Marne Division embraces CrossFit

By Sgt. Robert Schaffner Jr. 3rd ID Public AffairsFebruary 6, 2012

Marne Division embraces CrossFit
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Marne Division embraces CrossFit
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Marne Division embraces CrossFit
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Mathew Sovinski, a radar repairer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, receives a few pointers from CrossFit instructor Nicole Gordon, on how to do a proper squat. Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division pa... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT STEWART, Ga. (Feb. 2, 2012) -- A two-day CrossFit level 1 certification course was offered to Third Infantry Division Soldiers at the Caro Fitness Center to learn the philosophy and the techniques of the CrossFit program and obtain certification as CrossFit Level 1 instructors.

About 60 "Dog Face" Soldiers attended the training to gain a solid understanding of the CrossFit method, to focus on functional fitness with varied movements at high rates of intensity, to enable them to take their knowledge back to the ranks and train their fellow Soldiers.

CrossFit, a program founded by former high-school gymnast Greg Glassman in the 1990s, focuses on increasing core strength and conditioning through a series of high-intensity, functional movements such as squats, shoulder presses and dead lifts. CrossFit workouts push athletes to work hard and fast, often with little or no rest.

Chuck Carswell, a CrossFit instructor from East Decatur, Ga., said much of the CrossFit movements are already being performed by people who may not even be aware they are doing them.

"The movements in CrossFit are the foundation of life," he said. "We try to get outside the walls of the gym and show things that are applicable to everyday life, (for) example, moving your car off the road that ran out of gas is a sled pull."

CrossFit teaches the methodology of total body fitness that can be tailored to meet the needs of most athletes.

"The goal is to be able to give (the Soldiers) enough tools to know how to scale (CrossFit) down to make it appropriate for the athlete they are dealing with," said Carswell. "If it's an older or younger Soldier or someone with an injury or someone who has the top fitness score, we can make Cross Fit palatable to the athlete."

Caro Fitness Center (CrossFit Fort Stewart) Manager and CrossFit level 1 trainer Randy Ray expressed his confidence and personal exploits with CrossFit.

"I believe in the program," he said. "When I retired from the Army, I had bad knees and high blood pressure. CrossFit has helped me tremendously."

For one fitness guru and former instructor for the Department of Physical Education at The United States Military Academy at West Point, many of the benefits in using the CrossFit method versus more traditional exercise routines were proven.

"I really thought this was going to be similar to what I was always doing, (but) what really came across to me in this training was the use of the these functional movements as a foundation," said Maj. Sonya Bruce, assigned to the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division Provost Marshal Office. "These functional movements create a power that traditional weight training of non-functional movements can't create."

"It's not just about looking good," she said. "It's about how much work can you do that's going to define how fit you are."

In recent years, CrossFit's popularity has grown and its techniques have been incorporated into physical fitness programs used by many fire departments, law enforcement agencies and the military.

After the Soldiers were drilled with lectures, demonstrations, presentations, and "break out" sessions for demonstration and practical application of the 9 Foundational Movements the course concluded with a 50-question written test, a requirement for being a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.

This was the second of the 10 Division CrossFit Level 1 courses offered this yet. The final course is scheduled for late March.

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