Critical Velocity Is Associated With Combat-Specific Performance Measures in a Special Forces Unit

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Hoffman, MW, Stout, JR, Hoffman, JR, Landua, G, Fukuda, DH, Sharvit, N, Moran, DS, Carmon, E, and Ostfeld, I. Critical velocity is associated with combat-specific performance measures in a special forces unit. J Strength Cond Res 30(2): 446–453, 2016—The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between critical velocity (CV) and anaerobic distance capacity (ADC) to combat-specific tasks (CST) in a special forces (SFs) unit. Eighteen male soldiers (mean ± SD; age: 19.9 ± 0.8 years; height: 177.6 ± 6.6 cm; body mass: 74.1 ± 5.8 kg; body mass index [BMI]: 23.52 ± 1.63) from an SF unit of the Israel Defense Forces volunteered to complete a 3-minute all-out run along with CST (2.5-km run, 50-m casualty carry, and 30-m repeated sprints with “rush” shooting [RPTDS]). Estimates of CV and ADC from the 3-minute all-out run were determined from data downloaded from a global position system device worn by each soldier, with CV calculated as the average velocity of the final 30 seconds of the run and ADC as the velocity-time integral above CV. Critical velocity exhibited significant negative correlations with the 2.5-km run time (r = −0.62, p < 0.01) and RPTDS time (r = −0.71, p < 0.01). In addition, CV was positively correlated with the average velocity during the 2.5-km run (r = 0.64, p < 0.01). Stepwise regression identified CV as the most significant performance measure associated with the 2.5-km run time, whereas BMI and CV measures were significant predictors of RPTDS time (R2 = 0.67, p ≤ 0.05). Using the 3-minute all-out run as a testing measurement in combat, personnel may offer a more efficient and simpler way in assessing both aerobic and anaerobic capabilities (CV and ADC) within a relatively large sample.

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