Validity, Reliability, and Performance Determinants of a New Job-Specific Anaerobic Work Capacity Test for the Norwegian Navy Special Operations Command

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Abstract

Angeltveit, A, Paulsen, G, Solberg, PA, and Raastad, T. Validity, reliability, and performance determinants of a new job-specific anaerobic work capacity test for the Norwegian Navy Special Operations Command. J Strength Cond Res 30(2): 487–496, 2016—Operators in Special Operation Forces (SOF) have a particularly demanding profession where physical and psychological capacities can be challenged to the extremes. The diversity of physical capacities needed depend on the mission. Consequently, tests used to monitor SOF operators' physical fitness should cover a broad range of physical capacities. Whereas tests for strength and aerobic endurance are established, there is no test for specific anaerobic work capacity described in the literature. The purpose of this study was therefore to evaluate the reliability, validity, and to identify performance determinants of a new test developed for testing specific anaerobic work capacity in SOF operators. Nineteen active young students were included in the concurrent validity part of the study. The students performed the evacuation (EVAC) test 3 times and the results were compared for reliability and with performance in the Wingate cycle test, 300-m sprint, and a maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (MAOD) test. In part II of the study, 21 Norwegian Navy Special Operations Command operators conducted the EVAC test, anthropometric measurements, a dual x-ray absorptiometry scan, leg press, isokinetic knee extensions, maximal oxygen uptake test, and countermovement jump (CMJ) test. The EVAC test showed good reliability after 1 familiarization trial (intraclass correlation = 0.89; coefficient of variance = 3.7%). The EVAC test correlated well with the Wingate test (r = −0.68), 300-m sprint time (r = 0.51), and 300-m mean power (W) (r = −0.67). No significant correlation was found with the MAOD test. In part II of the study, height, body mass, lean body mass, isokinetic knee extension torque, maximal oxygen uptake, and maximal power in a CMJ was significantly correlated with performance in the EVAC test. The EVAC test is a reliable and valid test for anaerobic work capacity for SOF operators, and muscle mass, leg strength, and leg power seem to be the most important determinants of performance.

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