Preparing For The Job Related Physical Ability Test (JRPAT)
If you have any questions about you ability to pass the JRPAT, it is strongly suggested that you properly prepare yourself. The first step in this preparation should be a self-assessment. You will need the following materials.
- Step box or stool (height 8 inches)
- Exercise mat
- Can hugger (height 4 inches)
Set up the props as follows: Place the chair. Move 10 feet forward and place one cone (or place marker) in line with the chair. Move 50 feet forward and place a second cone (or place marker) directly in line with the first. These markers represent the running course. Next, go back to the first cone (or place marker) and move 10 feet to the right or left. Place the step box or stool directly in line with the place marker. Place the mat behind the step box, about 10 feet, in line from the chair. You are now ready to run through the test.
If you are able to complete the JRPAT in less than 5 minutes and 30 seconds during practice, then you should be successful during the actual test administration (understanding that this is not a guarantee). If you take longer than 5:30, then you probably have some areas that could use improvement. Please refer to the suggestions below if you fall into this category.
View a practice run through of the JRPAT on YouTubeRemember, the maximum time you have to complete the test is 6 minutes 18 seconds (6:18)
Candidates who are unsuccessful on the JRPAT are not usually deficient in all areas. The primary problem areas are running, push-ups, and sit-ups. For those who struggle with sit-ups and push-ups, it is often a better strategy to perform 5 repetitions, rest for 5-10 seconds, perform 5 more, rest, and then perform the last 5. If you reach full muscular fatigue (going until you cannot perform another repetition), your recovery time will be long and you are likely to go over the allotted time for completion. The best exercise for improving sit-ups and push-ups is, you guessed it, sit-ups and push-ups.
Your goal is to be able to comfortably perform two sets of 15 sit-ups during the course of the JRPAT. In order to reach this goal, you must overtrain. Perform exercise sessions every other day. Each session will consist of three sets of 20 sit-ups. So how are you supposed to do three sets of 20 when you can't get 2 sets of 15 right now? Well, you cheat a little to start. During each set, perform as many sit-ups as possible using the strict form described in the test instructions. If you reach 20 repetitions, stop. If you cannot make 20 repetitions, finish out the set by placing the palms of your hands across your hamstrings. For example, if you perform 8 strict repetitions, you would then perform 12 modified repetitions. As you improve, you will need less modified reps with each set.
A successful push-up will require the following: back is straight during entire motion, chin contacts top of four inch high foam can holder, arms are fully extended with elbows locked at top of motion. Pictures #3 & #4, below, demonstrate the proper body position for a push-up. The applicant may choose to rest in any fashion during the course performing the push-ups. Time will continue to run.
Your goal is to be able to comfortably perform two sets of 15 push-ups during the course of the JRPAT. In order to reach this goal, you must overtrain. Perform exercise sessions every other day. Each session will consist of three sets of 20 push-ups. So how are you supposed to do three sets of 20 when you can't get 2 sets of 15 right now? Well, you cheat a little to start. During each set, perform as many push-ups as possible using the strict form described in the test instructions. If you reach 20 repetitions, stop. If you cannot make 20 repetitions, finish out the set by placing your knees on the ground while maintaining a straight back. For example, if you perform 8 strict repetitions, you would then perform 12 modified repetitions. As you improve, you will need less modified reps with each set.
During each set of 15 sit-ups in the JRPAT, the repetitions do not have to be continuous. A successful sit-up will require the following: knees bent at a 90 degree angle, arms folded across chest with palms on opposite shoulders, up position reached when elbows touch just above knees; down position reached when upper-back portion of shoulders touches mat. You may not lift your hips during the course of the movement (see pictures 1 and 2). You may choose to rest in any fashion during the course performing the sit-ups. Time will continue to run.
Success in the JRPAT can be had without an all out sprint. If you are able to maintain a reasonable and steady pace and complete the exercise stations quickly, you should be able to pass. Improving running ability as it is required for the JRPAT involves a combination of increasing endurance and increasing speed. On alternating days three days/week, increase endurance by running at a moderate pace for 20 minutes. If at first you are not able to run continuously for 20 minutes, walk as needed. For example, you may begin by running for 5 minutes, walking for 1 minute, running for 2 minutes, walking for 1 minute…..until you have gone 20 minutes. As you get in better condition, increase the length of the run portions until you can go 20 minutes continuously. At that point, begin to increase pace. To increase speed, perform the following interval workout 2 times per week (non-consecutive days). Run 200 yards (up and back 50-foot distance six times) at about 80-90% of maximum speed for that distance. Immediately recover by walking the same 200 yards. Begin by performing this routine 4 times. As you improve, work up to performing 8 intervals (eight 200 yard runs with a 200 yard walk after each run). As conditioning further improves, decrease the length of the walk portion to 100 yards. Because this is an intense workout, please make sure that you warm up well before beginning (i.e. a 5-10 minute walk/jog followed by stretching).