By Story by, Sgt. Louis C. Lamar 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs

ft_shafterFORT SHAFTER, HAWAII–Being physically fit is a big part of being a Soldier and is very important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. While maintaining the Army’s standard in physical fitness, Soldiers of the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command have incorporated CrossFit into their physical readiness training program.

CrossFit describes its strength and conditioning program as constantly varied and highly intense with the stated goal of improving fitness and general physical preparedness.

Workouts are typically 20 minutes or less and intense, demanding all-out physical exertion. They combine movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, weightlifting and carrying odd objects. They use barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettle bells, medicine balls and many bodyweight exercises.

These elements are mixed in numerous combinations to form prescribed “Workouts of the Day”. Performance on each WOD is often scored and/or ranked to encourage competition and to track individual progress.

“We want to incorporate CrossFit into our PRT so that we can expand on some of the workouts and really push the Soldiers to maximize their potential while doing it safely and getting the workout intensity that is required of us as Soldiers,” said Capt. Eric L. Blewett, an Edmond, Okla. native and the 94th AAMDC Headquarters and Headquarters Battery commander.

“I think mixing CrossFit and PRT is very beneficial because it gets away from the normal PRT and it gets the Soldiers to use different muscle groups that they normally wouldn’t use,” said Staff Sgt. Richard U. Jones a Freeport, N.Y. native and a 94th AAMDC motor pool shop foreman.

The objective of physical readiness training is to enhance the Soldier’s ability to meet the physical demands of war.

“I’m hoping to achieve a more physically fit, agile and capable unit,” said Blewett.
Jones later added, “CrossFit in addition to PRT has helped me improve on my pushups and run.”

One of the reasons CrossFit is ideal for a great workout is because of the variety of exercises.

“I started doing CrossFit in the Captain’s Career Course in 2010 and the best thing about CrossFit is that you can adjust the workouts to for any type of body style and profile and still allow everyone to participate,” said Blewett.

Blewett later stated, “Using CrossFit along with PRT will improve Soldiers Army Physical Fitness Test scores as long as they maintain and mix up the workouts to include strength and endurance. You have to continually work on the run to increase your endurance.”

Using CrossFit also is a morale booster and builds camaraderie amongst the battery.
“Morale is everything in today’s Army, said Blewett.” “By changing up the PRT program you really boost the Soldiers morale. When Soldiers are happy and willing to work for you the unit functions better because the morale is high.”