Physical fitness, sex considerations, and academy graduation for law enforcement recruits

Robert Lockie, Jay Dawes, Joseph Dulla, Rob Marc Orr, Erika Hernandez

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26 Citations (Scopus)
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This study investigated the influence of fitness on academy graduation, and any between-sex differences, in law enforcement recruits. Data collected at the start of 4 training academies were retrospectively analyzed, including age, height, and body mass; waist circumference; waist-to-hip ratio; grip strength; vertical jump (VJ); 75-yard pursuit run; 2-kg medicine ball throw (MBT); push-ups, sit-ups, and arm ergometer revolutions in 60 seconds; and 20- m multistage fitness test (20MSFT) shuttles. Recruits were categorized into graduated (GRAD 5 269) and separated (did not graduate; SEP 5 42) groups. SEP recruits were not split according to separation reasons, just whether they did or not. This categorization also occurred for male subjects (GRAD5228; SEP532) and female subjects (GRAD541; SEP510). Independent samples t-tests calculated between-group differences for all recruits combined, male subjects, and female subjects. Correlations and stepwise linear regression calculated relationships between the data and graduation. The t-test (p # 0.016) and correlation (r 5 60.137–0.296; p , 0.05) data indicated that SEP recruits (both sexes combined) were older and performed poorer in every fitness test except grip strength and VJ. SEP male subjects were older and performed poorer in all tests except grip strength (p #0.009). SEP female subjects scored lower in the arm ergometer (p 5 0.008). The regression equation for all recruits found that age, 20MSFT (aerobic fitness), MBT (upper-body power), and arm ergometer (upper-body endurance) were academy graduation predictors (r2 5 0.169; p , 0.001). For the male recruits, the predictors were age, MBT, and 20MSFT (r2 5 0.182; p # 0.001), and for female recruits, arm ergometer and 20MSFT (r250.213; p#0.003). Recruits should improve multiple fitness aspects, including muscular endurance, power, and aerobic fitness, to enhance graduation potential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3356-3363
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number12
Early online date1 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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