MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Fitness is a huge part of what it means to be a Marine, and some civilians aboard the air station have made it their mission to keep leathernecks in shape and always ready.
Cherry Point’s semper fit fitness program provides military families a multitude of exercise classes led by civilian physical trainers and instructors.
According to Vicky Lee, the fitness program coordinator for the semper fit program, one class in particular is geared toward preparing Marines for the combat fitness test, a yearly analysis of a devil dog’s ability to withstand the physical rigors of combat.
“The semper fit class is a high intensity class that works the same muscle groups as the CFT,” Lee said.
Karen D. Walter, a trainer and instructor with the semper fit program, said the class is conveniently scheduled every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at the Fitness Connection, building 4027 on Alexander Road in the Nugent Cove housing area. The class is free to all military members and their dependents.
“Marines come during their lunchtime to participate in the class,” Walter said. “We also have some civilians participate in the class.”
Walter added that participants in the class enjoy the cardiovascular workout supplemented with muscle endurance training.
“We really try to do full body movements as much as possible,” said Walter. “All the exercises we do are anaerobic and crossover to the type of things Marines have to do during the CFT.”
The exercises include squats and lunges, which build the lower body muscles necessary to execute the combat drag performed during the CFT, explained Walter. In addition, curls, push-ups and a resistance-training machine are used to improve the upper body muscles necessary to carry out the ammunition can-lifts also done during the CFT.
“We perform high intensity cardio exercises,” Walter added. “We really emphasize endurance more than strength, since that is a major component of the CFT.”
According to Walter, the attendance rate for the semper fit class validates the effectiveness of the physical training.
“This class really fills up during the day,” Walter added. “We are running out of room at the Fitness Connection, which is a major concern for Marines who enjoy the class.”
Walter said despite the space issue, the trainers at fitness connection encourage Marines and dependents alike to participate in the many free classes offered.
“We really have a lot going on right now,” Walter added.
Other classes offered include water aerobics, kickboxing, indoor cycling and two high-intensity classes that are an hour and a half, and one hour, respectively. Also offered are a choreography-based step class and, for the athletically-elite, an extreme fitness program.
According to Walter, semper fit trainers use a common-sense mindset when it comes to workout routines.
“Functional fitness is the key to our training,” Walter added. “We exercise in a way that prepares people to perform everyday activities like walking, bending, climbing and, in the case of Marines, mimicking combat maneuvers.”
For more information on the semper fit fitness program, call 466-1147 or visit the Web site at http://www.mccscherrypoint.com/fitness.