Royal Canadian Air Force Exercise Plan

Royal Canadian Air Force Exercise Plan ( 5BX) Reviews

Designed in the 1950s, the Royal Canadian Air Force came up with a robust and well-studied exercise plan by the name of “5BX.”

t was supposed to offer tremendous value to the incoming and current members of the air force at the time. It was published in the 1960s and has become a staple exercise plan across the world.

It’s an exercise plan that has been made with attention to detail and is an incredible option for those who want to shed fat or build muscle in the long-term.

5BX: The Key Details

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Core Exercises

  1. Stretching
  2. Sit-Ups/Planks/Core-related Exercises
  3. Back Extensions
  4. Pushups
  5. Running

These are the core exercises in the 5BX program and it is made with the purpose of maximizing energy.

Researchers and fitness specialists at the time were tasked with the job of creating something robust, well-rounded, and meaningful for the air force.

They came up with these core exercises as the starting point of a good Canadian workout regimen as it did it all. Their studies had shown these brought in the best results and prepared their cadets better than anything else on offer.


To better understand what the 5BX program does, it is important to start with the duration as that is a key starting point.

In general, the regimen is based on the idea of allotting each round of exercises to 11-minute intervals.

They wanted the work to be done in quick bursts but to be done with purpose. This is where they were able to manage the most in terms of results as young cadets came in to workout.

The duration was the sweet spot and is something that continues to work well for the human body according to professionals.


One of the key requirements of this program to work was variation.

The RCAF had split the regimen into six charts that had split the type of exercises that were being done. This was important when it came to how the workouts were done and how well they worked in general.

The variation was important and a big reason for how an individual could reach maximum potential regardless of where he/she was working out. The variations still followed the same core exercises except everything was ratcheted up a notch or two as the person got stronger and fitter.

The same applies to the program now.

Built on Progression

The main reason the program is such a potent one has to do with its ability to deal with progression. The human body is more than able to adapt and that is something the RCAF had to focus on or they were going to get laughed at. Most of the cadets who were coming in did have a good level of fitness but it was about challenging them and keeping them on their toes as much as possible. This is why they had built-in progression to make sure there was always something to target for the cadet.

The progression was built on the level of difficulty to follow through with an exercise as that was a must.

If the progression didn’t happen, it would never work out well. This is essential when it comes to building on progression and making it work as well as intended. The program has the ability to keep a person going towards his/her desired results while seeing real growth physically. The RCAF knew as long as a person goes to the last set of exercises, he/she was fit to fly a jet and could do it well without physical issues.

Ideal for All Conditions

The beauty of this has a lot to do with the way it is laid out.

The average person is not going to be restricted when it comes to where he/she is working out. It doesn’t require a fancy gym nor does it require a specific area. As long as you are healthy, you will be able to go through the chart and complete the workout regimen. This is appealing to an air cadet because he/she is stuck in various situations and doesn’t have a facility nearby to head over to all the time. This was mentioned when it came to the RCAF and what they were doing.

Regular Updates

It’s important to note, while the workout is a potent one, it is still being updated to this day so it suits modern research.

Modern research indicates the sit-up should be replaced with something else such as planks or less difficult movements. The RFAF continues to promote physical regimens and uses these core exercises in everything that is offered to their cadets.

For those who want to mimic what is done, this is a great way to lose weight and get fitter just like they did with the RCAF and still do to this day.