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Cut Weight for Fitness Test?

I have a fitness test coming up with a prospective employer. The test is scheduled for 4 weeks from tomorrow. It is an anaerobic capacity test consisting of a 400m obstacle run (obstacles include stairs, 18 inch “hurdles” and a 6 foot broad jump) a push pull station and a vault station where one must vault over a 3 foot bar, touch chest to ground, vault over again touch back to ground etc. for 10 touches per side. A “Pass” is 4 min. 15 sec. or less and scoring is competitive as opposed to simple pass/fail.

I passed this test already in 2010 with a time of 3:38 at a body weight of approx. 200lbs with minimal specific prep. Since then I have gained some weight and am walking around at a fairly lean 225-230 (6’4" in height).

I intend to train event specific intervals (stairs, burpees, bounding etc.) 3 days/wk as recovery permits with 2 days/wk cross training (likely on an erg) - I have tolerated a similar workload fairly well in the past. I will be suspending strength training during this time.

Goal time is sub 3 min. but anything in the near 3 min. range is quite acceptable.

I am considering cutting some weight going into this as it is very much a speed biased test and strength is of little value. I am contemplating an IF type protocol with BCAA during the under-eating phase. However my day job is exceptionally physical in nature so I have some concern on that front.

Would it be of greater benefit to try to cut the weight or to simply eat “comfortably”, relatively clean and near maintenance and test at my “natural” weight?

BTW I tend to gain/lose weight fairly readily.

Feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

The first thing would be to do a practice run as soon as possible. Get an accurate assessment of where you are.

If you are ‘fairly lean’ then there probably isn’t much point in cutting weight. Since the obstacles you have listed are relatively technique based, I would say the best course of action would be to simply practice them as much as possible. Maybe split them into 2 groups and do a short session each day, alternating groups with 1-2 sprint sessions per week to improve cardio and speed-endurance.

If you tend to lose muscle quite quickly then droppping all forms of strength training might not be wise but scale it back to maybe 2 full body sessions a week.

Sounds like a fun job though if this is the entrance test :slight_smile:

one of the most unhealthy things for your body…

to gain weight and then loose it… gain and loose…

i always wonder why people who are supose to be athletes, and look on athletic forums and training sites, always get out of shape and fat…

why?

not making fun of anyone, but lots of posts are like this one… bla bla bla, i use to be an athlete, then i got fat now i wanna get fit again… bla bla bla…

[quote]spk wrote:
one of the most unhealthy things for your body…

to gain weight and then loose it… gain and loose…

i always wonder why people who are supose to be athletes, and look on athletic forums and training sites, always get out of shape and fat…

why?

not making fun of anyone, but lots of posts are like this one… bla bla bla, i use to be an athlete, then i got fat now i wanna get fit again… bla bla bla…
[/quote]

Didn’t really get fat or unathletic. Deliberately changed training/eating focus to gain some mass/power. Went from 9%bf+/- at 200lbs doing swimming, crossfitty stuff and lots of road work/high rep calesthenics to 12%bf =/- at 230lbs doing more big lifts and sprinting. I did it on purpose and it was hard work.

I still get 6-8 hours of physical activity 5x/wk (multiple 60-80+ ft. rope/tree climbs, 2-300lb squats–>loaded carries - logs yoked over shoulders, heavy drags, hill sprints, chopping roots with axe etc.) at work. Train outside work 2-3x/wk. (mostly calesthenics and speed work) + some steady state roadwork and fight sports intermittently.

Not really out of shape, just not sure if I’m ideal body size/comp for a specific event.

I am guessing you are doing either the PARE or POPAT? If so, I would recommend that you practice the actual test as many times as you can as I have found these tests are more of a skill rather than a fitness test. Experience in the test is often just as important as fitness levels.

My fastest PARE is 2:47. I would recommend that practicing the test to be as efficient as possible is just as important as working on your fitness.

[quote]trevor16 wrote:
I am guessing you are doing either the PARE or POPAT? If so, I would recommend that you practice the actual test as many times as you can as I have found these tests are more of a skill rather than a fitness test. Experience in the test is often just as important as fitness levels.

My fastest PARE is 2:47. I would recommend that practicing the test to be as efficient as possible is just as important as working on your fitness. [/quote]

Thanks Trevor. Yea, doing the POPAT (will maybe do PARE later). Good advice about viewing it as a skill test. I only ran it once, but it seemed to me that most people who struggled either had pacing or technique issues rather than fitness ones. Especially at the push/pull station.

I have access to all the elements of the test but may not be able to configure them into an actual mock up due to space constraints.

Any opinion about body weight as a factor? It seemed to me that lighter guys generally seemed to do better than heavier ones.

Nice PARE time BTW.

Thanks again.

I did the POPAT twice about 5 years ago. I think I did about 2:56 on the second one. The PARE and POPAT are very similar as you probably know.

Like I said earlier, I would focus on fitness and practicing the actual POPAT. I think both tests are very out-dated and not really a great test of fitness. For example, a less fit person who has done the test many times will beat a very fit person who has never done the test every time.

I also wouldn’t worry too much about body weight. Although being a bit lighter would obviously make the test a little easier I wouldn’t worry too much (unless you already have a bit of body fat you would like to get rid of anyway). I am 225lbs and a few months ago I did a 2:52 PARE with no training in a month and a half.

I don’t know if the POPAT is used by anyone other than Vancouver, however in Vancouver there are a lot of places where you can pay a small drop-in fee to practice the PARE/POPAT.

Good luck with it. Let me know if you have any other questions about the application.

Cheers, thanks!

I agree that it’s a pretty poor test. I think the A-PREP + 2500m run makes more sense but whatever.

Yes mos def get an accurate measurement of where you are at now. Take the test. Then you’ll have a measuring stick on how intense you have to train and you can work on parts of the test you know slowed you down…ie stairs, vaulting…etc.

That POPAT test is worthless. It’s not a challenge and it dosen’t simulate any job related tasks.