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Marines participate in the high intensity tactical training class Monday at the HITT center on Cherry Point. HITT centers are located on all Marine Corps installations and provide customized physical training Marines can benefit from in garrison or while deployed.

Photo by Pfc. Victor Arriaga

Leaders ‘HITT’ gym

12 Sep 2013 | Pfc. Victor A. Arriaga

For the past 11 months, a new type of physical fitness training has jumped, hoisted and pushed its way into the Marine Corps. Since then, the program has quickly picked up speed catching the attention of two Cherry Point sergeants major along the way.

High intensity tactical training centers offer a broad range of exercises tailored to build muscle, speed and agility with the Marine warrior in mind. Marines leave their blood, sweat and tears on equipment such as kettle bells, medicine balls, wave ropes and total body resistance exercise, or TRX, suspension straps.

“I heard about the HITT center from young Marines who were showing interest in a different type of physical fitness,” said Sgt. Maj. Christopher G. Robinson, the 2nd MAW sergeant major. “They seemed very motivated about it, so I became very intrigued and wanted to give it a shot.”

Robinson made his way to the HITT center with Cherry Point’s senior enlisted advisor Sgt. Maj. Benjamin L. Pangborn to give it their all during an hour-long session Monday to see how much sweat each could shed.

“These HITT classes are a great advantage we have available to us,” said Pangborn. “It provides Marines with a variety of workouts that can change their lives.”

HITT is designed to optimize combat readiness, build athleticism and reduce the risk of injury by offering different classes led by one or more of five trained instructors who focus on performance-specific workouts. For example, Marines who want to get in shape prior to a deployment may find themselves using things that are readily available to Marines while on a deployment like ammunition cans or sandbags to provide resistance.

“When you’re dealing with a lot of the exercises within the HITT program, it is very functional and trains the body for stresses it may face in a combat environment,” said Jalenda Flewwellin, a HITT specialist with Semper Fit. “By training the body this way, you will reduce the risk of injury later on.”

Pangborn uses the HITT classes to bounce back from a back injury he suffered 18 months ago.

“Seeing how much these classes have helped me along my recovery, I’d like to see more Marines get involved with HITT,” he said. “They are fun and challenging, which is always a nice change of pace.”

For Flewwellin, seeing Marines make progress in classes she helps teach is rewarding enough.

Being able to see Marines physical progression is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences available to fitness coordinators, said Flewwellin.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point