By Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. – The Navy, working with the University of Memphis Department of Health and Sport Sciences, began a beta test of nine physical fitness exercises July 11.
“The purpose of the beta test is for research purposes only and is intended to collect data,” said Bill Moore, director, Navy Physical Readiness Program. Moore said there are currently no plans to change the Navy’s physical readiness test, but the study will examine viability other options that may have greater operational relevance.
“The results of this beta test could be used to develop a physical readiness test that incorporates more functional movements which better mimic Navy job-specific tasks,” said Moore. Navy officials will need to analyze the results after the test concludes later this month.
The beta test examines Sailors participation in nine exercises. Cadence push-ups, single-leg plank and single-leg wall squats are used to measure muscular endurance. The leg-hip dynamometer, hand-grip dynamometer and standing long jump measure muscular strength. The pro-agility shuttle, 300-yard shuttle, five kilometer bike test and two kilometer rower measure anaerobic capacity.
The test exercises were selected to allow researchers to examine two major components of physical fitness; health and skill related. They feature common movements practiced both in sports and on the job.
"Health-related components include cardiovascular fitness, body composition, flexibility, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. Skill related components include speed, agility, balance, coordination, reaction time and power,” said Lt. Cmdr. David Peterson, exercise physiologist for the Navy’s Physical Readiness Program.
More than 180 Sailors, male and female, representing a full spectrum of age and fitness levels are participating which allows researchers to examine applicability for the Navy demographic.
“It was different than what we do now and harder” said beta test participant Personnel Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Joshua Sickles, assigned to Navy Recruiting Command. Sickles, who typically scores excellent on his semi-annual physical readiness test, performed the single-leg plank, standing long jump and two-kilometer rower during his first test session.
Sailors in the beta test will participate in a total of six sessions.
"This is an exciting opportunity to participate in a state-of-the-art research study. However, I need to reemphasize that this is for research purposes only and that there are currently no plans to change the Navy PRT," Moore said.
For more information about the Physical Readiness Program, visit the Navy's physical readiness Web page at http://www.npc.navy.mil/support/physical.