CFA Fail

So I have a couple questions, I’ll give you my scores before I ask them:

BBall Throw: 47
Shuttle Run: 8.8
Push Ups: 62
Sit Ups: 90
Pull Ups: 4
Mile Run: 8:47 (I know this is atrocious)

USAFA is giving me a chance to retake the exam one more time before November. I’m determined.

What areas do I need to increase my score in?

How do I increase my pull-up score? ( no matter how hard I try with workouts it’s difficult to increase my pull-ups unlike it is with pushups.)

How should I create a workout routine to improve in the areas I need especially pull-ups and running?
 

NJROTC-CC

Member
You are correct. Pull-ups are hard to train for. My DS is a skinny 15 year old. I am starting his training for pull-ups now.

You need to work on upper body arm strength. Do arm curls, and pull-down lat exercises on a weight machine. Join the gym or go to the local Y. Another great training tool is a pull-up band. Basically, a giant rubber band that you attach to the pull-up bar. Then, you put one foot in it and let it take part of your weight. Then, you do pull-ups with less than your full weight. This helps you build up all the muscles gradually. Do as many reps as you can. Do it at least every other day and push yourself to the limit. If you can already do 4, I guarantee you will improve over time.

Run hard every other day (especially days when you are not doing pull-ups) and then build up to every day. Watch what you eat if your weight is a concern. The lighter you are, the faster, you will be able to run a mile.
 

Korab

Member
So I have a couple questions, I’ll give you my scores before I ask them:

BBall Throw: 47
Shuttle Run: 8.8
Push Ups: 62
Sit Ups: 90
Pull Ups: 4
Mile Run: 8:47 (I know this is atrocious)

USAFA is giving me a chance to retake the exam one more time before November. I’m determined.

What areas do I need to increase my score in?

How do I increase my pull-up score? ( no matter how hard I try with workouts it’s difficult to increase my pull-ups unlike it is with pushups.)

How should I create a workout routine to improve in the areas I need especially pull-ups and running?
Basketball throw, pull ups and run are the worst scores. For help with pull ups, join a gym. There is a machine known as an assisted dip/chin machine that will allow you to perform dips and chin ups while lifting an adjustable portion of your weight. This will allow you to perform many more reps and increase your strength. Chin ups are hard to improve on when you can't do enough reps to effectively work the muscles. Another way to work those chin up muscles is to use a chair to get yourself in the up position and then do the slowest drop into the down position you can manage.
 

bizzy1013

ArmyVet_USAFAdad
So I have a couple questions, I’ll give you my scores before I ask them:

BBall Throw: 47
Shuttle Run: 8.8
Push Ups: 62
Sit Ups: 90
Pull Ups: 4
Mile Run: 8:47 (I know this is atrocious)

USAFA is giving me a chance to retake the exam one more time before November. I’m determined.

What areas do I need to increase my score in?

How do I increase my pull-up score? ( no matter how hard I try with workouts it’s difficult to increase my pull-ups unlike it is with pushups.)

How should I create a workout routine to improve in the areas I need especially pull-ups and running?

My DD built her workout strategy last year. I would say BBall throw is average for women and below for men. There are techniques that are available on youtube to increase your score. Also, the pullups you can do techniques to improve your score...My DD is jump pull ups to build her strength and muscle memory; she also did hang in the pull up position to build muscle. She did ladder training to improve time. I would run a 1/4 mile fast and 1/4 mile slow....Build up and build your time by pushing yourself... You can do this but it takes a daily discipline regiment
 

anlee

Member
For the pull-ups do negatives and try to just hang on the bar to improve your grips strength. For the basketball throw, just do it over and over again... find your sweet spot. Keep your wrist stiff when you throw it and tighten your core. For the mile, just get outside and run a mile and a half every day, then when the one mile comes, it'll be a breeze.
 

brewmeist

Member
@anlee has it right. Negatives are a great workout for pull-ups. And you can already do 4, so try to do multiple sets of 2 with a break in between. Increase the reps as you get stronger.

Don't overthink the running. Just run.
 

Fotouman

Member
Here is a concept that I used to train for pull-ups that helped me a lot: Do 50 pull-ups within an hour. Don't quit until you get to 50. Get your chin over the bar any way you can. Use a resistance band, help your self by jumping off the ground, use your feet on a wall, anything you can to get to 50. If you can't get to 50 within the hour, that's ok because it's just an arbitrary number. Whatever number you got, try to beat it next time.
 

CrewDad

Member
Based on your CFA you are disqualified unless you pass the second and the final CFA with run time no more than 7:30 and increase your pull ups. For Air Force, Admissions ask you run faster by 30 seconds with min run time of 8:00 mins. So they like to see 7:30 min run time to be competitive. Air Force Academy is at 7,000+ feet so Oxygen is thin and you will need to run faster. So run everyday before you do your second CFA. You have until Jan. But don’t wait too long. Winter weather will slow down your run time.

You can improve pull ups by practice. Practice is the only way. Buy a pull up bar today. Do pull ups every time you walk by your room. Remember to do a full and proper pull ups. Full arm extension down and full pull up to your chin. No jerking and kicking. Do pull ups all day! Do a gradual increase. And over time do one more than the last with proper form. West Point requires candidates to video tape the pull up and push up sessions. Really this is the only way to improve it. My DS did 3 pull ups when he tried doing it first time at 14. So I bought him a pull up bar and he practiced all day every day until he took his first CFA at 16. I did pull ups with him to build camaraderie and to encourage him. He started to max out on pull up at late age 15. He did 20 pull ups for his CFA at age 16. Academies only count 18 as max pull ups. With pull ups lighter you are easier it is. More mass and muscles you have it gets that much harder. So many football players don’t reach max pull ups. Many candidates cheat their CFA reporting. This is why the Academy retests your CFA during Plebe Summer. If your score falls far short than you will be on watch. They won’t kick you out during the summer but they can kick you out if you fail 3x.

You can do it! Just practice practice practice. Same thing for basketball throw. Basketball throw requires a lot of practice with proper kneel position and upper body swing “pendulum” style to get the right distance. This I believe is an antiquated requirement but it is still a requirement so do practice and hit the average at least. “You can do it.” If you fail due to CFA then go AFROTC Pathway. PRT is different for AFROTC. You run 1.5 miles so you still have to run in time. Set a target to run no more than 10 mins for 1.5 miles. Good luck.
 
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kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
To help with the run time, do sprint intervals. I'm sure Stew Smith can help there or just google 'sprint interval workouts' and see what comes up. Rn more slowly between intervals. Make it a regular part of your workout.
 

GoCubbies

Member
How tall are you and how much do you weigh?

If you’ve got some extra weight on you, then your run time and pull-ups (and probably all the other CFA events except the basketball throw) will be affected.
 
Invest in a pull up bar and workout bands, use the bands to assist your pull-ups. Do as many as you can in one attempt, when maxed out use the band to assist until failure with the band.
 

Dp1

New Member
Good evening,

In the beginning of July, I started training for the CFA. Currently, my pullups, situps, mile, and basketball throw are a work in progress. However I desperately need help for the pushups and shuttle run portion of the test. If it helps currently, outside of school, I run cross country and track. I need to take the CFA by November 4th and my first practice is on September 21st. I am also a male.

My scores are:

Pullups- 7
Basketball Throw: N/A (10 lbs ball: 18 ft)
Pushups: 38
Sit ups: 71
Shuttle Run: 9.2
Mile Run: 4:45 (End of track season---> time trial)
 
So I have a couple questions, I’ll give you my scores before I ask them:

BBall Throw: 47
Shuttle Run: 8.8
Push Ups: 62
Sit Ups: 90
Pull Ups: 4
Mile Run: 8:47 (I know this is atrocious)

USAFA is giving me a chance to retake the exam one more time before November. I’m determined.

What areas do I need to increase my score in?

How do I increase my pull-up score? ( no matter how hard I try with workouts it’s difficult to increase my pull-ups unlike it is with pushups.)

How should I create a workout routine to improve in the areas I need especially pull-ups and running?
In my opinion you don’t even need to go to a gym for this test; I never did. Just make sure to not always do the same exercises in the same order. Switch it up, and instead of doing pull ups, make sure to do chin ups some days. Some days do everything else in the exam before you do pull ups so that your body is tired while doing them, other days do pull ups first to maximize the number you can do. Just don’t let yourself do the exact same routine every time because by most research this slows muscle growth and endurance increases. Your body gets used to the same daily training, so make sure to prevent that by regularly changing the order of your workouts, and the content within them. Also, give yourself break days, especially with upper body training. Running is something good to do almost every day, but upper body training mandates a few days off for muscle repair. Good luck!
 

raimius

10-Year Member
Practice is the best course. Also, have someone else look at your technique.
For me, doing pull-ups is significantly easier if I lean back slightly (don't get ridiculous, as poor form means uncounted reps and wasted effort).
For push-ups, practice multiple sets! Do a max set, take a 1-5min break, then do another. Do this a couple times a day.
For running, I recommend doing the interval training and on alternate days do 3-5mi for endurance.

Realize also that much of this is mental. Once you figure out how to tell your mind to do more, you will be able to do more. (This isn't magic though, don't expect a 100% improvement overnight!) Practice for greater than what you want on your CFA. If you know you can do 100 sit-ups in the time period, getting 90 is easier. If you previously ran a 6:50, getting a 7:15 seems reasonable.
 
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