Load Carrying Walking Test for the Special Operation Forces of the Army of the Czech Republic

Authors

BUGALA Martin BERNACIKOVÁ Martina STRUHÁR Ivan

Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source MILITARY MEDICINE
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Sports Studies

Citation
Web https://academic.oup.com/milmed/advance-article/doi/10.1093/milmed/usad387/7287132
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usad387
Description Introduction The subject of this study was the creation of a new type of laboratory walking stress test for the Special Forces of the Army of the Czech Republic. This study developed a test model that has been validated in practice and that reflects the fact that the performance of endurance without and with a load varies considerably. Especially, if we focus on operators, as their activities are always performed with loads/full gear (equipment, weapons, equipment, etc.). Materials and Methods 24 men/operators from the Special Forces of the Army of the Czech Republic volunteered for this study. The maximal exercise test/spiroergometry was designed to include performance at a load of 55?kg/121 lb, a constant speed of 5.3?km/h, and an increase in incline angle of 1 degree after each elapsed minute. The test was performed on a treadmill under standard time, location, and temperature conditions. During the test, the following values were recorded: VO2?=?oxygen consumption indicating the intensity of the exercise was monitored, VO2/kg?=?oxygen consumption converted to body weight, VO2/HR?=?pulse oxygen (the amount of oxygen converted in one heartbeat), HR?=?heart rate, VE?=?ventilation, volume of air exhaled in 1?min, breathe frequency (BF)?=?respiratory rate in 1?min. Results Out of the total number of 24 respondents, the study found these mean values of variables. The variable mapping the oxygen consumption, which indicates the intensity of VO2 loading, was 3.8, with the lowest value being 3.2 and the highest being 4.5. After converting oxygen consumption to bodyweight, VO2/kg was 46, the lowest value of 38.8, and the highest 53.0 were measured for this variable. Pulse oxygen, i.e., the amount of oxygen calculated per heart contraction VO2/HR, was 20.5, the lowest value 16.0, and the highest 26.0. The average HR heart rate was 183.5, with the lowest value being recorded at 164 and the highest value is 205. Ventilation, i.e., the amount of exhaled air per minute in VE, was measured at 144.9, the lowest value was 114.7, and the highest was 176.6. The BF in 1?min was 58.5, the lowest value 35, and the highest 70. The mean time load was 10:20?min, the shortest test length was 7:25?min, and the longest was 13:23?min. These values correspond to the degree of inclination of the ascent, i.e., the mean value was 10 degrees, the smallest achieved slope was 7 degrees, and the largest 13 degrees. Conclusion The designed weighted walking test proved to be fully functional and effective in measurement. The further established protocol corresponds to the requirements of the current needs of the Special Forces of the Army of the Czech Republic. Last but not least, the walking stress test is applied for the external and internal selection and screening of operators. Data obtained from testing were used to develop deployment requirements for patrol/nuclear combat missions.
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