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
- 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?
- Have you developed chest pain within the last month?
- Do you tend to lose consciousness or fall over as
a result of dizziness?
- Do you have a bone or joint problem that could be
aggravated by the proposed physical activity?
- Has a doctor ever recommended medication for your
blood pressure or a heart condition?
- Are you aware, through your own experience or a doctor's
advice, of any other physical reason against your exercising
without medical supervision?
(If you answered YES to
any of these 7 questions, vigorous exercise and exercise
testing should be postponed until medical clearance
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
- Difficult or painful breathing
- Ankle swelling
- Palpitations or racing heart rate
- Known heart murmur
If you have any of these
symptoms, vigorous exercise or exercise testing
should be postponed until medical clearance is
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
If you have two or more of these risk factors,
vigorous exercise or exercise testing should be
postponed until medical clearance is obtained.
- take insulin
- have had diabetes for more than
- 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.
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
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
1000 calories x 7 days a week = 7000 calories (2
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:
butter or margarine on toast, vegetables, popcorn,
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
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
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,
- corn, peas, dried beans(navy, pinto, arbanzo and
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
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
Intensity of activity (how hard you train).
Duration of training (the length of each
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.
USE AND DISUSE
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
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
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
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
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
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
* Tightness in the chest
* Sharp pain in any muscle or joint
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
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
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
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)
- 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.
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
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:
SECTION II: FITNESS PROGRAM
A. Medical and General Health Factors
The fitness program is divided into the
- Strength and muscular endurance exercises
- Aerobic exercises
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
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 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
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
DO NOT DO THESE EXERCISES
|Standing Toe Touch with Knees Locked
|The Plow or Backover
||Full Neck Circles
|Back Hyperextension or Cobra
(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.
2. FORWARD AND DOWN LOOK
Stretches neck muscles.
Slowly look downward. Don't put chin on
3. STANDING CAT STRETCH
Stretches lower back and books of upper
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.
4. SHOULDER TURN
Stretches lower back and backs of upper
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.
5. CHEST STRETCH
Stretches the chest muscles.
Stand next to a wall. Extend arm back along
wall and press shoulder toward wall. Repeat on other side.
6. SHOULDER STRETCH
Stretches the shoulder and upper back
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.
7. ARM CIRCLES
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.
8. SIDE STRETCH OR REACH
Stretches the muscles on the sides of the
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.
10. STRIDE STRETCH
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
11. MODIFIED HURDLER
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.
13. KNEE TO CHEST
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
14. SUPINE LEG STRETCH
Stretches the muscles of the back of
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.
15. FINGER EXTENSION-FLEXION
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
5. SIDE LEG LIFTS
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.
6. CHAIR SQUATS
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
7. SQUAT JUMPS
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.
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.
9. BENCH STEPS
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.
10. HAND-GRIP STRENGTH
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
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,
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
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
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
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
16-WEEK WEIGHT TRAINING PROGRESSION
||IL + 5 lbs
||IL + 5 lbs
||IL + 5 lbs
||IL + 5 lbs
||IL + 5 lbs
||IL + 10 lbs
||IL + 10 lbs
||IL + 10 lbs
||IL + 10 lbs
||IL + 10 lbs
||IL + 10 lbs
Be sure to complete a warm-up period prior to
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.
2. HEEL LIFTS
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
3. SIDE LEG RAISES
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.
4. BENCH STEPS
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.
5. UPRIGHT ROWING
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
6. BENCH PRESS
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.
7. LATERAL PULL-DOWNS
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.
8. STANDING OR OVERHEAD PRESS
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.
10. TRICEPS EXTENSION
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.
11. WRIST CURLS
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.
12. REVERSE WRIST CURLS
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
13. TRUNK LIFTS
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.
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.
1. STAIR CLIMBING AND DESCENDING
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.
2. RUNNING PROGRAM
Start the program by walking, then walk and run, or run,
as necessary to meet the changing time goals.
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.
Supine Leg Stretch
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
SECTION III: WEEKLY LOG
A: Weekly Log: Calisthenics and Aerobics
Week # :______
B: Weekly Log: Weight Training and Aerobics
Date: Week #:__________Weight:________
Training Week Number:_____ RM:_______
SUMMARY OF THE PHYSICAL ABILITY
TEST AND EXERCISE
A. MASSACHUSETTS POLICE OFFICER PHYSICAL
ABILITY TEST EVENT DESCRIPTION
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
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
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
EVENT #4: "Removing the Problem" - The
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.
B. APPLICATION OF THE EXERCISE TRAINING
PROGRAM TO POLICE OFFICER TASKS AND THE PHYSICAL ABILITY
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
||POLICE OFFICER TASK
||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
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
||Pushing a suspect to the ground after
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 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
||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
||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
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
||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
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.
SECTION V: REFERENCES
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
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
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.,