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Team Langley readies for new fitness era
LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- Tony Arroyo, 633d Force Support Squadron fitness testing technician, observes Senior Airman Cynthia Ramirez, USAF Heritage of America Band clarinetist, push-ups during the fitness assessment demonstration May 17. The demonstration is designed to prepare personnel for the transition to Fitness Assessment Cell testing in July. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Christina M. Styer)
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FAC technicians clear the air on new fitness program

Posted 5/18/2010   Updated 5/19/2010 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Jason J. Brown
633d Air Base Wing Public Affairs

5/18/2010 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- With the new Air Force fitness program just around the corner in July, Airmen have questions about what changes to expect and how to prepare for them. To answer these questions and quell anxieties about the upcoming overhaul, the professionals from the 633d Force Support Squadron Fitness Assessment Cell hosted a demonstration and information session at the Shellbank Fitness Center May 17.

The staff provided an in-depth explanation of each process in the new metric, which goes into effect July 1. For instance, the trainers explained the proper method of measuring abdominal circumference, followed by demonstrations of push-ups and sit-ups using proper and improper form.

"An important element to the success of our Airmen is using proper form in their workouts and in their assessments," said Tony Arroyo, 633 FSS FAC testing technician."Without it, you're not maximizing your workout."

More importantly, he added, improperly performed repetitions will not be counted.

The demonstration staff, which also included Chris Bendix, 633 FSS FAC testing technician, and 1st Lt. Krista Barajas, 633 FSS FAC officer in charge, engaged audience members with a blend of humor and education, teaching Airmen form, testing protocol and helpful hints to improve performance. Attendees asked questions about the cell members' role in administering the test and the new point system breakdown.

One major change to the program is the institution of minimum qualifying scores for each component of the assessment. Unlike the current test, in which a single composite score of all four areas must be at least a 75 percent, Airmen must meet a predetermined minimum score in each of the four areas of the test in addition to the composite score in order to pass.

Barajas said failures will be reported to commanders and first sergeants, making it critical for Airmen to take the entire test, even if they fail one component.

"Unit commanders want to see improvement across the board," she said. "By not finishing the test, commanders will see a line of zeros. We ask everyone try as hard as possible."

Arroyo reassured audience members that the FAC technicians are available and willing to help people succeed in conditioning for and passing the tests.

"The program is about consistency in testing, not punishing Airmen with harder standards," he said. "Rather than anxiety, we want to educate Airmen about what they need to do to succeed."

Arroyo said Langley's FAC currently has two technicians with two more in training. The cell will eventually be staffed by seven full-time personnel, dedicated solely to monitoring the physical training assessments. The staff will be divided between the Shellbank and Air Combat Command Fitness Centers, serving active duty, guard and reserve Airmen.

"This program is designed to promote year-round conditioning using a biannual test cycle and better accountability," he said. He added Airmen who struggle with PT should focus on becoming "jacks of all trades, masters of none" -- being able to satisfactorily complete the test in all components.

For those who still have difficulty meeting the mark, Arroyo recommended visiting the Health and Wellness Center and consulting the 633 FSS fitness specialists, who can provide training, advice and even programs to enhance performance.

"We're all here to help," he said. "We want everyone to pass these tests, and we're doing all we can to get all Airmen across the finish line."

5/21/2010 9:07:08 PM ET
Chris Bendix is the fitness guru of all guru's. He'll be the best employee ever and at the same time lead the airmen to an elite status
RDM, Michigan
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