these festering health at every size pseudoscience poison our kids. There’s a statistic that predicts by a certain year in the future that 50% population of the U.K. will have diabetes. And We are in an obesity epidemic.

You shouldn’t be reading the RAF standards and think they are hard. (Nor if you want to be a life guard) I wasn’t saying CFAVs need to do the fitness test but personal fitness should be encouraged and as it’s an aviation theme, why not get the kids involved.
Maybe if we had more cadets doing RAF fitness tests, we could maybe start good habits and maybe bring down the national average for obesity by a tiny margin.
And when they grow up they will talk to their kids and encroached healthy attitudes to fitness, etc. The cycle goes on.

And yes the female standards need to be brought up to equal standards as blokes.
Why would it be acceptable for a woman to do it at a different standard to a bloke? If they want to do the job, they should reach the same standard. Simple.

strong post Angus. Strong.


Hi all,
Just putting my 2 pence worth in…
After serving for 26 years and having done all that lovely free phys. Now after 5 years of being made compulsory redundant, I have put on 2 stone due to a less physical job, am I over weight - yes, am I effective at my (paid) job - yes. Do I respect myself even though I am a “fat knacker” - Yes. Do I intend to change my life style - No
There have been many derogatory posts reference “fatties”. So because you are as thin as a fag paper you are “fit to wear a uniform”. Look at some pics of the ACO ambassadors passed and present. Thin, uniform tailored, RED nail polish, hair belonging to Wurzell Gummage, shoes not seen polish for weeks - Great image. I remember being OOA in a sandy place working 19 hours days for four months (although I did have two days off in that four months) the skinny PTI gave me a TELLING OFF for me and my three lads not attending morning phys. I politely ordered her to be at my office in the morning when I started work and she will do my job for my shift. We started at 0400 finished at 2300. She was on her chin straps by lunch time and had the next day off!!!
We need to respect ourselves and others for what is brought to the party. if you are fat or thin but effective - what is the problem? I have NEVER claimed a days pay or travel expenses since becoming a Sgt (ATC) nor will I ever. I do not do this for the money, I do it for the smile on the faces of kids who have achieved something. Please do not forget that. Would I do a compulsory fitness test - no, not because I’m a militant, but because there are other things that require sorting before fitness testing - How about compulsory drug testing as a starter. Life is too short to get bogged down in stuff, especially if you are over weight, smoke and drink :wink:


To be fair, the swimming test is probably about comparable in difficulty.

The NPLQ test is fairly easy if you’re a good swimmer, but you certainly do need to be a good swimmer to pass it.


Fitness tests for those in uniform? There are reasonable arguments pro and con, but it really only comes down to one thing for me; if you’re asking the cadets to do something you should be able to do it yourself.

If you’re asking them to go do wing athletics, wing swimming, football, netball, hockey, DofE physicals, etc etc, then you should be able to do it as well. It’s your duty as a leader.


We give them the opportunity, we don’t require participation.
If those activities were mandatory then your point would be valid.


We are the Air Cadets. We fly. Hardly any of are pilots.
Our job as staff is to facilitate events, this may organising or it may be leading. You wouldn’t want me to be on a hockey field with a weapon in my hand. The duty first aider will have a very busy time.


We are the Air Cadets. We flew.

Fixed that for you.


The cadets that do sports are the ones who want to do them. I would not force a cadet to participate in a competitive sport.

Even DofE physical is personal improvement and not a set against criteria/points as it once was.

Do I in my 50s want to run around like I did in nonsensical PE lessons years ago … NO. How many staff in school do PE/sport in school if they aren’t PE teachers, I don’t even remember the PS teacher doing things, they just supervised.


Nowadays PE staff cannot participate in sports with pupils especially contact sports.


So, do you put your kit on every time the cadets do sports? Do you lead the way on the inter squadron 100m sprint? Do you get in the pool with the cadets at the inter wing swimming comp?

I know what your saying, but whilst I support your viewpoint for staff engaged in fieldcraft, AT etc. Sports is one of the areas I wouldn’t expect staff to participate.


If the rules didn’t say I wasn’t allowed, then yes, I’d happily do so.