Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Abandon Physical Training in Recruit Academy

Heresy! You Say?

Think about it; why do we have P.T. in Basic Training? Why is it management’s responsibility to rehabilitate you for the job you‘re seeking? Where’s the personal responsibility? Where’s the lifetime commitment? 

Think about the hours! In a six-month academy, that’s over 100 hours of training time that could be used more productively on an assemblage of courses focused on personal survival.

Too often, recruits are of the belief that they’ll suddenly get the fitness religion once they’re in a controlled environment. Regrettably, not long after graduation they revert to their former slovenly selves.

I much rather hire the guy who’s demonstrated his self discipline by showing up ready- exceeding by a wide margin the minimal standards on entry.

A number of years ago, we tested applicants for the fire and police academies in a large metropolitan department. We looked at improvements from entry to graduation and one year later.

Not surprising, major improvements were made, mostly in the women, by the time of graduation. But one year later, a majority of the employees were in worse shape than when they were hired.

If we’re going to allow people to regress to their former selves, why waste the time? Why not bet on the person who has already demonstrated that they “get it”: fitness, as a personal responsibility.

Right now, I’m working with a large federal law enforcement organization. In speaking with incumbent officers they were telling me that they wouldn’t workout because “What happens if I get hurt?”

Can you imagine this logic: “I rather stay sedentary and assume those risk factors for heart disease than assume the (very minor) risk for a musculoskeletal injury.”

Think of physical fitness as an I.Q. test; if you’re not doing it, you’re too stupid to work here.

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