Warrior fitness classes arrive at Hanscom

  • Published
  • By Capt. Larry Farrell
  • C3I&N Directorate
Sometime last week, I found myself wide awake around 2:30 a.m. Failing the possibility of a swift return to sleep, I decided to do something productive - I powered on the television and started to flip through the myriad of options.

Some of my stops included a six-hour block of ESPN Sports Center, the first Transformers movie and innumerable infomercials. I soon came to realize that not only has my taste in cinema declined, evidenced by the fact that I was watching giant robots have "fight club" with each other, but that some of the equipment being marketed for improving one's fitness level leaves a lot to be desired.

An electronic stimulation belt that tones your abdominal muscles? Hmm...tempting, but I think I'll pass.

Maybe a cable-based gym replacement system sold by Chuck Norris? I'm all set.

Perhaps an undershirt that makes wearers appear more fit and toned? Seriously?

One would think that instead of buying a gimmicky piece of workout gear, that will most likely be relegated to the closet before long, doing some more traditional exercise would probably make a world of difference for those contemplating a shake weight purchase.

Nevertheless, my late-night channel surfing got me thinking. If these infomercial quick fixes are a replacement for conventional ways of exercise, what if conventional ways of exercise were in need of a replacement? What if the concept, let alone the execution, of fitness itself was in need of an overhaul?

Many have probably heard of high intensity training. P90X, CrossFit and Insanity are a few of these HIT programs. This is not like any circuit training session that you've done before.

Our Air Force is charged with ensuring Airmen are prepared to conquer the challenges in austere and expeditionary environments and instilling a fitness culture change might be the catalyst to accomplish that goal. Inculcating a "warrior" mindset is one thing, but galvanizing an Airmen's body is another story altogether. Being ready to face the unknown and unknowable physical and mental stimuli while in harm's way is paramount for individual preparedness.

Of course, with such a game-changing fitness concept, alterations and additions had to be made to the Hanscom Fitness Center. In order to facilitate this fitness option for the base populace, the 66th Air Base Group revamped the rear gymnasium to accommodate the need for specialized equipment. This area has been rebranded as the Hanscom Warrior Training Center. Col. Juan Gaud, 66th Air Base Group deputy commander, led the charge serving as the primary advocate for the center.

"This is the way our Airmen should train so they can rapidly adjust to the ever changing environment encountered in our areas of operations," said Gaud. "But it also helps in our day-to-day life."

Capt. Daniel Anaya, lead trainer, ensures that each of the instructors are prepared with the daily lesson and are given the tools they need to adequately serve as coaches for both new and experienced participants alike.

"Fitness, nutrition and healthy living have always been a passion of mine," said Anaya. "When Colonel Gaud offered me the chance to contribute to an organization of professionals who felt the way I do about fitness, I knew I was prepared to give it my all. What I found is that the effort and motivation from my team of coaches and our students was more than enough to maintain the high level of effort. Now, Hanscom can start to build a community around this fantastic program."

So, whether you have found yourself mired in a "fitness rut," are looking for some great cross training or just want to experience what all the buzz is about, the Warrior Training Center is open for business. All users of the Hanscom Fitness Center are authorized to attend classes. It's free of charge and long-term plans have been instituted to ensure it stays that way. Similar gyms charge upwards of $200 to $300 for these classes, yet the cadre of warrior training coaches are offering their services for no other reason but to improve the fitness levels of the military, civilian and contractor personnel that support the base and its mission.

Classes are ongoing and are being conducted Monday through Saturday. For more information, go to www.hanscomwarriortraining.org.

We'll see you in the gym, but please leave your electronic abdominal belt at home.