What are the Neuromuscular & Cardiovascular Responses of Royal Marine Recruits to Load Carriage?

Research Paper Title

Neuromuscular and Cardiovascular Responses of Royal Marine Recruits to Load Carriage in the Field.

Background

Cardiovascular and neuromuscular responses of 12 male Royal Marine recruits (age 22 ± 3 years, body mass 80.7 ± 6.8 kg, VO(2)max 52.3 ± 2.7 ml kg(-1) min(-1)) were measured during 19.3 km of load carriage walking at 4.2 km h(-1) and carrying 31.0 kg.

Results

Heart rate during load carriage was 145 ± 10 beats·min(-1) (64 ± 5 %HRR) and showed a negative relationship with body mass (r = -0.72, P = 0.009) but no relationship with VO(2)max (ml kg(-1) min(-1); r = -0.40, P = 0.198). Load carriage caused a decrease in vertical jump height (8 ± 9%) and power (5 ± 5%) (P < 0.001). Change in vertical jump power showed a positive relationship with body mass (r(2) = 0.40, P = 0.029) but no relationship to VO(2)max (ml kg(-1) min(-1); r(2) = 0.13, P = 0.257).

Conclusions

In conclusion, load carriage caused a reduction in vertical jump performance (i.e. decreased neuromuscular function). Lighter individuals were disadvantaged when carrying absolute loads, as they experienced higher cardiovascular strain and greater decreases in neuromuscular function.

Reference

Fallowfield, J.L., Blacker, S.D., Willems, M.E., Davey, T. & Layden, J. (2012) Neuromuscular and Cardiovascular Responses of Royal Marine Recruits to Load Carriage in the Field. Applied Ergonomics. 43(6), pp.1131-1137.

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