Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 4-4-2011

Document Type



A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Psychology, Under the Supervision of Professor John Flowers. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2011.

Copyright 2011 Vanessa Roof.


Ten members of Lincoln Fire and Rescue in Lincoln, Nebraska agreed to participate in a thirteen week tactical strength and conditioning fitness program conducted by Athology Inc. that included a Physiological, Physical, and Cognitive Component. Participants completed three workouts per week lasting approximately 90 minutes each, conducted by fitness trainers from Athology Inc. Participants completed lab draws at the beginning and end of the program as well as an EKG at the onset of the program, conducted off-site at a local hospital. Participants completed performance and agility testing at the onset and end of the program. Lastly, participants completed cognitive testing at a baseline, following a workout during the first week of the program, six weeks into the program, and during the final week of the program. Medical, fitness, and agility testing assessed changes in physical performance over the thirteen weeks, and cognitive testing assessed performance on cognitive tasks related to firefighter performance following a physically strenuous task. Finally, significant variables were combined to form an aggregate fitness and experience variable to test their impact on working memory and domain-specific decision making. In conclusion, fitness and experience did not predict performance on a working memory or decision making task for professional firefighters.