Hampton, VA — Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) showcased its pilot program, the Navy Physical Training Series, to more than 40 command fitness leaders during the Innovative Strategies for Navy Physical Conditioning class at the recent 2008 NMCPHC Conference at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek in Norfolk, VA. The new program gives alternative workouts and exercises to the traditional physical training (PT) program.

The pilot program helps Navy fitness professionals build fitness programs for their command program PT, says Diana Settles, lead author for the series and program manager of physical fitness and musculoskeletal injury prevention for NMCPHC.

The program is in response to a 2006 fleet survey asking sailors what they thought of their physical training.

“The response we got was, ‘Don't tell us. Show us,’” Settles says.

The program offers a different approach to a command PT program by showing sailors how they can use medicine balls, balance boards and exercise rubber bands in their workouts, along with improvised weights and equipment that can be used on shore or on a flight deck at sea.

“Our goal is to reduce injuries from physical activity and improper exercises, and provide sailors with information and proper techniques based on an industry standard,” Settles says.

Many at the seminar wish the program had an even wider audience.

“They are preaching to the choir here,” says Command Master Chief David Carter, Maritime Civil Affairs Squadron 2. “What I would like to see is this information being given to the mid-level management and senior grade officers to talk to their sailors on just how important this is.”

NMCPHC plans to roll out a complete training series later this summer.