The Wright way to fitness

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class John Wright, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, coaches Master Sgt. John Ryan Mutuc, 86th Medical Support Squadron TRICARE operations section chief, at Ramstein Air Base, Sept. 25. 

Across the Air Force, units are still adhering to COVID-19 restrictions which have postponed Physical Fitness Assessments for Airmen until January 2021.

With Airmen looking for ways to improve fitness and maintain readiness, one Ramstein Airman helps others reach their goals as a Basic Endurance and Strength Training coach.

“The BEAST program is intended to help Airmen who want to improve their PT scores,” Airman 1st Class John Wright, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs photojournalist said. “It’s also for anyone who wants to improve their overall level of fitness and health.”

BEAST is an eight-week program that focuses on strength conditioning and endurance. Wright helps plan workouts that fit into COVID-19 restrictions.

“We make sure everyone physically distances themselves during the warm-ups and cool-downs,” Wright said. “To accomplish this during the workout, we split them up into smaller groups and have developed a buddy system where two to three people typically work together.”


U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class John Wright, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, times participants of the Basic Endurance and Strength Training program at Ramstein Air Base, Sept. 25.

The buddy system allows members to pace each other and motivate each other without being in a large group. Members can find someone to push them or someone who can keep them consistent.

“People are less likely to quit and give up when they have someone next to them pushing them to keep going,” Wright said.

In addition to planning workouts, Wright also coaches individuals to help them meet their goals. He explained that maintaining fitness standards and health are important to him.


“You need to be ready at all times,” Wright said. “You never know when you’ll be in a scenario that requires physical fitness. You might be in a situation where your peers are depending on you, and if you’re not ready for that task, you risk letting your team down.”

Wright received his Personal Trainer Certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in 2018. He furthered his education in fitness by earning another certification as a weight loss specialist in 2020.

“I got into fitness because I enjoy working out and challenging myself. I like setting goals and then accomplishing them,” Wright said.

He now has a chance to inspire others and help them achieve their desired fitness.

“I enjoy watching people make progress and push themselves to accomplish things they didn’t realize they could,” Wright said. “It’s always fun to see the pride on their face when they reach that goal.”

Seventy-eight percent of the program’s 30 participants improved their run time.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class John Wright, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, times participants of the Basic Endurance and Strength Training program at Ramstein Air Base, Sept. 25.

“BEAST is a wing-recognized fitness program,” said 1st Lt. Dean Naldrett, 86th Medical Group practice manager and BEAST lead. “Having someone with a background in fitness and nutrition has been a big help in the planning stages.”

Wright plans to continue meeting for a workout group even though the eight-week BEAST program is finished.

“The program may look a little different, but as long as people show an interest, I’ll keep coaching them,” Wright said.

The next BEAST program is scheduled to start in November 2020 in order to help Airmen prepare for upcoming Physical Fitness Assessments.