Fitness Profiles of Elite Tactical Units: A Critical Review

Daniel Maupin, Rob Marc Orr, Ben Schram, Thomas Wills

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

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Elite tactical units complete a variety of demanding tasks and a high level of fitness is required to perform their occupational tasks optimally. These personnel comprise a unique population (elite specialists) within an already unique occupation (tactical personnel) and as such fitness profiles that may guide reconditioning practices and return-to-work approaches are limited.

A systematic review of studies that have investigated the fitness profiles of elite tactical units from 1987 to 2017.

Following the PRIMA guidelines, Pubmed, CiNAHL, and Embase databases were searched and dedicated inclusion and exclusion criteria applied. Included studies were critically appraised, using the Downs and Black checklist and graded via the Kennelly grading system. The level of agreement between raters was calculated using a kappa analysis. Results: Fourteen studies were included for review (mean = 57.5%±5.77; range 46% - 66%) with a moderate interrater agreement (κ = 0.496). The most common measures with this population included anthropometric measures, strength, power, and aerobic capacity. However, there was high variety in the measures and their protocols.

Elite tactical units were found to have a greater aerobic capacity, muscular endurance, and agility but similar sprint speed, power, and muscular strength when compared to the general population and general military and police personnel.

Key Practice Points:
• General population norms may not be a valid measure for reconditioning elite tactical
• Elite tactical units possess fitness levels on average higher than those in general police and
military and as such may require a longer return-to-work reconditioning period.
Proposed impact, if any, on the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: The results of this research are likely to have no greater impact on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population than the non-Indigenous population.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2019
EventTRANSFORM 2019 Physiotherapy Conference - Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 17 Oct 201919 Oct 2019 (Book of Abstracts)


ConferenceTRANSFORM 2019 Physiotherapy Conference
Abbreviated titleAPA
Internet address


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