Marines

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A Marine does push-ups during Headquarters and Support Battalion’s monthly physical training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Aug. 3. The Marine is sweating profusely after more than an hour of vigorous Semper Fit exercises. The usual three-mile battalion run was swapped for Semper Fit in order to push the Marines to different mental limits.

Photo by Pfc. Joshua Grant

Sweaty start to weekend with Semper Fit

3 Aug 2012 | Pfc. Joshua W. Grant

Every month the Marines of Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune expect the traditional three-mile run from battalion physical training, but for the second time ever they received a jolting surprise.

Instructors from Semper Fit on base got free reign over of the hundreds of Marines of HQSPTBn. for a nearly two-hour sweat fest.

Lt. Col. David Bardorf, commander of HQSPTBn., said battalion physical training is designed to build esprit de corps amongst the Marines.  He explained how a whole group of Marines doing the same strenuous activity together, like Semper Fit, motivates Marines.

“It’s a morale session rather than just a PT session,” said Bardorf. “We wanted to mix it up, we wanted to make it a little interesting, make it a little more fun for the Marines.”

Bardorf said he has done Semper Fit in small groups as well as with the battalion, but loves doing it in large groups. He said it challenges the Marines with a wide array of difficult, total-body exercises, as well as gives them a different surprise.

Pfc. Jeremy Pryor, a clerk with the Company A office, said he enjoyed his first battalion PT. Pryor said he had never done Semper Fit before but believes it definitely challenges the Marines. He thinks it’s a good way to get everyone together and build camaraderie.

“It’s a good way to build the bond you share with each other and it’s a good way to motivate each other,” said Pryor.

The Company A first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Nicole Freres, who once taught Semper Fit, said she enjoys it because you always get a workout.

Freres said that it can cost $30 per hour for personal trainers but to get the Semper Fit program to come out for battalion PT for free is just amazing.

By the end of the workout, there wasn’t a dry shirt among the sea of panting, but high-spirited Marines. It seemed an ideal way to kick off one of the last weekends of the summer, a good workout surrounded by comrades.