Exploring predictive ability of fitness test data relative to fire academy graduation in trainees: Practical applications for physical training

Robert Lockie, Rob Marc Orr, Fernando Montes, Tomas J Ruvalcaba, J. Jay Dawes

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Abstract

This study investigated the predictive abilities of fitness tests relative to academy graduation in firefighter trainees. Archival fitness test data from 305trainees were analyzed, including: Illinois agility test (IAT); push-ups; pull-ups; leg tucks; multistage fitness test;4.54-kg backwards overhead medicine ball throw (BOMBT); 10-repetition maximum deadlift; and a 91.44-mfarmers carry with 18-kg kettlebells. Within the department, trainees were allocated points for each test. Trainees were split into graduated (245 males, 16 females) or released (29 males, 15 females) groups. Independent samples t-tests and effect sizes calculated between-group fitness test differences (raw and scaled points). To provide a binary definition for the sensitivity/specificity analysis, trainees were defined as those scoring 60+ points for a test, and those scoring 0 points. For each test, the binary result (graduated/released) was plotted against the trainee’s test performance (60+ Points/0 Points). Receiver operating curves were plotted for each fitness test, and the area under the curve (AUC) determined accuracy. Trainees who graduated performed more push-ups, pull-ups, and leg tucks than released trainees, and scored more points in all tests (p≤0.005; d=0.34-1.41). Pull-ups, BOMBT, leg tuck, and the farmer’s carry had high sensitivity (>80% true positive rate); the IAT had high specificity (83.3% for the true negative rate). Metronome push-ups, BOMBT points, and total points had fair accuracy for predicting academy graduation (AUC=0.709-0.754). While the data demonstrated that trainees who graduated tended to have better total-body muscular strength, endurance, and power, fitness tests may not be appropriate as a sole predictor for academy graduation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1274 - 1294
JournalInternational Journal of Exercise Science
Volume15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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