CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq - The Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, completed a gym in the company area here in mid-Oct. specifically for CrossFit.

CrossFit is a high intensity physical training program the Army uses created by Greg Glassman, a former gymnast, that combines strength and cardio exercises in a circuit training format.

Master Sgt. Marcus Woody, a Moody, Texas, native and maintenance noncommissioned officer in charge, along with Sgt. Mike Martin, a Las Vegas native and ammo supply sergeant, built the small gym.

The pair are the company's CrossFit instructors and planned to create the gym here long before either arrived in Iraq.

"It's actually better than I thought it was going to be," Woody said.

Woody explained that the company supported the idea from the beginning and said the room was larger than what they had hoped for.

He admitted that they would have settled for something outside.

Currently, the gym contains floor mats, a complete home gym, dumbbells, a barbell and bench, 2 treadmills, a dip and pull-up station, medicine balls, and kettle bells.

Before receiving new medicine balls, a soccer ball was cut open, filled with sand, and taped up for use instead Woody explained.

Woody said he plans to hang a rope from the ceiling and get rings to hang from the pull-up bars. He also plans to have an outside area for flipping tires and carrying full buckets.

"No money has changed hands at this point," he added, as everything has been donated, improvised, or brought from the U.S.

"We can do about 80% of the workouts with what we got here."

Why such a fuss about Crossfit'

"It works. It's high intensity," Martin said.

"When you [lift weights], all you're doing is building muscle, nothing else," he explained.
CrossFit is intended to make someone healthier all around and includes nutrition and lifestyle choices Martin said.

CrossFit has two main categories of workouts: Heroes and Nasty Girls, named after heroes who have died while deployed and girl's names, he said. Hero work outs are the most challenging.

"Force multiplied by distance over time equals power," Martin said, explaining the CrossFit formula.

"We want maximum power of output."

Soldiers and even Army employed civilians workout in the new gym with Woody and Martin.

"It's very intense. It's crazy. It's a good workout," Staff Sgt. Sabrina Barragan, 15th Sus. Bde. ammo supply sergeant and Brownsville, Texas, native said.

Barragan said that she started CrossFit at an NCO school and was the primary reason she was able to score around 270 out of a possible 300 on an Army physical fitness test only four months after having a child.

Ken Patterson, a field support engineer for 15th Sus. Bde. and Baltimore native had his own reasons for doing CrossFit.

"Every day is different. You never get bored."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16