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A 12-week strength based training programme for recruits in preparation for the RAF regiment physical employment standard

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Introduction: RAF Regiment (Regt) personnel must achieve the incumbent Physical Employment Standard (PES) by the end of Phase 2 training. Physical training during this period must support them to meet the PES. Therefore, the effectiveness of a 12-week physical training programme, delivered to male and female trainees, was examined during Phase 2 training.

Methods: 53 RAF recruits (44 males [33 Regt and 11 Military Police] and 9 Military Police females) completed a 12-week training programme (70% strength, 25% loaded marching and 5% aerobic training), delivered during scheduled physical training. Measures of grip strength, Multi Stage Fitness Test (MSFT), and numbers of press-ups and sit-ups in a minute, were taken at weeks 0, 4, 8 and 12 of the training programme. Participants attempted the RAF Regt applicant PES at the start and end of training, and the RAF Regt incumbent PES at the end of training only.

Results: Males and females increased lean body mass (LBM) by 3.5% and 5.3% (p < 0.05), respectively. Male grip strength increased from 43.0 kg to 46.6 kg (t(44) = 4.8; p < 0.001) and 42.4 kg to 45.6 kg (Z(44) = 4.0; p < 0.001) in the right and left hand respectively. Female grip strength increased from 31.3 kg to 34.8 kg (t(8) = 2.8; p = 0.024) and 29.4 kg to 33.7 kg (Z(8) = 2.2; p = 0.028) in the right and left hand respectively. Males increased their maximal single lift to 1.6 m from 45.3 kg to 49.6 kg (t(43) = 4.0; p < 0.001). Females increased their number of press ups in a minute from 25 to 35 (Z(8) = 2.0; p = 0.04). There was no change in MSFT. All participants passed the applicant PES and thirty-six males but no females, passed the incumbent PES. Participants that failed had lower grip strength, maximal single lift and MSFT scores. All females successfully completed at least one element of the incumbent PES.

Conclusions: The 12-week strength-based training programme was successful in increasing the strength of male and female recruits but not their aerobic fitness. Increases in female strength were not sufficient to enable a pass in the incumbent PES. Future physical training programmes should focus on high intensity aerobic and strength training, tailored to specific individual requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
Event3rd International Conference on Physical Employment Standards - Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Jul 201819 Jul 2018


Conference3rd International Conference on Physical Employment Standards
Abbreviated titlePES 2018
CountryUnited Kingdom

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