II MEF, MCCS offers free personal trainers for local Marines, sailors

16 Mar 2006 | Lance Cpl. Ryan M. Blaich

The weather is changing and it won’t be long before Camp Lejeune Marines, sailors and civilians start to shed their warmer clothes and head for the nearest beach or pool. To some, that bathing suit may be a little tight around the waist. Marine Corps Community Services is here to help tone up winter woes and get back the warrior physique.

The MCCS offers personal trainers to active duty Marines and sailors free of charge. Trainers develop a unique fitness program to target individual goals. Programs are based on a computerized physical fitness assessment, which evaluates such personal characteristics as body composition, blood pressure, flexibility and muscular strength. Also, people are asked to fill out a health questionnaire that helps trainers understand the person’s ambitions, reasons for wanting/needing a personal trainer and health, medical and exercise history, said Tonya Hewitt, personal training and workshops coordinator, a title she has held for over two years with MCCS.

“This would cost a person at least 20 dollars an hour out in town … everyone should know that this is a wonderful benefit. They’re not going to get this type of attention at a gym in town. They will, more often than not, get a cookie cutter workout program that has been given to at least 80 people before them,” admitted Hewitt.

“I signed up with a personal trainer in mid-January,” revealed Cpl. Chris M. Bean, II Marine Expeditionary Force, maritime post-positioning force noncommissioned officer.

“I’m saving money for a cruise next month and I wanted to trim down and tone up,” he said.

Bean, who is also a softball player for the II MEF logistics shop in the spring, wanted to see if trainers could give him workouts to better his talent on the baseball diamond.

“They [trainers] came up with some exercises that will improve my softball swing. It is hours of work a week, but I can definitely tell I’m improving.”

Hewitt stressed that each workout program will get exclusive attention and all trainers are American Counsel on Exercise certified.

“Our personal training staff is a highly qualified group of nationally certified professionals, each posing the knowledge and experience necessary to enable our clients to be successful,” she said.

There are nine trainers and a dietitian on hand to help warriors understand the importance of a proper nutrition and the relationship between chow and reaching their workout goals.

According to Hewitt, trainers conduct an initial fitness test and determine realistic aspirations. Then trainers guide service members step-by-step through their workout, making sure all exercises are performed correctly.

Periodically, trainers conduct a retest, which evaluates the client’s fitness status and how much progress is made. “Sometimes a trainer may adjust the workout if the person isn’t getting closer to his goal,” Hewitt said.

Printed results of each test are provided to the client to determine if their workout is beneficial, she pointed out.

“We put our clients first and we are committed to helping each individual work toward his or her health and fitness goals,” concluded Hewitt.

So, whether it is the weather providing motivation to drop that hibernation weight or just simply wanting to feel better, Hewitt and her staff at the French Creek Gym stand by ready to help. Taking advantage of the free assistance military life offers each service member helps maximize one’s potential.

To contact Tonya Hewitt or her staff call 451-7002 or 0471.