By Franklin Fisher
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea -- Soldiers and civilians at Camp Red Cloud can now perform the latest kinds of fitness workouts -- including cutting edge TRX or total resistance exercise, in a special workout space at the post gym.
The space, in a room at the Camp Red Cloud Fitness Center, is stocked with the equipment needed for "functional fitness" workouts -- forms of exercise that help make the body more efficient at the day-to-day tasks one has to perform because of one's job or lifestyle.
The functional training room, between the main gym and the indoor pool, opened to customers Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, with a formal ribbon-cutting by Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, Commander, U.S. Army Installation Management Command and Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, and IMCOM Pacific and USAG Red Cloud and Area I command team members.
"We're pretty excited about it, it's going to be a great thing for the Soldier," said Larry Butler, acting Area I sports director with the U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
It's stocked with a wide array of items: kettlebells, dumbbells, stability balls, BOSU balls, a wobble board, agility ladders, a rebounder machine with medicine balls, mini-hurdles, cones, a sit-up bar, resistance bands, jump ropes -- speed and heavy.
One of the major fitness attractions is the room's TRX equipment, said Butler.
The TRX is a system of bands suspended from overhead that rely on gravity and afford a workout to a variety of muscle groups and joints.
"The Army's basically going to this resistance body workout," said Butler. "And basically, the TRX training leverages the body weight and gravity simultaneously, to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability. That's basically what TRX does."
Also a key attraction is the room's functional training station, Butler said. It consists of a chin-up bar, platform for free weights, rings and pull-up bands, and a wave rope -- used for lower back and abdominal workouts.
"People can go in there and use the stuff at their own leisure to work on the stuff suited to their own needs," said Robert Gobble, Area I Health and Fitness program director.
"Basically, people can go into the fitness center there and work on things that make them more efficient at getting their basic tasks done in the Army, more efficient in their coordination, balance, agility, endurance, things like that," said Gobble.
"So if your job in the Army is to climb in to a tank, you can work at functional things to make you more efficient at climbing into a tank," he said.
For Master Sgt. Sean Dohr, 40, being able to target the "core" -- the lower back and abdominal area -- through functional fitness gear is welcome news. "I think it's great," said Dohr, of Company A, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division.
He plans to make core and other workouts a regular part of the weekly PT -- or physical training -- routine for himself and the Soldiers he supervises.
"Your core, that's your basis of all the movements you do, be it carrying a rucksack, to having a Humvee stuck in the mud and having to pull it out, getting down in the prone [firing position], engaging the enemy, moving up into that next firing position, you're engaging your core." Dohr said.
"We'll probably end up using it -- at least for PT with my Soldiers -- probably twice a week" but also visit it in their off time another three times a week. All that will be in addition to the PT they'll do outdoors with the rest of their company, Dohr said.