The Physical Fitness Effects of a Week-Long Specialist Tactical Police Selection Course

Ben Schram, Jeremy Robinson, Rob Marc Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


Specialist police tactical teams, like special operations military personnel, are tasked with dangerous, high risk missions which are beyond the scope of general police. Consequently, the selection courses for entry into these teams are physiologically and psychologically demanding. The purpose of this study was to examine the physiological effects of a five-day selection course to aid in candidate preparation and course planning. Measures included body mass, grip strength, sit-and-reach flexibility, and a vertical jump assessment. Eleven candidates finished the selection course with significant decreases in body mass (−2.05 kg, p = 0.006 (95% CI = 3.65–0.45)), grip strength in the right (−14.48 kg, p < 0.001 (95% CI = 21.32–7.64)) and left (−14.27 kg, p < 0.001 (95% CI = 21.89–6.66)) hands and in sit-and-reach flexibility (−6.64 cm, p < 0.001 (95% CI = 9.94–3.33)). No significant decreases in power output or peak jump velocity of 669.77 W (95% CI = 1942.92–603.39) and 0.28 m/s (95% CI = 0.69–0.14) were found and a non-significant, overall increase in vertical jump height of 6.09 cm (95% CI = −6.08 to 18.79) was seen. Decreases in body mass, grip strength and lower limb flexibility are evident in a grueling five-day selection course. Individuals planning on attending these courses should plan for these negative effects and build redundancy into their performance to minimize the effects of fatigue, decrease injury risk and maximize chances of completion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6782
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2020


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