The TRU is a network of multidisciplinary international experts who investigate ways to optimise the physical and cognitive capabilities, and safety of tactical personnel – whether military, law enforcement, firefighters, or first responder organisations. It is a part of Bond University’s Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine, which received the highest possible ranking of ‘well above world standard’, and ‘at world standard’ for human movement and sports science, from the Australian Research Council (ARC) in its Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2015 results.
The overarching aim of the group is to improve the wellbeing and occupational performance of those who serve and ensure new research findings are shared across the different tactical populations.
The TRU provides services to government, industry, academic and private institutions. These include research projects, consultancy reports and educational and training packages.
Since 2015, the TRU team has conducted research across multiple tactical agencies covering initial training through to specialist selection and rehabilitation.
Consultancy projects have included the development of evidence-based, tactically viable, reports to inform multiple agencies and the generation of injury management, assessments, and conditioning optimization frameworks.
Education and training services use the latest research evidence and practical experience to provide workshops, courses or longer programs to tactical personnel as well as their support staff, such as physiotherapists, physical training instructors, and strength and conditioning coaches.
New article alert!
Between-class comparisons, percentile rankings, and implications for physical training. J Strength Cond Res 34(4): 934–941, 2020—Law enforcement can be a physically demanding profession. Many agencies use a “one-size-fits-all” academy training approach, which may not be optimal for all recruits. There is also little information that benchmarks fitness of law enforcement recruits. The purpose of this study was to analyze between-academy class differences in fitness, as well as produce normative data for the development of strength and conditioning programs. A retrospective analysis of 908 recruits (761 men and 147 women), comprising 11 classes from one agency, was used. Fitness assessment data included push-ups, sit-ups, and mountain climbers in 120 seconds; pull-ups; 201-m run; and 2.4-km run. A one-way analysis of variance with a Bonferroni post hoc adjustment revealed that fitness varied significantly between classes. Class 11 completed less sit-ups than 6 other classes (p ≤ 0.033) and were slower in the 201-m and 2.4-km run than 5 classes (p ≤ 0.005). Class 7 completed less push-ups than 3 classes (p ≤ 0.036) and less mountain climbers and were slower in the 201-m run than 5 classes (p ≤ 0.005). Individual recruit analysis and percentile data indicated a wide spread of all assessment results and the effects upon female recruits. For example, 81% of women completed ≤2 pull-ups and were in the bottom 2 percentile bands; 72–76% of women were in the bottom 3 bands for push-ups and the 201-m run. Fitness varies from class-to-class, and female recruits will generally be less physically fit. Training staff should ideally implement individualized, ability-based programming where appropriate to train their recruits.
New article alert!
The Relationship Between Strength Measures and Task Performance in Specialist Tactical Police
Specialist tactical police officers (STPOs) carry heavier on-body loads than generalist police officers. Improvements in strength may mitigate the impacts of these heavier loads. The aim of this investigation was to determine the correlations between absolute and relative strength measures and occupational task performance in STPOs. Retrospective data were provided for 47 male specialist police officers from an elite Australian police unit. Data included body mass (mean = 89.0 ± 8.58 kg), strength measures (1 repetition maximum measures for a bench press, squat, deadlift, and pull-up), and task performance measures (85-kg victim drag wearing 15 kg of operational load and 5-km pack march wearing 40 kg of operational load). Pearson's correlations were conducted to determine relationships between measures and were plotted on a linear regressions model. Significant, moderate to strong correlations were found between all strength measures and victim drag performance and significant negative moderate correlations between relative bench press, absolute and relative squat, and absolute and relative pull-up and pack march times. The absolute deadlift had the strongest correlation to the victim drag (r = 0.747, p < 0.01) while the relative pull-up showed the strongest correlation with pack march performance (r = −0.466, p < 0.01). The requirement to lift a portion of the dummy off the ground during the victim drag may explain the increased importance of absolute strength while the requirement to transport load affixed to the body may explain the importance of relative strength requirements. Improvements in absolute and relative upper- and lower-body strength may improve task performance in this population.
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