Luke CrossFit gym opens

by Capt. Gerardo Gonzalez 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

luke_crossfitLUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Base officials cut the ribbon a new facility here Jan. 5 that will give Luke Air Force Base personnel the opportunity to take their fitness to higher levels.

Brig. Gen. Kurt Neubauer, 56th Fighter Wing commander, spoke during the ribbon cutting ceremony that officially opened the new CrossFit gym in Building 700.

“I highly encourage all those in uniform to take advantage of this facility,” he said. “This CrossFit program will make you beter. It will make you more physically fit and mentally agile.”

General Neubauer said the fitness regimen for this program can make Airmen better leaders because doing it requires self-discipline, mental toughness and physical stamina – all important leadership traits.

The general also said the program will enhance esprit decorps within units and healthy rivalries between squadrons. Part of CrossFit at Luke involves recording individuals’ workout results on a dry-erase board for everyone to see and compare.

Bottom line of the program is to improve fitness.

“Let’s make ourselves better and more importantly, let’s make our Airmen fit to fight,” said General Neubauer.

Certified instructors led an exercise demonstration after the ceremony to give attendees not familiar with this fitness regimen a glimpse of it.

Instructors and volunteers performed a simple 5-minute routine consisting of seven pullups, 7 pushups and 7 squats done consecutively with no rest in between exercises or sets. Although short, the routine proved to be tough.

“I like working out but this was a completely different workout,” said Airman 1st Class Johnny Chavez, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron electrician and one of the workout volunteers. “It had me killed after five minutes. This is a really good workout.”

CrossFit is challenging but scalable, said Pernell Stoney, Luke Fitness Center director.

People who may not be strong enough to perform certain exercises can do easier variations of these and still get a good workout. For example, if a person cannot do a regular pushup, they can do pushups with their knees on the ground.

“It is a very safe exercise [regimen], if you’re doing it the right way” said Mr. Stoney.
To ensure people are doing the exercises correctly the fitness center has certified instructors leading each of their four daily class sessions. Classes run Monday to Friday in 30-minute sessions from 6 to 8 a.m.; 11 a.m. to noon, and 4 to 6 p.m.

Each class can handle up to 30 participants. Individuals looking to get a workout can show up during these times. Units should call (623) 856-6241 to reserve a class time or to make other arrangements.