|CG Athleticism Program||NOFFS (Individual)||NOFFS (Group)||TRX Pull Up Program|
The primary purpose of this program is to enhance the operational athleticism, readiness and resiliency of members of the United States Coast Guard. Analysis of varied Coast Guard units revealed the physical demands and movement requirements necessary to optimize operational performance. Through implementation of quality training methodologies, Coast Guard members will be better enabled to enhance operational athleticism.
Manpower loss from occupational and non-occupational circumstances is degrading both real-time readiness and long-term retention. The most important aspect of any physical training program is that of participant health maintenance. As clear and common functional goals are realized throughout the organizational chain of command, resultant program design in accordance with a systematic and valid approach will also include an injury prevention focus.
Through a movement analysis of operational tasks within several Coast Guard operational organizations the most common movement and physical requirements became clear. Traditional physical fitness tests and training programs do not meet operational athletic requirements of multi joint, multi planar, random, chaotic, and unexpected challenges. An operational athlete’s testing and training should not only consists of the characteristics listed above, but also will include strength, power, core stability, and anaerobic capacity. Additionally upper extremity horizontal and vertical pulling along with lower extremity pushing and pulling motions will be emphasized.
A structured and logic approach as described by Gray Cook is that of the Performance Pyramid. The initial focus of training would best be served by addressing the ability of an individual to move appropriately with stabilization. This can be performed through a Functional Movement Screen (FMS). Contact the Health Promotion Manager in your area for FMS testing.
Performance training is the next important aspect of the performance pyramid. There are many programs available for utilization, however as stated earlier, injury reduction programs are recommended. Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling System (NOFFS) is strongly recommended. A Coast Guard Program has also been developed with injury reduction and safety, along with strategies to improve Coast Guard operational requirements.
The final section of the performance pyramid is skill training. With movement and operational performance training being addressed, individuals are much better prepared to address skill training. Skill training is accomplished through development of the nerves and muscles working synchronously to develop motor programs through repetition.
As stated above, an operational movement analysis of required tasks within several Coast Guard organizations revealed best training and testing areas. For example, of upper body movements, horizontal and vertical pulling were required far above that of horizontal and vertical pushing. This clearly demonstrates that push ups for a test is not the best choice. Power, strength, and anaerobic capacity were important components for lower extremity operational function.
The Fitness Advisory Committee (FAC) recommended six tests for consideration:
Scientific studies need to be performed for many reasons. Among the reasons include validity, reliability, and numbers for operational requirements to name a few. With every program, science must show a problem which should be addressed, followed by a review of the scientific literature for “best practices”.
Implementation of a program should first be vetted for high probability to address identified problems, then implemented with appropriate data collection by experts to demonstrate the effectiveness of the overall program.