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    Nationally ranked weightlifter preaches Health and Fitness at Army Wellness Center

    Nationally-ranked weightlifter preaches health and fitness at Army Wellness Center

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Michael Folkerth | Tom Feild, a nationally ranked weightlifter working at the Fort Hood Army Wellness...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Michael Folkerth 

    4th Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Some people use fitness to meet the physical demands of their jobs. Others make fitness a way of life, sacrificing several hours a day maintaining their peak physical condition. For Tom Feild, a native of Burnet, Texas, physical training is not only part of his job but also one of his passions in life.

    A health educator at the Army Wellness Center here at Fort Hood, Feild is also a nationally ranked weightlifter who uses his knowledge and expertise in physical training to challenge not only himself but also his clients at the AWC.

    Feild started out using the gym in high school while playing football and continued into college. While weightlifting was an important staple to his football workout, Feild said that he didn’t get into the actual sport of weightlifting until the end of his master’s degree program.

    “I was working as an assistant strength-conditioning coach at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, during my graduate years,” said Feild. “One of the other strength coaches, Kyle Stewart, talked me into the sport.”

    While the sport of weightlifting is still considered an amateur sport in the U.S., athletes like Feild still have opportunities to gather together for competitions. Feild competed in the 2015 USA Weightlifting National Championships, which was held in Dallas, Texas, from Aug. 13-16.

    Currently ranked ninth in the national rankings for his weight class, Field said that this year’s competition was one of the largest meets the competition had seen, with an estimated 500 competitors.

    “Not anyone can just show up. You have to qualify to be able to participate,” Feild mentioned. “You have to go to a sanctioned meet in your state and if you get a high enough total score you can attend the Nationals.”

    Weightlifters are judged on just two specific lifts during the competition: the “snatch” and the “clean and jerk.” In the snatch, lifters must lift the barbell from the ground to overhead in one continuous motion. The clean and jerk combines two exercises; during the clean, lifters move the barbell from the floor to a racked position across their deltoids and clavicles. Then they move onto the jerk by further raising the barbell to a stationary position above their head, finishing with straight arms and legs and their feet in the same plane as their torso and barbell.

    The lifters are then scored on two major points: technique and how much weight they lifted compared to their body weight. Scores for both lifts are combined into a total score, which nets the competitors their rankings.

    Field doesn’t use his experience with physical fitness only to further his goals as a weightlifter. He also attempts to pass on his knowledge while working with service members at the AWC. He meets with clients to perform fitness assessments, body composition testing, nutritional assessments, etc. While he does have a bachelor’s degree in exercise sports and science, and a master’s in kinesiology to certify his training and education, Feild believes that actions speak louder than words to the people he helps.

    “Coming from an athlete standpoint, it’s always beneficial as a health educator if you practice what you preach,” Feild said. “That way the clients here can see that you’re actually recording your nutritional log, keeping track of your calories, training at the gym in front of them, showing them that what you’ve recommended is possible.”

    Capt. Jason Norwood, the commandant for the Fort Hood Resiliency Campus, said that credibility is something most people seek when looking to medical professionals for help in improving physical fitness. Having Feild as a member of the campus staff helps provide the entire campus with that level of credibility.

    “Mr. Feild has a plethora of strengths as a health educator, personal experience being the most obvious,” stated Norwood. “The rigors of his sport mandate that he remain healthy in his lifestyle at all times and thus he can give firsthand experience on healthy living. Moreover his dedication to perfecting his sport has the ability to transfer both in his teaching and in his demeanor when imparting instruction and advice in the aspects of healthy living.”

    He doesn’t just give advice on the actual physical exercises and nutritional needs of clients though, he also helps direct their focus. By finding out what a client needs to be able to do physically for their job and what they specifically are asking for, he can help fine-tune a program for that person’s needs.

    “Not all jobs are the same,” Feild mentioned. “What an infantryman does physically is completely different from what an office worker does. So I try to direct them towards training that will help benefit them in their work environment. Sometimes though clients do come to me with specific goals already determined, so I lend them a hand in whatever I can.”

    As far as his future goals for weightlifting go, Feild says that he would like to qualify for an international meet or the Olympic Weightlifting World Championships. He has come close to the required weight limit needed during his training, but still needs to fine-tune his technique and performance to make the cut.

    “Weightlifting, I believe, is a terrific form of exercise to challenge yourself both physically and mentally. The passion to get better and ensure I’m doing the moves correctly gives me that challenge to push myself to reach the next level,” said Feild.

    For anyone who is looking to get into the sport of weightlifting, Feild advises that they find someone to help coach them using the correct methods.

    “I would definitely get a coach to get a trained and helpful eye,” Feild recommends. “I would find a local weightlifting gym and get someone who is USA weightlifting qualified to watch so you can go through the movements and correct progressions. Just jumping into weightlifting or fitness in general leaves a lot of room for injuries.”



    Date Taken: 09.01.2015
    Date Posted: 09.08.2015 15:29
    Story ID: 175447
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 
    Hometown: BURNET, TX, US

    Web Views: 118
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    Nationally ranked weightlifter preaches Health and Fitness at Army Wellness Center