Monday, November 5, 2012

Preventive Maintenance

I'd like first to say that I hope you and your families are safe and well in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, or the Superstorm of 2012.  My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who suffered in this storm.  I also want to thank and give credit to all our Sailors who have mobilized within the past week to assist in efforts to help the citizens in those areas affected.  You are truly a credit to our service and we wish you the best of luck as you step up to help those in need.

This brings me to the topic I want to write about this week.  Readiness - specifically, being ready to respond "Anytime, Anywhere".  For example, some of our Sailors in the Northeast assigned to NOSC Schenectady, New York were called up not by the Navy Reserve but by the New York Naval Militia to respond within 24 hours of Sandy's landfall to assist with recovery efforts on Long Island.  24 hours.  Think about that.  Our Sailors were ready to go at a moment's notice.  They were medically cleared and physically capable of answering the call.

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative, but it focuses on the ways we keep our Sailors and Marines in a high state of readiness and ensure they are able meet the demands of our combat missions and the roles that support them.   One of the key components to this initiative is Personal Fitness.

We need our Sailors to be healthy, both mentally and physically.  I am well aware of the challenges you face juggling family life, civilian jobs and military obligations.  For those on active duty or mobilized, PT is an obligation and one supported by their Navy command, but in the civilian sector most likely it is not the same.  You don't have free nutrition workshops that you can attend during office hours or a gym facility nearby which is free of charge.  Throw in the commute, homework and dinner with the family, the nightly bedtime story for the kids and before you know it, its 9 p.m.  You meet with your fellow Sailors two days a month, two weeks a year, but we expect you to be physically fit all year round.  It is definitely a challenge.

So how do YOU do it? I want to hear the ways you maintain your fitness level and fit it all in, given this challenging environment. How do you stay motivated and what advice would you give to your fellow Sailors to keep our Force ready to go at a moment's notice?

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!



  1. I CrossFit 3 times a week. I'm in and out in less than 60min (15min of warm ups, 10-15 min of instruction and then the work out of the day). I'm fortunate enough that the "Box" owners let me bring my oldest son with me (8-yo) and let him complete a modify workout alongside me. So for us this is our play time together before we pick-up my 2 daughters from day care. With strictly my 3 workouts a week I can confidently run a 5K through a 1/2 marathon without any additional running (and additional time away from the family).

  2. I'm lucky enough to work for a State which allows me 30 mins a day (of work time) for physical fitness. I take full advantage of it each morning. If I find I need more time, I try to workout after my children have gone to bed so as not to interfere with precious family time. As far as the workouts themselves, I try to get a healthy balance of cardio and weight training. I've also has success with the P90X program.

  3. Constantly varied functional training completed at high intensity is the way to go. This is the definition of Crossfit but one doesn't need to necessarily go to a Crossfit Affiliated gym to get this done. It's quite easy to build a functional gym within a limited budget right in one's own garage. One hour per day is all you need for a workout that works! Unfortunately, the Navy is behind the power curve and takes a dim view of a great program. I am a NOSC CO and hold a Level 1 Training certificate in Crossfit. I coach my staff and when drilling, SELRES, through a program, scaling and taking into account experience levels and fitness levels. Up to this point, most of the workouts are mainly gymnastic (body weight) and cardio based. I have had one staff member lose over 20 lbs properly (not through yo-yo dieting) in the last 6 months and instead of having to ADSEP him, he is now passing the PFA with no problem. Matter of fact, my staff PFA scores have gone through the roof. Along with this, their Admin work performance and mood has vastly improved. There has been no injuries to date doing these workouts. However, the 2 times they have played basketball for PT, I've had one person break a finger and another crack a rib. Many of the NOSC's SELRES come up to me and often ask how they can go about doing the same type of stuff and I'm now working on teaching them with CO led PT on drill weekends. I've also had several join local crossfit affiliates. Unfortunately, things like the new instruction signed by CNIC regarding unmanned fitness spaces, and the Navy's fitness office's philosophy continues to make a change in the Navy's fitness culture difficult.

  4. It is sometimes tough to mentally get yourself into a routine that allows for Physical Fitness. However, once you get yourself over that initial hurdle, it is relatively easy to maintain.

    I get up up 30 minutes earlier than necessary to get to work and head to the basement for 15-20 minutes of Cardio on an eliptical machine which is about 5-6 songs on the iPod. This gets the metabolism going before breakfast.

    When I get home in the evenings it is another 20-25 mintues on the eliptical before dinner. Three times a week I add 30 minutes of strength training and calisthenics. I do this at home because of the convenience though my work does have offer a membership to the local YMCA.

  5. Well for the fortunate one's who are able to get in a work out is great... I try to do it but only can get a few hours a week and sometimes missing it at times.

    The bad thing is I sit at a desk all day for 10 hours 5 days got the weekend to do this family thing is were I get most of my PT in... I do have a full time job, the military which is basically a full time job when your in some sort of leadership spot in the unit, I am constantly answering phone calls from members, responding to emails and putting out fires all the time for no pay. Then the part time job to make ends meet, side jobs for extra money, and the family on top... SO who has the time, dont get me wrong I pass the PFA but I feel the pain of it all let me tell you... its hard so hard to a point of "why am I doing all this" for a retirement I will not see till I am 60? who knows if I even live that long with such a stressed out life! I do the reserve thing because I love what I do for the navy, I love what I do for my country, and I love what I do for my family... so I put up with a lot of things the Navy wants me to do, but there are people out there that might not love it as much as I do or will burn out faster...

    So PT? when I get a chance I will do it! really need to think about maybe getting funding to offer members a gym membership or at a discount or something! I know its not what you want to hear but its the truth

  6. It doesn't take a monster workout or extensive gym. Check out and - each only asks for about 10 minutes a day, 3 days a week, and gives you a six-weeks program to ramp from not much to a lot. If you get stuck, just repeat a week until you can move on. Went from sat/good to outstanding. Amazing what happens when you study for the test!

    For cardio, running is easy and nearly free. Work sprints in and you can cut the time but increase the benefit.
    Google. "Tabata" and you can do high intensity intervals for nearly anything ... Run, spin bike, weights.

    Also, I almost completely cut sugar and starch. Have eggs and bacon for breakfast, burger patties and broccoli for lunch. Dropped and have held off 40 lbs. cholesterol also dropped 100 points. Feel great!