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NEWS | July 11, 2013

Dive into fitness at JB Charleston - Air Base pool

By Airman 1st Class Tom Brading Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

With the temperatures on the rise, some service members may be looking for a cool way to exercise. The pool employees volunteer their free time at the Joint Base Charleston - Air Base pool are dedicating their time this hot summer to offer exercise programs for individuals during their required Physical Training.

"Aquatic exercising isn't your typical workout," said Dani Hermann, JB Charleston - Air Base pool lifeguard. "We are out here doing multiple challenges and relays involving ropes and canoes and having a lot of fun."

However, fun isn't the only goal. Hermann, 2013 College of Charleston alumni, incorporates her Exercise Science degree into every workout, ensuring every exercise is safe and beneficial toward a full body workout.

"There isn't an exercise conducted that we don't do ourselves," said Hermann. "Being in the pool is just part of the fun; we also incorporate sandbags, tire tossing and cardio."
The pool workouts begin at 7 a.m. outside of the JB Charleston - Air Base pool. Participants are paired into various groups , generally determined by their experience and skill levels.

"Physical fitness is an important aspect of resiliency and one of the four pillars of Comprehensive Airman Fitness," said Senior Master Sgt. Benjamin Manalastas, 628th Comptroller Squadron superintendent. "In addition, we attend the pool PT sessions every Wednesday to not only build our fitness, but it also boosts our efficiency as a team. Doing the same old workouts for PT can become mundane. This is an opportunity to utilize the pool and breaks us from that habit.

"And, it's a heck of a workout and a lot of fun," Manalastas added.

Aquatic exercises in the pool are only a portion of the full workout. Participants begin the workout by breaking into teams and then complete three cardio and strength workouts prior to the aquatic exercises. These exercises include ammo cans, sandbags and tire tossing. Each module lasts around 15 minutes before the group switches to the next module.

1. Ammo cans - Military ammo cans are filled with various amounts of rocks by the instructors. The group of participants take turns running various distances while holding the weighted ammo cans. While the individuals run with the cans, their partner completes a set of push-ups and squats to ensure everyone gets a continuous workout.

2. Sandbags - The sandbag portion of the workout is conducted with cardio as well. One participant runs with the sandbag on their back down the sidewalk. In addition, this portion of the workout incorporates fireman carries with groups of individuals.

3. Tire tossing - Tires of various weights, from lighter weighted tires to multi-hundred pound tractor tires, are tossed various lengths by participants.

"Each station lasts around 15 minutes," said Nathan Thomas, JB Charleston - Air Base pool lifeguard. "At every station, individuals can expect to exhaust the muscles in their arms, legs and the rest of their body. Targeting every muscle is our goal."

After completion of the strength and cardio modules, the entire group meets for aquatic exercises in the pool. Prior to jumping in the pool, participants need the grass and mud sprayed off. Thomas recommends participants wear shoes they aren't afraid to get dirty.

"Everyone finishes together and gets in the pool together," said Alisha Webster, Joint Base Charleston - Air Base pool aquatics manager. "This not only keeps it fun, but helps build camaraderie and teamwork."

The three pool instructors arrive to work early, and often stay late to create workouts for service members.

"We're in Charleston, S.C., and it's the summer," said Webster. "It's beautiful outside; we're only open for three months and have to take advantage of the perfect weather to get in the pool. It's so much fun, and we're here because of our dedication to serving the military members. I encourage all military members to come out for our PT program and get a great workout!"

If you, or your squadron are interested in participating in the pool's PT program, it is available Wednesdays and Fridays between 7 and 8 a.m. For more information, contact Alisha Webster at 963-3344 or