Navy Fitness Team Builds New Fitness System for Sailors

Story Number: NNS091211-19Release Date: 12/11/2009 3:50:00 PM
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From Center for Personal and Professional Development and Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- A new fitness and nutrition system has been designed especially for the mobile, operational lifestyle of Sailors, and focuses on proper exercise, injury prevention and nutrition.

Created by the Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD), the Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling Series (NOFFS) was presented to Navy fitness professionals at the Navy Fitness Conference in Orlando, Fla. Dec. 2. The initiative has been approved by Commander, Naval Installations Command (CNIC), the lead agency for the Navy Fitness program, and is scheduled to be introduced to the fleet this summer in Norfolk, Va.

The series includes physical fitness programs tailored for specific types of duty and are designed to improve a Sailor's operational performance through proper exercise, injury prevention and nutrition.

"The goal of NOFFS is to provide the Navy with a world-class performance training resource that offers specialized guidance to Sailors, and Navy health and fitness professionals," said Capt. Jonathan Picker, CPPD commanding officer. "It was developed in partnership with Athletes' Performance Institute to instruct individuals on ways to physically train safely and effectively."

Following the initial training of CNIC personnel, command fitness leaders (CFL) and assistant CFLs fleetwide will receive training and indoctrination to ensure they implement the new exercises correctly at their individual commands. NOFFS will be a component of the education track that will be required by more than 6,000 CFLs and ACFLs Navywide by the end of 2010.

The focus of NOFFS is optimal operational physical performance and fueling that includes more than 90 exercises. It is a series of four separate physical fitness programs designed to eliminate the guesswork in developing Sailor workout routines.

"It combines human performance, injury prevention strategies and proper nutrition that will result in safer training and improve human performance," said Diana Strock, senior advisor for health and fitness, CPPD. "Human performance is much broader than physical fitness alone. Human performance encompasses all aspects of operational and occupational performance, as well as day-to-day tasks and individual fitness.

"Each series of instruction is tailored specifically for duty aboard submarines, surface ships, large decks, and for group physical training. NOFFS addresses the two most common detractors that Sailors face while exercising during deployments, and in group settings; confined spaces and limited equipment. The exercises recommended by NOFFS are designed to duplicate the activities that Sailors carry out during their daily routine: lifting, pushing, pulling, and carrying."

Each of the four series is further divided into three levels of effort. Sailors at every fitness level can use NOFFS laminated exercise cards as guides when developing and conducting physical fitness training. NOFFS includes training in the following areas: movement preparation, multidirectional movement training, strength training, cardiovascular training, recovery training, and nutritional fueling strategies.

CPPD collected data from the fleet during the development process. The results included requests from CFLs, and health, fitness, and nutrition professionals for a health and fitness curriculum that eliminates the guesswork in developing workout programs for Sailors. It had to include a complete workout combined into one training program. They also wanted something that would be easy for Sailors to use, and durable enough to survive on operational platforms.

"During the design of this product we conducted site visits aboard numerous operational platforms, including the Los-Angeles class attack submarine USS Boise (SSN 764), the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65), the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), and the Red Rippers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11," said Strock.

"More than 750 Sailors participated in our many focus groups. The feedback we received provided our development team with an accurate perspective of the strengths and limitations of the Navy workforce environment and its personnel, especially as they relate to the performance of exercise programming and the practice of making healthy nutrition choices. The Sailors communicated clearly how they wanted the product to be designed and what information they wanted to be included in the resource. The program uses some of the same training techniques used by professional athletes."

"The initial responses to NOFFS from Navy-wide physical fitness, nutrition, and operational experts have been extremely positive," said CPPD's Command Master Chief Stephan Fontenot. "The program was briefed at the Master Chief Petty Officer Leadership Mess, Fleet and Force Master Chief Conference, and the Enlisted Board of Advisors. Many have expressed great interest in getting NOFFS into the hands of Sailors and commands to help them maintain fitness in all situations."

Prior to being delivered to CNIC for approval, more than 65 physical fitness, nutrition, and operational experts throughout the fleet reviewed NOFFS in September and gave their feedback to ensure the fleet was getting a program tailored to the needs of the Navy and its Sailors.

A fitness model photo shoot was also completed in September. Sailors served as models for the 90 exercises identified in NOFFS. The photos will provide Sailors a clear example of how to properly perform NOFFS exercises. CPPD is developing a video shoot to further ensure proper use.

"The step-by-step instructions for each exercise, along with the demonstration photos, provide Sailors with an outstanding resource for maintaining fitness in all environments," said Strock.

OPNAV 135 Physical Readiness Division will provide the initial guidance to fitness coordinators. NOFFS information will be incorporated into the CFL program during the 2010 curriculum overhaul to sustain the program.

Navy Bureau of Medicine plans to conduct a pilot program with NOFFS to determine if there are any issues with implementing the program at operational commands, and to assess its impact on Physical Fitness Assessment scores.

Details are being finalized to provide the NOFFS program information to the Defense Automation & Production Service. In the future, the "Fit-Kits" used in the exercises will have a Navy Stock Number so commands can order them.

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