April 3, 2014 --
Seeing the High Intensity Tactical Training locker for the first time, one immediately realizes this is not a typical gym.
Treadmills and ellipticals do not line the walls nor are there TVs to watch.
There are no walls, and instead there are kettlebells, medicine balls, battle ropes and other equipment stored in a large metal container, which can be transported anywhere.
Eighteen Marines and two Sailors grunted and sweated their way through more than 550 exercises using the locker full of equipment during the HITT level 1 training course March 18-21 at Covella Pond, here.
This was Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s first HITT certification course.
Gunnery Sgt. Melvin Ashley, deputy director, Semper Fit, Marine Corps Community Services, MCLB Albany, said the level 1 training course is an overall introduction to the HITT program.
“The purpose of the course is to get (Marines) familiar with the HITT program and be able to lead their Marines in a healthy exercise of physical fitness,” Ashley said. “We hit every functionality of the HITT program from speed to agility to barbell techniques to TRX.
Assisting Ashley with instructing the course were Whitney Hendrix, HITT coordinator, and Jeania Lamonzs, recreational fitness assistant, both with MCCS.
Throughout the four-day course, participants learned the four types of workout programs, which includes combat HITT (functional strength and endurance, warrior HITT (explosive power and agility), athlete HITT (basic strength and speed) and reload HITT (regeneration and recovery).
“Physical training is a necessary part of military life,” Susan Moore, military functional fitness instructor. “People do it because they have to pass the physical fitness test and not because it is going to increase their quality of life.”
Moore, who teaches the TRX portion of the HITT course Marine Corps-wide, taught the participants how to coach each other.
“They worked in groups specifically so they can learn what right feels like and looks like,” she said. “I had them co-coaching so they are learning by doing. They are going to take this information and they are going to coach other people.
“The Marines have the best physical training of any branch of service,” Moore continued. “Their program should be Department of Defense-wide. It is extremely well thought out.”
Staff Sgt. Lucas Spencer, equipment specialist, Marine Corps Systems Command, said when he heard about HITT, he was skeptical.
“I did my own version of circuits, putting stuff together for time or repetitions, so being able to come out and see what it is really all about (was good for me),” he said.
Spencer said he likes HITT because it’s not like going to a traditional gym and pushing weights.
Maj. Miguel Toledano, company commander, Headquarters Company, Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Fla., attended the training so he could implement it at his command.
“There is definitely a lot of focus on conditioning, but at the same time it ties into the combat aspect of the Marine Corps,” he said. “It is something we can, across the Marine Corps, use to keep Marines fit and combat ready.”
Throughout the Corps’ history, Navy corpsmen, also referred to as “Docs,” are the ones who are responsible for keeping Marines in the fight when in battle.
“(Corpsmen) have to be as proficient as Marines and physically fit because we carry all of the gear (they) do plus a medical bag,” Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Gulley, assistant command fitness leader, Naval Branch Health Clinic Albany, said.
Gulley said he felt stronger and has more mobility, especially in his lower back, after taking the four-day course.
The hours of operation for HITT are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:30-7:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
To make a reservation, call 229-639-7586, 24 hours in advance.