MTI 3/3/3 Military Athlete Endurance Assessment

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By Rob Shaul & Charles Bausman

Last month we published the MTI Relative Strength Assessment.

Today we present the MTI 3/3/3 Military Athlete Endurance Assessment (specific to movement over ground) for Military Athletes.

Each military PFT tests endurance with an unloaded run from 1.5 miles to 3 miles. Within each service, particular units or schools may develop their own assessments with higher physical demands and standards. Individual units and most selections demand more, including longer unloaded runs, and long rucks up to 12 miles.

Our Thoughts Going In to  Building the Endurance Assessment

  • Mission-Direct: The assessment should assess mission-direct endurance demands, which for military athletes means loaded movement.
  • The assessment must be easy to complete and easy to score. The assessment should be able to completed as a unit with minimal requirements for scoring and tracking. It should also be able to be completed in the amount of time afforded to units for PT… so at absolute maximum, four hours. No superficial training gear or instruction. KISS principle applies.
  • Training area should be simple. a 1.5 mile flat loop or 1.5 mile down/back flat course on road, plus a stop watch, is all units/athletes will need for this assessment.
  • The type of equipment and weight carried should be the same, or closely simulated, to the requirements of the job. We utilized a study by the US Army Army Center for Lessons Learned, titled “The Modern Warriors Combat Load” to determine realistic weight for mission realities.
  • Each event should be individually scored, then tallied for a overall assessment score. Similar to the relative strength assessment, individual event scoring allows us more data on fitness deficiencies.

MTI 3/3/3 Military Endurance Assessment Protocol

Uniform:

  • Military – boots and cammies

Warm Up:

2 Rounds

  • 100m Run
  • Instep/Hip Flex/Pigeon Stretch

Training

(1) 3 Mile Run – Unloaded

In boots and cammie bottoms, t-shirt top, while carrying a rifle or similarly weighted object, the athlete will run three miles at maximum effort.

** 6 Minutes to recover/prepare for next event. Be strict – no more or less than 6 minutes.

(2) 3 Mile Ruck Run at Fighting Load – 45 Pounds

In boots and cammie bottoms, t-shirt top, while carrying a rifle or similarly weighted object, the athlete will ruck run three miles at maximum effort wearing a 45# ruck.

** 6 Minutes to recover/prepare for next event. Be strict – no more or less than 6 minutes.

(3) 3 Mile Ruck Run  in Approach March Load – 75 Pounds

In boots and cammie bottoms, t-shirt top, while carrying a rifle or similarly weighted object, the athlete will ruck run three miles at maximum effort wearing a 75# ruck.


Scoring

The standards for each event serve as the baseline for scoring. Each event has a individual interval, which will equal one point (see table below).

Event Time & Points Awarded
3 Mile Run – Unloaded < 21:00 = 10 points

21:01 – 22:00 = 9 points

22:01 – 23:00 = 8 points

23:01 – 24:00 = 7 points

24:01 – 25:00 = 6 points

25:01 – 26:00 = 5 points

26:01 – 27:00 = 4 points

27:01 – 28:00 = 3 points

28:01 – 29:00 = 2 points

29:01 – 30:00 = 1 point

30:01(+) = 0 points

3 Mile Run Run @ 45# <30:00 = 10 pts

30:01 – 31:00 = 9 pts

31:01 – 32:00 = 8 pts

32:01 – 33:00 = 7 pts

33:01 – 34:00 = 6 pts

34:01 – 35:00 = 5 pts

35:01 – 36:00 = 4 pts

36:01 – 37:00 = 3 pts

37:01 – 38:00 = 2 pts

38:01 – 39:00 = 1 pts

39:01(+) = 0 pts

3 Mile Ruck Run @ 75# <37:00 = 10 pts

37:01 – 38:00 = 9 pts

38:01 – 39:00 = 8 pts

39:01 – 40:00 = 7 pts

40:01 – 41:00 = 6 pts

41:01 – 42:00 = 5 pts

42:01 – 43:00 = 4 pts

43:01 – 44:00 = 3 pts

44:01 – 45:00 = 2 pts

45:01 – 46:00 = 1 pts

46:00 (+) = 0 pts

Find the sum of the three events for your overall score. For example…

  • 3 Mile Unloaded Run Time: 23:30 = 7 pts
  • 3 Mile Ruck Run @ 45# Time: 34:22 = 5 pts
  • 3 Mile Ruck Run @ 75# Time: 43:16 = 6 pts
  • Total Score = 18 points

MTI 3/3/3 Tactical Athlete Endurance Assessment – Scoring

Poor 0 – 10
Good 11-20
Excellent 21+

Common Questions

Why the 3 mile, unloaded (except for rifle) 3-mile run to start?
Research, including our own, has shown a strong correlation between unloaded running performance and rucking performance. We felt the need for an unloaded (no pack) run in the assessment and we hope running in boots/uniform bottoms/t-shirt/rifle or tool will have even more correlation, as well as making the rest of the assessment efficient to complete because no uniform change is needed.

Why the Flat Course?
Simplicity, consistency and repeatability: the same course can be used for all 3 events, is consistent across units, and can easily be repeated by the same unit in different locations.

We understand movement over flat ground is not the same as movement across hilly, uneven, cross-country terrain, and cross-country movement is much more “mission-direct,” however this is a fitness assessment, not a selection course. Is it perfect, no. But no fitness assessment is.

Why the 3 different loads?
These allow us to not only assess endurance, but also to some extent, strength. A fit, but weak athlete could score well on the unloaded portion of the run, but score progressively worse on the loaded portions. The 3 different loads allow us to look for these performance differences and will help us then program follow-on fitness training appropriately.

Why just 9 miles total? Many military units and selections require heavy rucks 10+ miles long.
Time to complete the assessment. We had considered a 4/4/4 assessment, but felt this assessment would come close to assessing the same level of endurance, and would have a greater chance of being completed in 3 at most hours. We envision the assessment being a morning event for a unit.

Have the Lab Rats done this?
As of April 2017 we haven’t completed this assessment will all of our lab rats in Wyoming – our sever winter weather this year interfered. However, I completed this assessment with a soldier at Schofield Barracks on Oahu during my spring break. The entire event took us 2 hours, 10 minutes. Below were our times and final score:

Both Kreston and I carried 10# plates for all of our runs – and Kreston commented this seemed more difficult than carrying a slung rifle.

We ran a relatively flat, out and back 1.5 mile course on the post’s roads.

Questions, feedback, recommendations?
Email rob@mtntactical.com