A mobile training team from the Army’s Physical Fitness School in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, arrived at Fort Hood at the beginning of the week to carry out the Master Fitness Trainer Course, a four-week course designed to help train and educate Soldiers on fitness.
The class began Tuesday morning with 58 Soldiers taking part in the qualifying Army Physical Readiness Test.
To gain entry into the course, Soldiers had to receive marks of at least 80 in each of the three events – push ups, sit ups and a 2-mile run. Soldiers were also required to be height and weight compliant to continue in the course.
Following the APRT, 41 remained in the class, all of which were recommended by their respective units to attend the course.
1st Lt. Brian Mouton, the team lead of his mobile training team, one of six MTTs within the school, said the course produces master fitness trainers.
“The goal is for them to be able to go their unit, be the advisor to the commander in all physical training aspects, be able to create physical training programs and regimens for their unit and also have the unit’s Army Weight Control Program in compliance,” Mouton said.
Throughout the course, the Soldiers will follow a routine of outdoor instruction and hands-on activities in the morning followed by a classroom session in the afternoon.
The classroom portion covers everything from skeletal anatomy to muscle physiology, program planning, free-weight instruction and diet and nutrition.
“There’s a lot of knowledge being thrown at them,” Mouton said, noting that three written exams are issued as part of the course.
The fourth thing the Soldiers are graded on is actually leading physical training.
“We’ll have them with their grader go through an exercise or stretch in a talk-through method, which should include the purpose, how long they should hold the stretch and things of that nature,” Mouton said.
The MTT at Fort Hood consists of Mouton and four government civilians, all with degrees in sports science and personal trainer certifications. Throughout the course, each trainer will share their expertise with the class of Soldiers.
Sgt. 1st Class Eric Bryant, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, said he was looking forward to learning about the reasons behind the Army’s training regimen and also learning the proper ways to do it to avoid injury.
“The biggest thing that I want to focus on is how to create better physical fitness programs,” Bryant said. “I already have an idea of what the course will provide, but I want to key and focus on how I can use the PRT and PT program to enhance the physical fitness of my Soldiers.”
1st Lt. Jeremy Tomaino, 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery
Regiment, 41st FA Brigade, said he sought out the course to better understand how to properly perform the exercises.
“I’m looking forward to the classroom time,” he said. “From what I understand, it will be a lot of knowledge about the human body.
“I want to be able to bring something back to my unit where I can combine something into resiliency,” he added, “using physical fitness to make a better unit and reduce profiles.”
Sgt. 1st Class Jose Velasquez shared Tomaino’s interest in lowering the number of Soldiers on profile within his unit.
“The biggest thing I’m trying to take to my units is how to recondition Soldiers who are on profile,” Velasquez said. “Usually we let them do their own thing and don’t really focus on those
Soldiers. I want to help those Soldiers.”
The course runs through Aug. 8, and a second iteration at Fort Hood begins Aug. 18.
Even after completion of the course, Mouton said the instructors remain a resource for the newly graduated master fitness trainers.
“We get a lot of emails and a lot of contact from prior graduates asking for help and advice,” Mouton said.
Following the 153-hour course, the officers and noncommissioned officers receive a skill identifier, Mouton said.
“This course is about knowing that when these Soldiers graduate, they’re going to go help their unit keep another Soldier from being hurt and give their unit some structure with physical training,” Mouton said.