'Boot Camp' class helps Airmen get fit to fight Published Aug. 16, 2010 By Senior Airman Veronica McMahon 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- Airmen here who are unable to meet fitness standards, or those who just want to participate in a high-caliber fitness routine attend "boot camp," a fitness class offered through the Health and Wellness Center. In the past few months, more and more Airmen have begun to take advantage of the strenuous workout to improve their fitness. "The HAWC-sponsored fitness class is a program designed to change a person's body composition by increasing lean muscle and decreasing body fat which will enhance personal cardiovascular endurance," said Robert Pagenkopf, a 325th Aerospace Medicine Squadron exercise physiologist. "This is done on a five-day template consisting of interval training, circuit training, sprint agility and core training." Mr. Pagenkopf is the fitness manager at the HAWC and has been working with the program since it began. He said he has seen the program become increasingly more popular in the past few months. Boot camp is offered twice daily, five days a week, and each class is an hour-and-a-half long. Airmen on profiles also are able to attend the camp and some sessions are even held at the base pool. The class began in July 2008 and now there are more than 50 Airmen who attend regularly. "Boot camp has helped me quite bit since I began," said Senior Airman Daniel Giddens, from the 325th Operations Support Squadron. Airman Giddens began the program three weeks ago and said he has seen a dramatic improvement. "The class has helped show me what I was doing wrong and what I was doing right from when I was not in a physical training program," he said. "Even though this can be a mandatory program, I have enjoyed the program and have noticed a big improvement just in the past three weeks." The program was originally intended for Airmen who failed the PT test, but is now open to all Airmen and recommended for people wanting to improve their fitness.