Fitness Test: Factors Associated with Passing

BPFA, Run (1)Research Paper Title

Factors of Trainability and Predictability Associated with Military Physical Fitness Test Success.

Background

The purpose of this study was to determine the trainability of college-aged men using varied training programmes and to assess factors associated with successfully passing a Special Operations Forces (SOF) physical fitness test (PFT).

Methods

One hundred thirty-five male subjects were stratified into 3 training groups (run focused, calisthenic focused, or combined run and calisthenic) and were trained 3 times·per week for 12 weeks. Body composition and accelerometer activity patterns were measured pre-training and post-training. The PFT performance (pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups, and 1.5-mile run time) was measured weekly throughout the study period.

Results

The subjects exhibited reduced body fat (18.4 ± 7.7 to 16.9 ± 7.3), increased fat-free mass (66.1 ± 8.2 to 67.4 ± 7.9), reduced fat mass (15.8 ± 9.2 to 14.6 ± 8.9) from pre-training to post-training, respectively (p < 0.05). All groups improved in each component of PFT performance with training (p < 0.05). There was a significant 20 ± 35% increase in 6-day average daily activity for the run-focused training group from pre-training and post-training.

Conclusions

The key indicators of a candidate’s potential to successfully reach SOF PFT standards (in 12 weeks) were determined to be as follows:

  • Enter the pipeline being able to run 2.4 km in ≤10:41 minutes;
  • Have a body fat percentage of ≤12.9%; and
  • Participate in a minimum of 30 min of vigorous physical activity.

Training an individual’s relative run or calisthenic deficiency did not prove to be a better training approach compared with a programme that emphasises training both running and calisthenic activities.

Source: Cuddy, J.S., Slivka, D.R., Hailes, W.S. & Ruby, B.C. (2011) Factors of Trainability and Predictability Associated with Military Physical Fitness Test Success. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 25(12), pp.3486-3494.

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