DVIDS – News – Virtual coach, virtual training, real results

By the sergeant. 1st Class Gary A. Witte
642nd Regional Support Group

Home fitness training is less of a luxury than an absolute necessity for Army Reserve soldiers.

While this typically relegates these troops to solitary training, a 143rd Support Command (Expeditionary) online program called VictoryFit is once again making their regular exercises a group effort.

“Just doing PT once a combat assembly is not enough,” said the US Army Sgt. James R. Moore said

Moore, the 642nd Regional Support Group master coach, runs morning classes three days a week using live video on social media. The group currently uses a private Facebook page where they also post their training for the day the day before so soldiers can ask questions and be ready to follow.

“There is a community development aspect to this,” Moore said. “What motivates people is a sense of responsibility.”

Brig. Gen Pamela McGaha, the outgoing 143rd ESC, began the effort during the pandemic lockdown after learning that the Soldiers were doing physical training in the morning at the start of their virtual combat assemblies.

“I knew how important staying connected was to our soldiers,” she said, adding that it had made her wonder, “Why not continue the rest of the month?”

McGaha pitched the idea to the 642nd GSR to know what she wanted and the brigade “worked with it,” creating the VictoryFit program earlier this year. The subsequent results provided soldiers with a variety of benefits, including free structured workouts without the need for gymnastic equipment.

“They also get a personal trainer and a team that motivate each other to stick with the program,” she said.

Moore, who joined the military after high school, has long been involved in sports and fitness. He played football for decades, first in his youth and then competing at Fort Carson where his team won the Rocky Mountain Military Football Tournament three years in a row.

It was during his deployment in Iraq that he began to follow the Crossfit method. Through this program, he discovered functional movement – a training system that emphasizes the use of joint movements to improve fitness. For example, Moore notes that as an infant everyone learns to hold a squat as they develop their ability to walk. Deadlifts and presses are also included in the functional movement program.

“These are all movements that we make in our daily life,” he said.
Inspired, Moore broadened his understanding of nutrition, recovery and mobility routines. Eventually, he became a Crossfit trainer in 2013 at a gym in Georgia.

“The functional movement challenged me in a way I had never been challenged before,” he said.

The VictoryFit program gave him a new audience to share his philosophy.

Besides stretching, physiotherapy sessions offer another type of flexibility to participants. In August, when Moore and the unit were participating in an annual training at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, McGaha used video conferencing to participate in training and encourage the troops.

“I like being able to do the exercises when I travel wherever I am,” she said.

McGaha said Moore’s focus on pre and post training stretching will help Soldiers avoid injury as the military passes its new fitness test

“And for the smaller units, VictoryFit helps fill in the gaps where they may not have master fitness trainers,” she said. “We’re combining video technology with a great army fitness expert – it’s a pretty straightforward equation, but I think it’s a game-changer for the Army Reserve. “

Col. Robert J. Coker, commander of the 642nd Regional Support Group, also joins in the VictoryFit workouts.

“I tried one and got hooked quickly,” he said. “My core strength increased and my ACFT performance improved by almost 100 points thanks to Sgt. Moore’s trainer.

Moore noted that videos of each workout remain on the VictoryFit social media site for those who miss the morning workouts.

“They can watch the video later and do the training in their free time,” he said.

Holistic health became the official doctrine of the U.S. military at the end of 2020, with the new guidelines citing five pillars of soldier readiness – physical, spiritual, mental, sleep, and nutrition. It focuses on improving the whole body and a variety of exercises.

The military’s old method of staying in shape focused too much on the original fitness test, Moore said. Push-ups, sit-ups and a three-kilometer run. Physical training has used these exercises or a variation of them.

“It was just running, running, running, which resulted in injuries, injuries, injuries without any improvement,” he said. “The military looked at what we were doing before and decided it wasn’t helping [Soldiers] do their job.

Before finding functional movement, Moore also focused on simple running to stay in shape. Yet he felt he was not a complete athlete. Holistic training gave him a purpose behind the workout and he said he saw dramatic improvements in his strength, conditioning, body mass index and mental toughness.

When the military adopted the new methods in an effort to enable the troops to carry out their warlike tasks, Moore was more than prepared for the change.

“It was what I was looking for 10 years ago,” Moore said.


Date taken: 10.16.2021
Date posted: 21.10.2021 14:30
Story ID: 407723
Site: DECATUR, Georgia, United States

Web Views: 28
Downloads: 0


Perry A. Thomasson