Alison Colao, Nicholas Buoncristiani, Kayla Baker, Sarah Scali, Rachel Tinius, FACSM. Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY.

BACKGROUND: Many branches of the armed forces have recently changed their physical fitness assessments. More specifically, the Navy changed the fitness testing protocol by replacing curl-ups with a plank (in addition to the push-up test and 1.5 mile run which remain unchanged). Because plank and push-ups are both maximal exertion tests largely involving the same muscle groups, the changes in the testing protocols may cause more potential sailors to fail. This study will investigate if the changes to the Navy’s Physical Readiness Test (PRT) impact performance on the fitness test. METHODS: 24 males between the ages of 18 and 29 will participate (data collection is ongoing). Once all baseline data is collected, participants will perform the standardized Navy PRT warm-up immediately followed by the Navy PRT. The testing protocols consist of 1) maximum number of push-ups in two minutes or until exhaustion/cannot maintain form, 2) maximum number of curl-ups in two-minutes (old version) or a forearm plank hold held as long as possible (new version), and 3) 1.5-mile run. At the end of each exercise the participants’ heart rate and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) will be recorded. Approximately 1 week later, participants will come in for session two and complete the opposite protocol. Additional qualitative data regarding the perceived differences in the two protocols will be collected at the end of session 2. Scoring for each session will be completed (i.e pass or fail for each exercise) and compared to determine whether the new protocol results in more individuals failing vs. the old protocol. RESULTS: To date, two participants have completed the study. Following the old PRT protocol participant #1 completed 46 push-ups (Satisfactory), 70 curl ups (Good), and ran 1.5-miles in 9:11min (Excellent). Following the new PRT protocol participant #1 completed 42 push-ups (Probationary), held a forearm plank for 1:49min (Good), and ran 1.5 miles in 8:33min (Outstanding). Following the old protocol participant #2 completed 28 push-ups (Probationary), 51 curl-ups (Satisfactory), and ran 1.5 miles in 11:35min (Good). Under the new protocol participant #2 completed 43 push-ups (Good), held a forearm plank for 1:49min (Good), and ran 1.5 miles in 11:28 (Excellent). CONCULSIONS: Researchers expect to see better performance on the old PRT protocol. This is because the old protocol (curl-up, push-ups, run) is less fatiguing on the shoulder and chest muscles of participants than the new protocol (push-ups, forearm plank, and run). Grant Information: Funding through the WKU Graduate School Research Grant

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