New APRT promotes precise movements, continues six-month trial test run

| April 14, 2011 | 0 Comments
A Soldier with the 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, executes sit-ups for the Army PT test at Area X, Schofield Barracks, April 6. (Pfc. Marcus Fichtl | 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

A Soldier with the 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, executes sit-ups for the Army PT test at Area X, Schofield Barracks, April 6. (Pfc. Marcus Fichtl | 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Anatomically correct position ensures true, accurate muscular endurance assessment

Rob McIlvaine
Army News Service

 

WASHINGTON — Pilot testing for the new Army Physical Readiness Test, or APRT, which promotes precise movements to lessen injuries, will continue to determine Armywide standards.

The new test will still be conducted twice a year, according to current plans, and the new Army Combat Readiness Test — run in battle gear with a weapon — may be used primarily as a pre-deployment measurement tool for commanders.

“I’m setting the standards for 52-year-olds,” said Maj. Gen. Richard Longo, deputy commanding general for initial military training at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, with a smile, after his sergeants performed a demonstration at the Pentagon, April 7.

“A lot of people ask, ‘Hey, what’s the standard? How many push-ups do I have to do?’ We have no idea at this stage,” Longo explained. “We’re going to be giving this test in pilot form to 10,000 Soldiers between now and September — all age groups, male and female, active component and reserve component, and (to a) Soldier (who) just entered the Army … (or who-has) been in the Army.

“We really need this data, so we know what excellence (in physical training) looks like, what average (PT scores and capabilities look) like and what not meeting the (new Army) standard looks like,” Longo said.

But one thing’s for certain with the new tests, short duration does not necessarily equate to easy, especially when performing push-ups for the Army’s new APRT.

“Because there is no rest period allowed, and the positioning of the hands is less — the technical word is ‘loosey-goosey’ — we’re finding (the new test) to be harder,” Longo said. “We are learning some lessons, none of which we could even begin to call preliminary conclusions, yet.”

“There’s a reason why we teach precision of movement,” said Frank Palkoska, director of the U.S. Army Physical Fitness School at Fort Jackson, S.C.

“In the past, we didn’t enforce much precision and exercise prescription as we do today,” Palkoska said. “We teach the correct motor pattern in a controlled environment, so that when Soldiers have to execute that same motor pattern in an uncontrolled environment that we call combat, they have a proper motor pattern to revert back to.

“This also helps us avoid injury, which has been a big problem for our Army in the past,” he said.

Under the new test, the Soldier must place his or her hands in an anatomically correct position. This hand placement exhibits the maximum force, Palkoska said.

“We’re testing their ability for one-minute’s worth of muscular endurance, and this becomes a true muscular endurance assessment,” he said. “In the old APFT, the two minutes of push-ups wasn’t a true muscular endurance assessment because we allowed you to rest.”

 

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Category: Army News Service, Health, News, Training

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