Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Exercise and Sport Science

First Advisor

Michael T. Lane


In the last 7 years, there have been landmark studies concerning Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) load carriage. These studies (Bach et al., 2017; Wu et al., 2022) have worked to quantify the ability of an operator to work while encumbered by EOD personal protective equipment (PPE), but have not evaluated possible sources of mitigation for the increased demand. Intuitively, it seems that greater levels of fitness would modify the degree of increased demand an operator may acquire during EOD load carriage. The current study seeks to illuminate relationships between strength, power, and/or endurance and EOD load carriage performance. Recreationally trained subjects will complete weekly testing visits over the course of four weeks. For the present study, data capture included a familiarization visit (FAM) wherein the subjects performed the testing protocol without additional load and a loaded visit (EOD) where the subjects wore EOD gear. The visits will had nearly identical testing protocol, where subjects in the larger study performed a battery of tests which included resting heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP), body composition, reaction time, hand grip strength, vertical jump, isometric rack pull, stair sprint, 18.29m sled pull, 9.14m yard dash, a Bruce or modified Bruce protocol, and digit countback. The present study specifically considered measures of strength (isometric rack pull), power (stair sprint, sled pull), and cardiovascular fitness (VO2 max) to give insight to the relationship between strength, power, and cardiovascular fitness and aerobic capacity under load. Findings include an increase in HR, VO2, and RER through all stages and an increase in RER through the second and third stage. Strong correlations were found between Relative strength, body fat percentage, VO2 max, and FAM Bruce duration and EOD Bruce duration. Keywords: Load carriage, tactical athlete, EOD equipment, PPE, Bruce protocol.

Included in

Physiology Commons