RHCE co-hosts physical readiness training leadership course

Lt. Col. Chad Flick (center), a physical therapist and the chief of the department of rehabilitation services at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, demonstrates a fitness app during a physical readiness training leadership course.

Trainers from Regional Health Command Europe, U.S. Army Europe, and Installation Management Command Europe recently conducted a pilot physical readiness training leadership course at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

The course was designed to educate, enable, and empower leaders to effectively plan and lead PRT for their local unit with an emphasis on injury prevention and a 100% pass rate on the Army Combat Fitness Test. The course is a pilot for a larger injury prevention initiative coming to Europe later this fiscal year, according to Capt. Daniel Huffman, a physical therapist at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

“This course is really to help Soldiers lead other Soldiers with their physical training,” said Huffman. “We just want to see optimal training and help Soldiers do that better.”

Huffman led a majority of the three-day course, which included a mix of classroom lectures and demonstrations at the Landstuhl fitness center.

“This course focused on developing effective training programs and how to conduct various exercises correctly,” said Huffman. “We also offered coaching tips. Additionally, we provided quite a bit of research on how the right exercises can help prevent injuries while achieving performance optimization.”

According to Dr. Caitlin Brooks, a health promotion specialist with USAREUR and a physical therapist, musculoskeletal injuries are the leading reason for Soldiers to seek medical care. Those types of injuries accounted for 71% of the total Army injuries in 2019, per the “Health of the Force” report.

“Now that the Army has shifted to a more equal balance of cardio, strength, and power, it’s also changing the way we address PRT,” said Brooks. “Cardio, strength, mobility and flexibility are all equal parts in this training plan to reach the intensities of the ACFT. That way the Soldier is more well-rounded in their training and is more ready for the fight.”

Attendees were mostly from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center but the class also included an Army Reserve Soldier and civilians from the Landstuhl Army Wellness Center.

“I thought it was a really good class, definitely a lot of great information,” said Sgt. Stefan Kinsey, a physical therapist at LRMC. “Rehab is just scaled down working out. So being able to explain not necessarily just what they are doing but why they are doing it, once they are done with physical therapy, you’ve given them the tools to get stronger and stay healthy.”

For more information on preparing for the ACFT and fitness resources, visit https://www.army.mil/acft/.