Rosie Perez, Megan Thompson and Jay Dawes

Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

The reserve officers' training corps (ROTC) is a college program for students who wish to have a guaranteed post-college career as an officer in the military. Army ROTC Cadet physical fitness is measured using the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), which is designed to assess attributes that are prevalent in many job-specific tasks. The ACFT consists of six events following a standardized warm-up (3RM deadlift, standing power throw, hand-release push-ups, sprint-drag-carry, leg tuck/plank, and two-mile run) and must be completed in no more than two hours. Heart rate (HR) has been shown to be an indicator of physical fitness, and is often used as a training tool in many populations. To the authors’ knowledge, there has been minimal research investigating the relationships between HR and the ACFT. PURPOSE: Therefore, the purpose of this study was to record and report HR responses of male and female ROTC cadets throughout the duration of the ACFT. METHODS: 8 male (21.00 ± 1.41 years; 176.75 ± 7.5 cm; 83.53 ± 8.52 kg) and 3 female (19.33 ± 1.15 years; 162.67 ± 4.75 cm; 63.50 ± 4.82 kg) cadets voluntarily participated in this study. HR was recorded using a valid and reliable wearable HR monitor located on the left midaxillary line. HR monitors were applied to the cadets prior to the initiation of the warm-up, and remained recording until three-minutes following cessation of the final event. Descriptive analyses were used to identify HR responses to the ACFT as a whole, and for each ACFT event. RESULTS: Average group HR for the duration the ACFT was 136.66  12.32 beats per minute (bpm), ranging from 113.31 – 155.19 bpm. Average HR for female cadets during the ACFT was 128.46  7.65 bpm, ranging from 120.71 – 136.01 bpm. Male cadet average HR during the ACFT was 139.73  12.67 bpm, ranging from 113.31-155.19 bpm. For both males and females, the lowest average HR was recorded during the warmup (104.64 ± 17.10 bpm), and the highest average HR was recorded during the two-mile run (177.31 ± 5.26 bpm). CONCLUSION: Males had higher average HR than females for all events, however significant differences were not observed between the groups. Male cadet HR for the ACFT was classified as “moderate”, while overall female HR was “light,” based on the age-predicted maximum. The sprint-drag-carry and two-mile run for both sexes were classified as “vigorous” activities.

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