Bring up your fitness, join Club 100

by 1st Lt. Phil Menagh
Ramstein HAWC

Every month,  Ramstein recognizes those members who earn a perfect 100 on their annual physical fitness assessment with a certificate or letter of recognition and their picture displayed in the base paper.

In May, the Ramstein Health and Wellness Center posed a few questions to two members who scored a perfect 100 on their fitness test seven years in a row. This month, they talked with an Airman who improved his score from his last physical training test in order to get into Club 100.

Second Lt. Jason Peterson,
21st Operational Weather Squadron
Age: 23
Time in service: Started May 2008
PT Score: 100 percent

Q: Tell us about your background in fitness.

A: Mostly just sports prior to joining the Air Force. I only recently started lifting weights this year.

Q: What was your previous fitness assessment score?

A: I scored a 95 percent in March.

Q: Why retest?

A: I knew I was close, and I could do better.

Q: What did you do between March and January to prepare?

A: The run was where I lost my points. To improve, I did a lot of bike riding on mountain trails (one to two rides per week). I’m a PTL, so I made sure to include running at our unit PT at least once a week, and I used the “perfect pushup” equipment to work on my pushups. I also took a Special Operations Weather Team fitness test during that time, so I did extra work to prepare for that.

Q: What did that involve?

A: The test included a swim, a 1.5-mile run, pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups and flutter kicks.

Q: Did you pass?

A: Yes, I have a standing acceptance right now. I am deciding whether or not to join.

Q: What was your nutrition like during this time?

A: At the weather squadron, we do shift work and the schedule is constantly changing. People tend to bring in a lot of desserts and junk food, so eating well can be tough.

Q: How did you overcome all that?
A: I constantly drink water, at least two quart-sized bottles per day, and I try to avoid all that junk the squadron brings in. I bring in some of my own food, and try to follow a balanced diet.

Q: In your opinion, how would you describe a balanced diet?

A: A lot of vegetables, lean meats, some starches and fruits.

Q: What other factors do you feel were important to your success?

A: I approached the test without trying to “cram.” I wasn’t training just for the test; it’s about living a healthy lifestyle and being happy with where I am and my abilities. Not smoking seems to give me an advantage as well over my co-workers who do smoke.

Q: Any last words of advice?

A: Keep working on your weaknesses, find new sports to try and keep moving.

Lieutenant Peterson is an example of a shift worker who has maintained and improved excellent fitness despite a difficult and constant changing work schedule. The 21st OWS offers a day pass extending their shift work break from three days to four days for individuals who score above 90 on the fitness assessment.

Note that there are a variety of ways to improve wellness. Lieutenant Peterson incorporates a lot of mountain biking and recreational sports as part of his lifestyle in order to achieve a well-rounded fitness, without an excessive emphasis on the particular segments of the Air Force fitness assessment.

The importance of nutrition is often underestimated; it is no doubt Lieutenant Peterson’s diligence to a balanced diet, despite many sweets in the work area, was another key factor to his securing a perfect 100 on his fitness assessment and joining Club 100. Are you ready to join?