Online Fitness Guide Delivers Comprehensive Marine Workouts

The strength and conditioning professionals that occupy Semper Fit centers and other fitness centers can see what type of programming is available to individuals and units and tailor their offerings.

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(Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Strom)

The Marine Corps Training and Education Command rolled out its online USMC Fitness Readiness Guide on Feb. 7, creating a new fitness tool for Marine Corps fitness facilities and individuals that emphasizes High-Intensity Tactical Training. The site's URL is:

"The strength and conditioning professionals that occupy our Semper Fit centers and other fitness centers can see what type of programming is available to individuals and units and tailor their offerings," says Col. Brian McGuire, physical readiness programs officer for Training and Education Command.

A partnership between education command and the Semper Fit program, the guide supports the Marine Total Fitness concept, which includes not only physical, but "mental, social, spiritual aspects of a Marine's total fitness," McGuire adds.

Its electronic delivery makes it less static than a printed manual and offers the flexibility to make improvements when necessary.

"We looked at developing the physical training templates for both individual Marines and units, irrespective of gender," he says. "We wanted to provide those templates for individual Marines and commanders as they build their PT plans for pre-deployment, while in theater and post-deployment."

Embedded in the site are numerous links that support the Marine Corps' physical fitness policies and provide easy access for commands.

The website breaks down training into three modules: Athlete HITT, Combat HITT and Warrior HITT.

Athlete HITT focuses on basic strength and speed; Combat HITT includes "functional strength and endurance"; and Warrior HITT focuses on developing "explosive power and agility."

Once visitors choose a module, they may then select a link to the individual components within that module. For example, after choosing the "Active Dynamic Warm-Up" link under the Athlete HITT Exercises heading, the 67 associated exercises with that link pop up, with video demonstrations of each. The Athlete HITT module alone has nearly 175 individual videos demonstrating various exercises.

The site scores user-friendly points by offering alternate routes to different workouts and exercises. For example, an individual may select "HITT Training Programs" to begin a workout regimen or may simply select "Exercise Search" on the main menu to go directly to a specific workout.

Other components on the site include downloadable templates for either individuals or units to document their own PT programs and monitor progress.

The resource-laden site also contains links to Marine Corps guidance on everything from the Marine Corps physical fitness program to body composition and even martial arts.

The connection with Semper Fit facilities is a natural, considering the centers are already well versed in the site's programs.

"The High-Intensity Tactical Training program … has had wide acceptance throughout the Marine Corps," McGuire says, "so the HITT program is something that Semper Fit is aggressively implementing in their programming."

For facilities, the site offers, at a minimum, a resource that advances Marine Corps fitness standards and provides information for individuals to build their own personal workout regimens, while obviously emphasizing that facility's connection to those workouts.

In its initial phase, McGuire says the reception has been positive.

"It's important to remember the site is in what's called 'initial operating capable phase,'" he says. "We do have plans to update the website after a period of time."

Until then, it's a matter of tracking visits to the site, as well as getting the word out to individuals about what the site can do.

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