Physical Training Instructor
Kaiako Whakapakari Tinana

Defence Force Physical Training Instructors (PTI) play a key role in developing and maintaining the health, fitness and well-being of NZDF personnel.

PTI role explained.

Defence Force PTIs are responsible for ensuring that personnel are physically capable to conduct their operational duties throughout their careers. They are expected to provide expert advice to individuals, units, teams and leaders within the organisation on all matters concerning physical training.

The role of a Physical Training Instructor (PTI)

Physical training and conditioning is a crucial element in preparing individuals for military service. Members of the Armed Forces are required to maintain minimum levels of fitness to meet the requirements of their military duties and are tested in accordance with single service requirements to ensure they maintain the required standards. 

Defence Force PTIs are all trained together at the Defence Physical Education and Recreational Training School before stepping into their own single service to work with service personnel.

The job provides a variety of roles and responsibilities such as:

  • Delivering purpose designed instruction in Strength, Conditioning and Endurance,
  • Specific training to different groups such as adventure training, resilience, survival training and team building.
  • Organise and support various sports events and recreational activities
  • Contribute to mental health and resilience, and support wellbeing and leadership development through team based activities

Additionally, with extra training a PTI can specialise in Rehabilitation to become an Exercise Rehabilitation Instructor.

How can a Physical Training Instructor assist you?

  • Help improve your physical fitness – Each gymnasium offers a variety of classes catering to both formal military group training, individual based training or recreational and sports training. A breakdown of weekly classes can be found at your nearest gym or by contacting the PTIs. 
  • Provide guidance on injury prevention, warm Up / cool down and recovery techniques – Training is an important component to keeping physically fit, and what an individual does in between training sessions does have an impact on recovery and performance day to day. Utilising the knowledge and expertise of PTIs can assist you in your recovery and performance. 
  • Design individual training programmes – Although group training is conducted throughout the week, this at times may not be enough for an individual to achieve their goals. An individual training programme tailored to their needs can help an individual achieve their goals in a safe way with the guidance of a PTI. 
  • Conduct fitness testing – Military personnel are required to pass fitness tests specific to their service and role. This is an occupational requirement. Other types of fitness testing is also used periodically by PTIs to test individuals and groups throughout the year to use as a measurable gauge on how ones fitness is going. 
  • Instruct and assist in sports tournaments and skills – Sport is an important part of military life. It helps improve physical fitness, teamwork and camaraderie. PTIs regularly include a variety of sports and games into training as well as assist in organised Service Sports Code Tournaments. 
  • General training advice – PTIs hold a lot of knowledge around exercise science and physiology. They can assist you in achieving your goals, improve areas you need to work and help you keep physically healthy and strong to perform your job and ensure good quality of life.