LAS VEGAS, Nev. — As you open the door to enter, you hear someone barking orders with an edge that says, ‘make it happen now.’ Once your eyes adjust from the sun, you see fellow Airmen moving with purpose and intensity to get their tasks done.
The scene is a clear demonstration of the 432nd Wing’s visions of tactical perfection, but these ‘Hunters’ are actually targeting their fitness at the base fitness center.
How did these Airmen find a fitness routine from the almost infinite number of programs, books, gyms and ‘ancient secrets’ that promise results? Several Airmen in the 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron found the best fitness guru was within their own unit.
“I try to help out people whenever I can,” said Tech. Sgt. Scott, who has helped 10 fellow Airmen raise their test results from low, or even failing, to passing scores, some above 90.
The section shift supervisor is known across his squadron for helping people get results. His success with helping others may be because he struggled, too.
“I was fat,” Scott said when he first began his new routine. “I realized that if I wanted maximum points, I could lower my body mass index to 25 [percent] or less. It was only 19 pounds.”
His initial approach was aggressive and he admits most fitness professionals would not recommend it. However, during one month of extreme calorie counting and “really hitting the working out hard,” he said he lost four inches off his waist. His scores jumped from barely passing to consistently hitting above 90.
Scott does not make his fellow Hunters strictly follow his method. He simply provides a general plan and each member has gotten results because they modify the workout to their level. Every workout involves running and strength training but weights and run speeds are different.
“Take the best elements of another guy’s workout and incorporate it into your own. That is the best way,” he said.
For others who have sought him out for advice, he recommends the calorie counting diet as a simple starting point.
“It’s easy to track. If you eat 2,000 calories and burn off 1,500, you are going to (gain weight). Reduce intake and increase what you burn and the weight drops off,” Scott said.
Airman 1st Class Christopher is the newest Hunter to try Scott’s routine. He has only done a few sessions but it is already making an impact.
“It’s very rigorous. You have to be very committed to doing it every day,” Christopher said. “That is the biggest challenge.”
Scott’s squadron also helps promote fitness by allowing its members to schedule PT sessions for before, during or after the duty shift. However, he understands not every unit can accomplish the mission and give PT time. Scott says the key is to be flexible.
“I prompt everyone in my shop to get to the gym to work out whenever possible,” he said about the times when mission tempo slows. He keeps it as simple as sending a few to the gym. Then when they return, he sends another two and ‘rinse and repeat.’
Fitness is more than just a healthy idea, according to top military leaders. Those same leaders have determined it is essential enough to mission success that it is rightfully emphasized at the same level as mental, social and spiritual readiness in the Air Force’s Comprehensive Airman Fitness program. Scoring above 90 is also becoming more common across the Air Force and the odds are greater than ever that each unit has at least one go-to expert. Who is yours?