Study aim: To assess the effects of prolonged winter survival activities of moderate workouts on selected motor skills in male participants of survival instructor training course.
Material and methods: A group of 11 physical education students, participants of a survival course camp for instructors, aged 21 - 25 years, participated in the study. They were examined 3 times: before starting the course (Day 1), on the following morning - after a 12-h night training when the participants were deprived of sleep (Day 2) and 24 h later, after a 6-h sleep and survival activities lasting all day (Day 3). At the end of the course all the participants were assessed by a single 10-point scale. In the mornings of all 3 days the participants were subjected to the following tests: 15-m straight run, shuttle run 3×5 m, 15-slalom run, 15-m squat, computer-aided co-ordination test, maximum handgrip, 50%-handgrip and corrected 50% handgrip.
Results: Running velocity on Day 3 was significantly (p<0.05) decreased in relation to the previous days but a running performance index computed from the standardised values of all running tests did not decrease and on Day 2 was even significantly (p<0.05) higher than on Day 1. No significant between-day differences were found for the visual co-ordination test and for handgrip strength indices despite exhausting workloads applied.
Conclusions: Although the applied tests did no fully reflect the real performance of subjects under the winter survival conditions, it seems that engaging soldiers in consecutive military actions without an adequate recovery should be avoided whenever possible in order to improve the execution of strenuous tasks.
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