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Cpl. Jonathan Blake, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Combat Center’s Crossfit Ripper Gym, works out during down time at the gym Aug. 5th. Crossfit is an intense, full-body workout that many Marines use on top of regular physical training.::r::::n::

Photo by Lance Cpl. M. C. Nerl

Crossfit helps Marines stay fit to fight

7 Aug 2009 | Lance Cpl. M. C. Nerl

Marines looking to get an extra edge in their workout or shorten it to fit into their long day don’t need to look any further.

Crossfit is designed to give a great workout in a short amount of time, said Cpl. Jonathan Blake, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Crossfit Ripper Gym, and a native of St. Joseph, Mo.

“It’s a quick, intense and hard workout for your whole body,” Blake said. “It’s not easy for anybody. We have puke buckets in the gym, and I’ve seen people use them before.”

Blake described “Fight Gone Bad,” one of the many gut-wrenching circuit workouts done by patrons of the gym.

“It consists of five, one minute stations. It can be any random ones and you do it three times. There’s no break in between stations either,” Blake said.

“Pull-ups, squats, crunches, wall balls, cowbell slings – those are just some of the stations I can think of off the top of my head,” he said. “People do stuff like sumo squats, and overhead presses too, along with rowing to keep alternating as they go through their workout.”

The gym and the equipment inside are easy to access, Blake said.

“Any military or civilians aboard the base can come in and work out,” he said. “If any unit wants to come in, all they have to do is let the staff of the gym know the day prior and they’ll have it reserved.”

There are also more than free weights available to patrons, Blake said. Visitors will also find non-traditional equipment like gymnastic rings and punching bags.

“There’s other stuff for cardio and lower body too,” he said. “We have ab machines, plyometric boxes and jump ropes.”

Crossfit enthusiasts agreed with Blake’s statements on the intensity of the workout, and how it can benefit Marines.

“It’s a good support for normal Marine Corps PT [physical training],” said Capt. Joshua Wells, the commanding officer of Support Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 7, and a native of Hendersonville, N.C., who frequents the gym. “It’s functional fitness. It builds the strength and endurance you’d need in a combat environment.”

Wells said Crossfit not only helps condition Marines for a possible hostile situation overseas, it is also convenient for someone who is very busy.

“It definitely helps with the PFT [physical fitness test],” he said. “You do a lot of pull-ups and use gravity as resistance in your workout.

“It’s only about an hour, so you can knock it out during your lunch too,” he said.

1st Lt. Saba Safiari, the executive officer of Support Company, CLB-7, agreed with his commander.

“It’s a great anaerobic workout,” said the Crossfit enthusiast who comes from Santa Cruz, Calif. “It’s short, sweet and a butt-kicker.”

For more information regarding the workout facility, or to schedule time for your unit, contact the Crossfit gym at 830-4234 or visit

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