Training for excellence
By Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton, 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 24, 2010
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."