Warrior Model for Human Performance and Injury Prevention: Eagle Tactical Athlete Program (ETAP) Part II.
INTRODUCTION: Physical training for United States military personnel requires a combination of injury prevention and performance optimization to counter unintentional musculoskeletal injuries and maximize warrior capabilities. Determining the most effective activities and tasks to meet these goals requires a systematic, research-based approach that is population specific based on the tasks and demands of the Warrior. OBJECTIVE: The authors have modified the traditional approach to injury prevention to implement a comprehensive injury prevention and performance optimization research program with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, KY. This is second of two companion papers and presents the last three steps of the research model and includes Design and Validation of the Interventions, Program Integration and Implementation, and Monitor and Determine the Effectiveness of the Program. METHODS: An 8-week trial was performed to validate the Eagle Tactical Athlete Program (ETAP) to improve modifiable suboptimal characteristics identified in Part I. The experimental group participated in ETAP under the direction of a ETAP Strength and Conditioning Specialist while the control group performed the current physical training at Fort Campbell under the direction of a Physical Training Leader and as governed by FM 21-20 for the 8-week study period. RESULTS: Soldiers performing ETAP demonstrated improvements in several tests for strength, flexibility, performance, physiology, and the APFT compared to current physical training performed at Fort Campbell. CONCLUSIONS: ETAP was proven valid to improve certain suboptimal characteristics within the 8-week trial as compared to the current training performed at Fort Campbell. ETAP has long-term implications and with expected greater improvements when implemented into a Division pre-deployment cycle of 10-12 months which will result in further systemic adaptations for each variable.
Sell, TC; Abt, JP; Crawford, K; Lovalekar, M; Nagai, T; Deluzio, JB; Smalley, BW; McGrail, MA; Rowe, RS; Cardin, S; Lephart, SM
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