Posted on Oct 30, 2013
CPT Benjamin Faw
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In my own experience (Army only) I saw every leader "talk the talk" about PT (Physical Training) being the first thing on the calendar and the last item to come off the calendar - however reality was a different story. More often than not PT would vanish in the place of everything from inspections to urine testing. While this may have changed since I left service, I have always wondered what others thought as we see warfare evolve, does PT really matter enough to be first on the schedule and last off?
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COL G1
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We spend a lot of time talking about exercise while totally missing the importance of nutrition - y<font color="#4d4d4d"><span style="font-size: 14px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0);">ou can greatly undermine weight loss&nbsp;efforts and general health by not considering the quality of the foods&nbsp;you eat. It is important to consider calorie density and nutrient density of foods to maximize exercise performance and&nbsp;improve health status.<br></span></font>
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WO1 Training Developer
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When i have an over weight Soldier or a Soldier that can not pass the APFT the first thing we talk about it their diet. reason being most of the time they are meal card holders and the defac is not a very healthy place to eat food it cheep not cooked well and just fatty. i would love to not have to talk about their diet but they learn nothing in the nutrition class because it is only a check the box 1 hour class. in my experience once they are eating right and loosing weight they can pass a PT Test much easier. so i do agree this should be the main focus of a first line leader.
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SGT Enlisted Management Branch Nco
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7 y
Sir, if I may caveat to your recent post... I completely agree. I have held the title of 'director' in the civilian sector with LA Fitness gyms. I work with a lot of soldiers in my unit currently looking to improve their APFT scores. It is unfortunate, but I do believe we need to incorporate 'more' education about health and fitness. In my opinion, 'Army Move' should not be a program just geared towards overweight soldiers, but should be a consistent part of soldier readiness. As a current Army reservist, I am disappointed to see so many unfit soldiers.It doesn't necessarily have to mean, count calories and find a temporary fix before their next APFT. Let's educate our fellow soldiers. Eating throughout the day doesn't need to be a 'negative' thing. Let's increase metabolism and focus on healthier snacks. I am non-believer in fad diets. I DO support a healthy lifestyle. Too often, I see soldiers that think they need to count calories, but then they are eating foods with no nutritional value.
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SSG Cnd Auditor
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7 y
I agree the Army Command environment seems so focused as a whole on putting check marks in boxes. It also Caters often times to "Gym Rats" who only real value often times to the military as a whole is the fact that they can pass a PT test with a 300. It is also seen in line unit that there are several soldiers who score high on a PT test, but if you watch as they perform the situps, that they are clearly “popping” their butts. While the soldier in the lane next to them is doing them slow and perfect, but does not get the same encouragement as he is not a star. We as a unit are in a sense encouraging out soldiers to “cheat.”

I agree with being physically in shape enough to take a PT test to standard. But learning how to do a repetition and do it well does not measure overall physical fitness. This is why so many Soldiers spend time doing Crossfit and other regimes not sponsored by the Military.

I have been counseled and have counseled soldiers with this blanket statement, “A Fit soldier is a healthy soldier.” So we do acknowledge the relevance and relationship of the two. However the Army Physical Fitness Gurus fail to recognize metabolism that go with body types. As can be seen at this URL: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/body-types-ectomorph-mesomorph-endomorph.html there are clearly 3 types. But when a soldier is lacking we treat them all as Mesomorphs with an average metabolism and little difficulty gaining muscle. I don’t know how many times I have been told to just do more pushups and that will increase your score. To lose weight just watch your calorie intake and take a supplement. As you can clearly see, being an atypical Endomorph that is not the right answer.

We as a whole, not including the medical community, fail to also recognize a myriad of health issues, such as bad thyroid or low testosterone. These inhibit all sorts of things, such as inability to lose weight and to recover quickly from a stringent work out. What we do though is discriminate “bigger” people no matter what expertise and experience they bring to the fight. We harass them into depression and then wonder why they continue to not meet the standard. To answer this…we continue to harass them. Then question our command on why we are sitting in the 4th Suicide prevention class of the year.

As a signal “guy” I often find it hard to even find time to sleep; needless to say find time to work out when supporting mission critical communications. I am happy meeting the minimum score. That is not to say I don’t desire to have a better score. It is just saying for the time I put in I am glad I can make it to standard. With all the additional training Signal Folks have to do and maintain it is no wonder it is hard for the Army to retain highly trained individuals. Mind you these same individuals with this high end expertise training can make a lot more money on the outside. They are in the Army because some spark and desire to serve keeps them here. I think our commands need to be more in tune with job and skill performance while helping a soldier gain a healthy body that is physically fit as well through support and proper guidance. Not counseling and threats or counseling and repeated punitive physical training.
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Capt Jason Minnich
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Maybe not first on the schedule and last off, but it needs to be on the schedule.&nbsp;<div>What I see often in the AF is leaders that don't want issues. They give the squeaky wheel the grease, help out those that are struggling, and then once they are passing, stop caring about PT and refocus on the mission.</div><div><br></div><div>The problem with this approach is the mission should include PT if for no other reason than it will keep medical costs down, increase esprit de corps, and often actually increases productivity because it gives people added energy as a jump start to ones day.</div><div><br></div><div>Personally, I have never been in a leadership position, but I can say those commanders that made PT a priority and cared to come out and do it with their unit, really motivated me to be better in all aspects of my service.</div>
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1SG(P) First Sergeant
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Edited 7 y ago
My complaint about PT wasn't that it wasn't done.&nbsp; It's that the schedule was too rigid.&nbsp; I could never figure out what is so goddamn important at 0900 in garrison that an Infantryman absolutely has to be in formation.&nbsp; I'd often ask, "Why don't we have an extended session of PT and just have formation at 0930 or 1000.&nbsp; We have nothing else on the schedule today."&nbsp; No one could answer that.&nbsp; PT wasn't the most important event of the day.&nbsp; Formations were.&nbsp; BTW I do know of one PLT SGT who stated at a promotion board that D&amp;C was the most important aspect of PT; not conditioning, but D&amp;C.<br>
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