New outdoor fitness stations help intensify workout

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Runners looking to intensify their workout can now mix cardio and calisthenics together with the addition of new fitness stations located along the perimeter 5k jogging trail and on the Dragon Fitness Center track.

Nine stations consisting of different machines, including an assisted row/push-up machine, plyometrics, pull up/dip, abdominal crunch/leg lift and balance steps, are placed at intervals around the fitness center. The equipment is designed to help build muscles and stretch the body.

"One reason we installed the outdoor exercise equipment was to help make PT fun," said Tanya McCormick, 31st Force Support Squadron fitness center director. "This gives squadrons an opportunity to do a variety of workouts outside."

A chest and back press, a cardio stepper and a squat press are located around the track. A stretch station was built at the beginning of the 5K trail with five stations leading up to the large vehicle inspection gate.

As with any workout, Aviano team members should be reminded of a few things before they operate the machines.

"While using the equipment, everyone should always be focused on good form," said Kevin Egger, 31st Aerospace Medicine Squadron exercise physiologist. "A full range of motion isn't always a good range of motion."

According to Egger, to get the most out of the endurance and callisthenic training, people should do 2-3 sets with a one minute rest in between.

"People may get tired and descend in reps during their sets, but the key is failure with good form," says Egger.

Individuals are already breaking in the equipment and the response has been positive.

"I have already been using the equipment and I think it is great," said Airman 1st Class Brian Gratz, Detachment 8 American Forces Network radio disc jockey. "I can see a lot of units using it for squadron PT."

For more information on the fitness center and a map of the perimeter trail, visit http://31fss.com/fitness.shtml.