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Reserve Exercise Physiologists Help Shape Latest Program> Citizen Airman Magazine> Features

The Air Force Reserve Command Functional Manager of Fitness and Health Promotion and his team of 10 exercise physiologists were instrumental in bringing about the latest major changes to the Air Force Reserve. Air Force Fitness Assessment Program.

The Air Force announced in July that the service will now offer Airmen five fitness assessment alternatives – three for the cardio portion and seating components and two for the push-up component of the fitness assessment. physical condition from the beginning of 2022.

As the Senior Exercise Scientist for the Air Force Level 1 Fitness Program Review Task Force, AFRC’s Jason Ham has been at the forefront of efforts of the Air Force to move away from a single fitness assessment model.

“The most recent Air Force Fitness Program Working Group charter was signed in early 2020,” Ham said. “However, the charter has been around on and off for years. In fact, I have been on the task force for over 25 years as a major command or air staff functional expert for exercise physiology.

In addition to Ham, the 10 AFRC exercise physiologists – assigned to each of the command’s host units – were part of the task force and provided key research and data analysis during the search for new evaluation alternatives.

As part of the new assessment model, aviators will choose from the traditional 1.5 mile run, 1 mile walk, or High Aerobic Multi-shuttle Run (20M HAMR) to meet cardio demands.

They will then choose from traditional pumps or hand pumps for a force component; and from sit-ups, reverse cross-legged crunch or plank for the other strength component to complete the comprehensive fitness assessment.

Ham said he was confident the new assessment would more accurately test and measure an aviator’s fitness.

“I am very excited about the research and development carried out to create the five new alternative components,” he said. “I think the working group covered many areas that were missing in the assessment from 2004 to today, including agility, balance and coordination. The new ratings will also reduce the risk of injury and address total body strength.

“The first feedback from the field and beta testing shows that our Airmen are very happy with the new assessments and the ability to choose which assessments they want to take on test day. Ultimately, the task force wanted to return the fitness assessment to our Airmen and empower them to have a healthy relationship with their fitness.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. said he was excited about the new fitness assessment alternatives.

“More testing options will put flexibility in the hands of our airmen – where it belongs,” he said in an Air Force article. “We know that not all aviators maintain their fitness the same way and can be good at different things. Alternative components offer choices while providing a mechanism for determining overall fitness.

Ham said now is the time to take a deep look at the Air Force’s fitness assessment program and make updates.

“This is the first major change to the program since 2004, when we moved away from bicycle ergometrics,” he said. “Comments from airmen on the ground were that the fitness assessment program needed a comprehensive review to ensure the Air Force is running a 21st century assessment program with the latest science. to support it. “

He went on to say that the new assessment alternatives should be good news for Citizen Reserve Airmen.

“The feedback from the Reserve during the initial testing phase of the new fitness assessments has been very positive,” he said. “I think planning multiple evaluation options on a unit formation assembly will present a challenge. However, the working group is working to update the fitness database, myFitness, to allow easier planning tools.

myFitness will eventually allow users to schedule fitness assessments, receive automated notifications for scheduled tests or cancellations, access and submit fitness assessments, and upload medical documents for review.

myFitness is hosted on the myFSS platform and is part of the Air Force initiative to improve the Airmen and Guardian experience with technology by making applications user-friendly and more easily accessible. Active duty, duty, and reserve personnel will be able to access and use myFitness worldwide.

To access myFitness, go to

For more information on fitness, Airmen can visit myPers or the Air Force Personnel Center’s fitness program page. Draft Fitness Scoreboards are available on myPers until final scoreboards are provided.

Ham said the task force could not have accomplished what it did without the expertise of AFRC exercise physiologists.

“I would like to recognize the incredible work done by our host facility exercise physiologists for all of the time and dedication that went into developing this program in an accelerated environment,” Ham said. “When the call came from the Air Force, we responded. It is certainly not every day that the AFRC conducts a total force review affecting more than 755,000 airmen around the world. I am privileged to say that I stand on the shoulders of giants every day and work with the best exercise scientists, medical professionals and political teams in the Air Force. #ReserveReady #ReserveReform

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