If you're looking to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF) you'll need to undergo a pre-employment medical as part of the selection process. This allows your chosen branch of either the Army, Navy or Air Force to establish whether you're physically up to the challenge, as being fit will allow you to perform in a variety of difficult environments and has a huge impact on your psychological well being. Your assessment is generally separated into two different areas: physical fitness and general health, which will be assessed by physical training staff and a qualified doctor respectively. 

Physical Fitness Assessment 

Your physical fitness assessment (PFA) will take the form of a 20 metre shuttle run along with press-ups and sit-ups, with the aim of testing a combination of physical strength and muscular endurance. The individual branches of the ADF have slightly different testing requirements for the press-ups and sit-ups for both men and women, which gives an indication as to which roles are likely to be more physically demanding.

The best way to prepare for these tests is to undergo a rigorous training regime before you apply. Try doing a combination of strength and cardiovascular training each week, and use the PFA as a weekly method of testing your progress. Be sure to train your muscles equally to minimise the risk of muscle imbalances, and leave at least 48 hours between training the same muscle groups to allow them to recover fully; this means that you shouldn't do press-ups and sit-ups every day.  

Musculoskeletal and General Health Assessment

The next assessment you'll have will ensure that your body is in good general health and functioning on a physiological level. The doctor will assess the movement of each joint and your general flexibility, you may also be asked to perform a series of movements such as squats, lunges, farmers walks and jumps to ensure that you will be physically capable of performing everyday movements without pain or physical hinderance. Secondly the doctor will listen to your breathing with a stethoscope and listen out for anything that could indicate present or future health issues, for example heart murmurs. 

There is no way to prepare for this part of the overall entry assessment unless you have a copy of your medical records and can pinpoint areas where you know you'll fail. Deformities such as acute and painful hammertoe can delay and even halt applications, and so some people opt to undergo surgery to correct these issues before they apply.