New Physical Readiness Manual
What is it?
The new manual, FM 3-22.20 (Army Physical Readiness Manual), is an update to the old FM 21-20 (Physical Fitness Training). The proposed update provides a “System” of training; an ordered and comprehensive assemblage of facts, principles, and methods in a particular field. The new manual focuses on physical readiness for combat vice just fitness. The Physical Readiness Training (PRT) system of training supports the Army Campaign Plan, specifically the ARFORGEN model. It provides a balanced training program that prepares Soldiers for successful combat task performance and provides linkage to other training conducted during the duty day. The new manual will provide a doctrinal basis for Standardized Physical Training (SPT) which has been used successfully in Initial Entry Training for years. The new program will improve performance in combat-related tasks and provide for injury control by recommending exercise intensity, exercise volume, specificity, and recovery within its progressive training schedules. These training schedules provide the Commander a doctrinal template that can be applied in their units, allowing for changes based on training constraints or other mission requirements.
What has the Army done?
In 2000, The Army Physical Fitness School researched and developed the Army Physical Readiness Training (PRT) concept. A draft PRT manual in support of the Objective/Future Force Soldier was completed. The doctrinal paradigm shifted from training in preparation for the APFT, to training to enhance the physical performance of Soldier combat tasks. Standardized Physical Training (SPT) was successfully implemented into Initial Entry Training and many of the institutional learning programs of the Army. A gap developed between operational units and initial entry physical fitness training. The Army refined and improved physical fitness training and expanded the concept into the more complete field of physical readiness. The Army has set the conditions to standardize physical readiness training for all Soldiers, requiring the new manual.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army plans to initiate formal Army-wide staffing of the manual in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Why is this important to the Army?
Physical readiness is among the highest priorities for the Army. An updated comprehensive manual that provides leaders doctrinally sound guidelines for preparing Soldiers for combat is imperative to the Army mission.