KATTERBACH, Germany--Soldiers and family members from 12th Combat Aviation Brigade participated in the inaugural functional fitness Soldier athlete challenge, as part of the brigade commanders fit to fight/fit for life initiative, at the iron farm gym in Hanger One, here, Oct. 22.

Forty Soldiers and family members competed in the challenge, which had competitors facing off in two rounds of high-intensity functional fitness workouts. The participants competed individually or as four person teams.

For the teams, the qualification round was composed of four events for time. The final round had three events, consisting of thrusters, synchronized box step-ups and synchronized burpee box-jumps. Individuals also had a qualification round with four events, while the final round consisted of one brutal workout called "the bear complex."

The Performance Triad is composed of three elements, Activity, Nutrition and Sleep, which are essential for improving the health and readiness of the Army family -- Soldiers, family members, retirees and civilians. The beauty of functional fitness is that it strives to include all of these elements, it allows our bodies to perform the way in which they were engineered.

"It's the best thing that's happened to me," stated Spc. Decker Kimbro, an assistant analyst and participant, from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 12th CAB. "My cardio and strength have gone up, my physique has gotten better and I'm overall happy with the way I look and feel now."

Several spouses currently participating in the Performance Triad agree that it's not just about the inches and pounds lost. They have noticed an increase in energy, patience and overall mood, after attending classes at the functional fitness gym.

"We've brought in a lot of people who have never done this before and have put in a lot of effort and are seeing huge changes," said Sgt. Matthew S. Rodgers, the functional fitness trainer for 12th CAB. "This is changing lives, that's why I like doing this so much."

12th CAB has implemented a Performance Triad P3 Punch Card System, which is part of the 12th CAB Fit To Fight/Fit For Life program. It is aimed at creating a healthy culture, both at work and at home through rewarding Soldiers that participate in healthy activities and Army family programs.

Soldiers and family members can earn points from attending arts and crafts classes at the Arts and Crafts Center or even from going out for a night of bowling at the Katterbach Bowling Center. Soldiers are then rewarded with a three day pass after they fill their card, meet the criteria of being deployable on the medical protection system (MEDPROS), and have a fitness/meal/sleep tracking application or journal.