USS Boxer
160117-N-MJ491-084 PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 17, 2016) Rosalio Nieto, Fit Boss of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) shouts out a run time to a Sailor during a 5K run on the flight deck. Boxer is currently underway conducting routine training exercises and maintenance in preparation for its upcoming deployment. (U. S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Matthew N. Jackson/Released)
Boxers Fit Boss Focuses on Crew Fitness during Deployment

GULF OF ADEN – Focused on a culture of health and wellness, the civilian afloat fitness specialist or “Fit Boss” aboard USS Boxer (LHD 4) helps Sailors and Marines reach new fitness milestones by conducting several fitness classes tailored towards promoting a health-conscious lifestyle.

Boxer’s Fit Boss, Rosalio Nieto, offers the fitness enhancement program (FEP) for Sailors that need help meeting Body Composition Assessment and Physical Fitness Assessment standards. Nieto also offers five different fitness classes throughout the week for anyone interested in physical training in small group settings.

“My purpose aboard Boxer is to provide a healthy fitness environment for all the Sailors and Marines. I want them to have a healthy lifestyle so that they’re safe on the job, and don’t promote injuries and they’re able to do their job well and efficiently. Outside of the work place, if I can increase their healthy lifestyles they’ll be healthier, happier people overall,” said Nieto.

Beyond group physical training sessions, Fit Boss offers individual personal training programs that service members can adapt to their gym workouts, and 28 superhero workouts that Sailors and Marines can do in a group or solo.

“I started off a little bit on the heavier side, that’s the reason why I’m on FEP,” said Interior Communications Electrician Seaman Kristoffer Caberto. “I just hit FEP seriously and have been going consistently as much as I can. I’m starting to see results, people are telling me, and I’m starting to feel better about myself.” Nieto shared how experiences helped for a strong value for health and fitness as essential components of a long, active life.

“I have always been involved with sports or activities with my friends and family. After college I worked with clinical fitness, which are individuals after surgery or post stroke. It really became apparent to me that if you didn’t start out with a base of health and fitness as you get older it would really be more difficult for you to stay and be healthy after these large setbacks in life,” said Nieto.

Crewmembers are discovering additional benefits to increasing their fitness regimens.

“Working out in general is a stress reliever, especially when you’ve had a very long day, depending on what your [job] is,” said Pfc. Pedro Martinez. “There have been so many days that I’ve been really stressed. Going out there and giving it all that I can, I truly believe that it is a stress reliever, a big one. I’m a happier person because I go [to high intensity body weight circuits] every Monday or Friday and it helps me out mentally and physically.”

One of Nieto’s motivations to guide Boxer crewmembers in a healthier direction is connecting through a focus on fitness.

“For me, it’s the personal connection to each Sailor and Marine,” said Nieto. “Everyone has a life, everyone has a story and when they come to me and need assistance to either keep a job or look better for a loved one back home, I really appreciate when they come back to me and say, ‘Hey Fit Boss, without you I wouldn’t be able to do this’.”

Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

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