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Training for excellence

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Airman 1st Class Luke Longeretta, 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron aircraft parts store specialist, lifts a 45-pound plate over his head during his workout at the Bellamy Fitness Center, June 22. Airman Longeretta works out to develop a fitness lifestyle, rather than pass a physical training test. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Airman 1st Class Luke Longeretta, 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron aircraft parts store specialist, lifts a 45-pound plate over his head during his workout at the Bellamy Fitness Center, June 22. Airman Longeretta works out to develop a fitness lifestyle, rather than pass a physical training test. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Airman 1st Class Luke Longeretta, 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron aircraft parts store specialist, performs a hammer-curl exercise with a dumbbell at the Bellamy Fitness Center, June 22. The new Air Force fitness standards, which go into effect July 1, are viewed by senior leadership as a way to promote a fitness lifestyle and develop a healthier fighting force. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Airman 1st Class Luke Longeretta, 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron aircraft parts store specialist, performs a hammer-curl exercise with a dumbbell at the Bellamy Fitness Center, June 22. The new Air Force fitness standards, which go into effect July 1, are viewed by senior leadership as a way to promote a fitness lifestyle and develop a healthier fighting force. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Lt. Col. Steven Biggs, 37th Bomb Squadron commander, performs arm-bar exercises with a dumbbell at the Bellamy Fitness Center, June 22. Colonel Biggs said he plans on preparing for the new physical training standards like he is studying for a test, by focusing on areas he feels need improvement. (U.S. Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Lt. Col. Steven Biggs, 37th Bomb Squadron commander, performs arm-bar exercises with a dumbbell at the Bellamy Fitness Center, June 22. Colonel Biggs said he plans on preparing for the new physical training standards like he is studying for a test, by focusing on areas he feels need improvement. (U.S. Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Lt. Col. Steven Biggs, 37th Bomb Squadron commander, performs arm-bar exercises with an 85-pound dumbbell at the Bellamy Fitness Center, June 22. As part of a rewards program for the new physical training test, which goes into effect July 1, Airmen who score 90 or better will only have to test once a year. (U.S. Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Lt. Col. Steven Biggs, 37th Bomb Squadron commander, performs arm-bar exercises with an 85-pound dumbbell at the Bellamy Fitness Center, June 22. As part of a rewards program for the new physical training test, which goes into effect July 1, Airmen who score 90 or better will only have to test once a year. (U.S. Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Airman 1st Class Jody Harding, 28th Maintenance Squadron trailer maintenance specialist, runs around the indoor track at the Bellamy Fitness Center, June 22. “I’m going to rock the new test,” said Airman Harding. “I can run the mile and a half in about 9:25 and max out my pushups and sit-ups, so I’ll definitely get a 90 or better.” (U.S. Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Airman 1st Class Jody Harding, 28th Maintenance Squadron trailer maintenance specialist, runs around the indoor track at the Bellamy Fitness Center, June 22. “I’m going to rock the new test,” said Airman Harding. “I can run the mile and a half in about 9:25 and max out my pushups and sit-ups, so I’ll definitely get a 90 or better.” (U.S. Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Airman 1st Class Jody Harding, 28th Maintenance Squadron trailer maintenance specialist, runs around the indoor track at the Bellamy Fitness Center during a mid-day workout, June 22. With the July 1 implementation of the new Air Force physical training standards less than a week away, Airmen on base have begun training to meet and exceed the requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Airman 1st Class Jody Harding, 28th Maintenance Squadron trailer maintenance specialist, runs around the indoor track at the Bellamy Fitness Center during a mid-day workout, June 22. With the July 1 implementation of the new Air Force physical training standards less than a week away, Airmen on base have begun training to meet and exceed the requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- With the July 1 implementation of the new Air Force physical training standards less than a week away, Airmen on base have begun training to meet and exceed the requirements.

The improved standards were implemented by Air Force senior leadership as a way to promote a fitness lifestyle and develop a healthier fighting force.

"The new test does a good job of testing the fitness level of Airmen," said Lt. Col. Steven Biggs, 37th Bomb Squadron commander, during his routine workout at Bellamy Fitness Center. "I'm a firm believer that physical fitness is an important part of life and should be maintained."

Colonel Biggs said he plans on preparing for the new PT standards like he is studying for a test, by focusing on areas he feels need improvement.

"My goal is to score 100," he said. "However, I need to focus on changing my running habits if I want to meet that goal. I'm more of a distance runner, so I need more interval training to improve my speed for the mile and a half."

As part of a rewards program, Airmen who score 90 or better on their PT test will only have to test once a year. All other Airmen will still have to test twice a year under the new fitness standards. This planned program is set to take effect the same date the new PT standards are initialized.

"I'm going to rock the new test," said Airman 1st Class Jody Harding, 28th Maintenance Squadron trailer maintenance specialist. "I can run the mile and a half in about 9:25 and max out my pushups and sit-ups, so I'll definitely get a 90 or better."

However, not all Airmen share Airman Harding's confidence. Staff Sgt. John Swiderski, 28 MXS trailer maintenance specialist, is worried about the increased emphasis placed on the run and waist measurement by the new standards.

"I'm training hard for this new PT test," Sergeant Swiderski said. "I don't want to have to worry about my run or waist measurement when it comes time to take the test."

Other Airmen, like Airman 1st Class Luke Longeretta, 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron aircraft parts store specialist, aren't phased at all by the new testing standards.

"I work out to stay fit, not to pass a test," Airman Longeretta said. "Of course I'm going to shoot for PT excellence, but it's more about maintaining a fitness lifestyle for myself."

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