Improvement is the focus of the CSU study, which was expanded this year to identify and establish the most effective fitness program for cadets.
In 2019, the CSU conducted a pilot study of 30 cadets that showed strong evidence that a full-body hybrid training approach – aerobic and anaerobic training, weight lifting, bodyweight exercises, plyometrics, and high-intensity intervals – is far more effective than traditional training programs that focus solely on muscle endurance and aerobics.
The researchers said the pilot study showed positive results for a hybrid training approach that saw improvements in ACFT scores (13% increase), VO2 Max (4.3 point increase), weight loss (2.4 kg decrease), and participant compliance ( 96%). .
For the expanded study, the researchers are examining two training programs – one from the HES faculty and the other from the US Army.
Alissa Newman, a research fellow who worked closely with Barry Braun, professor and HES department head, on the study, said she had tracked the cadet training data and noticed improvements in fitness while waiting for more extensive data analysis on the study coming months.
“We’re seeing improvements across the board,” she said. “We’re seeing weight gain for the deadlift. We see time reductions for the time-based events. We are very pleased with the general progress of the Cadets. “
“We see improvements across the board. We’re seeing weight gain for the deadlift. We see time reductions for the time-based events. We are very pleased with the general progress of the Cadets. “
– Alissa Newman, research fellow
An important update to this version of the study was the introduction of the CSU AROTC benchmark test. This test, a joint effort by Newman and Al Armonda, military science instructor and lead researcher for the ACFT study, is designed to prove the effectiveness of the Combat Fitness Protocol by actually asking cadets to display “warrior skills” as they would in actual combat conditions.
“We saw strong correlations between the success of events in the ACFT and an equally successful benchmark,” said Armonda. “This shows that we are on the right track with our training and our efforts to produce combat-effective officers.”