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NEWS | July 15, 2010

Fitness staff joins 90-day challenge

By Patrick Desmond 502nd Air Base Wing OL-A Public Affairs

It's time - time to find out which fitness and sports staff member can produce the biggest fitness gains.

The 2010 fitness challenge, pitting three teams of fitness and sports staff members in a 90-day contest, began last week with the initial fitness test.

Spurred on by the introduction of the Air Force's revised fitness program July 1, the organization's director, Steve Reichert, said the decision to reinstate the challenge came naturally. Its last run was in 2007.

Providing facilities, resources and opportunities for the service community to improve its mission readiness and create a leaner, meaner Air Force, Reichert said the contest offers his staff the chance to lead by example.

After the 48 participating members were divided into red, blue and white teams, each member underwent an initial microfit analysis to assess a base fitness level and offer areas of improvement.

The test, available to all fitness center patrons, evaluates numerous health components including body fat percentage, heart rate, blood pressure, flexibility and bicep strength, and then compares it with a person's weight, height and age to provide an overall fitness score.

While each participant has his or her own goal, team members work together to achieve the greatest improvement on their microfit scores.

Red team fitness specialists Daniel Ayon's plan includes improving flexibility and losing body fat, while teammate Patrick Hack wants to raise aerobic performance and reduce his resting heart rate.

Now, to reach that fitness ideal.

The members have four weeks, using team members for inspiration, information and guidance, before their midterm assessment score.

Reichert said he's hoping the effort given by his staff will further impact the base, becoming an inspiration to servicemembers to reach for their own physical peaks.

Additionally, it's another way for the staff to practice what they preach while less experienced staff members can pick up on skills, such as learning how to conduct microfit assessments and how specific exercises meet certain goals.

Following the 90 days, a final assessment will be given with the improvement documented. The team that receives the highest average improvement on their microfit scores will win a cash award. Each member that completes the challenge also receives an award.

With the first week already completed, the challenge has begun.