Influence of preconditioning on british army infantry training outcome: 1537: Board #84 May 28 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

James L J Bilzon, Martin Colclough, Matthew P Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy of a Soldier Preconditioning Course (SPC) on training injuries and outcomes among low-fitness British Army infantry recruits.
METHODS: Male infantry recruits with a 2.4-km run time>650 sec (5th quintile) at the Army Selection Centres (ASC) were assigned to one of two groups. The SPC group (n=104) completed a 3-week conditioning programme, which consisted of high frequency, moderate intensity, low impact training, prior to commencing their 26-week Combat Infantryman's Course (CIC). The control group (CON, n=620) entered directly onto their respective CIC. The SPC group performed a best-effort 2.4-km run and completed as many press-ups and set-ups as possible in 2-min at the beginning (SPC1) and end (SPC2) of the course. Training outcome and medical discharge data were obtained from existing databases and merged.
RESULTS: Mean (SD) ASC 2.4-km run times were similar for SPC (690 (29) sec) and CON (683 (26) sec). During SPC1, 2.4-km run times improved (P<0.01) from SPC1 (694 (42) sec) to SPC2 (647 (36) sec). Press-up (SPC1, 32 (11); SPC1 44 (12): P<0.01) and sit-up performance (SPC1, 44 (12); SPC2 53 (11): P<0.01) also improved. A successful CIC training outcome was recorded for 51.9% of SPC group, compared to 48.4% of CON. Medical discharge due to overuse injury rates were 4.8% for SPC and 9.4% for CON.
CONCLUSIONS: The SPC led to significant improvements in 2.4-km run time (6.7%), press-up (38%) and sit-up (20%) performance. There was a trend towards a reduction in the incidence of medical discharges due to overuse injury and an improvement in CIC training success rate for SPC compared to CON. However, the SPC training outcome data are based on a relatively small sample and further data are therefore being collected in order to statistically evaluate these trends.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S238
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number5 (Suppl)
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


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