Since the spring of 2009, SPRUANCE Sailors have been at Admiral Prout Field in San Diego and the Field House in Bath, Maine doing push-ups, sit-ups, Indian Runs, wind sprints, and playing spirited games of football all in hopes of improving their PFA scores. With one of the most robust and consistent command fitness programs in the fleet, SPRUANCE has to give credit to OSCS (SW) Smith, the Command Fitness Leader (CFL). He institutes his “Back to Basics PT” three times a week with the expectation that PFA run times will decrease and push-up and sit-up numbers will increase.
“The idea of “Back to Basics PT” is that by focusing on running and upper body and core strength, our Sailors will have better PFA scores, since those are the areas the PFA measures,” says OSCS. And SPRUANCE Sailors agree. Says IT1 Segarra, “The command listened to the Sailors when we said we wanted a program tailored more to the PFA. Everyone has benefited from its implementation, from the most experienced sailors to the most junior.”
SPRUANCE’s rigorous workout routine has generated quantifiable results. In the fall of 2010, 99% of the crew passed the PFA. Those who don’t pass on their initial attempt, are in danger of reaching the Navy’s standards for body fat, or want an additional workout are placed in the command’s Fitness Enhancement Program (FEP), which meets three times a week and focuses on specific areas where Sailors need improvement. The small group enables Sailors to get a personalized workout that is more beneficial to them in the long run. STGSN Dano has thoroughly enjoyed his time in FEP: “All of the stretching we do is incredibly helpful, especially on runs. The Command Fitness Leaders (CFL) listen to us and give us specific workout if we want to bike or elliptical instead of run. The structure ensures that we get something out of our hour workout.”
In addition to regular PT sessions, SPRUANCE Sailors also participate in athletic events sponsored by Commander Navy Region Southwest (CNRSW). There have been three 5K (3.1 miles) runs for the occasions of Veteran’s Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) run. SPRUANCE crew members participate in these runs in lieu of morning PT and can either choose to run in formation with CFLs calling cadences or they can run independently. LT Chilton, the Operations Officer, placed second in the POW/MIA run, earning praise and recognition from the waterfront.
The Sailors in the west coast detachment aren’t the only ones working on their fitness. In the throes of a bitterly cold winter, the Maine detachment works out three times a week as well, thanks to DCC Vanwinkle, CRTC Hyatt, and CTM1 Phillips. Their program involves four groups based on an individual’s needs. Group 1 is the most basic and involves long cardio workouts and core fitness and Group 4, comprised of Sailors working towards Outstanding Highs on their next PFA , does workouts inspired by Navy SEALs and CrossFit. As DCC Vanwinkle aptly states, “Some Sailors fear PT, hate me when they’re working out, but love reaping the benefits.”
Whether the temperature is negative five degrees or 70 degrees, SPRUANCE Sailors have a commitment to physical fitness. Many studies have proven the benefits of a consistent exercise program, and this crew is no exception. Sailors have dropped inches off their waist and minutes off of their 1.5 mile run while increasing their PFA scores and camaraderie as they prepare to take ownership of SPRUANCE.