The Effects of Basic Training on British Army Regular & Reserve Recruits

Research Paper Title

Effects of basic training in the British Army on regular and reserve army personnel.

Background

The aim of this study was to compare changes in aerobic fitness and body composition in response to British Army (regular) and Territorial Army (reserve) basic training.

Methods

Eleven regular recruits, 14 reserve recruits, and 20 controls completed the study (all males). Initially, reserve recruits were significantly older and heavier and had greater fat-free mass (FFM; 64.6 vs. 59.3 kg) and lower maximal oxygen uptake (Vo(2)max; 39.1 vs. 43.9 ml.kg(-1).min(-1)) than regular recruits.

Results

Both regular and reserve training significantly increased FFM and Vo(2)max and decreased percentage body fat. Regular training produced a greater increase in Vo(2)max than reserve training (13.1 vs. 7.6%, p < 0.0005). Reserve training produced a greater increase in body mass (2.2 vs. 0.9 kg, p = 0.019) and tended to produce a greater increase in FFM (2.6 vs. 1.6 kg, p = 0.062).

Conclusions

Although both training programmes improve aerobic fitness and body composition, increasing the volume of physical training in the reserve training programme would probably enhance the training adaptations achieved.

Reference

Williams, A.G. (2005) Effects of basic training in the British Army on regular and reserve army personnel. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 19(2), pp.254-259.

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