Review: FM 7-22 Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F)
At the end of September 2020, the Army released "a full revision and expansion on physical readiness training doctrine" with a stated goal of building "physical lethality and mental toughness to win quickly and return home healthy." Unlike the previous version, FM 7-22: Army Physical Readiness Training, the new manual attempts to address both the physical and nonphysical components of Soldier Readiness. If you're wondering what those physical and nonphysical components are, or where to get started with the new manual, this article should help you get started.
Download FM 7-22, ATP 7-22.01, and ATP 7-22.02
Here's what you need to know about Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F):
Holistic Health and Fitness or H2F is the Army's new doctrine in support of human performance optimization. The H2F system intends to address the physical and non-physical components of fitness through the use of performance professionals, programs, facilities, equipment, and education.
Let's break those down one-by-one.
1. H2F Performance Professionals
First, the following diagram outlines the performance professionals the Army expects to see at the brigade level. That includes contracting 7 athletic trainers and 2 strength coaches. Also of note, this task organization relies on 31 Soldiers of a new MOS yet to be determined.
2. H2F Programs
According to the H2F program, the five domains of Soldier readiness are:
3/4. H2F Facilities & Equipment
The Army envisions world-class facilities and equipment that provide a supportive individually-focused environment where comprehensive, integrated, and immersive physical and non-physical programming is delivered. This is presumably also the home of the additional performance professionals listed above. Pictured below is the vision for an indoor and outdoor brigade training facility.
5. Leader Education
The new and improved FM 7-22 puts out A LOT of information. Professional Military Education (PME), civilian certifications, and advanced degrees are part of the Army's future plans, but clearly, there's a baseline of information the Army expects leaders to know. That baseline of information is exactly what this website (armycombatfitnesstest.com) aims to provide. If you have not seen it already, our "How to Train" page is a great place to start.
What the Army got right in the new FM 7-22
FM 7-22 represents a major shift in physical fitness mentality for the Army. Earning 300 points on the APFT does not represent comprehensive fitness. Moreover, while training strictly for the APFT, other critical areas of fitness are neglected. The new Army model for fitness (seen in the triangle photo above) accounts for strength, power, and anaerobic endurance. This is an important shift and the Army will be better for it. Learn more about training for each of the specific domains of fitness here.
Individualization - FM 7-22 wants to shift physical readiness training from an industrial-scale approach to individualized training programs. This won't be easy, but recognizing you've got a problem is the first step. Learn more about individualism here.
A holistic approach to fitness - world-class performers eat well, recover smartly, and look after their mental well-being.
FM 7-22 is a lot to take in. The authors dive into bioenergetics, periodization, supplements, and sleep. What do you think about the updated manual? What did they get right, what did they get wrong, and what areas need more information? Let us know in the comments!