Physiological aspects of special unit members in Army of the Czech Republic
Research cooperation with the Czech Army focused on physiological aspects of elite troop performance. Apart from mapping physiological indicators, we designed a specialized performance test to streamline the candidate and internal selections.
Traditional performance tests are not always accurate, especially if we deal with elite soldiers who can skydive from 4000 metres above the ground, scuba dive 40 metres deep, walk more than 30 km with 40 kg load, plus perform a task in the field.
The team of FSpS researchers (Bugala, Bernaciková, Struhár, Kalina, Grün) committed to developing a special test relevant for elite unit members. Considering the special unit activities, we defined the load as a key aspect of their performance. Therefore we focused on testing the ability to manage endurance performance with the load.
The long process of studying and consulting helped us to define three parameters of the new Load walking test: carry 55 kg of load, walk at a constant speed of 5.3 km per hour, slope inclination increases by 1% every minute. Besides accuracy, another advantage is the speed of testing.
Classical laboratory or field tests examine general fitness but not professional fitness. Our project pointed to the fact that elite soldiers need more relevant tests. The Czech Army already implemented the new Load walking test for its special forces.