The impact of physical training programs on the fitness of tactical populations: a critical review
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The purpose of this review was to critically appraise studies that have investigated the effects of physical training programs on the health, wellbeing, fitness and occupational performance of tactical personnel. Literature databases and reference lists were searched with key words, returning 729 articles, of which 12 articles met the review inclusion/exclusion criteria and were critically reviewed. Articles were appraised using the Downs and Black protocol with inter-rater agreement determined by Cohen’s Kappa. The average score of the included research papers was 64%, indicating fair quality (k=0.88). This review found that physical training programs can significantly improve measures of physical fitness, increase recruit passing rates on required fitness assessments, and improve performance in simulations of occupationally specific tasks. Physical training programs occurring a minimum of 3 days per week for a total of 60-90 minutes each session, combining both cardiovascular training and muscular strength training and including specific occupational task practice, appear to be the most effective. The content of this review can inform tactically qualified strength and conditioning coaches looking to commence, or who are currently involved in, training tactical personnel.
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