The relationship between the Army physical fitness test and a twelve-mile ruck
Hall, Harrison AJ
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) and the twelve-mile ruck assessment of Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets (CDT’s). The APFT is a vital part of every soldiers time in the US Army because it is the only fitness test required to pass twice a year, and also allows soldiers to receive pay and be considered for promotions upon passing the assessment. The twelve-mile ruck is an assessment which CDT’s march twelve miles carrying 35 pounds in less than three hours, but is only performed once. Due to the evident importance of training for the APFT, officers in the US Army have been found to overtrain in running, push-ups, and sit-ups, which has caused injuries from repetitive stressors, and has not prepared servicemen for heavy load carriage. Since the APFT is crucial to all soldiers for career advancement, and the twelve-mile ruck relates directly to combat specific tasks (i.e., soldiers carry up to 130 lbs. of equipment during combat), it is important to investigate if the APFT is correlated to the twelve-mile ruck to determine if a more combat specific assessments should be utilized for such important fitness standards in place of the APFT. A linear multiple regression analysis was performed in a stepwise backward model to interpret the relationship between seventeen Army ROTC Cadets’ (Age = 20.5 ± 2.50, weight (kg) = 71.69 ± 11.74, height (m) = 1.67 ± .09, BMI = 25.45 ± 5.11) archived APFT measures, and twelve-mile ruck times. Significant positive relationships between BMI (r = 0.771, p = 0.001, n = 17), and weight (kg) (r = 0.579, p = 0.007, n = 17) when compared to the twelve-mile ruck were found. Also, a significant relationship was observed between the two-mile run score (r = -0.654, p = 0.002, n = 17) and the twelve-mile ruck. These results indicate there were significant relationships between the APFT and a twelve-mile ruck.