SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.- --
Front Range service members spent a weekend engaging in physical and mental fitness during the Schriever Functional Fitness and Resiliency seminar March 11-12.
The event tapped Colorado Springs' status as “Olympic City USA”- the city is the home of the US Olympic Committee and training center, as well as many other Team USA sports - and brought in an instructor corps composed of Olympic strength and conditioning coaches and functional fitness experts. Each imparted their professional knowledge covering a variety of functional fitness activities, from deadlifts to hang power cleans.
Jared Enderton, lead instructor and Team USA head strength coach for the Sprint cycling team at the Olympic Center, explained that functional fitness exercises are multi-joint, employ full range of motion, natural and engage the core.
“Getting comfortable being uncomfortable-that’s were progress is made,” Enderton said.
Participants received both hands-on learning from the instructors-who worked on improving form for maximum performance-as well as coaching lessons and actual workouts so students could apply what they’d learned.
Functional Fitness is a variety of exercises which can support everyday movements, said 2nd Lt. Kenneth Angel, 50th Contracting Squadron, who helped organize the event.
“The idea behind functional fitness is to prepare you for things you do in everyday life,” said Angel. “When you sit down in a chair, you just executed a squat; when you pick something off the floor, you just executed a deadlift. Functional fitness builds on those foundational movements that you need in everyday life.”
The event gave Front Range Airmen information to spread to their base communities.
“It’s really eye-opening to the world of fitness,” said Senior Airman Allison Coombs, 306th Operations Support Squadron nutrition coach at the United States Air Force Academy, who wanted to gain better insight on proper diet and exercise.
“It was spectacular. The seminar will let me be able to help my clients more. There should be more events like this in the military,” said Coombs.
Sister services joined in on the opportunity too.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Ijaesin Wiggins, Joint Force Headquarters at Fort Carson, Colorado, is an experienced functional fitness athlete who wanted to see the Air Force perspective.
“I wanted to see how the Air Force trains their people. The instructors were very professional and hands- on,” said Wiggins. “I think all branches can benefit from these types of events.”
Wiggins and Coombs were part of a mix of new and experienced athletes at the event.
Enderton said he was impressed with how receptive and malleable participants were to the training.
“At first you could tell by their movements many were inexperienced,” he said. “By Sunday there was a night and day difference. It was cool to see progress.”
He looks forward to the possibility of leading more events in the future and improving on the experience.
“We are definitely trying to make it happen again,” said Enderton. “Every time you run an event, there are learning curves. Next time we will even out the schedule and make it even better.”