Here is an example of the studies and requirements for the MASSACHUSETTS POLICE OFFICER PHYSICAL ABILITY TEST.

Health Screening for Physical Activity

A. Medical and General Health Factors

  • Identifying those individuals who have medical conditions serious enough that exercise would either present an immediate risk or aggravate the medical problem,
  • Identifying those individuals who have either signs and symptoms which suggest a problem or risk factors for diseases who should receive further medical evaluation before undergoing exercise training or a PAT, and
  • Identifying individuals who may have special exercise requirements or who should take special precautions prior to exercising. For example, taking a diuretic (water pill) for moderate hypertension means that you should take care to drink extra fluid before, during, and after exercise.
  • It is unnecessary for everyone to get a thorough physical examination from a physician prior to starting an exercise program. Such a requirement is not scientifically necessary, cost-effective, or time-efficient; however, if going to your physician would make you feel better about beginning an exercise program, by all means do so.

    The Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) is recommended as a minimal standard for screening prior to beginning an exercise program or, if come activity is already underway, to exercising more vigorously. The PAR-Q is designed to identify the small number of adults for whom physical activity might be inappropriate and those who should have medical clearance prior to exercise and testing.


(1) Portions of the following are adapted from the American College of Sports Medicine, Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, draft of 5th ed. (W.L. Kenney, ed.),Waverly Press, Philadelphia, 1995. With the permission of the editor.

Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) 2

  • Has a doctor ever said you have a heart condition and recommended only medically supervised physical activity?
  • Do you have chest pain brought on by physical activity?
    YES NO
  • Have you developed chest pain within the last month?
    YES NO
  • Do you tend to lose consciousness or fall over as a result of dizziness?
    YES NO
  • Do you have a bone or joint problem that could be aggravated by the proposed physical activity?
    YES NO
  • Has a doctor ever recommended medication for your blood pressure or a heart condition?
    YES NO
  • Are you aware, through your own experience or a doctor's advice, of any other physical reason against your exercising without medical supervision?
    YES NO
  • (If you answered YES to any of these 7 questions, vigorous exercise and exercise testing should be postponed until medical clearance is obtained.)

    Question number 7 of the PAR-Q is an open-ended question which covers medical and physical problems which make further medical screening necessary. Many individuals may question whether certain conditions are important enough or severe enough to warrant seeing their doctor. The table below provides additional information, including an indication of signs and symptoms suggestive of underlying diseases, risk factors for heart disease which, in combination, suggest the need for medical screening, and a list of conditions which may increase the risk of complications during exercise.

    (2) From: Thomas S. J. Reading, and R.J. Shephard. Revision of the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q). Canadian Journal of Sports Science 17:338-345, 1992.

Major Signs or Symptoms which Suggest Heart, Lung, or Metabolic Disease:

  • Pain, discomfort, or numbness in the chest, arm, jaw, neck, or back Unaccustomed shortness of breath or shortness of breath with mild exertion
  • Difficult or painful breathing
  • Ankle swelling
  • Palpitations or racing heart rate Leg pain
  • Known heart murmur
    If you have any of these symptoms, vigorous exercise or exercise testing should be postponed until medical clearance is obtained.

Major Heart Disease Risk Factors:

  • Systolic blood pressure > 160 or diastolic blood pressure > 90 mmHg (measured on at least 2 separate occasions)
  • Serum cholesterol > 240 mg/dl Cigarette smoking
  • Family history of heart disease or stroke in parents or siblings prior to age 55
    If you have two or more of these risk factors, vigorous exercise or exercise testing should be postponed until medical clearance is obtained.

Diabetics who

  • take insulin
  • have had diabetes for more than 15 years
  • who do not take insulin but are over 35 years of age
    You should get medical clearance prior to beginning an exercise program.

It is also recommended that men over the age of 40 and women over the age of 50 have a physical exam prior to beginning a vigorous exercise program. 'Vigorous" means that the amount of exercise represents a challenge and will result in fatigue within 20 minutes. Healthy persons of any age can begin a low intensity exercise program without physician clearance provided they adhered to the above conditions.


No set of guidelines can cover every conceivable situation. In general, If you know that you have a problem or disease, see your physician first. Some other conditions, which make it wise to get medical screening include alcoholism, drug use or abuse, problems with dehydration or an inability to tolerate heat, and acute infections (including severe colds and flu symptoms). Pregnant women, or women who think they may be pregnant, should consult a physician prior to beginning an exercise program if they have not been physically active prior to the pregnancy.


Inhaled smoke has been linked to lung cancer, lung disorders, and coronary heart disease. Smoking also affects a person's ability to perform aerobic tasks. The same mechanisms that eventually lead to lung disorders limit the ability of the lungs to take in air and distribute oxygen to the blood. This ability is particularly crucial when performing tasks that Involve large muscle groups continually contracting for several minutes or longer, A participant who smokes may be specifically affected In his or her ability to climb stairs or walk or run for any length of time, especially while carrying equipment. A smoker may not be able to do as well on an event that involves this type of activity as a nonsmoker of similar size, ability and training. Therefore, in order to maximize their potential to do well on the Physical Ability Test, participants who smoke are urged to quit smoking as soon as possible, Civil Service applicants for the entry-level Fire Fighter examination are reminded that, by low, you must be a nonsmoker to work as a Fire Fighter in one of the 107 municipalities covered by civil service.

Weight Control

Carrying excess weight in the form of fat will reduce an applicant's performance potential on the Physical Ability Test. Excess weight increases the work that the muscles, heart, and lungs have to do when performing tasks. For example, when an overweight person walks up stairs, the leg muscles have to lift more weight. The heart also has to pump more blood to those working muscles, putting additional stress on the heart. When muscles have to work harder, against the stress of carrying excess weight, injuries can result ranging from pulled leg muscles to a heart attack.

In an effort to promote safety and optimal health, it is recommended that overweight participants try to lose weight before participating in the Physical Ability Test. To best accomplish this, overweight participants, should begin a weight reduction program that contains both a nutrition and an exercise component. Weight loss can best be achieved by: (a) decreasing the amount of food you normally eat through the reduction of portion sizes, (b) changing a few "bad habits" such as the amount of high fat food selections you may be making, and (c) increasing the amount of exercise you are presently getting.

1. Through reduction of food intake. A successful weight loss program always includes an eating plan designed to provide the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and calories to avoid hunger pangs and any possible nutrient deficiencies. Nutritionists suggest the following method to assess your current calorie intake and to appropriately cut back calories. To determine your current caloric intake:

Multiply your present weight by the number 15.

The answer is the average number of calories you are eating daily to maintain your current body weight. The number 15 is used because it takes approximately 15 calories to maintain one pound of body weight. Now that you know the average number of calories you're eating, to lose weight, you need to reduce this amount by between 500-1000 calories per day. To demonstrate the effect of reducing your calorie intake, look at the following examples;

3500 calories = 1 pound of body weight

500 calories x 7 days a week = 3500 calories (1 pound)

1000 calories x 7 days a week = 7000 calories (2 pounds)


By cutting back 500 calories per day, you will be able to lose approximately I pound of body weight per week. Cutting back 1000 calories per day allows you to lose approximately 2 pounds of body weight per week. Losing any more than 2-3 pounds of body weight in one week could be detrimental to your health and also increases the chances of gaining the weight back more quickly. So go slowly and steadily.

Some people will lose less than a pound one week and 2 pounds the next. There often Is no clear way to gauge weight loss, but be confident that if you're cutting back on calories, you will definitely see a difference over the long haul.

2. Through exercise. An exercise program is also a key component of losing weight and keeping it off. For example, if you don't went to out your calories by 1000 per day but still want to lose 2 pounds of weight per week, you can cut calories by 500 and increase exercise by 500 calories. The results will be the same... a 2 pound weight loss. Here are some examples of ways to burn roughly 500 calories through energy expenditure:

Ways to Burn 500 Calories
  • walk 5 miles (takes 100 minutes)
  • jog 5 miles (takes about 55 minutes)
  • climb stairs for 80 minutes
  • cycle or row for 60 minutes
  • 3. Through appropriate food selection. Now that you realize come of your weight lose options, the next step is to select the appropriate foods. Our first aim is to identify the foods you're currently eating that are too high in fat. Some examples might include:

    peanut butter
    ice cream
    butter or margarine on toast, vegetables, popcorn, potatoes, etc. 
    large amounts of meats and their skins
    fried foods such as French fries, fried chicken, fried eggs, etc. 
    cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, salad dressings 
    high fat desserts such as cookies, pies, cakes, pastries and donuts
    fatty meats such as ribs


    Although fat is an essential nutrient, most Americans are simply eating too much of It. You should only get about 20-30 percent of your total daily calories from fat. But rather then try to calculate what that number should be, your goal should be to cut back on fat as much as possible.

    Your next stop is to assess how many fruits and vegetables you're eating. The recommended number of fruits is 2-4 pieces per day (or 2-4 cups of canned fruit in it' own juice). Vegetables can be oaten cooked or raw to total 2-4 cups per day. In many cases, vegetables can be eaten in any quantity due to their very low calorie content. Finally, assess how many foods you eat from the grain, cereal, and broad category. It is recommended that the majority of food you eat in a day come from these foods, 6-11 servings per day. Examples include:

    • all types of bread, bagels, muffins
    • all types of cereal cornmeal stuffing
    • rice pasta/noodles potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, yams
    • corn, peas, dried beans(navy, pinto, arbanzo and black beans)

    These foods are referred to as complex carbohydrates. They are responsible for providing you with the most available form of energy, glucose. Consequently, your diet needs to be plentiful in them, yet you can still lose weight due to their typical high fiber content.

    Protein rich foods should be kept to a minimum, to the surprise of many people. In fact, only 12-15% of your total daily calories need to come from protein rich foods such as meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products. Look for lean meats; remove skin from chicken and fish; trim all fat off most; and select skim milk, no fat yogurt, and lower fat cheese such as mozzarella.

    An example of a high carbohydrate, low fat eating plan that can be adopted to your desired caloric intake appears on the next page.

    The following is an example of a high carbohydrate, low fat Eating Plan:


    1-2 cups of cereal (a high fiber one is best, but any will do)
    1 cup of skim milk
    1 piece of fruit (any kind)
    1-2 slices of toast or a bagel or English muffin with jam or jelly (no fat)


    1 piece of fruit (any kind)


    1 sandwich made with:
    2 slices whole wheat bread, 3-4 ounces of turkey, chicken or fish mustard and no mayo tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, a bag of raw vegetables including carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower
    1 piece of fruit (any kind)
    1 cup of low fat or no-fat yogurt
    1 small bag of pretzels
    a non-caloric beverage of choice or water

    pretzels (small bag), fruit, vegetables, or yogurt


    5-6 ounces of meat of your choice a potato or 2 cups of rice or 2 cups of pasta or 2 slices of bread any amount of vegetables without butter or margarine on them 1 piece of fruit
    8 ounces of skim milk or 8 ounces of nonfat yogurt
    Additional calories may be obtained from other low fat sources.


    Meal Planning

    Always eat three regular size meals as shown in the example Eating Plan, or six small meals every day. The purpose behind this advice is twofold. First, you spread your calories out throughout the day allowing adequate blood sugar for energy. Second, by eating periodically, you are never "starving." By withholding calories as in skipping a meal, you allow your blood sugar to drop so low that your body will crave high fat, high sugar calories causing You to ant candy bars and other immediate sweets to satisfy the craving. You actually can prevent this by eating regularly.

    Select foods that contain carbohydrate, protein, and fat for each meal. Since carbohydrates empty from the stomach the quickest, providing excellent and immediate energy, they should be the largest part of any meal. Protein is the next nutrient to leave the stomach and fat the last, Both of these nutrients help keep you feeling full for a longer period of time since they stay in the stomach longer.

    There are many misconceptions and fallacies about diets and exercise, The truth about some of the most common misconceptions is discussed below:

    1. Exercise will increase your appetite. FALSE:

    Exercise does not increase appetite. In fact, R ran actually act as an appetite suppressant. In other words, it may decrease your appetite. Exercise also serves to stimulate metabolic rate, or the rate you bum calories, for a while after exercise is over.

    2. A lot of extra weight is "water weight," and you can lose weight by sweating or drinking less fluid. FALSE

    Exercising in rubber suits, in saunas, or steam rooms will only increase your loss of body water and dehydrate you, giving you a "false sense" of weight loss. Dehydration Is not an effective way to lose weight. Since the body is made up of 70% water, it makes sense to drink plenty of fluids each day to maintain proper fluid balance. We lose body fluids without really knowing it through our skin as well as through sweating. Weighing yourself after exercise and seeing a decrease in body weight is not an appropriate way to assess true weight loss, You need to drink fluids to replace lost water. In fact, you should drink a little more water than what quenches your thirst to fully prevent dehydration.

    3. Fad diets and gimmicky exercise-programs are effective. FALSE

    You cannot lose body fat unless you decrease total calories (not just fat calories).

    4. Dieting is a short-term way to lose weight. FALSE

    The concept of "diet" typically implies some form of eating plan that you'll follow for a short period of time. Consider the fact that the body has a set number of fat cells that NEVER die until the day that you do.

    Consequently, losing weight by changing eating habits must be continued to maintain lost weight. By "going off the diet" you will inevitably gain the lost weight back, So concentrate on changing a few bad habits slowly and permanently and include exercise.

    5. Quick-reducing diets are effective. FALSE

    Diets that promise rapid weight lose are typically short-term programs. When you lose more than 2-3 pounds per week, you are not only losing fat, but also muscle mass and water. As soon as the low calorie diet, quick weight loss scheme wears you down, you'll revert back to your more pleasant way of eating and gain all the lost weight back, and typically, more.

    6. You can spot reduce in specific areas of your body. FALSE

    You cannot "spot-reduce." In other words, by cutting back on your calories, you cannot specify-where, the changes in body reduction will occur, But, by exercising specific body parts, you can effectively strengthen certain muscle groups to give you a leaner, stronger look, but fat does not selectively disappear from those areas.

    Three factors play key roles in determining weight lose in any given Individual. The first is heredity. If you were born to overweight parents, you have a predisposition to being overweight. As a result, your ability to lose weight easily may be somewhat impaired due to your genetics. Secondly, environment plays a big role. What kinds of foods do you keep in the house, where do you socialize and does socialization usually mean food? Third, what is your activity level? Are you typically a more sedentary person? Try watching less television and work on more projects in the evening. Do you snack while sitting around? Try more movement in general. Think about where you can fit exercise in.

    In conclusion, successful, long-term weight loss involves many factors. Cutting back calories is critical to weight loss but it won't make you more fit or promote long term weight management. That's where exercise fits in. The combination is the right approach. Set some realistic (1-2 lbs. per week) goals for weight loss through a change in eating habits and increased exercise. Keep food records to accurately assess what you are eating. Write down everything you eat for about a week and assess where you think some changes could reasonably be made. Keep an activity log. Strive for adding a few extra minutes of activity periodically until you reach 30-40 minutes of exercise a day.

    B. Principles of Training: Terms


    Some of the terms used in this Preparation Guide are explained below, as are some of the principles upon which this Preparation Guide is based. (Sharkey, 1979)


    Physical fitness is defined as the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue and with ample energy to enjoy leisure-time pursuits and to meet unforeseen emergencies' (President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports). An adequate level of physical fitness is required to perform many jobs, to provide energy for recreational activities, and to help avoid some diseases (such as heart disease and osteoporosis). Physical fitness consists of the following components: cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. In order to perform optimally at work and in our other daily activities it is necessary to develop and maintain adequate levels of fitness in each of these components. The training program is designed to develop all components of fitness because of their role in the PAT events and in maintaining good overall health.

    Cardiovascular fitness (aerobic endurance, stamina) is a measure of heart and lung function. It is the ability to maintain whole body activity for a length of time without fatiguing or running out of breath. An adequate level of cardiovascular fitness is also associated with decreased mortality from many diseases.

    Muscle strength (also referred to in this Preparation guide simply as "strength') is a measure of the greatest amount of force a muscle can apply; that is, the most weight a muscle group can move one time. In addition to its-importance in many job-related tasks, improving muscular a strength also helps prevent injuries to the muscles and makes bones and tendons stronger.

    Muscular endurance is a measure of a muscle's ability to maintain a submaximal force or repeatedly apply a submaximal force without a rest; that is, the number of times you can lift a certain amount of weight. Adequate levels of muscular endurance allow your muscles to perform a task for a longer period of time before the muscles get tired. Poor endurance of the back and abdominal muscles has been implicated as the cause of much of the low back pain suffered by American adults.

    Flexibility is a measure of the range of motion at a joint. Adequate levels of flexibility are necessary in order to make daily movements with ease and to help prevent Injuries to muscles and joints. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that inadequate flexibility of the back and logs is related to low back pain.


    The stress of repeated exercise produces changes in the body that are called training effects. Your body undergoes some changes in structure and function that allow it to respond better to the demands of physical work and exercise. The body adapts to the extra demands imposed by training by undergoing the following changes:

    • Heart function and circulation are improved.
    • Blood pressure and cholesterol levels are improved.
    • Muscle strength and muscular endurance are improved.
    • Muscle mass increases and the portion of weight made up of fat decreases.
    • Training consists of exercising specific muscles or muscle groups and stressing different systems of the body. It involves having the muscle or muscles apply and maintain a force for a short time and/or repeatedly, Calisthenics, weight training, stretching, and aerobic activity are all important training methods that will result in adaptations that will enable the body to perform more effectively. The rate of Improvement or adaptation is related to the following:


    Frequency of activity (the number of times per week).

    Intensity of activity (how hard you train).

    Duration of training (the length of each training session).

    Your initial fitness level.


    For improvement in fitness level to take place via adaptation, a part of the body must be subjected to more than it is accustomed to. For example, in order for muscular strength to improve, the muscles must apply a greater force than they normally would apply during regular daily activities. This increase In intensity of force, or overload, elicits an adaptation. Increasing the duration of an activity would also be an overload. As the body adapts to an increased load, more load must be added to continue adaptation.


    The body adapts very specifically to the type of training it receives. The type of training must be related to the desired results or to the purpose of the training. Aerobic activity will cause very different body adaptations than will weight training. Thus, heavy weight training is of little value for cardiovascular endurance, and a lot of running is not particularly useful for developing upper body strength. In addition, adaptations are specific to the muscle groups that are trained. Thus, stretching the shoulder muscles in order to improve shoulder flexibility will not improve flexibility at any other joint nor will it improve strength of the shoulder muscles. Performance of an activity improves when the training is applied to the same muscle groups as are used in the activity in the same way they are used In that activity.

    One especially important use of training specificity for fire fighters is stairclimbing. In particular, climbing down stairs involves an action which stretches (rather then contracts) the log muscles. This causes muscle tissue damage which leads to muscle soreness - probably more so than any other activity. Training which specifically involves stairclimbing (up and down, repetitively) will decrease potential for muscle soreness and related problems.

    One exception to this specificity principle is cardiovascular endurance. The heart-lung system involved in cardiovascular endurance is vital in all activities that require large muscle groups to be active for any length of time. The specific activity used to train the cardiovascular system is, therefore, not critical, unless one is competing in high level athletic events.


    The body needs activity and does not "wear out." Lack of activity results In weak muscles, including the heart, poor circulation, shortness of breath, increased body lot; and weakening of bones and connective tissue. Regular activity results in good muscle tone, a, strong heart, good circulation, endurance, and strong bones and connective tissue (ligaments, tendons, etc.).


    Individuals respond differently to the same training program. The differences in response may be the result of any of the following factors: heredity, physical maturity, state of nutrition, habits of rest and sleep, level of fitness, personal habits such as smoking and alcohol intake, level of motivation, the environment, and the influence of physical disability, disease, or injury.


    Warm-up is a gradual increase in intensity of physical activity and should always precede strenuous activity. A 5-10 minute warm-up period allows the individual to:

    Mentally prepare for exercises,

    Increase body temperature slowly,

    Stretch the muscles and joints, and

    Increase heart rate and breathing gradually.

     Warm-up consists of low intensity aerobic activity such as walking or slow jogging followed by calisthenics and light stretching.


    Muscles groups should be stretched in order to improve flexibility at a joint. Stretching exercises should be performed slowly and gently, without any bouncing, bobbing, jerking or lunging, Stretching exercises can be performed as part of the warm-up, following 5 minutes of low intensity aerobic activity or as part of the cool-down phase.


    Calisthenics are exercises that, can be performed without equipment, although hand or ankle weights may be used. These types of exercises can be used to develop strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. Calisthenics usually involve the repetitive lifting and lowering of a body segment as in push-ups, curl-ups, and arm circles.


    Weight training consists of exercises that involve moving a weight that is external to the body. Such exercises are used to develop strength, muscular endurance, and (sometimes) flexibility. Particular care must be taken if free weights (e.g., barbells) are used in training, They may cause injury if they fall on a person or If undue strain occurs in trying to control the weight (for example, to keep R from falling). This can happen as a result of the hands slipping, if a person attempts to lift a weight that is too heavy for him/her to support, or if poor technique is used. For these reasons, weight machines may be safer for novices to use in weight training. If you use free weights for weight training, be sure to always work with a partner who can assist you.


    Aerobic training improves cardiovascular fitness. The training of the cardiovascular system is accomplished by continuous rhythmical motion over time, using large muscle groups, Jogging, bicycling, stair climbing, rowing, walking, swimming, hiking, cross country skiing, skating, and aerobic dancing are good activities for aerobic training.


    The cool-down phase is as critical as the warm-up and should last 5-10 minutes. This phase of activity is important for the following reasons:

    *It allows heart rate to decrease gradually.

    *Continued activity maintains adequate circulation, prevents pooling of blood, and hastens recovery.

    *It provides a time for thorough stretching and relaxation activity.

    Cooling down consists of slowing down your activity, walking, light calisthenics, and stretching exercises.


    If, during or immediately after exercise, you have any of the following reactions, stop exercising immediately and consult a physician as soon as possible:

    * Labored or difficult breathing (not the deep breathing normally associated with exercise)

    * Lose of coordination

    * Dizziness

    * Tightness in the chest

    * Sharp pain in any muscle or joint

    * Numbness

    C: Assessing Your Current Level of Fitness

    This section contains instructions for a simple fitness test that you can use to assess your current level of fitness. Take the test now, before you begin a fitness program, to determine your current level of fitness.

    Also, take the test at several intervals in your training period before the Physical Ability Test to measure your progress.

    The events described In the fitness test are related to the four areas of fitness. A sit and reach test measures flexibility. Curl-ups, push-ups, a flexed arm hang, dips and a jump and reach test measure muscular strength and endurance. A 1.5-mile run measures cardio-respiratory fitness.

    Keep a record of your results each time you complete the test. Do not be concerned about how your results compare to national standards. Use your results to monitor your progress, to provide motivation, to establish goals, and to determine the effectiveness of your training program.

    Here is a list of the equipment and facilities you will need to conduct the fitness test.

    • Yard stick and some masking tape
    • Stop watch
    • High bar to hang from (about 3/4 inch in diameter)
    • Newspaper
    • 12 inch high step
    • 1.5 mile measured distance (a high school track or measured running path)
    • Scale to measure body weight
    • Score sheet (included at the end of this section)

    Fitness Test Descriptions and Instructions

    Before beginning the fitness test, do five to ten minutes of warm-up. See the warm-up exercises section of the guide.

    1. Sit and Reach

    Tape a yard stick to the floor at the fifteen inch mark, Sit on the floor with the yardstick between your logs and the zero mark on the yardstick toward you. Keep your legs straight and place your heels even with the fifteen Inch mark on the yard stick. Place your hands in front of you, one over the other. Slowly stretch forward, sliding your hands along the yardstick as far as possible. Do not bounce or lunge. Loan forward and stretch slowly as far as you can. Record the farthest distance you can reach in three tries to the nearest inch.

    2. Curl-Ups

    Lie face up on the floor with legs bent and lower back flat against floor. Using abdominal muscles, pull head and shoulders off of the floor while looking up. Hands and arms may be crossed over chest, supporting head, on floor or sliding up legs. Record the number of curl-ups completed. You need not go all the way up, merely lift the shoulders and upper back off the floor.

    3. Flexed Arm Hang

    Assume a flexed arm position, palms facing away from your body, with your chin above the bar. Hold as long as possible. Record the amount of time you can remain with your chin above the bar.

    4. Push Ups

    Assume a prone position with hands on the floor, just outside the shoulders. Legs may be straight with weight on toes, or bent, with weight on knees if your Initial strength level is low (if you can't do three or four too push-ups). Push up, keeping the back straight. Return until the chest almost touches the floor. Repeat as many times as possible. Record the number of push-ups completed.

    5. Jump and Reach

    Tape a piece of newspaper to the wall above your head. Using the yard stick, make marks on the newspaper at one inch intervals. Dip the fingers of your dominant hand into some water. With Your dominant side toward the paper, jump as high as you can, reaching up with your dominant hand, At the top of your jump, touch the paper with your wet fingers. Repeat. Record the height of the higher jump out of two tries.

    6. 1.5 Mile Run

    Determine the starting and end point for a 1.5 mile distance. Run and/or walk as fast as you can to cover this distance. Record the time it takes to complete the 1.5 mile distance.

    1 - Date Of first test: Weight:
    2. Date of second test: Weight:
    3. Date of third test: Weight:



    A. Medical and General Health Factors

    The fitness program is divided into the following sections:

    • Warm-up
    • Strength and muscular endurance exercises
    • Aerobic exercises
    • Cool-down
    • The strength and muscular endurance exercises do not have to be done on the same day or during the same exercise session as the aerobics program. In other words, they may be done on separate days or at different times on the same day. However, every exercise session should be preceded by a warm-up period and followed by a cool-down period. For example, if the strength and muscular endurance exercises are done on the same day but at a different time than the aerobics program, warm-up and cool-down exercises should be performed before and after each of the two exercise sessions.


    The warm-up exercises are designed not only to got a person physically and mentally ready for the muscular and/or aerobics exercise sessions, but also to help develop flexibility In various joints. The strength and muscular endurance exercises can be done in one of two ways, depending on the availability of equipment. Some degree of strength and muscular endurance can be developed by doing calisthenics which require little or no equipment, but it is more typically accomplished by training with weights. Training with weights can be done either by using free weights, such as barbells, or by using weight machines, for example, "Universal" or "Nautilus" systems. Once a program has begun using a particular method for strength and muscular endurance exercises, It should be continued for the duration of the training period for comparative purposes.

    Since there are no equipment requirements for the aerobics training, the same program can and should be followed by everyone regardless of the particular program (i.e., calisthenics vs. weight training) chosen to develop strength and muscular endurance. A weekly log sheet is provided so that participants can keep track of their progress in developing strength, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular fitness. Two types of log sheets are provided, one for calisthenics and aerobics (for those individuals who use calisthenics to train for strength and muscular endurance), and one for weight training and aerobics (for those individuals who use weights to train for strength and muscular endurance). Of course, participants should use the log sheet that is designed for the particular exercise program they have chosen to follow. Copies of the log sheet will have to be made for each week of the training program.

    Training for the Physical Ability Test

    The stretching exercises have been selected to help develop flexibility in the major joints of the body. Although flexibility will be of particular importance to events on the Physical Ability Test that involve performing an activity within a confined space or under conditions that confine onWs movement, it will play a role in all the test events.

    Appropriate preparation for the Physical Ability Test also will require the development of strength and endurance in the muscle groups that will be used when performing the test events. Muscle strength will be particularly important to those events that require a single application of force such as is involved in dragging a victim over a distance. Both muscle strength and muscular endurance will be important to those activities that involve maintaining a force or the repeated application of a force over a period of time such as is involved In hoisting a hose and carrying equipment up stairs. Like flexibility, muscular endurance also will be important to performance on the test as a whole since there will be repeated instances, across events, in which force will need to be applied. Once again, an exercise program that consists of calisthenics or weight training can be used to develop these areas.

    Finally, it will be necessary for applicants to develop cardiovascular fitness to perform those events that involve continuous activity over an extended period of time, such as climbing stairs, as well as to endure through the entire series of test events. As previously mentioned, the aerobic demands of stair climbing are very specific. Training for the Physical Ability Test should include this particular aerobic activity on a regular basis.

    The sections which follow describe the exercises that you can perform to develop the four categories of fitness identified previously. The Warm-Up Exercises section describes the warm-up exercises which are useful for the development of flexibility and an essential component of any exercise regimen. The Calisthenics and Weight Training sections describe the calisthenics and weight training exercises that can be used toward the development of muscle strength and muscular endurance. The Aerobic Training Program section provides an aerobic training program aimed at enhancing cardiovascular fitness, Finally, the Cool-Down section provides cool-down exercises which will aid in recovery from exercise, help develop flexibility and are an important component of any exercise program.

    B: Warm-up Exercises

    The warm-up period should last 5-10 minutes, The whole set should be performed before each exercise session. If the strength and muscular endurance exercises are performed on different days or at different times of the day than the aerobics exercises, the warm-ups should be performed before each separate exercise session.

    Each stretch should be performed in a slow, gentle manner. Move to the point that a stretch, not pain, is felt in the muscle. Hold that position for 10-20 seconds. Repeat each exercise three to five times.

    Several traditional stretches are listed below. These stretching exercises should be avoided because they may lead to injury. More effective stretching exercises are listed and explained in this section of the Preparation Guide.

    Standing Toe Touch with Knees Locked Hurdler Stretch
    The Plow or Backover Full Neck Circles
    Back Hyperextension or Cobra Back Bends


    Exercise Descriptions
    (The following stretches are effective for improving flexibility In each muscle group. Begin your worm-up period by performing light aerobic activity, such as marching or jogging in place and arm circles.)

    1. SIDE TO SIDE LOOK (Stretches neck muscles.)

    Slowly turn head and look to left. Then slowly turn head back to center and look to right.


    Stretches neck muscles.

    Slowly look downward. Don't put chin on chest.


    Stretches lower back and books of upper legs.

    Stand with legs shoulder-width apart. Keep knees bent. Loan over and place hands just above knees. Keep bark straight and flat. Then arch back up, pulling in with abdominals and curling head and neck under. Return to flat back position. Do not arch back down post the flat back position when returning to starting position.


    Stretches lower back and backs of upper legs.

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Keep knees bent. Lean over and place hands just above know. With back straight and flat, gently press left shoulder downward and bring right shoulder upward on a smooth twisting motion. Repeat on other side.


    Stretches the chest muscles.

    Stand next to a wall. Extend arm back along wall and press shoulder toward wall. Repeat on other side.


    Stretches the shoulder and upper back muscles.

    Stand up straight with feet shoulder width apart. Reach right hand across body to left shoulder. Use left hand to hold arm. Place left hand on back of tight arm just above the elbow. Pull through with muscles of right arm and shoulder. Do not push on elbow. Repeat on other side.


    Stretches the chest and shoulder muscles.

    Standing with feel apart, perform slow, full-arm circles backward 5 to 10 times, then forward the same number of times. The arms should brush past the ears and the sides of the trunk.


    Stretches the muscles on the sides of the trunk.

    With feet shoulder-width apart, place one hand on the hip and extend the other arm overhead. Look up past your fingertips. Reach straight up with raised hand until you feel a stretch up your side. Reposition the arms and do the same on the other side.

    9. WALL LEAN

    Stretches the muscles in the back of the lower legs (the calves).

    Stand about 3 feet from a wall, feet slightly apart and put both hands on the wall. Place one foot slightly in front of the other. Keep back heel on the ground and turned slightly inward. Keeping back leg straight, lean forward slowly and feel the stretch in the calf. Repeat for other side.


    Stretch the thigh muscles.

    Slowly slide into a stride position with the front foot almost flat on the floor, and the rear foot on the toes. Put the hands on the floor for balance. Loan forward while pushing the hips downward. Keep front knee in line with toes of front foot. Repeat on the opposite side.


    Stretches muscles in the back and the backs of the legs.

    In a seated position, extend right log on floor. Bend left leg, placing left foot against the inside of your right thigh. Slowly slide your hands down your right leg until you feel the stretch.

    12. TOE PULL

    Stretches inner thighs, front of legs and hip muscles.

    In a seated position, pull knees toward chest, Let your knees drop to the floor as you pull the soles of your feet together. Pull feet toward you while pressing knees toward floor with elbows.


    Stretches the muscles In the lower back and the back of the thighs.

    Lie on the floor on your back. Pull one knee toward chest with hands clasped behind your bent knee. Repeat with other leg. Finally, pull both knees toward chest


    Stretches the muscles of the back of the thighs.

    Lie on the floor on your back with one log extended on the floor and the other extended in the air. Grasp your hands behind the thigh of the leg that is extended in the air. Slowly pull the leg back toward your head. Hold and repeat on other side.


    Stretches finger muscles

    Stands with arms stretched in front, feet slightly apart and palms facing the floor. Begin by extending your fingers to the open hand position. Bring fingers together in a fist and repeat the motion of opening your hand to extend your fingers. Exercise both hands simultaneously. Perform the exercise 10 times.

    CAUTION: When it comes to stretching, you should feel the stretching sensation in the muscle, NOT the joints. If you feel pain In the joints, check to be sure you are using the correct position to do the exercise, reposition yourself as necessary, and try again. If you still feel pain In the joints, avoid that exercise.

    C: Calisthenics

    Calisthenics are exercises that use body weight as the load or resistance. The following exercises were selected in order to increase the strength and muscular endurance in the muscle groups that will be utilized in the Physical Ability Test. The exercise routine should be performed 3 to 4 times per week. To begin with, each exercise should be performed as many times as possible at a continuous, steady pace, and that number repeated for each exercise during the first week. Thereafter, the number of repetitions for each exercise should be increased by at least the number indicated for each exercise below. Remember to keep a performance log.

    The immediately following exercises are to be avoided because they create too much stress In certain joints. More effective calisthenic exercises are listed and explained later in this section of the Preparation guide.

    Descriptions of Recommended Exercises
    These exercises are listed In the suggested order of performance. Be sure to complete a warm-up period before doing these exercises.

    1. PUSH-UPS
    For the chest shoulder region and back of upper arm.
    With hands outside the shoulders, push up while keeping the back straight, Push ups can be performed with legs straight and your weight resting on toes, or with legs bent and weight resting on your knees. Return until the chest almost touches the floor. Aim at increasing by at least 2 push-ups per week.

    2. CURL-UPS
    For the upper abdominal region.
    Lie face up on the floor with legs bent and lower back flat against floor. Using abdominal muscles, pull head and shoulders off of floor while looking up. Hands and arms may be crossed over chest, supporting head, on floor or sliding up logs. Increase by at least 2 per week.

    3. CHIN-UPS
    For the shoulder region and arm flexion.
    With an underhand grasp, pull up until the chin is over the bar. Let down as slowly as possible. Increase by at least 1 a week.

    4. LEG LIFTS
    For the muscles in the back, buttocks and the back of the legs.
    Lie face down on the floor, Place chin on floor and arms flat on floor with elbows bent and palms flat on floor next to your head. Raise one log, keeping hips on floor. You may bend your knee slightly to relieve any strain in the other side. Lower the leg. Repeat on other side. Increase by at least 1 per week, up to a maximum of 15 raises.

    For the outer thigh muscles.
    Lie on right side with head resting on outstretched right arm and with left hand on floor in front of trunk. Lift the upper leg as high as possible and then return to the starting position. Keep the knee straight. Continue lifting on the same side and then turn over and do the same number of lifts on the other side. Increase the number of leg lift on each side by at least 2 per week, up to a maximum of 25 per side.

    For the leg muscles.
    Stand about 6 inches in front of a chair, facing away from the chair. With feet apart and hands on the hips, squat until the thighs are almost parallel to the ground, without sitting down on the chair. Hold. Return to the standing position. Put a 2-inch high block under the heels to aid balance. Increase the number of bonds by at least 1 per week. As an advanced exercise, this exercise could also be done with a weight on the back, for example, a backpack.

    For the leg muscles.
    Stand with the hands on the hips, one foot a step ahead of the other. Bend the knees until the legs are at a 90-degree angle and then jump as high as possible, straightening out the knees. Switch the position of the feet on the way down and then jump again. Each jump counts as 1. Increase the number of jumps by at least 2 per week, up to a maximum of 40 jumps.

    8. DIPS
    For muscles in the arms, shoulders, and chest.
    Grasp the sides of a chair and let your feet slide forward while supporting your weight on your arms. Lower your body toward the chair by banding the elbows to about 90 degrees and then push up to the starting position. Increase by at least 1 per week.

    For the leg muscles.
    Step up onto a bench that is 8-1 2" high, bringing up both feet and then down again, one at a time; for 30 seconds (up-up-down-down). Switch the lead foot and repeat for 30 seconds. Increase the time for each lead foot by 10 seconds per week, up to a maximum of 60 seconds of stepping up and down with each lead foot.

    For the finger and hand muscles
    Use a rubber ball or any commercially available spring loaded handgrip device. Grip and squeeze the ball with one hand 8 times and then alternate to the other hand grip and squeeze 8 times. Repeat the sequence 4 times for each hand. Increase the number of contractions per hand by 2 each week while keeping the number of repeats for each hand at 4.

    D. Weight Training
    Weight training is one method by which an overload can be applied to a muscle or muscle group in order to improve muscular endurance and strength. The program provided here will exercise all the major muscle groups that will be used in the Physical Ability Test. A 16-week training progression is given on the next page. The table prescribes the following:

    Load: refers to the number of pounds of resistance lifted or moved.
    Repetitions: refers to the number of consecutive times the exercise is done without interruption or rest, "reps".
    Set: One set equals the repetitions performed of one exercise. If the prescription is for 3 sets, then 3 groups of "reps" are to be done in the exercise session. It would also be described as one round of all the different exercises, should the "reps" for an exercise not be done consecutively.

    The weight training exercises that are prescribed for this program can be performed through the combined use of free weights and weight machines, or through the use only of a weight machine. Two exercises (i.e., curl-ups and bench steps from the calisthenics program) that have body weight as the load instead of external weights are included in this training program to ensure that all relevant muscle groups are exercised. The recommended beginning or initial load (IL) is given at the end of each exercise description. If you cannot move the recommended load or cannot complete the 4 reps to start your program, reduce the recommended load by increments of 5 lbs. until you are able to complete 4 consecutive movements. Record the load.

    If, on the other hand, the recommended initial load does not appear to stress you for the beginning 4 reps, then add increments of 5 lbs. until you feel that the load represents an overload for that muscle group. Another way of determining the Initial load is to use the maximum load you can move once in a specific exercise. Use 80% of that maximum load as the initial load for that exercise. If you use the latter method to determine your initial load, it is extremely important that you have another person there to assist you. In fact, it is a good idea to have another person assist you in the determination of your Initial load, or on the first day of training, regardless of the way you determine the initial load for each exercise.

    The weight training exercises are presented in the order in which it is suggested they be performed. This program should be performed 3 times per week. Keep a log of the loads and number of repetitions, as appropriate. The suggested load increments are provided in the table below.


    1 Initial Load(IL) 4 3
    2 IL 5 3
    3 IL 6 3
    4 IL 7 3
    5 IL 8 3
    6 IL + 5 lbs 4 3
    7 IL + 5 lbs 5 3
    8 IL + 5 lbs 6 3
    9 IL + 5 lbs 7 3
    10 IL + 5 lbs 8 3
    11 IL + 10 lbs 4 3
    12 IL + 10 lbs 5 3
    13 IL + 10 lbs 6 3
    14 IL + 10 lbs 7 3
    15 IL + 10 lbs 8 3
    16 IL + 10 lbs 9 3



    Exercise Descriptions

    Be sure to complete a warm-up period prior to weight training.

    1. SQUATS For hip, knee, and trunk extensors.
    Standing erect, feet shoulder-width apart, place the bar on your shoulders behind the neck. Grip the bar with the palms forward and spread the hands far apart on the bar. Keeping the back straight and head up, lower the bar by banding your knees to about 90 degrees. Return to the starting position. Suggested initial load: 1/2 of body weight.

    For the muscles in the back of the lower leg.
    With the barbell or weight machine bar behind the shoulders, at the back of the neck (as in the squat), raise upward on your toes as high as possible and then slowly return the heels to the floor. The bells of your feet should be on a 1-2 inch high block. Suggested initial load: 1/2 of body weight.

    For hip and thigh muscles.
    Standing with your side to the pulley at a pulley station and holding it with one hand, hook the ankle of the outside log to the pulley. With the knee slightly bent, move your 189 10 the side, as far as possible, and then return to the starting position. After completing a set, hook the ankle of the inside leg to the pulley. With the knee straight, move your log in front of the other as far to the side as possible and complete a set. Turn around and repeat the exercises with the opposite logs. Suggested Initial load: 1/4 of body weight.

    For the leg muscles.
    Step up onto a bench 8-1 2" high, bringing up both feet and then down again, one at a time, for 30 seconds ("up-up-down-down"). Increase the time for each lead foot by 10 seconds per week, up to a maximum of 60 seconds of stepping up and down with each lead foot.

    For shoulders, arms, and upper back.
    Stand erect with feet apart. Hold the bar with an overhand grip, with your hands 1-2 Inches apart at the center of the bar. Start with the bar held at hip level, lift the bar to your chin while keeping your elbows above the bar and the bar close to the body. Return to the starting position. Suggested initial load: 1/4 of body weight

    For muscles in the shoulder, chest and arms.
    Lie on your back on a bench with your feet on Via bench. Hold the bar above the chest with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder width, and elbows straight. Lower the bar to your chest and then Immediately return it to the starting position. Suggested initial load: 1/4 of body weight.

    For muscles in the shoulders and and flexors.
    Start from a sitting position on a bench or a kneeling position on the floor. Grip the bar with palms forward, hands more than shoulder-width apart, and elbows straight. Pull the bar down to the base of the neck and shoulders and slowly return to the starting position. Suggested initial load: 1/4 of body weight.

    For muscles in the shoulders and arm extensors.
    Stand erect with feet shoulder-width apart, palms forward and shoulder-width apart, with the bar touching the chest. Push the bar straight up to an overhead position until the arms are straight and then lower it in a controlled manner to the starting position. Do not arch your back. Suggested initial load: 1/4 of body weight.

    9. ARM CURLS
    For the muscles that bend the elbow.
    Standing with the elbows straight and in front of the thighs, hold the bar with an underhand grip; hands shoulder-width apart. Keeping his elbows close to your sides, bend your elbows and raise the bar to your chest, then slowly lower the bar to the sterling position. Do not loan backward while raising the bar or forward when lowering it. Suggested initial load: 1/4 of body weight.

    For muscles that extend the elbow.
    Stand with knees straight and feet about shoulder-width apart. With an overhand grip, hands close together, and elbows in close to the body, start with the bar about chin level. Straighten your elbows, pressing the bar down and then return to the starting position. Suggested initial load: 1/4 of body weight.

    For muscles that bend the wrist
    Standing with the elbows straight and in front of the thighs, hold the bar with an underhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Keeping the elbows close to your sides, curl your wrist to move the bar up, then slowly lower the bar to the starting position. Suggested initial load: 1/4 of body weight.

    For muscles that extend the wrist
    Standing with the elbows straight and In front of the thighs, hold the bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Keeping the elbows close to your sides, extend your wrists to lift the bar up, then slowly lower the bar to the starting position. Suggested initial load: 1/4 of body weight.

    For the muscles in the back, buttocks, and back of legs.
    Lie on your abdomen, with the trunk unsupported over the edge of the trunk lift station support, and bent. With the hands locked behind your head, slowly lift your trunk and head so that your back is parallel to the ground and than return to the starting position. Suggested initial load: 5 lift. Increase the number of lifts by at least 1 per week, up to a maximum of 15.

    14. CURL-UPS
    For the upper abdominal region.
    Lie face up on the floor with legs bent and lower back flat against floor. Using abdominal muscles, pull head and shoulders off of floor while looking up. Hands and arms may be crossed over chest, supporting head, on floor or sliding up legs. Increase by at least 2 per week.

    E: Aerobic Training Program

    The aerobic training program is designed to develop cardiovascular endurance as well as muscular endurance in the legs. These are needed for the Ability Performance Test. The running and the stair climbing programs should be done 3 times per week, or as indicated.

    Exercise Descriptions

    Keeping a moderate but steady pace, begin by climbing and descending two flights of stairs (for example, from the first to the third floor). As you begin your training, do not try to run at full speed; gradually increase your speed climbing up the stairs, Do not skip steps, either on your trips up or down. On your trips down the stairs, you should walk briskly back down the stairs to the level from which you started. There is no need to descend the stairs at a pace faster than a brisk walk. Repeat as many times as you can without resting, and count each round trip you can make while keeping the same steady pace. For the first week of exercises, complete as many round trips as were done on the first day and record the amount of time you kept moving on the stairs. Increase the number of round trips by 1 per week, up to a maximum duration of 10 minutes. Thereafter, try to increase the number of round trips you make during the 10 minutes. Because you will need to wear a 20 pound vest for the Stair Climb event, we recommend that you gradually work up to carrying a weight of 20 pounds in a back pack mounted on your shoulders.

    Start the program by walking, then walk and run, or run, as necessary to meet the changing time goals.

    1 2.0 32:00 3
    2 2.0 30:30 3
    3 2.0 27:00 3
    4 2.0 26:00 3
    5 2.0 25:00 3
    6 2.0 24:30 3
    7 2.0 24:00 3
    8 2.0 22:00 3
    9 2.0 21:00 3
    10 2.0 19:00 3
    11 2.0 18:00 4
    12 2.0 17:00 4
    13 2.5 22:00 3
    14 2.5 21:30 4
    15 3.0 27:00 3
    16 3.0 26:30 4

    F: Cool-down
    The cool-down session should be performed for 5 to 10 minutes at the end of each exercise period. The purpose of this phase of the program is to gradually decrease the heart rate, to continue adequate blood circulation, and to decrease the chance that dizziness, nausea or other problems may follow the exercise session.

    After the aerobic training session, begin to jog, then walk rapidly for a total of about 5 minutes. Continue with moderate walking. Afterward, do the following stretching exercises. These are a part of the warm-up set and their descriptions can be found in the Warm-Up Exercises section of this handbook.

    -Modified hurdler
    Supine Leg Stretch
    Stride stretch
    Wall lean
    Shoulder stretch
    Arm circles

    If your work-out session consisted of only the strength and muscular endurance exercises, walk at a moderate pace for a few minutes and then perform the above exercises from the warm-up set


    A: Weekly Log: Calisthenics and Aerobics

    Date: Week:_______Weight:______Training Week # :______

    B: Weekly Log: Weight Training and Aerobics

    Date: Week #:__________Weight:________

    Training Week Number:_____ RM:_______ SETS: 3/Session



    Candidates are advised of the following regarding the MMPO Physical Ability Test:

    Wear clothing appropriate for physically demanding work. Wear long pants, such as a warm up suit or sweatpants.

    You must wear sneakers or rubber soled shoes.

    Gloves may be worn by candidates, but they will not be provided.

    Candidates may not use any extraneous piece of equipment or personal gear that they may bring with them to help in an event. They may only use the equipment provided.

    Because the Physical Ability Test is physically demanding, it is suggested that candidates refrain from eating at least two hours before the examination. However, candidates are urged to drink plenty of fluids beginning the day before the test and continuing up until the time you are tested. Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages. Candidates are also advised to stretch and warm up before participating in the test.

    The Police Officer Physical Ability Test (P.A.T) consists of four (4) events that require candidates to perform simulations of activities that are a part of the police officer's job. These events require cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, muscular endurance and flexibility. Each event will be timed. During all events candidates will wear a holster equipped with plastic gun and night stick to simulate the equipment a police officer normally wears during these types of activities. The events are described below. They will be performed in the order listed.

    EVENT #1: "Getting to a Problem" - The Obstacle Course

    This event simulates the actions necessary to pursue and "takedown" a suspect. The event begins with an obstacle course where the candidate will be faced with climbing under an obstacle, climbing up and down steps, going through an open window, climbing over a wall and negotiating a series of cones arranged in a zigzag pattern. At the end of the course, the candidate will be required to grab hold of a weighted bag attached to a pulley and touch it to the ground. The candidate will then immediately move around the Power Station to the handcuffing simulation where he/she will be required to pull on two hand levers until the cable hits the stop. This completes the event.

    EVENT #2: "Resolving the Problem'- The Trigger Pull Event

    The event consists of raising a handgun and squeezing the trigger six (6) times with each hand.

    EVENT #3: "Resolving the Problem"- The Separation Event

    This event simulates tasks that require separating one party from another and controlling individuals, such as in crowd control situations. The candidate will be required to pull a hanging bag backwards touching it to the ground across a marked line, Candidates will have to perform two "pulls".

    EVENT #4: "Removing the Problem" - The Dummy Drag

    This event simulates dragging a victim or suspect. Candidates will be required to drag a dummy over a straight course.
    Candidates will view an orientation videotape that provides specific instructions about the course and illustrates proper performance of all events when they arrive at their assigned exam time. In addition, each event will be explained by an Event Monitor before the candidate engages in the event. Candidates will also be required to sign a participation waiver before they are allowed to participate in the Physical Ability examination process.


    The Physical Ability Test (PAT) is designed to assess a candidate's capacity to perform the tasks ordinarily performed by a police officer during his/her job, The exercise training program described in these Guidelines provides candidates with the information necessary to improve their level of physical fitness in preparation for taking the PAT. All of the exercises previously described are selected to improve muscle strength, muscle power, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance. The training program will condition the individual muscles and muscle groups involved in the tasks performed by a police officer. The following table provides additional information to explain the link between the exercises in the program and specific events that make up the PAT. In general, the exercises identified with the Obstacle Course Event will provide candidates with a good basic level of conditioning if they are performed according to the specifications in the Guidelines and for the prescribed period of time. However, this section also provides information that allows a police officer to select and train for specific events for which he/she may be less physically prepared.

    Obstacle Course  Pursuing a suspect on foot while encountering obstacles during the pursuit 

    Simulates "Getting to the Problem".

    Warm up: Side to side Look, Forward and Down Look Standing Cat Stretch, Shoulder Stretch, Shoulder Turn, Stride Stretch, Modified Hurdler, Toe Pull, Knee to Chest, Wall Lean.
    Calisthenics:Push-Ups, Chin-Ups, Leg Lifts, Side Leg Lifts, Squat Jumps, Bench Steps
    Weight Training: Curl-Ups, Squats, Trunk Lft, Lateral Pull-Downs, Arm Curls, Bench Press,Upright Rowing
    Aerobic Training: Walk/Jog Program, Stair Climbing

    *The obstacle course requires a good combination of endurance, muscular strength, muscular power and flexibility, Consequently a 16 week general conditioning program that Includes all these elements is an appropriate form of preparation for the physical demands of most events included in the PAT.

    Take Down  Pushing a suspect to the ground after a pursuit

    Simulates "Resolving the Problem".

    Warm-up Exercise: Standing Cat Stretch, Shoulder Turn, Chest Stretch, Shoulder Stretch, Arm Circles, SideStretch or Reach, Stride Stretch, Knee to Chest, Wall Lean
    Calisthenics: Push-ups, Curl-Ups, Chair Squats
    Weight Training: Curl.Ups, Squats, Standing or Overhead Press, Lateral Pull-Downs, Trunk Lifts, Arm Curls, Bench Press, Upright Rowing
    Handcuffing Handcuffing a suspect to effect an arrest after a pursuit Simulates "Resolving the Problem". Warm-up: Standing Cat Stretch, Shoulder Turn, Chest Stretch, Shoulder Stretch, Arm Circles, Side Stretch or Reach. Stride Stretch, Knee to Chest, Wall Lean
    Calisthenics: Push-ups Curl-Ups
    Weight Training: Squats Standing or Overhead Press, Lateral Pull-Downs, Trunk Lifts, Arm Curls, Bench Press, Triceps Extension, Upright Rowing
    Trigger Pull Pulling the trigger on a handgun  Warm-up. Chest Stretch, Shoulder Stretch, Arm Circles, Finger Extension/Flexion
    Exercise: Using a rubber ball,Pull Down or similar form of resistance,follow the same progression of repetitions and sets described for your weight training program
    Pull Down Separating or controlling individuals involved in a dispute  Warm-up: Side to Side Look, Forward and Down Look, Standing Cat Stretch, Chest, Stretch, Shoulder Stretch,Arm Circles, Stride Stretch, Modified Hurdler
    Calisthenics: Push-ups, Curl-Ups, Chin-ups, Chair Squats,Squat Jumps, Dips, Bench Steps
    Weight Training: Curl-Ups, Squats, Standing Overhead Press, Lateral Pull-Downs, Trunk Lifts, Arm Curls, Bench Press, Triceps Extension
    DummyDrag Dragging an unconscious victim from a burning car. Simulates "Removing the Problem". Warm-up: Side to Side Look, Forward and Down Look, Standing Cat Stretch, ShoulderTurn, Chest Stretch, Shoulder Stretch, Arm Circles, Side Stretch or Reach, Stride Stretch, Modified Hurdler, Knee to Chest, Wall Lean
    Calisthenics: Curl-Ups, Chin-ups, Log Lft, Side Log Lifts, Chair Squats, Squat Jumps,Dips, Bench Steps
    Weight Training: Curl-Ups, Squats, Standing Overhead Press, Heel Lifts, Lateral Pull-Downs, Trunk Lifts, Arm Curls,Bench Press, Side Leg Raises, Triceps Extension, Upright Rowing
    Aerobic Training: Walk/jog Program, Stair Climbing.
    This preparation guide represents an attempt to familiarize you with all aspects of the Physical Ability Test for Police 0fficers, including the exercises, logistics and evaluation procedures as well as to provide some suggestions for preparation The suggestions provided here are not exhaustive, We encourage you to engage in whatever additional preparation strategies you believe will enhance your chances of performing effectively on the test and on the job.

    The following sources were used as references in the development of this fitness program.

    1. American College of Sports Medicine. Fitness Book. Champaign, IL: Leisure Press, 1992.
    2. American College of Sports Medicine. Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. Fourth Edition. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1991.
    3. Cooper, K. H. The Aerobics Way. New York: M. Evans Co., 1977.
    4. Heyward, Vivian H. Designs for Fitness. Minneapolis: Burgess Publishing Co., 1984.
    5. Howley, Edward T. & B. Don Franks. Health/Fitness Instructor's Handbook. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 1986.
    6. Sharkey, Brian J. Physiology of Fitness. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 1979.
    7. Reid, J. Gavin & John M. Thomson. Exercise Prescription for Fitness. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1985.

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