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J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Jul 24. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003207. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of Sex and Age on Physical Testing Performance for Law Enforcement Agency Candidates: Implications for Academy Training.

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Department of Kinesiology, California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, California.
Department of Health Sciences, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Tactical Research Unit, Bond University, Robina, Queensland, Australia.
Sydney Police Centre, Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia.
Recruit Training Unit, Training Bureau, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles, California.


Bloodgood, AM, Dawes, JJ, Orr, RM, Stierli, M, Cesario, KA, Moreno, MR, Dulla, JM, and Lockie, RG. Effects of sex and age on physical testing performance for law enforcement agency candidates: implications for academy training. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2019-Law enforcement candidates are often required to complete fitness tests to assess their preparedness for training. This study investigated the influence of sex and age on candidate performance before academy training. Retrospective analysis of 516 candidates was performed. Data were stratified into men (n = 432) and women (n = 84), and the pooled (men and women combined) data were stratified into age groups (20-24; 24-29; 30-34; 35-39; and 40+ years). The tests included the following: maximal push-ups and sit-ups in 60 seconds; a 75-yard pursuit run (75PR); arm ergometer revolutions completed in 60 seconds; and a 2.4-km run. To compare the sex and age groups, a 2 × 5 analysis of variance (with Bonferroni post hoc for multiple between-age group comparisons) was used. Men performed significantly (p < 0.001) more push-ups, sit-ups, and arm ergometer revolutions and were faster in the 75PR and 2.4-km run. The 20-24, 25-29, and 35-39 year groups were faster in the 75PR compared with the 40+ year group; the 20-24 and 25-29 year groups were faster than the 35-39 year group; and the 20-24 year group was faster than the 30-34 year group (p ≤ 0.023). The 20-24 year group was faster than the 40+ year group in the 2.4-km run (p = 0.005). Women and older candidates may have a lower physical capacity than men and younger candidates, respectively, in certain physical assessments. Women and older candidates, in particular, may benefit from dedicated training before academy to better prepare for the demands of this period.

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