PORTLAND, Oregon – After many restrictions related to COVID-19 were lifted, the 142nd Wing resumed fitness testing on July 1, 2021. The move marked a return to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic caused a pause in fitness tests last year. Pandemic restrictions prevented Air Force officials from taking fitness tests, as well as restricted access to gyms, exercise classes, and other fitness resources designed to keep Airmen in shape.
The return to testing marks an important milestone in the fight against COVID-19 and illustrates the importance of physical readiness in a post-COVID-19 military.
Tech Sgt. Lewis Phillips, a fitness instructor in the 142nd Wing, recognizes how shocking going back to testing can be and has some tips to help people feel prepared.
“When returning to a fitness program, it’s important to set realistic goals and expectations,” said Phillips. “Think about what you want to work on, where you want to go and how and when you want to achieve your goal. Start small and work your way up, try not to overdo it early on and give your body enough time to get used to an increased level of activity ”.
While returning to a consistent fitness program can be hard work, the 142nd Airmen are not without resources. Airmen have access to the base gym and track both on and off duty, as well as access to a range of group fitness classes held on base.
“The 142d Wing Airmen have access to a lot of really great fitness facilities and resources,” said Phillips. “The Comprehensive Aviator Fitness Program gives 142nd Airmen access to free weekly classes including High Intensity Interval Training, Spin Classes and Yoga sessions, all guided by knowledgeable and dedicated members of the 142nd Wing.”
If Airmen continue the test, they will find a different test than they remembered. The most important change is the removal of the waist circumference as part of an aviator’s overall fitness rating. However, while waist measurements no longer have an impact on total score, the Air Force will conduct a separate body composition test starting October to comply with DOD guidelines.
Omitting the waist size also leads to minor changes in the calculation of the individual scores. While the test continues to use the traditional 100-point scale, the running portion will now be worth 60 points, and push-ups and sit-ups will each be worth 20 points. In addition, the rating classes for age groups will be moved from ten to five years old to ensure that the test classes are better suited to the physical abilities of each age group.
As of next year, the test will also change with the addition of various exercise options. For cardiovascular health, aviators can choose between a 1.5 mile run, a sprint-based shuttle run, or a walking option. Other options include replacing a plank for sit-ups and doing a hand push-up to measure strength. The changes are part of an industry-wide effort to make the fitness test less rigid and tailored to the specific abilities of the aviator.
“We’re moving away from a one-size-fits-all model,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. “More testing options give our airmen flexibility – where it belongs.” We know that not all aviators maintain their fitness the same way and excel in different areas. Alternative components offer options and at the same time offer a mechanism for determining overall fitness. “
While the fitness test will evolve to meet troop needs, the importance of maintaining physical fitness remains a key component of individual wellbeing and engagement.
“Maintaining physical fitness significantly improves readiness, resilience, and effectiveness,” said Phillips.
Information on planning fitness classes in the Wing can be found on SharePoint.
Additionally, Airmen testing out this summer can find updated fitness charts and more by visiting the Air Force Personal Center’s Fitness Program page.
|Release Date:||07/31/2021 5:10 PM|
|Location:||PORTLAND AIR GUARD STATION OR USA|
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