The Path to Fitness

By Greg Halmi

In LEO/Mil

May 11, 2010

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Greg Halmi explains how Pathfinder CrossFit is helping produce fitter cadets in the Purdue Army ROTC Boiler Battalion.

Since the debut of our video Pathfinders on CrossFit.com, I have received numerous e-mails about how we began CrossFitting at Purdue and how we have incorporated CrossFit into our physical-training program at Purdue Army ROTC. In explaining the process, I’ll give a little history about how Pathfinder CrossFit started and then detail how our program works, as well as the results we have had from using CrossFit.

Through the ROTC, I took part in a program that sent cadets overseas with other cadets from around the country. We all converged on the United States Military Academy at West Point, and from there we would fly out from New York to our destination country. While at West Point, I was introduced to CrossFit by some of the cadets there. Over the summer I cherry-picked workouts I thought I would be good at. The intensity of the workouts I did do immediately improved my level of fitness. I became less tired from doing things at intensity in the real world.

When I returned to school in the fall, I talked to some of the other cadets and midshipmen about trying CrossFit out in the evenings instead of the routine we had been doing. CrossFit was an instant success.

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6 Comments on “The Path to Fitness”

1

wrote …

Good article Greg...keep training, I know you will. Slowly but surely with continued persistance we will get this as a mainstay in the Army. The program speaks for itself. Great job in leaving a legacy with the Boilermakers.

2

wrote …

Greg- great article; bottom up change. The rest of the Army has yet to catch up, probably never will, and that's okay because turning guys into like-minded ambassadors is better than being forced to do something half-assed. One personal note for you: don't get frustrated at IBOLC if you're not CrossFitting, do it on your own and take your buddies. Take it to your boys in Italy, spread the word one well-programmed workout cycle at a time. On board with Dan's assessment as what some in the Army think CrossFit is and it's something probably more akin to Mark Twight's programming (I won't comment on that to maintain civility) and "whose is bigger" chippers that lead to Rhabdo. I'm not sure we can yet fully appreciate the huge change in culture in your ROTC battalion, brother. Great job.

3

wrote …

The Army Rotc program at Iowa State U is getting something of an informal crossfit community going. My buddies keep on getting the bug with me and it's spreading. We'll see how far it can go. I've already gotten movements like burpees and non conventional movements going at standard PT.

4

wrote …

Gentlemen,

Thanks for the input. I will definitely keep trying to spread this stuff around.
MAJ Blackmon, thanks for helping us out, sir.

Halmi

5

wrote …

Great article. We use the concepts of crossfit in our PT at Gonzaga and it has paid great dividends I think. Based on your article and Purdue's PT average at LDAC this year (not to be harsh but the reality is it was not so great) it seems like your cadet and cadre leadership need to move to implementing the principles into the entire program, not just working with the elite crossfitters and a select few others that need more help or are more interested in crossfit than others--although it is a great start. As with anything in the Army, we stand and fall as a unit and it is your entire unit program that needs to start benefitting, not just a select few. I'd love to share ideas with you or the current leadership, understanding that you are probably at or heading to BOLC-B by this time.

Keep the fire.

6

Greg Halmi wrote …

Most definitely. I am actually Gold Bar-ing at Purdue this semester, so any advice you have would be great.

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