All physical training programs in IET must do the following: 1 ) progressively condition and toughen soldiers for military duties; 2) develop soldiers’ self-confidence, discipline, and team spirit; 3) develop healthy life-styles through education; and, 4) improve physical fitness to the highest levels possible in all five components of physical fitness (cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition).
Because each IET school is somewhat different, commanders must examine the graduation requirements for the course and establish appropriate fitness objectives. They can then design a program that attains these objectives. The seven principles of exercise outlined in Chapter 1 are universal, and they apply to all PT programs including those in IET. Commanders of initial entry training should look beyond the graduation requirements of their own training course to ensure that their soldiers are prepared for the physical challenges of their future assignments. This means developing safe training programs which will produce the maximum physical improvement possible.
MFTs are skilled at assessing soldiers’ capabilities. They use the five components of physical fitness in designing programs to reach the training objectives established by the commander. They also know how to conduct exercise programs that are effective and safe. MFTs are not, however, trained to diagnose or treat injuries.
The commander’s latitude in program development varies with the length and type of the IET course. For example, commanders of basic combat training (BCT) may do a standard PT program at one installation, while AIT commanders may design their own programs. Regardless of the type of course, all leaders must strive to train their soldiers to attain the highest level of physical fitness possible. This means using the established principles of exercise to develop a safe physical training program.