You can learn a lot from Army slogans. Today, we are “Army Strong.” It combines the past “An Army of One” and “Be All You Can Be.”
“An Army of One” meant that the Army is only as good as each and every individual Soldier, implying that each Soldier needs to be at their best. “Be All You Can Be” was a motivating slogan that the Army can help you become your best. Together, if every Soldier is being all they can be, that is what makes them part of a team that is “Army Strong.”
To do this, each Soldier must participate in sound FITT programs. FITT incorporates the principles of frequency, intensity, time and type.
FITT programs enhance productivity, mental alertness, intensify training sessions, and may keep you off profile and sick call. FITT programs include working cardio, muscular endurance and strength, flexibility and nutrition into your daily schedule. As written in the Army’s Physical Fitness Training Manual, “Not only are physically fit Soldiers essential to the Army, they also lead a more enjoyable and productive life.”
A FITT program is as follows:
• Cardiorespiratory fitness is the first component for your fitness program. It should be done at a frequency of 3-5 times a week for at least 20 minutes while sustaining your Heart Rate Reserve at a 60-90 percent intensity level. Playing basketball, running, biking, swimming or climbing are examples of CR.
Proper workouts are the most important component toward maintaining a low body fat percentage. Also, higher levels of CR will aid your recovery following strenuous physical activity.
• Soldiers will be tested in more ways than just CR. They also need muscular fitness so that they can move equipment, artillery rounds or an injured Soldier. When writing your program, add muscular strength and endurance into the plan. Muscular strength is your ability to lift a heavy load in a single effort and your muscular endurance measures how many times you can lift a sub-maximal load. When working muscular strength and endurance training you should do it at least three times a week with 8-12 repetitions using free weights, resistance machines or body-weight exercises.
Do not forget when doing muscle training use the principles listed in the Army’s Physical Fitness Training (FM 21-20) Manual, which give guidelines on overload, progression, specificity, regularity, recovery, balance, and variety.
• The next component to being physically fit is your flexibility. Improving your flexibility will increase your range of motion which prevents injuries during your workout such as muscle soreness. Other benefits include better posture, increased blood and nutrients to tissues and improved muscle coordination. It should be done before, during, and after all of your physical activities. It doesn’t have to be painful, light stretching will do.
• Finally, after all this is said and done you must remember not to blow it by unhealthy eating habits. Change your eating habits, it is never too late. Lay off the sugars, salt, cholesterol, and saturated fats. Eat the fruits and vegetables that have healthy carbohydrates and nutrients. Talk to a doctor, dietician or nutritionist on post to see what the proper and healthy diet is for you. If you practice now, then it will be easier to do in the field.
This information can be found in the FM 21-20. If you have questions how to incorporate your daily workout plans with the FM contact a fitness trainer at Clark Fitness Office. The staff is more than willing to help Soldiers reach their goal that will not only make them strong, but “Army Strong.”