3 Reasons for passing the PARE/POPAT

The process to becoming a police officer is long, stressful, and competitive. You have to make sure you’re on point in every stage of the process. And this is before you make it to the training academy.

At every stage you need to make sure you’re ready. Yet time and time again I have seen applicants approach the physical test with a laissez-faire attitude.

For a decade, I’ve trained many applicants for their physical test. The number is in the hundreds, if not thousands.

And I’ve seen why many are successful, and why others fail.

Here are 3 reasons why you will not, but pass with flying colours:

Starting Early

Too often, applicants come to me with only weeks to go before their test. Yes there are exceptions as to why they come to me so late, but they are few and far between.

They start freaking out over their test because they’re not ready. And the reason is obvious: they left it to the last minute.

A physical test is not like a written test; you can’t cram last minute. You need to be prepared for the test, and that takes time. If you’re unfit, it takes more time, at least 2-3 months.

The most successful Redliners are those who start preparing early, before they even apply. They know in their hearts that policing is what they want to do, and they do everything in their power to be ready before applying. By the time test day arrives, they are not only prepared to pass, they are prepared to run faster than they expected.

If you know you want to be a police officer, or even if you have an inkling to be one, it’s imperative you start training now. Get yourself strong and fit strength training and cardio training. That way when test day arrives, you’ll be ready for it.

Practice, practice, practice

As important fitness is to passing, you also need to practice. Think of the obstacles as the skill component to the test. You can have the best fitness in the world, but if you don’t practice being efficient when tackling the obstacles, then you’re wasting more energy than you need to.

The ideal would be to practice at an actual practice facility (like yours truly), but more often than not you won’t have that luxury. That doesn’t mean you can’t set up your own course. Nor does it mean you can’t practice on individual obstacles.

Practice often, practice lots. Become comfortable with each obstacle. When you’re comfortable taking on an obstacle, you have much more confidence, and confidence is key. Confidence means you won’t hold back and you will give your all.

Here are a few instructional videos showing you how can practice individual portions of the test.

Hurdles

Mat Jump

The Right Training

There are a few training mistakes I see in an applicant’s training plan:

Not enough intensity in cardio training
Not enough cardio training
Not enough strength training (or the wrong strength training)

Let’s start with cardio.

It’s all too common to see someone who only does moderate intensity cardio training (whether it be running, cycling, the ellipitical, etc.). For general fitness, this is fine. But you’re not training to be general. You’re training to be an officer. And an officer has to perform at a moment’s notice.

Imagine this: you’re out patrolling for hours, sitting in your car. Then, at the snap of a finger, you’re chasing down a suspect on foot. You run through shrubs, jumping over fences, chasing him/her up and down stairs, jumping over more fences, etc.

If you don’t have the cardio fitness to run at a high intensity, then you can kiss bye bye to the bad guy.

Train at different intensities to get the most out of your cardio training. Train at one intensity only, and you won’t develop the rest of your cardio abilities.

The next problem is not doing enough cardio training. This is often the lifting crowd who think 5 min on the treadmill to warm-up is sufficient. Or that squatting faster is enough.

Yes, you get your HR rate up, but you’re not teaching your body how to have stamina.

On the flipside, you may be able to run like you’re the Energizer Bunny (you keep going and going and going…), but you probably don’t have any strength. It’s all well and good to chase down the suspect, but if he’s twice your size and you have no strength to handle him, then you’re in trouble.

When designing a training program, you need the right mix of cardio conditioning and strength training. Depending on what your weaknesses are will determine where you need to place your focus.

Everyone can be a little stronger, everyone can have a little more stamina, but everyone should be ready.

Train for performance.

Practice.

And start early.

Wanna learn more about our program? Check out the Police Fitness Training program. It’s our ongoing training program to help you prepare for your physical test and for the Academy.

If you’re a complete beginner to the tests, the IT3 Program program is for you. It’s our intro program to help you build your skills and technique for the test, giving you the confidence you need to succeed.

Looking to run a practice? Check out the PARE and POPAT Practice Test page for the next available session.

Don’t live in the Lower Mainland? I offer online coaching for those who live very far from our physical location.

And if you have any questions about training, you can reach out to me at marc@rlconditioning.ca.