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Current Sports Medicine Reports:
doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e318237bf8a
Special Communications

Consortium for Health and Military Performance and American College of Sports Medicine Consensus Paper on Extreme Conditioning Programs in Military Personnel

Bergeron, Michael F. PhD, FACSM1; Nindl, Bradley C. PhD, FACSM2; Deuster, Patricia A. PhD, MPH, FACSM3; Baumgartner, Neal PhD4; Kane, Shawn F. MD, FACSM5; Kraemer, William J. PhD, FACSM6; Sexauer, Lisa R. BS, ATC7; Thompson, Walter R. PhD, FACSM8; O'Connor, Francis G. MD, MPH, FACSM9

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Abstract

A potential emerging problem associated with increasingly popularized extreme conditioning programs (ECPs) has been identified by the military and civilian communities. That is, there is an apparent disproportionate musculoskeletal injury risk from these demanding programs, particularly for novice participants, resulting in lost duty time, medical treatment, and extensive rehabilitation. This is a significant and costly concern for the military with regard to effectively maintaining operational readiness of the Force. While there are certain recognized positive aspects of ECPs that address a perceived and/or actual unfulfilled conditioning need for many individuals and military units, these programs have limitations and should be considered carefully. Moreover, certain distinctive characteristics of ECPs appear to violate recognized accepted standards for safely and appropriately developing muscular fitness and are not uniformly aligned with established and accepted training doctrine. Accordingly, practical solutions to improve ECP prescription and implementation and reduce injury risk are of paramount importance.

© 2011 American College of Sports Medicine

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