Elite tactical units complete a variety of demanding tasks and a high level of fitness is required by this population to perform their occupational tasks optimally. The aim of this critical review was to identify and synthesize key findings of studies that have investigated the fitness profiles of elite tactical units. Included studies were critically appraised, using the Downs and Black checklist, and a level of evidence was determined. Relevant data were extracted, tabulated, and synthesized. Fourteen studies were included for review and ranged in percentage quality scores from 46% to 66% with a mean of 57.5%. Moderate interrater agreement (κ = 0.496) existed between raters. A variety of fitness measures were used across various domains of fitness. The most common measures were in the areas of anthropometric measures, strength, power, and aerobic capacity. However, there was high variety in the measures and their protocols. Though fitness appears to be a critical part of research and practice in tactical populations, currently there is no standardized measure or result for this population. Further research in fitness profiling should be completed using standardized outcome measures which cover the spectrum of the fitness demands for this population.
Keywords: SWAT; adult; exercise; military; police; special forces; strength and conditioning.