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Physical Exercise Specialist


Physical Exercise Specialist

There are two separate program streams that the PES oversees:

Reconditioning Program 

The PSP Reconditioning Program supports Canadian Forces (CF) members as they recover from illness or injury through customized exercise, training plans, and access to sports. The Program is designed to help ill and injured members as they recover, supporting them in returning to active duties, and improve their quality of life as quickly and safely as possible.

The Physical Exercise Specialist is involved during the later stages of Reconditioning Program and works with less severely ill and injured personnel. By providing customized fitness training plans, these specialists are able to support CF members in regaining functional abilities, and work with them to achieve the high level of physical fitness required to be operationally ready and effective members of the military. Each plan takes into consideration the participants’ comfort level with different activities, physical capabilities, access to equipment. The PES can be engaged in process by RAFS or local medical service providers.

The PES compliments the services provided by physiotherapists, occupational therapists in a collaborative effort to maximize recovery and functional independence. Health care providers such as physicians, physiotherapists, are well-situated to recommend when injured/ill CAF members may benefit from participation in early physical fitness reconditioning activities. Medical employment limitations will be provided to assist the PES to effectively develop a safe physical fitness reconditioning program. Goals, capabilities, and limitations as well as any absolute contraindications will be provided to PES. For further clarification PES may communicate directly with primary care physician, PT or OT for additional information.  Participants are expected to complete an attendance record, keep workout/exercise logs, and monthly progress reports are sent. 

Rehabilitation 4 Performance program 

Purpose of R4P – 5 reasons:
1. Create an efficient and effective quadrant based rehabilitation program for CF Members.
2. Decrease musculoskeletal re-injury rates in CF Members.
3. Increase operational commander’s access to deployable personnel.
4. Create a seamless process between PSP and CFHS.
5. Ability to evaluate the effectiveness of standardized evidence based program. 

What is the R4P Program?
  • Phasic/graduated quadrant-based exercise programming (upper/lower/spine) for personnel with musculoskeletal injuries in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
  • The goal of the program is to decrease MSK injury/re-injury by providing CAF members the time, place, equipment and programming necessary to increase tissue tolerance post-injury.
  • This will lead to a decrease in MSK injury/re-injury and thereby decrease the number of CAF members on MELs, TCats and PCats, which will result in an increase in the number of deployable personnel available to operation commanders.
  • Program theory: High MSK injury-re-injury rates in the CAF are secondary to personnel returning to full duties without appropriately adapting their injured tissues to an appropriate level to withstand the forces associated with their job. 
How you qualify 
  • Anyone with a musculoskeletal injury/condition can be qualified for the R4P Program.  Referral into the R4P Program is decided upon Physiotherapist.  
How many phases 
  • Upper Quadrant = 4 phases
  • Lower Quadrant = 3 Phases
  • Spinal = 3 phases
  • Upper Quadrant R4P = Cervicothoracic/Shoulder Dysfunctions 
  • Lower Quadrant R4P = Knee/Ankle/Foot Dysfunctions 
  • Spinal R4P = Thoracolumbar/Hip/Top Down Knee (ITBS/PFS)
How programs are structured
  • Each phase of each of the R4P programs have different and progressive goals/focuses which allow the CAF member to safely and gradually improve performance. 
Time commitment 
  • Upper Quadrant = 11 weeks (3 workouts/wk = 33 workouts)
  • Lower Quadrant = 7 weeks (4-5 workouts/wk = 32 workouts)
  • Spinal = 10 weeks (3 workouts/wk = 30 workouts)
  • All workouts are approximately 1 hour
  • Testing at entry to determine Phase to enter. 
  • Standardized program specific inclusion criteria.
  • Pain scales/questionnaires. 
  • Quadrant specific functional testing.
  • Re-testing to progress through phases/discharge from program.  
For more information, please contact the Fitness Exercise Specialist at 204-765-3000 ext. 3866.