GRF CoverGovernment Recreation & Fitness

Highlights of the March 2012 Issue

Mission Essential Fitness —
Fort Riley Soldiers Embrace
New Regimen


Modeled after the Mission Essential Fitness (MEF) program at Fort Bliss, Texas, which has been highly successful under the guidance of Dr. Doug Briggs, the MEF program at Fort Riley, Kan., is having a similarly positive effect on soldiers. The post's MEF facility, designed specifically to meet the needs of this functionally based training, features circuits of fitness equipment that can accommodate units (up to 45 soldiers) at a time, as they work through the different stations under the watchful eye of trained and certified staff.

Fort Riley Fitness staff tested the program starting in December 2010, and based on its success, began scheduling three classes a week in June of 2011.

“We started a pilot program with a group of soldiers to see the progression of the program and evaluate how they responded to the training,” notes Fort Riley Fitness Center Director Vincent Spencer. “The results were encouraging because we were tapping into exercises — the Olympic lifts and power lifts, for example — that soldiers are gravitating to these days, so the pilot program went really well. We did a control group and we also had a regular physical readiness training (PRT) group that did its traditional regimen in the morning, and then we tested the groups and compared the results. The MEF group came out with improvements at the highest rate of 95 percent.”

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New Water CadenceTraining Program Strengthens and Heals Marines


The healing powers of water are well documented. Whether you are rehabbing a serious injury or an athlete at the top of his game looking to improve strength, balance and endurance, training in the pool can make all the difference.

The recent success of the Army's Aquatic Warrior Exercise Program (AWEP) — developed from a pilot initiated by the Army Surgeon General's office under the guidance of Dr. Mary Wykle — has caught the attention of the Marine Corps, which worked with Wykle to develop a modified version of this training to meet the specific needs of Marines.

“The Marine Corps Water Cadence program was taken directly from efforts within the Army to train doctors, physical therapists and aquatics specialists in underwater therapy and recovery fitness programs,” notes Aquatics Specialist Kari Hemund, Semper Fit and Exchange Services Division.


NAVY FITNESS: NAS Meridian Renovates Facility, Upgrades
Quality of Life on Base


NAS Meridian, Miss., completed a $6.8 million Military Construction (MILCON) renovation of its G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Sports and Fitness Center on Sept. 19, 2011, creating a stellar facility that is inspiring many on base to rededicate themselves to fitness and a healthier lifestyle.

The upgraded facility now features an additional 2,100 square feet of cardio space; two new racquetball courts; a 1/4-mile running track; a 25-meter, eight-lane pool with splash pad; new lighted tennis courts; and an outdoor fitness multi-gym. ...

“Our new facility will serve and provide for around 165,000 military personnel, dependents and civilians with the opportunity for lifestyle improvements and mission readiness through multiple physical fitness opportunities,” notes Fitness Director Beth Stephens-Brown.

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