Are you Fit to Fight?

Apr 1 2010 - 2:20pm


Lee Anne Hensley/Hilltop Times Corresponden
Lee Anne Hensley/Hilltop Times Corresponden
Lee Anne Hensley/Hilltop Times Corresponden
Lee Anne Hensley/Hilltop Times Corresponden

Sometimes fitness routines can be just that -- routine.

The 75th Force Support Squadron Warrior Health and Fitness Center's Fitness Specialist, Adam Klemm, is determined to change that.

"My Fit to Fight challenges are designed to bring people out of their comfort zone," Klemm said of the Thursday evening fitness series he's hosted since September 2009.

"Everyone comes to the fitness center and usually sticks to their routines and hides behind their strengths, but my challenges encompass a wide swath of fitness areas," said Klemm.

Every Thursday from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m., Klemm offers one of 15 different fitness challenges that include indoor triathlons, power lifting, rock climbing and Cross Fit activities. Klemm chooses 12 primary events to cycle every 12 Thursdays to allow people an opportunity to experience each event at least once, or even all four times, this year.

"I also wanted to provide a fitness event that targeted the swing and graveyard shift Airmen and civilians, as the vast majority of special events that the fitness center promotes happen before (5 p.m.). So I choose to run my challenges from (5 p.m. until 10 p.m.)," he said.

Klemm said the challenges were designed "in line with Col. Patrick Higby's (75th Air Base Wing commander) intent to promote combat fitness, in order to prepare Airmen for the rigors of deployment."

So far, Klemm said the obstacle course has been the most popular challenge among the fitness center patrons. The course is laid out along the WHFC's indoor track and includes a weighted push-press activity, a farmer's walk with two 60-pound dumbbells, a bear crawl around orange cones, tire flips, hurdles and a weighted wheelbarrow push to the finish line.

Staff Sgt. Charles Raphiel, of the 4th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, finished the one-eighth mile course last Thursday evening in two minutes and 23 seconds. "It is definitely an accurate test of physical fitness," he said in between labored breaths afterward. "It really burned out my legs."

Staff Sgt. Dan Swanson, a crew chief with the 388th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, finished the course in under three minutes and said the tire flip was the most challenging part.

Paul Hulet, a country program manager with the 505th Combat Sustainment Squadron, completed the course in the masters division in record time -- two minutes and 16 seconds, "which is better than I thought I would do."

Hulet enjoys doing the Fit to Fight challenges because they test his physical strength in a myriad of fun ways.

That meets Klemm's main goals in developing these activities. "I hope people get a great, short, intense workout, and come to realize that there is no distinction between cardio respiratory fitness and strength in nature."

Other than a great workout and enhanced physical fitness knowledge, Klemm compensates his top performers with a small gift. "We are a low budget program, so the only prizes we offer are the satisfaction of overcoming a challenge, and the top male and female performers win a free smoothie from the ENC juice bar, which has been supporting our challenges from the beginning."

Results of each Thursday evening challenge are posted on a score board in the fitness center's weight room and are posted weekly in the fitness center's lobby score board. The top finishers of the March 25 obstacle course were 1st Lt. Parker Wicks, of the 75th Comptroller Squadron, with a time of one minute and 50 seconds, and top female was Jamie Vandenberg with a time of three minutes and 35.8 seconds.

To learn more about the Fit to Fight challenges and other events offered at the WHFC, call the front desk at (801) 777-2762 or e-mail Klemm at

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