Six week conditioning program for the army physical employment standards

Tim Doyle, Laura Holland, Paul Tofari, Rob Marc Orr

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportResearch


[Executive Summary]
Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) were tasked to develop a
battery of Physical Employment Standard Assessments (PESA) specific to employment category tasks. Successful completion of assessments would ensure an appropriate level of occupational fitness for the respective employment category. The PESA have been developed from directly measured job demands and are based on physically demanding tasks performed within a given job.
As part of this process two baseline PESA standards have been developed; the All
Corps Soldier (ACS) and the Combat Arms (CA). Exceptions within an employment category above these baseline standards have been substituted where necessary to ensure soldiers are tested at a level of physical competency relative to their respective employment category.
The PESA are based on four physical capacities;
1. Aerobic power: A sustained dynamic whole body cardiovascular task
performed at a low to moderate intensity; tested via a forced march,
2. Anaerobic power: A dynamic whole body task involving high intensity effort,
interspersed with periods of rest; tested via a fire and movement assessment,
3. Muscular endurance: Repeated muscular contractions for a sustained period;
tested via a jerry can carry task, and
4. Muscular strength: A specific muscle or a group of muscles generate an
absolute force to allow for successful completion of a task, usually only a
limited number of repetitions are required; tested via a box lift and place.

DSTO were asked to provide a 6-week training program that would provide soldiers with the best preparation leading into their assigned PES testing. The training program consists of three sessions per week and can be completed during any 6-week lead up period immediately prior to PESA testing. After a comprehensive literature review, the most efficient training methods to improve a soldier's PESA performance have been utilised in the program.

The 6-week training program has been separated into two 3-week blocks (macro cycles). The three weekly training sessions are divided into: a) load-carriage conditioning, b) resistance training, and c) specific conditioning for PESA. Additionally, each macro cycle incorporates a partial PESA in place of the last specific conditioning session. Furthermore, the training program has been periodised to ensure variable training stimulus throughout the program in order to maximise training adaptations and, with PTI assistance, can be tailored for each individual.

[Release Limitation]
This report provides immediate documentation of results of work performed in Human Protection and Performance Division under 07/350. The report is written for the information of Army Headquarters. Secondary distribution within DSTO is subject to approval by Chief of Division: other requests must be referred to the client. This report may not be cited in the open literature without the express permission of the Chief of Division.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFishermans Bend, Vic
PublisherHuman Protection and Performance Division
Commissioning bodyHuman Protection and Performance Division Defence Science and Technology Organisation
Number of pages30
Publication statusUnpublished - Jun 2012


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