scbellows

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I only started looking at the West Point process in October. I had never really thought about it, but a school counselor recommended the school to me after hearing I was going into the Army. I have never been a physically fit individual. In middle school, I was clinically obese. I've made a lot of progress, and am continuing to make process, but I've only been involved in dedicated physical activity since September, when I started looking at enlistment. I know motivation is important to the admissions people, and I know I'm motivated. But I just don't believe I can get where I need to in a month. I've gotten from 230lb to 196 (Currently on a 1700 cal diet in addition to other activity). I've brought my mile time from 15 minutes to 9 minutes. I got from 0 push ups to 10. I couldn't even hold a negative pull up before, and now I can do a couple, just not from a dead hang (I would go until my toes are barely touching the floor, but without my shoulders in the negative position. I can barely get off the ground from a dead hang.). And all of those are when I'm fresh, not exhausted. I don't know where I started for sit-ups, shuttle run, or basketball throw. I would like to think I could reach the requirements by the end of January with enough training, but I'm not sure how realistic that is. Should I just try again next year? I don't want to appear unmotivated, but I also don't want to risk my relationships and grades for physical training that won't get me where I need to be in time. Currently, I'm thinking of waking up early for a 1-hour run, and then doing an hour of weight training and another hour of mixed cardio/agility/weight. Even then, I don't know that I have time for that, unless I take time off of work. My academics are in great shape. I have a 34 ACT with Writing, 4.0+ GPA, 99 ASVAB, and 1470 PSAT. I already have my nomination. What do you all think? I will continue my current training either way, but don't know whether or not I should go to an extreme regimen.
 
You will not get if you do not try. You have time.

Look up Stew; great guy and cares. Watch his videos and get busy.


Find a track coach at your school (or local school) and start training. Let her/him know your goals and what you want to accomplish.

Reach out to local recruiter and see if there is a local group you can train with.

You should not need but an hour a day. You should have plenty of time for academics.

Tough truth - if you do not have enough time to keep up academics with an hour a day for fitness, SA may not be for you.

Best of luck

PS - if you really want to get motivated, set your goal for USNA admission; deadline for application is 12/31/20 - must be complete by 2/28/21
 
A motivational post!

Press hard NOW. TODAY. EVERYDAY until you take that CFA!

You have done the HARD things - keeping up your grades, not every missing a step with that 4.0, STELLAR standardized test scores, when so many cannot even get a testing site....and you HAVE a nomination! Your GC even encouraged you to apply - what does that say about you (good things!!)

You are psyching yourself out. Stop, and pivot.

Your mind set is entrenched in Who You Were. In high school, seems you are sticking to however others perceived (notice past tense) you. As you move towards college, you get the luxury and opportunity to redefine, or refine Who You Are and Will Be. One of those, and a big one (of three: academics, athletics, and all things leadership/military) is that I hope you embrace looking fondly back with pride that you got from middle school self to who you will be (weight & physical fitness wise).

Stop, pivot, and prioritize.

How many people would love to be in your position - support from school, nom in hand, excellent grades? (Everybody!) Do you need to work to pay the light bill? If not, then your focus should be on college-ing - SAs as well as civilian - and doing everything now to ensure you get as many choices as possible. The reason you studied, worked, did all things that impress your GC - is to get college offers, not to focus on work shifts.

So yes, focus everything on the CFA and make it a priority, not the only one, but a BIG one.

It does not matter WHEN you got interested. Making that a subtle excuse for "I don't deserve it" or "Not enough time to train" or "Maybe next year" is not valid rationale. Find the post about the basketball player example - in short (no pun intended), it does not matter how long, how much any candidate wanted it, or how hard you worked for it, but rather who is the best fit for the SA.

Don't look back and post shoulda woulda woulda. You won't believe how much emotional energy you will spend justifying it later in your mind. I am on another forum, and someone was responding to me, long detailed posts about how her (sporting) events are harder, she trains more, and essentially personally snarking at me. I replied back: "1:00.19". Literally. She never attacked me again. The point, what you did and do speaks for itself. Do well on your CFA, then post here, with NO commentary, as the result will speak for itself.
 
Thanks for the feedback! I'm already doing 60-90 minutes per day of weight training (and occasional cardio), I was just considering increasing that amount of time to 3-4 hours. It sounds brutal, but I was pretty anxious. I'm not sure if my school coaches could be of much help, since the school is closed down, but I'll check. I also thought it had to be complete at the end of January, so a February deadline is less terrifying.

Also, you mentioned training with a recruiter. I'm already in the Delayed Entry/Future Soldier program. Do they offer more training than that?
 
Thanks for the feedback! I'm already doing 60-90 minutes per day of weight training (and occasional cardio), I was just considering increasing that amount of time to 3-4 hours. It sounds brutal, but I was pretty anxious. I'm not sure if my school coaches could be of much help, since the school is closed down, but I'll check. I also thought it had to be complete at the end of January, so a February deadline is less terrifying.

Also, you mentioned training with a recruiter. I'm already in the Delayed Entry/Future Soldier program. Do they offer more training than that?
Time you put in is not near as important as the production/improvement from the time you put in.

First priority - tap in to Stew's video. Specifically made for CFA; don't try to figure that out on your own when you have a professional ex-seal who makes his living training folks

Recruiter - ask them
Coach - school is closed but they are running (or should be). Ask them.

Note the complete deadline for USNA and the other SA are different.
 
Also, I just saw a motivational comment from somebody else (I think it was HCopter). It disappeared on my end and won't come back when I refresh. Thanks for the comment! I know a lot of it is psyching myself up. I've always had confidence issues regarding my body and its capabilities, but I know that it's more anxiety than anything else. The comment was appreciated, though, and it did make me feel better. I'll also start working only on the weekends. I'm not paying any bills with it, I just like the income. I think what I'll do is 2 hours per day (1 hour run in the morning, 1 hour at the gym in the afternoon). Does that sound like a good idea? I also do intermittent exercises at home (push ups/pull ups during down time, mostly). Let me know if you think I should do more! I'll also ask my recruiter about it. He's been very supportive about West Point.
 
Time you put in is not near as important as the production/improvement from the time you put in.

First priority - tap in to Stew's video. Specifically made for CFA; don't try to figure that out on your own when you have a professional ex-seal who makes his living training folks

Recruiter - ask them
Coach - school is closed but they are running (or should be). Ask them.

Note the complete deadline for USNA and the other SA are different.
I think West Point is the end of January. It says the application must be complete by the end of January, and I believe that includes the CFA. Either way, I'll push for it.
 
DON'T GIVE UP!!!! It's not over until you get a TWE, and even then there's always next year. Like what wjfpc1 said, you have time. Do cardio everyday, and work your abs and forearms everyday as well. Strengthening your abs will help you with pushups, basketball throw, and sit ups (obviously). Strengthening your forearms will help with pull ups, since they'll help keep you from swinging and wasting energy. I don't know what your workout plan is, but try to do 3 day cycles, like upper body on Mondays/Thursday, lower body on Tuesdays/Fridays, and back on Wednesday/Saturday. Try running at least a mile and a half while alternating every minute between your goal pace and walking. This has really helped me over the past few months with my run time. Also, practice the CFA a few times before you actually take it for record. I try to practice it every Friday.

One thing that really helped me is waking up at the butt crack of dawn to go workout. This way, I'm not tired from work and school and I'm usually half asleep so I don't get in my own head. The gyms are usually emptier in the mornings and the roads aren't as busy.

Definitely talk to your recruiter, they'll be able to help you with workouts specifically for the military. Stew Smith and Mountain Tactical Institute both have amazing videos on the CFA.
 
Agree with above...reach out to the track distance coach for some speed work, add some short/fast hill work too if you can. If you can't get ahold of the coach, there are lots of programs out there on google. Read up on mile racing/pacing strategies, distance running is a large percentage mental game. Also concentrate on core training not weight lifting for the CFA. That will make all the difference. Whatever happens great job on getting healthy!!
 
DON'T GIVE UP!!!! It's not over until you get a TWE, and even then there's always next year. Like what wjfpc1 said, you have time. Do cardio everyday, and work your abs and forearms everyday as well. Strengthening your abs will help you with pushups, basketball throw, and sit ups (obviously). Strengthening your forearms will help with pull ups, since they'll help keep you from swinging and wasting energy. I don't know what your workout plan is, but try to do 3 day cycles, like upper body on Mondays/Thursday, lower body on Tuesdays/Fridays, and back on Wednesday/Saturday. Try running at least a mile and a half while alternating every minute between your goal pace and walking. This has really helped me over the past few months with my run time. Also, practice the CFA a few times before you actually take it for record. I try to practice it every Friday.

One thing that really helped me is waking up at the butt crack of dawn to go workout. This way, I'm not tired from work and school and I'm usually half asleep so I don't get in my own head. The gyms are usually emptier in the mornings and the roads aren't as busy.

Definitely talk to your recruiter, they'll be able to help you with workouts specifically for the military. Stew Smith and Mountain Tactical Institute both have amazing videos on the CFA.
I just started looking at Stew Smith. I'll definitely start running, and I'm planning on waking up at 6:00 for a 1 hour run (with COVID, school doesn't even start until 9:00.) from here on out. I currently do 2 chest days, 1 shoulder/arm day, and 2 leg days per week. Every day, I do some core and some arms, in addition to that. I also do weighted decline sit ups most days. I was mostly just anxious, so I really appreciate the encouragement.
 
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While general fitness and workouts are good, don't forget to practice the actual events that are tested in the CFA.
 
While general fitness and workouts are good, don't forget to practice the actual events that are tested in the CFA.
Yeah. I've only just started actually working on them in-depth. I was already doing a little bit of running, a lot of sit ups, and a decent bit for push ups and pull ups. But I've started a more dedicated focus on the specific events as of today.
 
I just started looking at Stew Smith. I'll definitely start running, and I'm planning on waking up at 6:00 for a 1 hour run (with COVID, school doesn't even start until 9:00.) from here on out. I currently do 2 chest days, 1 shoulder/arm day, and 2 leg days per week. Every day, I do some core and some arms, in addition to that. I also do weighted decline sit ups most days. I was mostly just anxious, so I really appreciate the encouragement.
A 1 hour run is a lot for someone just starting, and would probably be counterproductive. I would recommend shorter runs with higher quality (10-30 minutes), more frequently, and with variety. If you do 2 faster days, 1 longer day, and 1 steady day, you'll improve more quickly. Once you can do 30 minutes at a good pace (about 9 minutes), I would recommend increasing your mileage. Feel free to shoot me a message if you have any other running questions!
 
As far as running questions go, reach out to anyone (preferably seniors) on your high school XC/track teams if coaches aren't available. After four years in the sport they'll be able to recommend workouts and scale them to your ability. I still reach out to my washed-up XC friends from home for ideas.
 
Encouragement is great, but you have to do the work. Get busy! Good luck.
 
A 1 hour run is a lot for someone just starting, and would probably be counterproductive. I would recommend shorter runs with higher quality (10-30 minutes), more frequently, and with variety. If you do 2 faster days, 1 longer day, and 1 steady day, you'll improve more quickly. Once you can do 30 minutes at a good pace (about 9 minutes), I would recommend increasing your mileage. Feel free to shoot me a message if you have any other running questions!
Yeah. I was modeling after my dad, who has been running for a long time. My school's track coach recommended I just run a mile every day. I was also considering adding some additional 30/60 sprint/jog (respectively) in while im at the gym.
 
I dont see an obvious way to edit the original post, but I've already made a plan. I appreciate the encouragement, and I'll do my best, but I've got what I need. I was just anxious and stressed out about it.
 
Dear OP, congrats on taking the step to apply, that itself is a big deal. If you dont get this time, you can always apply next time and I have heard from folks here that it's a positive in eyes of USMA for re-applicants.

Here is my DD's story ( exactly similar to yours), the only advantage over you that she had was that she started beginning of junior year. She was about 200lbs, never played any sport in life, not athletic at all. She joined XC in her junior year and continued till senior year ( this year). Lost over 65 lbs in about 16 months. But while she was losing wt and gaining strength, she started to work on CFA events. She passed USAFA CFA in Oct end and is getting ready for USNA, USMA CFA in few weeks. It can be done, but you got to be disciplined in your efforts.

I think most would recommend that you should know what your baseline is for each of the CFA events.
Good luck and god speed.
 
Hey scbellows, I was going to pm you, but I do not have enough posts. I just want to say I am looking forward to hearing about the improvements and hopefully an eventual appointment. I also am a Class of 2025 hopeful and am rooting for you and based off what I have read you can do this with hard work and focus. I remember my prep for the CFA and my biggest piece of advice is to not compromise. The days you do not want to get out of bed are the days you need to the most. Being wise is important and do not go too hard or else it will be difficult to progress and you will find yourself burning out. Good luck and train hard and smart!
 
Dear scbellows - good luck 🍀 to you. I’m rooting for you! My DS is not a “runner” per se .... he plays basketball & baseball (6’1”, 185). I think with your hard work you might be surprised at how far you can come. On his trial CFA for USNA he failed due to his sit ups (he didn’t practice them too much). It was a really tough pill to swallow - but he was more determined when it was go time. Put up good scores when he officially took it - puking 3 times before the mile run 😂.....he still ran around a 6:10.... just weeks earlier he was in the 7s. You can do this! Don’t give up!
 
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