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    Marine finds innovative ways to exercise in combat zone

    Marine Finds Innovative Ways to Exercise in Combat Zone

    Photo By Sgt. Walter D. Marino II | First Lt. William G. Goodwin, executive officer for mobility assault company, 2nd...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Walter D. Marino II 

    Regimental Combat Team-7

    HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Suspended off the side of a towering vehicle by cargo netting, 1st Lt. William R. Goodwin, the executive officer for Mobility Assault Company, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, pushes himself up for one more repetition. Goodwin built a fitness tool using duck tape, cargo netting and ratchet straps, to perform multiple exercises off the side of a vehicle, aboard Camp Dwyer, Helmand province, Afghanistan.

    Goodwin proves six days a week that when it comes to working out, just about anything can be used to exercise. Sand bags, 6-by-6 inch wooden logs, and ammo cans filled with dirt and rocks are just some of the make shift equipment used in his workout routine.

    "I use sand bags for my triceps workouts, ammo cans for one-arm rows, and wooden logs for my bicep training," said Goodwin, 24, from Stanley, N.C.

    Previously deployed to Iraq, Goodwin is no stranger to adapting to his environment.

    "A lot of people say when you get to a forward operating base, there's nowhere to workout," Goodwin said. "But you can use anything to workout, an MRE (Meal-Ready-to-Eat) box, or sandbags. You just have to use your imagination."

    The benefits of exercise are as plentiful as the massive variations of workouts. Daily exercise helps with depression, high blood pressure and diabetes. For Goodwin, exercise is his way to reduce the stressors of a combat zone and a way to find focus.

    "It's a stress relief. That's why it's important in combat," Goodwin said. "I just put my headphones in and I forget about my stresses. After I workout, I find I can always focus better. We need this out here with the rigors of combat."

    According to Goodwin, nutrition is a key part of fitness too often overlooked.

    "If you don't eat right your body can't grow," Goodwin said. "It's amazing how good nutrition makes you feel. A lot of people skip breakfast, but that's bad. Breakfast jump starts your metabolism. I'm not talking about Pop Tarts though. I'm talking about some protein found in eggs and meat."

    In the Marine Corps, a commonly used quote is, "complacency kills." It's a reminder that consistent improvement is direly important. For Goodwin, complacency isn't a factor.
    "Every time you walk by a pull-up bar you should do five pull ups. In a little while, you'll be surprised in how many you can do," Goodwin said. "One of my prouder moments was when I got a 300 on my physical fitness test. For me there's no reason why a Marine shouldn't get a good score. My average PFT is around a 285, but now that I've gotten a 300 PFT. "My goal is to get a 300 every time."

    Every year Marines have a physical fitness test consisting of a max set of 20 pull-ups, 100 crunches and a three-mile-run. Each pull-up is worth five points, each sit-up is worth one point, and a run time under 18 minutes is worth 100 points. All together, a perfect score is 300.

    "If you practice fitness you'll be able to focus better. People get caught up with work, but you should always make time for (physical training)," said Goodwin, a North Carolina State University graduate. "That's what makes us different from the other services."



    Date Taken: 11.14.2009
    Date Posted: 11.14.2009 04:05
    Story ID: 41581

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