MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Marines and Sailors aboard the Combat Center are keeping healthy through their diet, physical training and weight training.
Some units physically train together at some point during the course of the day. Because of training or scheduling conflicts, other units do not have that time. Still, Marines are maintaining their strength and endurance by routinely working out at the West and East Gym here.
Cpl. Chris Von Tersch, a maintenance management specialist with Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, keeps a consistency in his physical training, mainly to stay healthy.
“I work out at least five times a week just to be healthy, fit and look good,” said Von Tersch. “I lift weights for an hour and do cardiovascular exercises for at least 15 minutes. I want to maintain my first-class physical fitness test score and the gym helps me do that. I zone out to my music and just try to reach goals that I’ve been setting. My goal now is to bench press 300 pounds.”
Many service members aboard the Combat Center share the same drive when going to the gym to get a workout. Other than maintaining a certain level of physical fitness, most Marines work out for personal reasons, said Capt. Joe Tamminen, an Expeditionary Warfare School student, stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.
“I focus a lot on cardiovascular exercises and lift weights four times-a-week,” said Tamminen. “I’ve been maintaining this personal standard since high school, to never get out of shape.”
Tamminen’s fellow student, Capt. Walt Carr, shared his opinion.
“Training in the gym is mostly for personal gratification for me,” said Carr, who along with Tamminen are at the Combat Center for the hot weather training portion of the EWS. “I was a bit skinny when I was younger and I wanted to gain weight. So, I made it a habit to go to a gym and work out. For an hour and a half, four times a week, I just get in ‘the zone’ and work out. It’s important for every Marine to do the same somehow.”
Pvt. Earl Nixon, a student with Alpha Company, Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School, began his regimen of weight training before joining the Marine Corps last year, he said.
“I weighed 275 pounds when I wanted to join the Marine Corps,” said Nixon. “I started a mix of workouts, which included intense weight lifting. Other than running PT with my platoon, I go to the gym for my own personal physical training. My friend and I try to push each other to work hard and achieve goals, but it’s mostly inner motivation. I dropped my weight down to 205 pounds, and I am still working on trying to achieve a 300-point PFT score. I think every Marine should be in the gym whenever they have the chance.”
A lot of Marines have already familiarized themselves with the gyms and their facilities. New service members on the base and old service members, who haven’t had the chance, have been slowly making physical training at the gym a routine.
“It’s been a while since I’ve gone to the gym,” said Pvt. Brian Wheeler, an infantryman with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. “I came to get into better shape than I am now. I know it keeps me healthy, and I want to look fit by the time summer arrives. I have set some personal goals, and slowly I will achieve them. After working out here I should go home sore, but it’s definitely worth it.”