Best Practices in the Design of Aerobic Training Programs
Technical rept. Jun-Dec 2009
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Successful military operations depend on the aerobic fitness of military personnel. Training programs that tax the cardiorespiratory system are known to increase aerobic fitness, and program design choices influence the magnitude of these gains. This review attempted to identify design choices that could be considered best practices. A best practice is a design option such as training at an intensity of 90 of ones maximum heart rate that produces significantly better results than any other option e.g., training at 60. To this end, this review employed meta-analytic techniques to synthesize studies that investigated the design options that determine aerobic fitness. To ensure sensitive assessments of program design effects, statistical procedures adjusted for the repeated-measures structure of the study designs. Unfit individuals benefitted more from training than fit individuals. Gender and age were not influential moderators. Regarding program design options, training program intensity, the duration of a training session, the frequency of training per week, and the length of a training program were all significant moderators. However, with the exception of training intensity, post hoc comparisons generally showed that no single design option was significantly better than all others. The available evidence may eliminate some design choices, but it is too limited to identify best practices.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations