Sports Director Matt Price demonstrates a back squat in the new functional fitness area Sept. 21 in the Harney Sports Complex east gym. Functional fitness exercises help improve the safety and proper form for performing daily tasks, such as picking up a heavy backpack or a child. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

Harney Sports Complex now has a new area dedicated to functional fitness and training for the new Army Combat Fitness Test that will be opening soon.

Sports Director Matt Price demonstrates a back squat in the new functional fitness area Sept. 21 in the Harney Sports Complex east gym. Functional fitness exercises help improve the safety and proper form for performing daily tasks, such as picking up a heavy backpack or a child. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“(The ACFT) is functional movements that Army soldiers do in combat situations, so that’s why we have the functional fitness equipment here to help with those functional movements because everything that they do in that ACFT test … goes to what they’re going to be doing on a daily basis,” said Matt Price, sports director. “The test is functional to what their MOS is, so functional fitness is important for the soldiers to be doing.”


The equipment, a functional fitness package provided by the Army, includes eight squat racks with platforms, seven rowers, two treadmills, an elliptical, two glute-hamstring development machines, medicine balls ranging in weight from eight to 20 pounds, kettle bells and dumbbells ranging in weight from five to 50 pounds, plates ranging in weight from 10-45 pounds, and enough artificial turf to accommodate six lanes for the ACFT.

Results class instructor Jaime Schafer does an overhead squat with a 45-pound bar while demonstrating the new functional fitness equipment in the east gym Sept. 21 at Harney Sports Complex. Schafer said functional fitness exercises help build a stronger core, hamstrings and gluts to improve the safety and proper form for performing daily tasks, such as picking up a heavy backpack or a child. No group classes are currently being conducted, but risk mitigation plans have been submitted for approval. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“Functional fitness relates to everyday activities … everyday overall health,” said Jaime Schafer, functional fitness trainer. “Functional fitness is like if you shovel the sidewalk to know that when it snows, you have to use your core and your legs. They have to be activated. They can’t be jelly and assume your body is automatically going to function that way.
“Functional fitness can increase strength in the core, the overall upper body and lower body muscles, glutes and hamstrings,” she said.

Results class instructor Jaime Schafer assists Sports Director Matt Price with weights while demonstrating the new functional fitness equipment in the east gym Sept. 21 at Harney Sports Complex. Functional fitness exercises help improve the safety and proper form for performing daily tasks, such as picking up a heavy backpack or a child. No group classes are currently being conducted, but risk mitigation plans have been submitted for approval. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


The ACFT is made up of six events — strength deadlifts, standing power throws, hand-release pushups, a sprint-drag-carry, leg tucks and a two-mile run. The test must be completed within 50 minutes and passing or failing grades are based on the soldier’s job and unit requirements.
“(The AFCT) just gives them a clear overview of how their body is functioning at that particular job,” Schafer said.


The new functional fitness space and ACFT practice area joins three others — the Harney Sports Complex Annex (Bubble Gym), the south hangar at Sherman Army Airfield, and the east gym at HSC. Gruber Fitness Center also has a smaller area dedicated to functional fitness.

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