MILITARY MONDAYS: PREPARING FOR THE ACFT

MILITARY MONDAYS: PREPARING FOR THE ACFT

FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) - We are back with our Military Monday health and wellness series on Fort Sill. This week, 7News reporter, Hunter McEachern, tried out three of the Army Combat Fitness Test events: the sprint-drag-carry, the standing power throw and the leg tuck.

Before she tried out the events, she sought out the expertise of two Master Fitness Trainers on Fort Sill, Staff Sergeant Cahner Harris, Fires Center of Excellence and Staff Sergeant Benisan Correa, Bravo Battery, 2-6 Air Defense Artillery. 

Up first was the sprint-drag-carry. The timed event is made up of five 50 meter segments: a sprint, dragging a 90 pound sled, a lateral shuffle, carrying two 40 pound kettlebells, then a final sprint.

Hunter crossed the finish line at 2:29. To pass, a soldier must complete the event in three minutes or less.

Next, they worked on the standing power throw. Hunter passed the event, sending the 10 pound medicine ball backward for five meters.

Finally, they worked on the leg tuck. Hunter can now bring her knees within inches of her elbows. Her strength has definitely improved, but Hunter still has a little ways to go before passing this event.

After her ACFT training, Hunter visited with a health educator about nutrition and its role in soldier performance.

“In particular, with active duty soldiers, they have a lot of exercise that they may be doing, NPT or on their own, both, and it’s very, very easy to underfuel yourself, which will affect your performance,” said Sheri Geiger, health educator on Fort Sill.

Geiger recommended eating smaller sized meals throughout the day to maintain energy. She said to stay away from fad diets that may offer immediate results but are not long-lasting and to always eat breakfast to get your metabolism going.

Something else Geiger recommended was sleep banking, or maxing out on your number of hours of sleep to save that rest for later.

“Active duty is very busy. They don’t always get a chance to sleep well, either,” said Geiger. “But sleep banking is something that can be practiced so that the soldier, prior to their mission, can practice getting longer sleep then go on the mission, and because of that built up sleep, their performance on that mission will not be as affected as much as if they had just did their regular sleeping pattern, which may be deficient.”

Next, Hunter went over her workout program with health educator, Stacey Oliver.

“You’re going to do one more week of this. Since you’ve been seeing progress, I don’t really want to change anything up,” said Oliver. “Just continue to challenge yourself on some of the weights. So one more week of this and then what I’ll do is I’ll rework a workout plan for the two weeks leading up to your ACFT so your muscles won’t be too fatigued. They’ll feel a little bit fresher and a little bit more prepared for you to hit that ACFT.”

Oliver gave Hunter a challenge to take on while she continues the program.

“I really just want you to concentrate maybe on changing up a few of the movements from a barbell, to like we discussed with the deadlifts, going ahead and using really heavy kettlebells, so you’re not using the hex bar, necessarily, but you’re still getting the same movement, just using a different kind of a tool,” said Oliver. “Your body’s going to respond a little differently to that.”

Tune in next Monday at 10 p.m. as Hunter continues her ACFT training with dead lifts, hand release push-ups, and running, as well as mental training and goal setting.

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