Training in Confined Spaces

During deployments or extended training exercises it is not uncommon to be confronted with conditions which may limit physical training routines. Complete cessation of physical training will result in a significant and rapid reduction in both strength and endurance capacity (see section on Deconditioning). Submarines and small assault craft probably create the greatest challenge, but under almost all circumstances where time is not a limiting factor a reasonably well balanced training program can be maintained with a minimal amount of equipment. The following is a list of both aerobic and anaerobic training modalities for confined spaces:

♦ Calisthenics

♦ Grip balls for grip strength

♦ Resistance equipment such as the Exergenie which imitate swimming strokes and are very light weight

♦ Therabands, another lightweight resistance tool to maintain strength in major muscle groups

♦ Stair stepping (monotonous but good aerobic workout without need of special equipment)

♦ Running in place

For larger platforms or forward operating bases with physical security limitations, the following equipment in addition to weights should also be considered:

♦ Cycle ergometer

♦ Rowing machine

♦ Stair climber

♦ Upper arm ergometer

Physical fitness equipment on a submarine should, at a minimum, include a cycle ergometer, a rowing machine and free weights.

The stationary cycle and rowing machines should have a performance monitor to display time, distance, etc., so that progress on stationary equipment can be charted and monitored. Platoons deployed under confined circumstances can reduce the monotony of stationary equipment and boost training morale by creating competitions. Monitoring and charting each members daily PT progress wrill help demonstrate results, encourage physical training, and maintain physical fitness.

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