Physical Training for Loaded Marching Performance Among British Army Recruits.

Research Paper Title

Physical Training for Loaded Marching Performance Among British Army Recruits.


  • Study 1 quantified the validity and repeatability of an automated on-line (ON) gas analysis system during sub-maximal loaded marching (LM) against that of the Douglas Bag (DB) approach. The 95% ratio Limits of Agreement (LoA) revealed the ON system systematically overestimated V02 by -16% (1.16 (x/+1.19). The Bland and Altman plots revealed DB repeatability was almost two-fold better than ON (-9% vs. -15%), thus the DB approach should be used subsequently to measure human expired gases.
  • Study 2 investigated the difference between a LM maximal oxygen uptake protocol (LMp) versus a standard running protocol (Rp). The LMp V02max was lower than Rp (48.6 ± 4.3 ml’kg-I’min-I vs. 51.3 ± 4.0 ml’kg-I’min-I, P=0.001). Thus, the quantification of sub-maximal LM exercise intensity will be underestimated by -5% if derived from a running V02max protocol.
  • Study 3 investigated the repeatability of accepted and potential determinants of Loaded Marching Performance (LMP). The LoA revealed the repeatability of Loaded Marching Economy (LME) (0.98 (x/+1.09», V02max (1.01 (x/+1.07», upper body dynamic strength (1.01 (x/+ 1.11», and anthropometric measures (1.00 (x/+ 1.02» to (1.00 (x/+ 1.07» was reasonable, but dynamic leg strength (1.06 (x/+ 1.14» and isometric strength (1.00 (x/+ 1.12» to (0.99 (x/+1.16» were large.
  • Study 4 established the determinants of 2.4 km LMP from a test battery performed at the beginning of British Army infantry training. The best mathematical model of LMP included the independent variables of, LME (r=0.65), 2.4 km run time (r=0.42), and peak static lift strength (r=0.48). This explained 65% of the variation in LMP, and had a prediction error of ± 51 s. Mathematically, LME and 2.4 km run time exerted the greatest influence on LMP, whereas the influence of static lift strength on LMP was small.
  • Study 5 investigated the physical and physiological responses of the established determinants of LMP during 24 weeks of British Army infantry training. Loaded marching performance improved 7.0% (900 s to 837 s, P=0.001), LME 9.6% (2.28 l’min-I to 2.06 l’min- I, P<O.OI), 2.4 km running performance 3.6% (617 s to 595 s, P=0.002), and V02max 2.6% (3.74 l’min-I to 3.84 I.min-I, P=0.007), however peak static lift strength did not change (126.0 kg to 122.0 kg, P=0.249). Thus, infantry physical training should be modified to further improve V02max, 2.4 km run time, and muscular strength, in order to further improve LMP.
  • Study 6 investigated the efficacy of a modified (MOD) physical training programme designed to improve V-02max, 2.4 km run time, and muscular strength, for the purposes of further improving LMP. MOD physical training consisted of high intensity interval training, and field based resistance training. Between-groups no differences were observed in 2.4 km LMP (832s vs. 826 s, P=0.187), V02max (4.01 l’min-I vs. 4.061·min-l, P=0.828), 2.4 km running time (571 s vs 570, P=O.208), and static lift strength (126.5 kg vs. 119.0 kg, P=0.218) at the end of training. Unexpectedly, the control group performed better in, 6.4 km LMP (49.7 mins vs. 51.5 mins, P=0.005) at the end of training, and 2.4 km running performance in the middle of training (588 vs. 566 s, P=O.OO 1). Thus, the MOD intervention was no better than existing infantry physical training at improving LMP, as well as the determinants of LMP.


Physical Training for Loaded Marching Performance Among British Army Recruits (Brown, 2009)


Brown, P.E.H. (2009) Physical Training for Loaded Marching Performance Among British Army Recruits. Thesis: University of Southampton. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 22 August, 2015].


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