tactical athlete, law enforcement, fitness assessments


Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Police academies traditionally emphasize the importance of being physically fit. The purpose of this research was to determine cadet baseline physical fitness characteristics and assess effectiveness of a 16-week training program. Sixty-eight cadets (61 men, 7 women) volunteered to have baseline physical fitness characteristics assessed, and 55 cadets (49 men, 6 women) completed further testing at weeks 8 and 16. The testing comprised hand grip (strength), arm crank (upper-body power), 30 seconds Wingate (lower body power), sum of skinfolds and percentage body fat (body composition), 40-yard dash (sprint speed), 1 repetition maximum bench press (strength), T-test (agility), and sit-and-reach (flexibility). In addition, cadets completed standardized state testing (push-ups, sit-ups, vertical jump, and half-mile shuttle run). The training program consisted of 1 hour sessions, 3 d·wk, including aerobic, plyometrics, body weight, and resistance exercise. Significant changes were found in agility (p < 0.01), upper-body and lower-body peak power (p ≤ 0.05), sit-ups (p < 0.01), push-ups (p ≤ 0.05) across the first 8 weeks, and in agility (p ≤ 0.05), lower-body peak power (p ≤ 0.05), sit-ups (p < 0.01), push-ups (p ≤ 0.05), half-mile shuttle run (p < 0.01) across the full 16 weeks. However, none of the variables showed significant change across the second half of the program (weeks 8-16). A number of individual parameters of physical fitness showed evidence of improvement in the first 8 weeks, whereas none of the variables showed significant improvement in the second 8 weeks. This suggests modifications could be made to increase overall effectiveness of cadet physical training specifically after the 8-week mark.


Original Citation:

Crawley, A. A., Sherman, R. A., Crawley, W. R., & Cosio-Lima, L. M. (2016). Physical Fitness of Police Academy Cadets: Baseline Characteristics and Changes During a 16-Week Academy. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30(5), 1416–1424.