Profiling the Absolute and Relative Strength of a Special Operations Police Unit

Kimberly Talaber, Ksaniel Hasanki, Rob Marc Orr, Ben Schram, Shane Irving, Jeremy Robinson

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


INTRODUCTION Specialist police perform high-risks tasks and are required to have and maintain a high level of fitness. The aims of this study were to profile the strength, both absolute and relative, of a specialist police unit and to investigate whether this profile remained constant over an 18-month period. METHODS Retrospective data for 47 special operations police officers (mean initial weight = 88.84 ± 8.25 kg) were provided. Officers were tested five times over 18 months. Tests performed were: 1 repetition maximum (RM) bench press, squat, deadlift and pull up. All officers continued to participate in their typical physical conditioning programs which were provided by a full time Strength and Conditioning coach working in the unit. Sessions were typically conducted during work time. The coach and officers were blinded to the testing requirement (i.e. for research). Repeated-measures ANOVAs with Bonferroni post-hoc adjustments or Friedman tests with Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to compare strength values across all five time points (TPs). Alpha levels were set at 0.05. RESULTS All strength values increased significantly with no significant changes in bodyweight over the 18- month period. Over the five TPs, absolute squat increased the most (+9%: initial mean=125.79 ± 24.53 kg), followed by absolute bench press (+8%: initial mean = 109.67 ± 19.80 kg), absolute deadlift (+7%: initial mean = 151.64 ± 26.31 kg) and absolute pull up (+4%: initial mean = 121.43 ± 14.91 kg). A similar result was found in relative terms with the highest increase found with the squat (+8%: initial mean = 1.42 ± 0.25%), followed by the bench press (+7%: initial mean = 1.24 ± 0.20%), deadlift (+6%: initial mean = 1.71 ± 0.25%) then pull up (+4%: initial mean = 1.37 ± 0.15%). The period between TP3 and TP4 yielded the fewest significant increases compared with other TP differences with only absolute bench press (+1.7%), absolute squat (+1.1%) and relative bench press (+1.6%) changing significantly (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS Specialist police can maintain, even increase strength, while serving in specialist units if provided with a Strength and Conditioning coach and time to train. Strength profiles of specialist police officers can change and should be monitored constantly with no single time point used to categorise this group.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
Event3rd International Conference on Physical Employments Standards - Portsmouth UK, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Jul 201819 Jul 2018
Conference number: 3rd


Conference3rd International Conference on Physical Employments Standards
Abbreviated titlePES 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityPortsmouth UK
Internet address


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