Should We Adopt a Structured Resistance Training Programme for Military Personnel Aiming to Optimise Army-Specific Fitness & Skills Performance?

Research Paper Title

Effects of Periodised vs. Nonperiodised Resistance Training on Army-Specific Fitness and Skills Performance.


This study investigated the effects of periodised resistance training (PRD) and nonperiodised resistance training (NPRD) on army-specific fitness and skills performance measures.


Forty-nine serving members of the Australian Army were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 training groups:

  • PRD;
  • NPRD; or
  • No-resistance training (NRT).

Resistance training (RT) was performed during PRD and NPRD twice a week for 9 weeks, over a 15-week period, as part of a structured strength and conditioning programme.

Baseline, mid- and post-testing measures included anthropometric, strength, and army-specific outcome measures.


Results indicated that participants who undertook RT significantly improved in 3 repetition maximum (3RM) squat, deadlift, and floor press for both RT groups, at mid- and post-testing (p < 0.05), when compared with NRT.

Significant improvements were also observed in 5-km weight load marching post-intervention similarly for PRD (p < 0.05) and NPRD (p < 0.01) and simulated fire and movement for both RT groups at both time points (p < 0.01), compared with the NRT group (p > 0.05).


Although little difference was observed between periodisation models, the current findings suggest greater advantage in developing army-specific performances if a structured RT protocol is included in a generic physical training programme compared with a NRT protocol.

Therefore, a structured RT programme should be considered for military personnel aiming to optimise army-specific fitness and skills performance.


Heilbronn, B.E., Doma, K., Gormann, D., Schumann, M. & Sinclair, W.H. (2020) Effects of Periodized vs. Nonperiodized Resistance Training on Army-Specific Fitness and Skills Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 34(3), pp.738-753. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003029.


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