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Evaluation of the Mountain Athlete Warrior (MAW) Program in a Light Infantry Brigade, March 2011 February 2012

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Technical Report,01 Mar 2011,29 Feb 2012

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Army Public Health Center Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

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A variety of exercise and conditioning programs with greater focus on injury reduction and improved physical fitness are currently being implemented by brigades and battalions throughout the United States Army. The Mountain Athlete Warrior MAW physical fitness program was developed to mentally and physically prepare Soldiers for the rigorous demands of combat in varied environments. The MAW program was based on the fundamentals of powerlifting and on extreme conditioning. Purpose To evaluate risk factors for injury among participants in the MAW program and all battalions in a light infantry brigade. Methods Personal characteristics, physical training, physical fitness scores, and injury data over 6 month periods were obtained by initial and follow-up surveys from male and female Soldiers in an Army light infantry brigade. Physical fitness tests including Functional Movement Screening FMSTM were performed before and after implementation of MAW. Results A total of 595 male and 31 female Soldiers completed both initial and follow-up surveys. Both average body mass index and the number of smokers increased among male Soldiers after implementation of MAW. Injury incidence did not change after implementation of MAW 23 before MAW vs. 23 after MAW. Soldiers had higher average total FMS scores before implementation of MAW 16.9 points compared to after implementation of MAW 16.5 points. Significant improvement was noted in the APFT total score for male Soldiers an increase of 8 points after MAW implementation. Conclusion The MAW program resulted in no change in injury incidence, but some physical performance improved.

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