Sheppard members start new combat fit program

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Vernon Cunningham
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs
The staff of the Health and Wellness Center here recently started a new exercise program, titled Combat Fit, to help Sheppard people get physically prepared for the combat environment.

Combat Fit is a circuit-training program designed by HAWC fitness professionals to strengthen core muscles and build an overall stronger body.

"The goal is to strengthen bodies to keep people out of clinics," said Brian Todd, the HAWC health educator.

Combat Fit training takes place just outside the fitness center on a newly built pad which features a variety of equipment available for anyone to use. Combat Fit members perform weight-lifting, medicine ball, cardio and seated row workouts. Some of the other exercises involve pull ups, king dips and sandbag runs.

Brent Ragsdale, a HAWC health fitness specialist, is a trainer for Sheppard members participating in Combat Fit.  He directs circuit training and ensures proper form, while inspiring the members to push themselves to success.

"We do constantly changing movements that are functional," Mr. Ragsdale said. "This allows us to train with practical movements to not only make us better athletes, but better warriors."

He said the Combat Fit exercises are designed to help increase strength, speed, agility, coordination, endurance, power and explosion, and strengthen the body's core muscles.
"You are only as strong as you are in your core," he said.

Although it is intense circuit training, each person's workout can be scaled down to his or her needs and abilitities, he said.  From kids to adults...any level can do it, according to Mr. Ragsdale.

Charles Lonon, a 39-year-old multimedia specialist in the 982nd Maintenance Squadron, said he has been exercising with the Combat Fit trainers and then going home to his two kids, 8 and 9 years old, to show them how to do it. The kids then exercise with him at home using Combat Fit techniques, he said.

"This reminds me of a football team," Mr. Lonon said. "There is no vicious competition at Combat Fit.  Everyone is just encouraging each other. We're working together to a family."

When participating in the Combat Fit program, members must still observe some safety measures, Mr. Todd said.

"We like to do functional movement screening by way of an interview," he said. "That way we minimize the chances of someone doing a movement outside (his or her) range. The customers are divided into beginner, medium and advanced. We train the beginners and medium people. We cut the advanced people loose to use the equipment. You can get a great workout done in as little as 20 to 30 minutes."

The HAWC's Combat Fit program currently is averaging 36 people a day, Mr. Ragsdale said.

"It's intense," he said. "You burn fat and build lean muscle. You get stronger."