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    Deployed personnel ‘throwdown’ for fitness supremacy

    Deployed personnel ‘throwdown’ for fitness supremacy

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Jeremy Ross | Capt. Emma Wood, an intelligence officer with Regional Command Southwest, takes part...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Ross 

    Regional Command Southwest

    CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Fifty-nine coalition service members and civilians took part in the inaugural CrossFit Leatherneck Fitness Challenge Throwdown here, Feb. 5-6.

    The competition challenged participants with four varied functional fitness events in the spirit of CrossFit, the high-intensity workout program built around Olympic-style lifts and whole body exercise.

    “CrossFit has this idea that you can take your exercise and make it the sport of fitness,” said Capt. John Hoffner, a Philadelphia native and the event’s moderator.

    The first event featured a 1.2-mile run immediately followed by chest-to-bar pullups for males and chin-ups for females. After a brief rest, participants next had to carry a sandbag while doing walking lunges for 100 meters. At the end of this distance were four more sandbags, which competitors had to throw over a 7-foot cement barrier before climbing over themselves and then chucking the bags back over to the original side. The second event finished with a sprint back to the starting line carrying the original sand bag.

    The top 22 males and nine females advanced to the second day, which opened with an event Hoffner dubbed “moving weight”. Competitors began with 30 sumo deadlift high-pulls, a weightlifting exercise in which a weighted bar is raised from the ground to above the collarbone in an explosive pull. They moved immediately into flipping large vehicle tires (300 pounds for males, 125 pounds for females) 50 yards and back again. The event finished with 30 tire jumps, in which participants jumped into the middle of the tires they had just finished flipping and back out the other side.

    The top 16 male and top four female finishers from this challenge moved on to the climactic event, during which rain, a rarity in southern Afghanistan, and chilly conditions around 40 degrees made the going even tougher. Remaining competitors now had seven minutes to move a bar loaded with weight of their choosing to a full overhead position any way possible as many times as possible. After every third lift, competitors had to do six burpees – a cross between a pushup, squat, and jumping jack. The winner of this final event would be whoever lifted the most total pounds in the time limit.

    When the dust (and rain) had settled, Capt. Miguel Toledano and Capt. Emma Wood, both of Regional Command Southwest, had claimed the men’s and women’s titles. Toledano is originally from New Orleans while Wood is from Annandale, Va.

    “I was nervous a week out,” said Toledano, a certified CrossFit trainer and owner of a gym near Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. “It was a challenge the entire way and never seemed easy at any point to me.”

    CrossFit regulars were not the only participants. Members from all four branches of the U.S. military participated, along with British troops and civilian defense department employees.

    “It was good fun,” said Squadron Leader Chantal Baker, a Cambridge, England, native working with Regional Command Southwest. “It’s a good opportunity to meet future workout partners. It’s nice to do fitness with other people.”

    Marine Corps Community Services and the United Services Organizations provided coins and gift certificates as prizes for the top three male and female overall finishers.

    “When you add points to the mix you drive up everybody’s intensity through competition and everybody wins,” said Hoffner. “Something like this makes all of us train harder and gives people on deployment another outlet than sitting on a couch at a (recreation facility).”

    CrossFit Leatherneck trainers have arrangements in place to keep their training group going as units rotate home, and those plans include the potential for future fitness throwdowns.



    Date Taken: 02.07.2011
    Date Posted: 02.07.2011 10:41
    Story ID: 64938

    Web Views: 1,186
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