Physical fitness and physical training during Norwegian military service

Sindre M Dyrstad, Rune Soltvedt, Jostein Hallén
Military Medicine 2006, 171 (8): 736-41

OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the physical fitness and training of Norwegian infantry soldiers during 10 months of compulsory military service.

METHODS: Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and maximal numbers of sit-ups, push-ups, and chin-ups and 3-km running time were tested in 107 male infantry soldiers at the beginning and end of basic training (BT), and again at demobilization. The amount of physical training was registered throughout the military service.

RESULTS: During BT, major improvements in sit-ups and push-ups were found. VO2max increased in soldiers with the lowest initial VO2max, but decreased to pre-BT level at demobilization. The amount of obligatory physical training was 8.5 hours x week(-1) during BT and 35% lower after BT, and was usually performed in uniform at low to moderate intensity.

CONCLUSION: The amount of high-intensity endurance and strength training during compulsory military service is to low to improve the soldiers' endurance and muscular strength.

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