Initial Military Fitness (IMF)
Recruit Training Squadron (RTS) Physical Training staff have introduced a new form of Physical Training (PT) for phase one trainees.
The main aim of Initial Military Fitness (IMF) is to assist in achieving the transformation of a recruit from the civilian world to a disciplined, fit and robust airman.
Initially IMF was used by the Royal Marines. However, there is a similar requirement for the highest levels of physical fitness and the need for a form of PT to instil discipline, strength and conditioning into a group of Airmen in their initial stages of military training. As proven by the Royal Marines this Swedish system fulfils this role admirably, by providing an excellent foundation on which to build physical fitness progressively.
Apart from being physically demanding and achieving all the physical training objectives, mental efficiency is improved as the cadence of PT is increased by the staff delivery and words of command. The recruits’ concentration and therefore discipline, bearing and standard of performance are expected to be maintained during successive lessons despite the accumulation of fatigue. The ability to remain alert and capable of performing skilful, body-weight tasks is a pre-requisite ability for all airmen operating for prolonged periods under stressful and arduous conditions.
The PEd staff has enjoyed creating the new way of delivery and has forged a strong relationship with the Royal Navy, led by one of the exchange instructors, Petty Officer Stu Brown. By taking some of the Royal Navy’s ideas but tweaking the content to incorporate the RAF Core Values makes the end result undoubtedly fit for RAF purposes.
Warrant Officer Tony Martin, said “The feedback from students has been very positive, allowing them to experience something unique and not available to them in the civilian fitness sector. They believe it has met their expectations of how they thought Military PT would be before they enlisted. Recruits believe it has helped them integrate into Service life, preparing them well for the physical and psychological demands of both drill, and Exercise Blue Warrior (the 4-day field exercise phase of the Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC).
As students progress through a 10-week PT programme, the lessons develop into pursuits such as boxercise, spinning and sports competitions, whilst ensuring that cardio-vascular fitness and muscular strength improve through training.”
Sqn Ldr Matt Tope, Officer Commanding RTS, is thoroughly impressed with the programme, “As well as being a thorough workout, it points up the recruits’ need to work in unison, and there is nowhere to hide… it reaches across to drill and to the Force Protection phase to help produce fitter, more agile and capable airmen and women”.