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Andersen's Guamfit club trains with variety

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mariah Haddenham
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Team Andersen members are learning a new perspective on overall fitness and functional movement through a locally developed training program taught several times a week at the Coral Reef Fitness Center.

The program, called Guamfit, was designed to include variety and functional movements in fitness training as well as teach people how to move their body functionally and maximize performance, according to the base's exercise physiologist. The classes are taught at 6:45 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

"The class teaches you to use movement the way it's meant to be used," said Byron Hardy, 36th Wing Medical Operations Support Squadron exercise physiologist. "I stress real-world applications in the training methods I teach, and these methods have been shown to dramatically improve physical fitness in just six weeks of training."

Running, jumping, sprinting, swimming, pushing, pulling, climbing, throwing, catching, and lifting heavy objects are all functional movement areas the program focuses on because people use them constantly.

"You have to think of the body as a chain of individual elements," Hardy said. "One weak link weakens the whole chain. Ignoring a weak link will only make it weaker, making an individual more susceptible to injury and weakening their overall physical capabilities. When you train the body in all its functional elements and improve your capabilities across the board, that's when you will really see results."

Each workout is carefully planned by Hardy and executed under his supervision. He demonstrates correct form and then observes to ensure his class will gain the full benefit of the workout.

"No two workouts are ever the same; I pride myself on that," Hardy said. "That's another thing about including functional movements in your exercise routines -- there are so many possibilities and different ways to do these simple movements. There are at least seven different kinds of push-ups. By utilizing these different movements, you ensure that you never plateau and remain in a constant state of improvement."

The unconventional and differentiating workouts help participants avoid muscle memory. Muscle memory is when body movements activate sensors in muscles, tendons and joints to consistently give feedback to the central nervous system, Hardy said. When someone does the same workouts, their brain creates a pathway through the nervous system, and the movements become automatic.

As muscle memory grows, the movements become easier and less effective within a training program, causing an individual to physically plateau and cease to improve. Using unconventional training methods and variety induces muscle confusion, allowing an individual to gain more from their workout and improve muscle functionality.

"When we show up for class, the only thing we know for sure is that Mr. Hardy will have a workout ready to fully challenge and exhaust us," said Tech. Sgt. Heather McConaghy, 36th Communications Squadron training manager. "It's not about running to the guard shack or pump house and back; the workout encompasses a lot of variety and creativity. I've been attending the class for a while, and I will continue to attend the class until I leave this base."

For more information on the Guamfit group, contact Byron Hardy at byron.hardy@us.af.mil , call 366-2494 or follow the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/#!/guamfitness.

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