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Can simple anthropometric and physical performance tests track training-induced changes in load-carriage ability?

Williams, Alun G. and Rayson, Mark P. (2006) Can simple anthropometric and physical performance tests track training-induced changes in load-carriage ability? Military medicine, 171 (8). pp. 742-748. ISSN 0026-4075

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Abstract

The objective of this research was to determine whether tests of strength, endurance, and anthropometry could be used to assess training-induced changes (Δ) in load-carriage performance. Eighty-four British Army recruits completed a 10-week training program. Strength, endurance, body composition, and 3.2-km load carriage with 15 kg and 25 kg were assessed before and after training. Training significantly increased load-carriage performance (7–16%), back extension and dynamic lifting strengths, endurance and fat-free mass, and reduced body fat. Statistically significant regression models (adjusted R2 of 0.063–0.797) were produced that predicted Δ load-carriage performance. However, the 95% limits of agreement between observed and predicted Δ load-carriage data showed margins of error (11–15%) comparable to the average training-induced gains in performance. Training-induced changes in load-carriage performance appear to be highly specific, which suggests that both training and testing procedures should also be specific to load-carriage performance.

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