June 26, 2010
Capt. Richard Kelley offers five WODs designed to for austere environments and participants who may need incentives to put effort into intense workouts.
The Air Force gets a bad reputation in terms of fitness in the military. A lot of this seems to stem from what some call the “Bike Test Days,” referring to a period when cycle ergometry was the primary means of measuring fitness in the Air Force. While those days are gone, and while fitness standards are slowly improving across the Air Force, the challenge I face as a physical training leader (PTL) is this: “How do you bring high-intensity, constantly varied functional fitness to the masses via our more traditional physical-training (PT) program?”
It’s important to note that, for the purposes of this article, the term “traditional” refers to the idea that simply doing several sets of push-ups and sit-ups and then running for a length of time is enough as a PT program. It should also be noted that this article represents my views and in no way represents the official views of the U.S. Air Force. Finally, when I write about the Air Force, I am referring to what I’ve seen in the mission-support world and what I’ve heard from others in maintenance and ops. I’m sure there are exceptions, especially with special-operations forces.
Of course, one option for bringing functional fitness to the Air Force would be abandoning the traditional program, opening a box on every base and making CrossFit the Air Force PT program. While some bases, such as Luke Air Force Base and Ramstein Air Base, have affiliates, the Air Force is a long way from officially adopting CrossFit as a fitness program. However, I’ve attempted to introduce CrossFit-style workouts and principles to medium-to-large groups of varying fitness levels with minimal equipment available. I’ve include five sample workouts I’ve designed with the intention of encouraging feedback and ideas from other military members and the CrossFit community as a whole.