News: Pumping out Marine trainers for new AMP-IT program
Story by Christine Cabalo
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Hawaii — Marines worked out muscles used in cross-country skiing and acrobatics without leaving Marine Corps Base Hawaii’s main pool.
More than 55 Marines were trained in the new Aquatics Maximum Power-Intense Training program during trainer sessions held May 8 and 9. The AMP-IT program was developed from an Army exercise study but recalibrated to a more intense workout for Marines.
“The program consists of a warm-up, deep water cadence running, shallow water muscle strength and endurance, and a cool down with stretching,” said Kari Hemund, a former Marine Corps Base Hawaii aquatics specialist who is now the aquatics specialist for Headquarters Marine Corps.
Mary Wykle, who has a doctorate and is a specialist in aquatic exercise program development, initially developed the foundation of the program based on results of the study she conducted for the U.S. Army Surgeon General’s office. Hemund collaborated with Wykle, suggesting adding in water towing and resistance to meet the fitness needs of Marines. The two, along with physical therapist Terri Mitchell, have conducted training at Marine Corps installations to teach the program to active duty Marines since September 2012. Mitchell provides guidance on medical issues and adaptations of exercises as needed.
“We’re also providing the Marines with materials to continue learning and training,” Wykle said. “We train the trainers all together so they can start bringing their units to the pool as the ‘amphibious’ part of HITT. The goal is implementing this program to keep them healthy, fit and ready to deploy.”
The Marines learned exercises at three separate stations, located at different parts of the pool.
“Using this training will give us another tool,” said Sgt. Savanna Tardif, a Corporals Course instructor with the Staff Noncomissioned Officer Academy. “This can offer more variety for students and broaden their horizons.”
Hemund and MCCS procured specialized aquatic equipment to enhance and intensify the training. During one portion of training, Hemund provided monitors to Marines to track their heart rates.
“I could feel my legs and mid-core especially during the workout,” said Lance Cpl. Marcom Gomes, a rifleman with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. “At the end of the towing, I pulled so much my heart rate was 185.”
Sinking their hearts into AMP-IT, the Marines rose to meet the challenge.