1st Lt. Bruce Bentley, 436th Contracting Squadron Officer In Charge Base Infrastructure flight, lifts weights as Staff Sgt. Shane Hilts works with a medicine ball Sept. 18, 2013, in the Xtreme Fitness Room at the Fitness Center on Dover Air Force Base, Del. The Xtreme Fitness Room opened on May 1, and recently expanded to 1,300 square feet on Sept. 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Chuck Walker)
Staff Sgt. Shane Hilts, 436th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, does dips on gymnastics rings while 1st. Lt. Bruce Bentley, 436th CONS, jumps on weights Sept. 18, 2013, in the Xtreme Fitness Room at the Fitness Center on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Hilts and Bentley have been leading functional training workouts since the Xtreme Fitness Room opened on May 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Chuck Walker)
by Tech. Sgt. Chuck Walker
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
9/20/2013 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- One of the big topics facing all Airmen is fitness. Some Airmen go to extreme measures trying to get into and staying in shape.
In response to the demand for extreme training, the Dover Air Force Base Fitness Center opened a 475 square foot Xtreme Fitness functional training room on May 1 and added an additional 800 square foot area on Sept. 1 .
John Murray, 436th Force Support Squadron fitness center manager, said opening the Xtreme Fitness Room was in response to customer requests.
"There was a need and an interest in an alternative to standard weightlifting training, an interest in functional fitness," Murray said. "The customers asked and we delivered. We've now expanded to 1,300 square feet and people are seeing positive results."
Some of the exercises that the Xtreme Fitness Room offers are pull ups, free weights, Olympic style weightlifting, gymnastics rings and other similar exercises.
One unit that has taken full advantage of this training and seen positive results is the 436th Contracting Squadron.
1st Lt. Bruce Bentley, 436th CONS Officer in Charge Base Infrastructure flight, and Staff Sgt. Shane Hilts, 436th CONS contract specialist, have been leading training since May and they say the results from these types of workouts are undeniable.
"With this type of training, you get more results in a shorter amount of time," Bentley said. "There are no isolation moves in this type of exercise. Every exercise is a total body exercise. All of the lifts are Olympic-style lifts, i.e., clean and jerks, clean squats and snatches. There is a lot more focus on form than there is on the amount of weight. These exercises require a lot of mind and body connection."
When people hear about free weights, pull-up bars and gymnastics rings they might think that you have to be an expert fitness guru to tackle an Xtreme Fitness workout. Both Bentley and Hilts say that is not the case, and that anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can see the benefits.
"All of the exercises are scalable, meaning they can be adjusted to meet your physical needs," Hilts said. "We had people who when we started could only do one pull-up. Now, three months later they are doing 100 pull-ups. You don't have to be an expert to do these exercises. You will see a real-life translation into PT scores."
One person who has seen this improvement is Tech. Sgt. Jordan Bonds, 436th CONS contract specialist. Bonds said when he started the Xtreme Fitness workouts he was out of shape and overweight. He is now a lean, mean, fitness machine.
"When I started I could barely do one pull-up," Bonds said. "Now I'm doing 100 pull-ups every Friday. Before I started, I barely passed my PT Test; this last time I missed excellent by 12 seconds. I've gone from 203 pounds down to 183 pounds, with 20 pounds of muscle. I'm sleeping better and feeling better, health wise."
Airman 1st Class Christian Shepherd, 436th CONS contract specialist, is another newcomer who saw the benefits of Xtreme Fitness almost immediately.
"I lost 20 pounds in one month," Shepherd said. "It is really a good workout compared to traditional weightlifting. If you come out and do a couple of workouts you'll probably like it."
Murray said among the benefits he has seen is increased PT scores across the board.
"I've seen people increasing their PT scores, both strength and cardio," Murray said. "Their scores are improving in all components of the PT Test. It is like 90-in-90 on steroids. All of the exercises are non-threatening. After 2-3 weeks of the workouts, it will be like second nature."
Bonds said the exercises can be overwhelming at first, but he said if he can see the results, anyone can see the results.
"You can do the pull-ups with bands or stools, anyone can do these exercises," Bonds said. "This is a total body workout and it can be as difficult as you need it to be. There is no way to put a price on the benefits. It hurts, but it works."