CFA

Sofia272727

New Member
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
7
Hi all. I am currently a junior (going into senior year) and I am applying to USNA and USMA. I am a female, 5’1, and about 118 lbs. I am in decent shape but I want to use this summer to get in really good shape. I currently don’t have equipment right now, but usually have access to a full gym (pending COVID-19). Can any girls help me out with a training plan for the CFA?
 

Read12378

New Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
6
I'm not a girl but I have taken the CFA and have some insight into how to maximize your score on the CFA. Run long distance but also work on sprinting as the mile is a sprint as much as it is a "distance run". For many the basketball throw can be difficult work on a throwing technique that works for you. Work on your pull-ups as any amount of pull-ups is better than the maximum time on the flexed arm hang.
 

MidCakePa

Member
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
2,123
Adding to @Read12378:

Run a mix of slow long distance and fast short distance. Mile is a ‘tweener distance that requires both stamina and speed.

Think of basketball throw as a full-body motion. Activate your entire trunk, not just your arm. Calls for a strong core, which will generate torque and power.

Pull-ups, pull-ups, pull-ups! Do them in every way, shape and form: slow negatives, extended hangs, hands facing in, wide grip, etc. It takes a variety of exercises to build up this strength. Be determined that you will not, not, not settle for a flexed arm hang!
 

APGINX

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2018
Messages
14
Hey! I'm essentially in the same boat as you. Am a junior and was in fine shape before quarantine but that I quickly learned being in fine shape and doing well on the CFA doesn't have an exact correlation unless you start practicing for it. To give you an idea of where I started here's my first practice CFA scores:

BB throw: 34'
FAH:0
Shuttle run: 11.47
situps: 75
Pushups: none
Mile run: 9 minutes

I really started putting effort in at the beginning of April and it's now end of May so about a month and a half of work. Every day I would do some sort of pushups in the morning and evening (example: 40 pushups in as little sets as possible, or 3 sets of 5 negative pushups..) Around lunch time I would do a pullup workout that included negatives, scaps, hangs, and dead hangs. Am still working on getting my first pullup but I'm getting closer! After that I'd do some sort of arm and core workout. In mid afternoon I would go out for some type of run, I would switch on and off between sprints (60/120 sprints, 400 meter repeats...) and distance (mainly 2 and 3 miles). Just to give you an idea of my improvement my scores from the last practice CFA were:

BB throw: 44'7
FAH: 22.6
Shuttle Run: 10.34
situps: 83
Pushups: 21
Mile run: 8:03


Pushups and Pullups are what I'm trying to improve on, but every pushup I do, I make sure it's perfect form so when I do take the CFA I don't get no-repped. With about three months left, there's a lot of time for improvement!
 

Drenns3

New Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
2
There’s more to consider than just training for the CFA. Depends on your geography, too, and your MOC and Senators. I live in FL so a month from now weather will be brutal. Yet my MOC requires a valid CFA when submitting the package to him (September). So I’m trying to train now for an execution sooner rather than later. Take all things into consideration.
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner
10-Year Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
7,717
Get a pull-up bar and install in a doorway. Try every time you pass by. As noted above, they are worth way more than a flexed arm hang. Might as well build the skill and the strength. Be a woman who can do pull-ups; you won’t regret it. (my personal experience)

Google “Stew Smith CFA.” He is a former Navy SEAL and USNA staff officer, USNA grad, now a fitness professional.

Search for the official USMA video that demonstrates how the CFA is run. Watch it carefully. While you are working on individual skills, you should do the full CFA, complete with someone who is timing it, every so often exactly as you will be tested, to inventory your progress. It is a sequence designed to test stamina, endurance and core strength.

Good points above on bb throw. There are YouTube videos. It’s a technique thing using knees-up strength and coordination.

Do not procrastinate and let this slide until you are just a few weeks away from the submission deadline. Every year, we see panicked posts from applicants who are injured or ill, had a family emergency, had bad weather, or something happened with their administrator and they could not re-schedule. Even worse are the ones who didn’t do any training for it and are way late in starting. Set a deadline; get it done.

You may find it helpful to consult a fitness professional at the gym or school coach if an element is giving you trouble, or you are stuck.

And for those reading this and applying to multiple SAs, don’t forget USMA requires videotaping, and I’m assuming that hasn’t changed. There are instructions for that, and specific things that must be captured. That’s another body to coordinate.
 

SCubb

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
86
One thing to remember is that the CFA is conducted one event immediately after the other. There is very limited time between exercises. DS was surprised at how tiring it was because he trained one event at a time. I would suggest that periodically you actually practice taking the CFA as It will be administered to best gauge where you stand.
 

Porto

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
27
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
476
.
You are training for the CFA now, but think long term. If you have ceiling space in a Mechanical room, Outbuilding, Garage, or even between 2 trees, you can hang a 3 foot by 1" ID (1-3/8" OD) iron pipe that is already threaded to iron rail mounting fixtures. In the picture below, 2x6 scabs are bolted to the rafters, and the iron mounts are screwed in place.

DD used it when she was home from NAPS, and now she uses it every day to get ready for plebe summer. This old-man can still do pullups. Wrap some athletic tape around it too. There are other "Ideas/Plans" that you can find on the internet.

IMG_0351.jpg
 
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gabby1723

USNA '24
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
91
Hey, I'm in the c/o 2024 and I'm about the same build as you and was in the same boat this year. PM me and I'll answer any questions you have!
 

gabby1723

USNA '24
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
91
Hey! I'm essentially in the same boat as you. Am a junior and was in fine shape before quarantine but that I quickly learned being in fine shape and doing well on the CFA doesn't have an exact correlation unless you start practicing for it. To give you an idea of where I started here's my first practice CFA scores:

BB throw: 34'
FAH:0
Shuttle run: 11.47
situps: 75
Pushups: none
Mile run: 9 minutes

I really started putting effort in at the beginning of April and it's now end of May so about a month and a half of work. Every day I would do some sort of pushups in the morning and evening (example: 40 pushups in as little sets as possible, or 3 sets of 5 negative pushups..) Around lunch time I would do a pullup workout that included negatives, scaps, hangs, and dead hangs. Am still working on getting my first pullup but I'm getting closer! After that I'd do some sort of arm and core workout. In mid afternoon I would go out for some type of run, I would switch on and off between sprints (60/120 sprints, 400 meter repeats...) and distance (mainly 2 and 3 miles). Just to give you an idea of my improvement my scores from the last practice CFA were:

BB throw: 44'7
FAH: 22.6
Shuttle Run: 10.34
situps: 83
Pushups: 21
Mile run: 8:03


Pushups and Pullups are what I'm trying to improve on, but every pushup I do, I make sure it's perfect form so when I do take the CFA I don't get no-repped. With about three months left, there's a lot of time for improvement!
These are great scores. Try to do a pull-up if you can because it really boosts your score, but I did about a 20" FAH and I was fine. For push-ups, well, I'm training for PS right now and I've been doing 2xfailure or 3xfailure each day, and that's more than doubled the number of push-ups I can do. Pyramids work well for other people but I personally don't find them to be as helpful. I believe I did 25 on my CFA. The only score you got that wasn't better than mine was my run, which was about 7:50 (so you're only marginally behind me on that metric).

My CFA scores weren't good by any means, but I think it's great you're starting now and preparing for it, and frankly, I wish I did that myself.
 

Sofia272727

New Member
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
7
Hey! I'm essentially in the same boat as you. Am a junior and was in fine shape before quarantine but that I quickly learned being in fine shape and doing well on the CFA doesn't have an exact correlation unless you start practicing for it. To give you an idea of where I started here's my first practice CFA scores:

BB throw: 34'
FAH:0
Shuttle run: 11.47
situps: 75
Pushups: none
Mile run: 9 minutes

I really started putting effort in at the beginning of April and it's now end of May so about a month and a half of work. Every day I would do some sort of pushups in the morning and evening (example: 40 pushups in as little sets as possible, or 3 sets of 5 negative pushups..) Around lunch time I would do a pullup workout that included negatives, scaps, hangs, and dead hangs. Am still working on getting my first pullup but I'm getting closer! After that I'd do some sort of arm and core workout. In mid afternoon I would go out for some type of run, I would switch on and off between sprints (60/120 sprints, 400 meter repeats...) and distance (mainly 2 and 3 miles). Just to give you an idea of my improvement my scores from the last practice CFA were:

BB throw: 44'7
FAH: 22.6
Shuttle Run: 10.34
situps: 83
Pushups: 21
Mile run: 8:03


Pushups and Pullups are what I'm trying to improve on, but every pushup I do, I make sure it's perfect form so when I do take the CFA I don't get no-repped. With about three months left, there's a lot of time for improvement!
Wow, that's really impressive! I would love to talk more with you. Maybe we can motivate each other to train.
 

Sofia272727

New Member
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
7
There’s more to consider than just training for the CFA. Depends on your geography, too, and your MOC and Senators. I live in FL so a month from now weather will be brutal. Yet my MOC requires a valid CFA when submitting the package to him (September). So I’m trying to train now for an execution sooner rather than later. Take all things into consideration.
Do you know when the latest is that we can take the CFA? I also live in FL and would like to skip the heat.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
6,129
You have until Jan 31 to complete the CFA. However, to piggyback on Capt. MJ's advice, DO NOT wait until the end or near the end to take the CFA. I had two candidates do that this past cycle -- waited until January. They were either "too busy" to take it earlier or were "training to do better," Both failed. Neither is an incoming plebe.

For those who tell me they are "still training" in November or December (and they don't look to be obviously out of shape), I have to wonder what they were doing in May and June and July and August . . .

Practice the test in real time. As soon as you are confident you can get decent scores, take it for real and submit them. (You can get a sense of passing scores by searching CFA threads). If you think you can do measurably better, then keep training, have your scores zeroed out and retake. BUT . . . get a passing score on the books and only retake if you are confident you'll do a lot better. (IOW, if you only do one more crunch or run the mile 10 seconds faster, there's risk in retaking that you'll do worse, so don't do it).
 

gabby1723

USNA '24
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
91
You have until Jan 31 to complete the CFA. However, to piggyback on Capt. MJ's advice, DO NOT wait until the end or near the end to take the CFA. I had two candidates do that this past cycle -- waited until January. They were either "too busy" to take it earlier or were "training to do better," Both failed. Neither is an incoming plebe.

For those who tell me they are "still training" in November or December (and they don't look to be obviously out of shape), I have to wonder what they were doing in May and June and July and August . . .

Practice the test in real time. As soon as you are confident you can get decent scores, take it for real and submit them. (You can get a sense of passing scores by searching CFA threads). If you think you can do measurably better, then keep training, have your scores zeroed out and retake. BUT . . . get a passing score on the books and only retake if you are confident you'll do a lot better. (IOW, if you only do one more crunch or run the mile 10 seconds faster, there's risk in retaking that you'll do worse, so don't do it).
I'm living proof of that. I took it in mid-December. I barely passed it. A week later I was diagnosed with mono. If I took it any later than I did, I would have failed it or would have needed to re-schedule it. DO NOT BE ME!!!!
 

josh876

New Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2020
Messages
9
3-5 mile run at an EASY pace on most days. Running as hard as you can everyday will turn out bad. Running will not only improve your mile time, it will indirectly improve all of your scores by increasing your general fitness. Also, consistent training is essential.
 

sfjl3524

New Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
4
Definitely agree with all that was said above. Another thing I found very helpful that Capt MJ mentioned was regularly taking the test with the correct timing and order of events. For me, I took it every Sunday, which is great to see how much progress you made each week. You'll have bad and good tests, which helps you learn how to set yourself up for success when you come to actually take the real one (how much rest, what did you eat beforehand, weather, etc). Have a parent or friend time you and count your reps.

DO NOT forget to give your muscles time to rest. Once the deadline starts approaching I think we get into machine-mode of just doing as many reps as possible to get stronger. But without proper rest, you risk injury and won't build as much muscle. Definitely start earlier than you think you need to! Best of luck!
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
476
.
In CFA Development (Training), the only thing that matters is Test .... Unit test and full end-2-end integrated test .... test test test.

Test is THE most important phase in any development process. It is the only thing that matters.
.
 
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