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NEWS | Feb. 2, 2011

NSA Sailors gear up for upcoming Spring PFA

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer Hudson Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Sailors at Naval Support Activity are pushing for excellence as they train vigorously for the upcoming Physical Fitness Assessment by improving their cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength and stamina at Joint Base Charleston-Weapons Station.

Maintaining physical health is ultimately the responsibility of each individual Sailor. However, here at NSA, the duty of ensuring the command maintains physical standards as a whole rests solely in the hands of one individual ... the Command Fitness Leader, Master-at-Arms 1st Class Jacob Moore.

"Good PFA scores are critical now for Sailors more than ever," said MA1 Moore. "The Navy is looking at PFA scores for advancement, perform-to-serve and in evaluations.
"There are new rules on body fat standards and Sailors who have three failures in four consecutive years will not only be administratively discharged but will no longer be offered severance pay," he continued. "With these stricter rules in place, the test is not something to be taken lightly."

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercising on a regular basis can help a Sailor pass the bi-annual event with flying colors.

"The physical readiness test is designed as an assessment tool for the Navy," said MA1 Moore. "The assessment keeps Sailors at a high-state level of readiness to be able to complete the Navy's mission. The Navy requires all Sailors to be physically fit and here at NSA, we strive for the very best out of all of our Sailors."

For one Sailor, motivation to get in shape on his own was a struggle. However, with group physical training three times a week, Ship's Serviceman 3rd Class Charles Thompson quickly found that his cardio and upper and lower body strength had significantly improved. These improvements led him to passing the fall 2010 PFA and have him geared up and ready for the upcoming Spring challenge.

"I knew I had an issue about my weight but I lacked the motivation to PT on my own and get into shape. I really needed someone to push me and inspire me to go that extra step," he said.

"Group PT really helped me because the group continually pushed me to the limit. I never stopped though even when it was really hard," SH3 Thompson explained. "Although I was very tired after every session, I felt very proud and accomplished. I couldn't have passed the PFA on my own if it wasn't for the CFL and the assistant CFL constantly motivating me."

According to MA1 Moore, the idea behind having group PT with a physical trainer is to establish a different level of fitness that improves the overall physical health of Sailors at NSA. These efforts go hand-in-hand with the Navy-wide effort in promoting physical conditioning and a commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

"Physical training is one of the most difficult events that we do as a group, but it is motivating for many of the Sailors and it pushes them to better themselves," said MA1 Moore. "I have a lot of respect for the Sailors that don't give up and push even harder when it gets tough."

"I think that group PT builds teamwork and camaraderie," he continued. "For us here at NSA, it is critical that we do events as a group because of how far apart we all work from each other.

"We train three times a week and in cycles to help build upper and lower body strength over a period of time. We also train to improve Sailors' cardio," he explained. "We train for PFA's in a progressive state, meaning that over a period of six months the PT sessions become more and more strenuous to ensure that Sailor can pass the test when the time comes."

"The PFA program is aimed at producing a healthier and more fit Sailor," said NSA Command Master Chief Billy Cady. "A healthy Sailor is sick less often, doesn't require numerous trips to medical and tends to work longer hours safely. In the long run, this program saves money and in these times of reduced budgets, every little bit helps."

"It is leadership's responsibility to promote a healthier lifestyle within a Sailor's life, both on and off duty and that is exactly what I try to do for the Sailors at NSA," said MA1 Moore.