Class of 2018 Female, happy to answer questions

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Red2018, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Red2018

    Red2018 Member

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    Hello,

    I am currently a freshman girl at the Academy, and I am happy to answer any questions you have. I know that I had concerns and questions before coming here, and people were forthright and happy to help. So here is me returning the favor. Please don't hesitate to ask.
     
  2. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Hi Red,

    Can you please tell me if my 2018 DD is really too busy studying to call home as she claims, or if she's too busy blues-dancing? ;)

    Seriously, nice of you to give back and kudos on your decision to serve.
     
  3. Red2018

    Red2018 Member

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    Hi MedB,

    It's possible that your daughter is actually quite busy. I find it hard to call home some weeks because I've got so much going on and the first opportunity I get to call home is like 11-12pm on a week night, and with the time difference, there is no way my parents will still be up to talk to me, not to mention that I want to sleep eventually. My roommate though makes time to call home almost every day. The work load is quite tough, and with finals right around the corner, it's quite possible that she is studying. I don't know what the case is with your DD, but I wouldn't be worried. If I can call home once a week I am thrilled.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    So sweet, thanks. I was teasing actually but hard to tell in this medium.

    I think most of the parents have a good sense for how hard the cadets are working.... part of why we are so proud of all of you!
     
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  5. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    I am not sure how daily PT works because I am not there yet so will we be left up to ourselves to do PT on our own time. (I assume if they do, there is time in our schedules right) Also, if it is done alone, do you have a squadmate that you work out with our do you work out alone? I find it more motivating when I am with someone.

    Also, I know we will be broken down at basic so that we can be built up as good team members but did you ever have a moment during basic that you felt was extra hard because you were a female?
     
  6. kjc_25

    kjc_25 Member

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    How did/do girls there train to be able to do pullups? I can do pushups, situps and run no problem, I just can't seem to get the pullups down. Are there any specific exercises you did or routines you followed? Thanks so much!
     
  7. Red2018

    Red2018 Member

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    Hi Rogers,

    I'm going to start with your second question, then come back to your first.

    Basic is really hard. Some people aren't made out to be at the Academy and that is just a fact. Being a girl, no matter how hard you try, the guys will always be able to do more push-ups, pull-ups and other such exercises. So train, make sure you are fit when you get here. But don't stress too much. Yes, you will get singled out. I was singled out a lot, and though it wasn't for being a girl, usually it was for other things. And everyone gets singled out, guys too. But in hindsight, it was important, and that's your chance to prove that you want to be there. You will mess up. They will yell at you. What matters most is to be tough, determined and to not give up. That's how you gain the cadre's respect, that's how you gain the respect of your squad mates. It's not easy, but if you've been selected to come to the Academy, someone thinks you have it in you, don't forget that.

    That said, during basic there will be no PT time. The cadre will be giving you plenty of that. But once school starts, there is no one scheduling your day for you anymore. You will have briefings and classes and all sorts of opportunities like clubs, sports and groups that you can join at your own choosing. So going to the gym will be up to you, or you may be going often with your team for practices. Now unless you are an IC athlete, or have LOS for a club that you have joined, you will have a training officer and he will be scheduling training sessions for your freshman classmates. Depending on what your training officer chooses to do with training, it may take up a lot of your time and you may not be able to go down to the gym, or feel the need to go down to the gym. Like I said, it will be a personal choice. For me personally, I play water polo on the club team here, and so I had an LOS slot. I would go to training sessions every so often, but usually I would have practice on those days, and so I wouldn't go to training sessions. Usually I would go down to the gym about one additional time on top of practice and training sessions and I prefer to work out alone. But many people go down there with friends. That's a personal choice.

    I hope this helps.
     
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  8. haleym

    haleym Member

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    This is toughie, and it took me two years to realize the unfortunate truth: to master pull ups as a female, you have to work on them and the motion it requires consistently. For me, this means using the pull down machine for every workout I do. One routine I use that brought up my pull ups significantly was this: 80 lbs, 3x8 close arm pull down, 3x6 wide arm pull down, 3x8 chin ups, all on the machine. In addition to this, I work on pull ups often as well. In the end, doing them and getting that motion down is what will make you better. Hope this helps you and anyone else struggling with pull ups!
     
  9. Red2018

    Red2018 Member

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    I find that the most helpful things to do are negatives. This is where you jump up the pull-up bar and let yourself down as slow as possible. You can also use the big rubber bands at the gym to get your reps to increase (this has the same effect as an assisted pull-up machine). Otherwise, just work at it a little bit maybe every other day so that your muscles can rest. Push until your can't do any more, you will see progress. On the CFA, I did four after working at it for three months. In basic, I was so exhausted I was excited if I could do one. When I left basic, I was was able to do five. It's not easy to do for a girl. But keep working at it. It is not the end of the world if you can't do a pull-up. Being strong in all the other areas will be really good though. Just remember that in Colorado you will be at 7,258ft, this makes everything more difficult. If you are from sea level, the first time they make you run, it will be horrible. Just be prepared.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  10. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    All of that did help! Thank you so much, It's actually motivating. I'm anxious but excited as well.

    This may be a silly question but what is a LOS?
     
  11. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Also, On the note of doing pull ups, I am working really hard everyday and intend to until I leave by just doing them. There is a machine at my gym that lessens the weight you're pulling up. What can one expect if they do go to Basic and are crap at pull ups?
     
  12. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    If it makes a difference I am super close to maxing sit ups and push ups and I can do an average run. Havent tested my standing long jump yet but intend to
     
  13. Red2018

    Red2018 Member

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    I mean, you will be asked to do pull-ups. Just try your hardest and rely on your classmates. It's not the end of the world, most girls can't. The PFT you take won't be immediately. The AFT you take pretty early. The first times aren't the ones that will count. You''ll take them again and that's where the score will matter.
     
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  14. Red2018

    Red2018 Member

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    It stands for Leave on Season. Which means that your team is recognized as a competition team so your practices trump training. Not all club sports/teams have it. If you want to join one, they will know.
     
  15. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    KJC-
    Disclaimer, not a girl, not a cadet, but my DD will be going through BCT with you, She is a great athlete (boy or girl), as strong/stronger than many guys her age in many areas -- but still searching for that illusive pull-up. We got her from 2 second hang to 25 seconds for her application, and I think will get a pull up out of her this week of next.

    Suggestions:

    1) This is about physics and mechanics. Physics - lower body mass to upper body strength/torque ratio. Many girls are at a disadvantage here. Basic will take a fair amount of weight off, and that pull up will be easier just from that. Mechanics -- I have coached girls for many years, and there is something about the mechanics of a pull up that is different. If you can go slightly less than a total dead-hang, it makes a big difference. If you do go to a dead hang, only go to the point where everything is straight, i.e. do not relax your shoulders once you get to the proper position. Girls seems to be able to go much further than this, to point of your shoulders almost out of socket. Then, when you start the pull up, all of that strain is solely on tendons, not muscle. Keep that shoulder tense when starting, rather than fully relaxing shoulder muscles.

    2) Exercises - Negatives are great. Gravitron at the gym is great. Swimming (freestyle) is another great way to trim weight and build upper body strength. "Supersets" -- as much weight as you can handle four continuous exercises, minimum of 12 reps each: Military press (in front of chin, up, behind head, up is 1 rep), 12 reps, then transition to curls, transition to reverse curls, transition to upright row. No rest from one exercise to the next. Build up to 3-4 sets with minimal rest (no more than 3 minutes) between sets. Increase weight when you can do 15 or more reps on all exercises.

    Once you get the first one, they seem to get easier (I think because you get past the "mechanics" issue described above).
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  16. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    I know they have a swim team but do they have a swim club? I love swimming but Id have to train a heck of a lot to be on the team.

    Okay, I don't intend on coming and failing but I just would like to know. I am super excited!
     
  17. kjc_25

    kjc_25 Member

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    That helps a ton, thanks so much! I live really close to Colorado Springs, we are actually a bit higher than the AFA so at least I've got that altitude thing going for me. ;)
     
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  18. Red2018

    Red2018 Member

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    There has been a club swim team. I'm not sure if it still meets though. There is open swim down at the pool like every day though. And if there is still a club swim team there's a time during the beginning of the year that the clubs advertise. So you'll probably hear about it.
     
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  19. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Awesome, I'm combing my brain for questions but you know most of it we just have to face to really get an answer.
     
  20. #17

    #17 New Member

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    Hi Red,

    Is there anything handy you'd advise to bring for BCT? For example, I've been told to buy moleskin for blisters..but I have no idea any thing else that might be useful tip.
     

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