Fitness instructors lead new training regime

Fitness Regime

Using kettle bells, Fleet School students do a farmer’s carry to build endurance and grip strength.

A class of 20 Fleet School Esquimalt students are the first to trial the new Periodization Program, a fitness training package designed to enhance job performance.

This unique program was created by Esquimalt Personnel Support Program (PSP) fitness instructors, overseen by PSP fitness coordinator Matt Carlson.

“The goal of the program is to prepare Fleet School students physically for what they will be doing upon graduation – such as lifting boxes, pulling ropes, and carrying heavy supplies,” says Carlson.

The program began Oct. 15, and continues for one year with PSP fitness instructors leading students through classes twice a week with targeted exercises.

PSP Fitness instructor Peter Gibson says the new exercises include deadlifts, which mimic the physical action of lifting and carrying boxes, and hamstring-driven weight and cardio exercises that will prepare students for constantly being on their feet.

Sessions will also focus on plank-style exercises, which strengthen the core and reduce risk of work-related injury.

Bent-over rows and rowing exercises will prep sailors for pulling heavy ropes.

He even hopes to bring “props” from the ship into the training.

The program was designed around feedback given from sailors on the physical demands of their jobs.

“Our intention is to increase the fitness of our Fleet School students, ensuring that when they are assigned to a ship they won’t have any issues doing the jobs asked of them by their superiors,” says Gibson.

“Hopefully this will contribute to our navy personnel’s efficiency and strength, and promote an injury-free workplace.”

The training goal is to rid sailors of poor form when doing physical work says Gibson.

The success of the program will be tracked over the year, starting with a base level of fitness at the start for each student, then bi-monthly testing, and then a final test at the end of the year.  

The baseline test is comprised of a medicine ball toss, a standing long jump, a 40-yard dash, a loaded carry, and a 300-yard shuttle run, and gives students insight as to what aspects of their fitness need improvement.

Bi-monthly testing allows fitness instructors to identify a student’s strength and weakness.

Personalized targeted training can be given to support the development of weak areas.

Depending on the results of the bi-monthly testing and feedback from the students, Carlson plans to extend the new program to all Fleet School classes training with PSP fitness instructors.

“This is something we’ve wanted to do for a very long time,” says Carlson. “We’re pleased to have Fleet School on board because it will improve the long-term fitness of their students.”



Rachel Lallouz
Staff Writer

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