Is there a better measure of 'combat fitness' for a tactical team than this?

#1
Minimum standards:
  1. Double bodyweight deadlift.
  2. Standing Overhead Press with 75% of bodyweight on the bar.
  3. Chin-ups-12 minimum
  4. 400 meters in 75 seconds or less.

It's from Mark Rippetoe, and he's talking about soldiers, but I'm scratching my head to come up with a better metric for a LE tactical team. (I'd argue it's a more appropriate for LE than MIL, as Rippetoe's bias against aerobic training shows in the lack of a run or ruck march.)

It's easily measured, can be trained for, rewards those with lean body mass and high relative strength, and doesn't have anything that's technique driven or requires specific practice (ie kb snatch tests).

Thoughts?
 
#2
I personally like that a lot. Apparently I'm built to dead lift so I'm partial to that but I think it is a good raw strength movement. Do you have a link of where this came from? Matt Wenning (works with Rangers, SF, Cops, Firemen, Old ladies) has some good information on PT requirements. He also talks a lot about how being stronger prevents injuries, especially load carrying injuries.
 

Bourneshooter

Blue Line Sheepdog
Moderator
#3
So one factor that should be considered is what missions is your team expected to do. Then ensure that your PT test covers those abilities on a physical scale.

My old team had a standard "SWAT" role of search warrants, barricaded subjects, etc. We also had the rural ops side where longer distance foot movements were a thing. As such we were starting to incorporate that in the PT test (new guys and yearly eval) to ensure all the job tasks were being tested.
 
#4
http://rhinoden.rangerup.com/are-you-strong-enough-an-interview-with-mark-rippetoe/

If you could design a PT test for the military what would it consist of and why?

I think everybody in the military ought to be able to deadlift twice their bodyweight. And that does not represent a powerlifting specialization. For a 165-pound Soldier, a 330-pound deadlift is not a remarkable feat of strength. But it at least ensures that there is a minimum standard. Next, we would have an overhead press test that would be 75% bodyweight. I would not test the squat because there would be too many problems with judging it for compliance with the standard. You have to train the squat, you just don’t test it. I would also test chin-ups and 400-meter sprint. I think a Soldier should be able to do 12 chin-ups and run 400 meters in 75 seconds or less. The additional benefit of having the press, chin-up, and 400 meter run tests is that they do away with the need to do body composition testing, which takes up a lot of time and can be a problem for muscular Soldiers. If Soldiers are too fat they are not going to be able to meet those standards. But if you have a person that would be too fat under the present metrics, but who can still do 12 chin-ups and run a 75-second 400, let him stay! People like this are not hurting anything, because they are physically capable of doing the job. I think you would still need assessments that are mission-specific, but these would be the most basic testing standards, and I think they cover all your bases much better than the current assessments. They are easy to administer and fairly straightforward in terms of both training and application to combat readiness. Of course you give people extra points for crushing the basic standard, but these numbers should be the minimum.


So that's Rippetoe's words above. I think you could replace 'military' with "law enforcement tactical team" and it makes sense.

I watched a video of him (and Marty Gallagher) discussing fitness for Special Operations and he underestimates the need for SOF to cover terrain on foot. He seems to think everyone helo's in and runs 100m to the objective.

Any sensible person would at least add a timed ruck march or a run to the standards above for the military. But that's his strength bias coming through. I wouldn't consider him an expert on fitness needs of the military.

I think his minimum standards are more appropriate for urban law enforcement, specifically the tactical teams.
 
#5
We also had the rural ops side where longer distance foot movements were a thing. As such we were starting to incorporate that in the PT test (new guys and yearly eval) to ensure all the job tasks were being tested.
I added 'urban' to my reply above, recognizing that some teams do have a need to cover terrain.

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I'm kinda lean my myself and can pass the deadlift, chins, press standards. I haven't tested the 400m sprint but will when I get a chance. I'm not sure how fast 400m in 75s is. I don't really trust Rippetoe to set a good run standard given his strength bias that I noted above.

If that's really trucking, it will weed out most of the fat bodies. Of course, the fatter one is, the harder it is to hit the % of bodyweight lift standards.
 
#7
Have you looked at the Operator Ugly assessment that MTI uses? It covers a broad range of physical attributes and is discussed by the creator here: http://mtntactical.com/question-and-answer/operator-ugly-fitness-test/ and a later follow up with how some high level .mil guys scored on it: http://mtntactical.com/research/operator-ugly-snapshot-u-s-special-operations-soldiers/
Thanks for that. Very interesting.

That's a more complete assessment, and clearly a lot of thought went into it. One negative is that you need sliding scale based on weight as it favors the big guys. (Rip's standards favor the little guy, as the smaller you are the easier it is to lift a higher % of your bodyweight. But only slightly.)

It's also perhaps more metcon-ish than necessary for LE (and I herniated a disk just reading about the deadlifts for time.)
 

Grizzly

Regular Member
#8
That's a more complete assessment, and clearly a lot of thought went into it. One negative is that you need sliding scale based on weight as it favors the big guys.
I'd argue that you don't need or want to change anything. You define the level of work that needs to be done to show you are capable of doing the job. After that it doesn't matter what your body weight is. If you can score X on the evaluation you are good to go. The sprinting, 3 mile run and sandbag getups will punish the heavy guys the same way the set weight lifts will punish smaller guys.

The metcon side is team determined. Some rural call outs around here have involved guys carrying full gear for a few miles up a hill on a dead line. Or you can look at the sandbag getups as a good wind test for an extended fight. Like so much in life there is rarely a "this is the right way all the time for everyone" answer.
 
#9
Tactical team is too wide a group for one true measure.

The IDF infantry had a very different test than even armored infantry. Specialization is key here. I have no experience in Police work but running fitness makes a lot of sense from what I have seen than focus on just power.


IDF infantry

8 meter rope climb in gear (about 12-15 kg)
20 pull ups
5 kilometer run in gear
1 minute max sit ups – minimum 60
1 minute max pushups – minimum 60
1 km buddy carry run - complete

IDF armored infantry
12 pull ups
2 kilometer run in PT gear
1 minute max sit ups – minimum 30
1 minute max pushups – minimum 35
 
#10
Its pretty rad to see Rip ideas getting tossed around a forum again. Not LE, but have you checked out Rob Ordd's Brass Ring Fitness? http://www.brassringfitness.com/tag/fmp/

He has been using them since the late 2000s as part of the NSW mentor program. Each FMP simulating unique demands.
From a purely strength and conditioning perspective Bourne Shooter seems spot on with replicate demands placed upon your team and test those. Works the same way with non tactical athletes, GPP for a base, then SPP for their given tasks. If equipment was not an issue, a 2k row and some sort of farmers carries would be good indicators of ones physical preparedness as well (not stand alone but with other batteries as well).

Lastly, check out Gym Jones, they have changed quite a lot since inception, but their archives have some great info from Mark on testing and standards.
 
#11
I’m not sure if these are the best standards, but they’re probably the best I’ve seen so far. I think as part of a basic selection or evaluation process, this hits the key high points; and as far as selection goes, you could weed out a lot of people with this. I see A LOT of “fit” people who can’t press 75% of their body weight or dead lift 2x they’re body weight. I also really, really like the logic behind the 400m run.


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#12
I don't care for the percent of body weight measures. A 150lbs dude only has to deadlift 300 compared to 200/400. Not sure how that makes sense from a team and mission aspect. Are we testing deadlifts to ensure guys can pickup downed officers or move equipment etc? if so why does the small guy get away with less weight?

We have an O course that has a weighted drag. Same weight for everyone.
 
#13
Not on a police tactical team, but seeing plenty of otherwise-fit people fall out on endurance things like long marches, or just sufficiently long work parties, I would want something to judge them on that. Something easy to measure on a stopwatch that doesn't take all day, like weighted hike, or a run, of at least 3 miles. Add hills if at all possible. Hills kill a lot of people.
 
#14
I don't care for the percent of body weight measures. A 150lbs dude only has to deadlift 300 compared to 200/400. Not sure how that makes sense from a team and mission aspect. Are we testing deadlifts to ensure guys can pickup downed officers or move equipment etc? if so why does the small guy get away with less weight?

We have an O course that has a weighted drag. Same weight for everyone.
I"d counter by saying it's physiologically harder for the smaller guy to put up the same numbers as the big guys. And at the end of the day, raw strength shouldn't be the top of the criteria for a unit selection.

A ton of smaller guys are squared away and if you set a minimum strength standard that is too difficult to reach, you'll be rejecting them in favor of Mongos that can't find their way out of paper bag. I don't know what type of pool you draw from that you can choose all 6'2, 225lbers middle linebacker types that can also think. I hope its a large pool.

For the weight drag - how heavy was the weight? I doubt it was anywhere near the limit strength of the small guys. While they may have been slower on the weighted drag, in theory they would be able to make it up on other parts of the course that favor the smaller guys. It's not like the course designer had a bar loaded to 400lbs and it was a go/no go depending on whether they could deadlift it.
 
#15
I agree that raw strength shouldn't be the criteria, that's why I don't agree with the lifts in percentages of the person's weight. The test should reflect the demands of the job. If a guy is too small to meet the demands then he's too small to meet the demands.

Don't need to be linebackers, do need to be able to drag a down officer or citizen. Our log is somewhere in the upper 100s for weight. It's doable by anyone in fighting cop shape.

I don't understand why you would require a 200lbs guy to deadlift 400 when the 150lbs guy gets to do the same job with a 300lbs deadlift.
 
#16
I agree that raw strength shouldn't be the criteria, that's why I don't agree with the lifts in percentages of the person's weight. The test should reflect the demands of the job. If a guy is too small to meet the demands then he's too small to meet the demands.
So you think a 400lb deadlift is a demand of the job and should be a go/no go for a tactical team member? I disagree.

Our log is somewhere in the upper 100s for weight. It's doable by anyone in fighting cop shape.
Just as I figured.

I don't understand why you would require a 200lbs guy to deadlift 400 when the 150lbs guy gets to do the same job with a 300lbs deadlift.
Are you serious? I just told you that a moment ago.
are you serious.jpg
 
#17
No 400lbs isn't a demand of the job, that's why I'm not in favor of requiring only 200+lbs men to do it. That's been my point the entire time.

Just because you typed it and told me "a moment ago" doesn't mean you've made a valid point. In fact, you havent. So instead of posting bookface memes why don't you do a better job of articulating why you believe a 200lbs man should have to deadlift 400lbs and a 150lbs man only 300 when you yourself disagree that 400lbs is a requirement of the job. What is the relevance of a 2x bw deadlift?
 
#18
I get it now. When you wrote “I don’t understand why you think...” you actually meant “I disagree with you.” I thought you were having comprehension problems.

You are welcome to disagree.

Feel free to post better PT test too.
 
#19
When I said I don't understand I meant that I don't understand. If I'm ignorant to a valid reason I want to know. But there doesn't seem to be any education going on, we're like the rest if the world I guess. We can't disagree without taking offense

Mark Rippetoe is a dogmatic dude that didn't serve in the military or public service, he isn't my idea of a subject matter expert in anything other than his brand of training: starting strength. He was cool in 2006.

Interestingly you said you like his test because nothing's technique drive, yet Mark has written numerous revisions of a book that contains chapters on how to do 50% of his test.

I should clarify that I definitely condone barbell training. The deadlift is a mega bang for the buck and everyone *should be pulling, but I've worked with dudes who have mega work capactiy and plenty strength to do the job who choose not to train with heavy barbells.
 
#20
A ton of smaller guys are squared away and if you set a minimum strength standard that is too difficult to reach, you'll be rejecting them in favor of Mongos that can't find their way out of paper bag

If that’s not clear, send me a PM.

Rippetoe isn’t God’s gift to tactical training. There’s no disagreement there. He happened to come up with this, but it doesn’t matter. The standards should stand on their own merits regardless of who came up with them.

I shouldn’t have said the lifts aren’t technical. Books have been written on the deadlift alone. But they should be lifts/techniques candidates are familiar with, unlike say a 5 minute kb snatch test.