Fallacies of Training for Test Day

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I frequently get questions about training with the direct intent of getting ready for the PAST (Physical Ability Stamina Test) or hitting indoc grad standards prior to entry. I want to take a moment to explain why this method of thinking is flawed, and historically, has been proven ineffective at delivering qualified candidates to the career field.

Don’t get me wrong, if you know what’s coming, you’d be extremely naive to think a lack of preparation is the way to go. This is not what I’m advocating. However, the problem arises when you train too specifically and are ONLY prepared to take the test. As many of you may or may not know, throughout high school and college, there are typically multiple versions of a test. Take this example into consideration: 2 students are going through a calculus course and they stumble upon the answer sheet for the final. One of them (student A) uses his study time to memorize the answers. The other student (student B) realizes that his future career as an engineer will rely on him understanding this material, so he spends his study time actually learning calculus. When test day arrives, a new version of the test is given and the answer key student A studied is no longer valid. Who do you think had a better chance of success?

For those of you looking at joining Air Force Special Warfare (AFSW) this “test swap” is exactly what just happened with the introduction of A&S (Assessment and Selection). There is no longer a specific PT test that must be taken to graduate; but rather, a series of events that you will be judged on. Your overall performance is what is going to separate you as an AFSW candidate. You do still have to complete the PAST prior to entry, however, everything beyond that is much more difficult both mentally and physically, and just “crushing the PAST,” will not fair well for you.

What’s happening to those who are training for the test?

shin splints

Approximately half of the candidates showing up to SW prep are arriving already injured. The predominant injury seems to be shin splints induced by improper training and overuse injury caused by candidates focused on over-training the events in the PAST. These candidates are the A&S equivalents of student A in the above example. They only studied for the test and did not truly prepare themselves to perform as tactical athletes. This is unacceptable and fortunately for you, very avoidable.


Let me help you…

I’ve already done the research, earned the certification and translated a proven methodology using an operators lens, to give you the best tool for the job… performance. If you want to develop a foundation in your strength and conditioning that will give you the confidence that you did everything in your power to prepare yourself both for selection as well as a long career as a Special Warfare Airman, then I encourage you join me among the ranks of Team ST.

As a Team ST member, you will receive a scientifically proven training program, written specifically for you, the tactical athlete, by Coach AN and delivered by an interactive, user friendly app right to your smartphone.

Additional benefits of joining Team ST include:

  • Individualized recovery and nutrition guidance
  • Inherent periodization that will enable you to scale
    training sessions to prevent overtraining and allow
    you to push hard when you are thoroughly recovered.
  • Invitation to a closed Facebook group for Team ST
    athletes to share challenges, and help build the team
    mentality and camaraderie now
  • Direct/unlimited access to Coach AN for questions,
    guidance, video feed back and much more.

If you are serious about becoming an AFSPECWAR operator, you need to start maximizing your time invested on preparation. Stop focusing on rehearsing for a test that, truthfully, is at the bottom of the list of difficult things you’ll be asked to accomplish. Time is valuable, investing in performance training will both maximize your time and establish a foundation for a successful career.

-Coach AN
Team-ST

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