To get the most out of any fitness routine you need to use the correct technique for each individual exercise, so in this section we set out detailed instructions on how to complete the different sections of your program. We also provide warm-up and cool-down procedures, vital in protecting against injury and in allowing the muscles you've worked time to repair.

Warm-up procedure

Every exercise session should be preceded by a period of 5 to 10 minutes of warm-up and stretching, where the body is gradually prepared for the effort to come. The warm-up should be gentle and rhythmic and preferably use the muscles to be involved in the major activity.

After the warm-up you should complete a number of stretching exercises to prepare your muscles for the activity. Stretching exercises should be held for 5 to 10 seconds with no bouncing or pain.

It is strongly advised to see a qualified fitness instructor for a stretching program.

Shuttle runs

Cool-down procedure

As with the warm-up, a cool-down period is a vital component of an exercise program. This involves a gradual decrease in the intensity of the exercise, until the body's physiological functions return to the resting state.

Stretching should also be done during this cool-down phase.

The warm-up should be gentle and rhythmic and preferably use the muscles to be involved in the major activity

The shuttle test

You run to and fro - a shuttle test - along a 20 metre track, keeping up with a series of beeps on a recording. The timing of the beeps starts off slowly and gradually gets faster, so it gets harder and harder to keep up the required speed.

When you can no longer keep up the required speed you stop, and this provides a good indication of your current aerobic fitness level.

The minimum requirement for each Service differs slightly. The Navy requirement is Level 6.1 which equates to 43 shuttles or a total of 860 metres in 5 minutes and 15 seconds. For Army, the level for both male and female is Level 7.5. This equals 56 shuttles or a total of 1120 metres in 6 minutes 30 seconds. The Air Force requirement is Level 6.5. This equals 46 shuttles or a total of 920 metres in 5 minutes and 40 seconds.


The correct sit-up technique is as follows:

  1. To start, your legs must be bent at 90 degrees and your feet are either flat or with heels on the ground. Your feet can be either held or anchored.
  2. Keep your arms straight with the palms of your hands on top of your legs. Your chin should be as close to your chest bone as comfortable.
  3. To sit-up, keep your hands in contact with your legs until your wrists come to the top of your knee caps. When your wrists reach this position, lower to the start position. This should take 3 seconds and is counted as one sit-up. To practice sit-ups to the required cadence, you can choose from a male or female guide.


The correct push-up technique is as follows:

  1. To start, your toes should be on the ground, feet together or shoulder width apart and palms flat. Your back should be straight and you can either look forward or down. Your arms should be in the lock position.
  2. To reach the down position, keep your body straight then bend your arms to a 90 degree angle from shoulder to elbow. After this has been achieved, push your body back to the full arm lock position. This is one push-up.
  3. You can rest in either the full arm lock position or in the 90 degree position.
  4. Push-ups are performed to a cadence for Navy and Air Force candidates. To practice push-ups to the required cadence, you can choose from a male or female guide. Army candidates have a time limit of 2 minutes to complete the required number of push-ups.