FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. - The Army’s transition of the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) emphasizes a Soldier’s muscular power in a way that previous fitness tests haven’t in the past.
Intelligence Capability Development Integration Directorate’s (I-CDID) Sgt. 1st Class Trever Boose began working towards establishing Fort Huachuca’s 1,000/500 Pound Club Competition in early 2022. Throughout 2022, Boose worked to gain necessary approvals, utilizing the ACFT as the focal point for the need to encourage increased strength training in Fort Huachuca’s forces.
“The old Army focused on cardiovascular endurance,” said Boose. “Whereas the current and future Army is more focused on the overall muscle and cardiovascular endurance of the force; hence we have the ACFT. The Army Physical Fitness Test didn’t require gym equipment, but the ACFT does.”
This isn’t the first time that Boose has started a 1000lbs/500lbs club during his service in the Army.
“I’ve started 1000lbs/500lbs clubs at other assignments to boost the morale of Soldiers and civilians who build muscle endurance,” said Boose. “A competition gives competitors a boost of morale knowing that they have something to look forward to.”
With Moral Welfare Recreation approval, the first 1,000/500 Pound Club Competition occurred on Dec. 3, 2022, led by Boose with assistance from I-CDID members and the Barnes Field House staff. Following the initial competition, Boose garnered U.S. Army Group (USAG) Fort Huachuca Command Team approval to incentivize the event with Certificates of Achievement to encourage increased junior enlisted participation.
“Soldiers should be recognized for their achievements,” said Boose. “Boosting the morale and welfare of Soldiers should be paramount to all leaders. As a leader, if nobody else will, I will; I want to recognize the Soldiers.”
Earning membership to the 1,000/500 Pound Club is a rite of passage for weightlifters to prove their strength and demonstrate their power in the gym. It is a well-known event, especially to those who have spent time in deployed environments.
The competition consists of three events, the squat, bench press, and deadlift. The total weight lifted throughout all three rounds must equal or surpass 1,000 pounds for men or 500 pounds for women to qualify for the club, based on United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) classification standards.
The third monthly 1,000/500 Pound Club Competition occurred on Feb. 4, 2023. Seventeen competitors, including a non-commissioned officer from I-CDID, joined in the friendly rivalry. After presenting certificates of achievement to prior competitors, the USAG Fort Huachuca Command Team joined the crowd to cheer on the participants.
The first competitor, an Advanced Individual Training trainee, Spc. Daphne Rama immediately established herself at the top tier with the heaviest deadlift of any female entrant at 380 pounds. She finished in the first-place female position with a combined 835 pounds lifted. The winning male competitor of the day, Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Benge, qualified for the 1,000 Pound Club in just two events and brought home the top spot with a combined 1,435 pounds lifted.
Since the inception of the 1000lbs/500lbs club on Fort Huachuca, 34 service members, and one civilian have successfully gained entry into the club. Most servicemembers who have gained access to the club are stationed on Fort Huachuca; however, members stationed in Korea, Germany, Fort Bragg, Fort Benning, and Fort Campbell have all achieved a spot in the club while completing their training on Fort Huachuca.
The next competition will occur on March 4, with new and old competitors attempting to beat these numbers and earn their spot at the top of the Barnes Field House leaderboard. We hope to see you there!