“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
The Army War College Community wants to make sure that students, Families, staff and faculty are able to enrich not only their minds but their bodies as well with the “Strength for Wisdom” fitness campaign, which kicks off this month.
By bringing together all of the physical fitness activities available to the U.S. Army War College community, the campaign serves as an easy to follow roadmap for improved fitness for folks of all fitness levels and abilities.
“I took part in Strength for Wisdom first as an opportunity to spend some time with my wife at the gym,” said Col. Bob O’Brien, who took part in the program as a student in the Class of 2014. “We encouraged each other to develop some fitness goals and developed our daily schedule to achieve those goals. I wanted to lose about 15 pounds, increase my lean muscle and lower my cholesterol. “
O’Brien and his wife, Michele, started off with the 5K run at the beginning of the year and participated in the periodic weigh-ins, Army Wellness Center assessment, SLDR’s Performance Movement Analysis, rowing challenge, squat challenge, ab challenge and the power lifting competition.
“This served as an opportunity for you to develop some health-related goals and spend some time focusing on yourself during your Army War College year,” said O’Brien. “It's rare for us a leadership teams to be able to spend this time focusing on ourselves so I encourage people to take advantage of the program.”
The Strength for Wisdom challenge kicks off with the “Run Carlisle Barracks” program Aug. 9 and ends in May with the Jim Thorpe Resiliency Decathlon. The competition is a fun way to help challenge yourself and improve your fitness at the same time. The challenge is open to all members of the Carlisle Barracks Community.
The “Strength for Wisdom” challenge offers a variety of training programs and challenges to achieve your specific goals and to find an enjoyable way to overall fitness. You can use the program to get back in shape, check your fitness level, overcome your personal stumbling blocks or compete against others.
Melissa Unrath and her husband, Col. Craig Unrath, also took part in the program as a couple last year.
“I was really excited to find out they were putting together a Strength for Wisdom challenge for our class,” she said. “I always look for these types of challenges and races wherever we move. “ They both took part in many of the programs to include: the rowing challenge, running group, fitness classes and weight lifting challenges.
Unrath said she participated to maintain her fitness and to take advantage of the opportunity to spend time with her husband.
“Being involved helped me to push myself to levels I never thought I could endure,” she said. The lifting competition was the first time I had ever done anything like that. I would highly encourage all spouses and family members to take part in this fitness challenge -- challenge yourself! Be proud you are out there and have fun with your friends.”
Strength for Wisdom AY 15
This year events are scheduled from August through June of the Academic Year and gradually “build” increasing in difficulty throughout the year, but you can jump in at any time to meet your fitness goals. Scheduled throughout the year are additional classes and activities to support you the whole way.
Some of the events include:
- Run Carlisle Barracks Aug. 9-Oct. 4
- The Run Carlisle Barracks program is a series of nine weekly runs starting and August and ending the first week of October. This program is designed to help prepare runners for the Army Ten Miler in October. Runners who are trying to increase running mileage and are also encouraged to participate.
- Oktoberfest Volksmarch Oct. 11
- Letort Run One, 4X1 Mile Relay Oct. 24
- This is a relay style race which involves 4 team members each running 1 mile (1/2 mile out and back) along the Letort Creek.
- 5K Drumstick Dash & Gobble Gallop Nov. 15
- This is a family event that includes a 5K race combined with an optional 1 mile fun run.
- 30 Day Ab Challenge Dec. 1-30
- Series of abdominal exercises done over a period of 30 days to improve core and low back strength.
- Indoor Rowing Challenge Dec. 1-30
- Using the Concept2 rowers in Thorpe Hall Gym, participants have 30 days to row 100,000 meters. This can be accomplished in daily small increments that promote exercise consistency or in larger increments that promote endurance.
- New Year’s Resiliency Resolution Jan. 1-31
- To keep in the spirit of the New Year and the initial motivation to exercise, this event encourages participants to complete 15 workout sessions in the month of January.
- 30 Day Squat & Push Up Challenge Feb. 3- March 4
- Participants are challenged to complete a set number of squats and pushups each day. The repetitions do not have to completed at one time, they can be broken up throughout the day. Since there is no special equipment needed, participants can perform these at home.
- Strength Challenge March 7
- A modification of the classic powerlifting competition involving the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift. Participants will lift a pre-determined percentage of their bodyweight for each of the three events. The volume (weight lifted multiplied by # of reps) for each of the three events will be totaled to determine the winners.
- Strength for Wisdom 10K March 21
- To provide a more challenging distance and build upon the previous Strength for Wisdom events, this race will provide a 10K course that spans throughout Carlisle Barracks.
- Jim Thorpe Resiliency Decathlon May 9
- In the spirit of Jim Thorpe winning the Decathlon in the 1912 Olympics, this will also be a 10 event competition involving, strength, speed, power, endurance and stamina. Points will be awarded for each event. The participant(s) with the greatest total will be the winner.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to take part in the full Strength for Wisdom Challenge program; you can just participate in the programs of your choice.
Whether you choose to take part in the “Strength for Wisdom” or simply want to find additional guidance for improving your training, you are strongly encouraged to:
1. Get a Performance Movement Analysis from Senior Leader Development and Resiliency (SLDR), which will help enhance your self-awareness, optimize your physical performance and mitigate physical risk. The Performance Movement Analysis incorporates high speed video, still-frame motion analysis, pressure plate analysis and other technology to accurately provide participants with comprehensive feedback, education and awareness on corrective cues and techniques to mitigate physical risk and improve human performance. Individualized running footwear recommendations will be provided to each participant as well as training tips/recommendations to improve running and overall fitness performance. For additional information about the Performance Movement Analysis, contact SLDR (717) 245-4511.
2. Visit the Army Wellness Center,which provides integrated and standardized primary prevention programs and services that promote enhanced and sustained healthy lifestyles to improve the overall well-being of Soldiers and Family Members. Here you can develop your health and wellness profile. In addition to individual results of body composition, resting metabolic test and VO2 sub-maximal test, and strength and flexibility test, you can also find helpful information promoting healthy lifestyle and stress management. To make an appointment call: (717) 245-4004 or visit the facility at 315 Lovell Avenue (by the parking lot, across the street from Thorpe Hall).
4. Be ahead of those who “stayed on the couch” and participate in the “Strength for Wisdom” events to check your fitness progress.
“Strength for Wisdom” participants can track and earn points for all physical activity during the challenge period and during a number of smaller fitness events. Awards will be given to the overall Strength for Wisdom champions.