More than 30 Soldiers competed in the Functional Fitness Challenge held June 24 at Magrath Sports Complex, as part of the annual Mountainfest celebration.
Soldiers’ missions require a broad range of physical attributes that can be grouped into three categories: strength, endurance and movement skills.
“This event is a great tool to measure the endurance and muscular strength of each Soldier,” said Capt. Robert Rendon, deputy operations officer assigned to 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
Each team was composed of two Soldiers.
The first event of the challenge was the Illinois agility test, which was used to measure the Soldiers’ quickness and agility. The event required Soldiers to lie in the prone position before jumping to their feet and negotiating, sprinting and zigzagging around a course of cones.
Team members were then required to jump forward as far as possible and stick the landing in order for the distance to be recorded.
The third station required Soldiers to complete a series of pull-ups. Competitors were required to complete their pull-ups in proper form – they were not allowed to kick their way up, and their bodies had to maintain a straight line.
After a five-minute break, teams readied for the fourth event – the metronome pushup. This event required teams to test their muscular endurance of upper body and core muscles as Soldiers performed pushups in cadence to a metronome until they were unable to continue.
Teams were given a five-minute break before facing a 300-yard shuttle run.
After completing two iterations of the run, Soldiers prepared for the heel clap challenge. While hanging from a pull-up bar, Soldiers had to lift their lower body up and raise their feet above the bar and tap their heels together before lowering their body to the starting position. Teams were not timed, but they had to complete as many repetitions as possible.
The final event was the beep test. Soldiers had to maneuver through a cone course, running cone to cone before a beep was heard. The longer the Soldiers stayed within the time constraints, the quicker the beeps.
“It was probably the most comprehensive physical fitness assessment that I have ever gone through,” said Spc. Josh Warren, a trumpet player assigned to 10th Mountain Division Band. “It was a lot of fun. I just really enjoyed getting the opportunity to go through all of the events and see where I was.”
Pfc. Joseph Ola, an operations runner assigned to 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, teamed up with Pfc. Darien Milian-Bravo, an assistant gunner assigned to 2nd Battalion 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, and placed first in the male category.
First Lt. Amy Beatty, supply service officer, and 1st Lt. Julia Neutkens, deputy operations officer, both assigned to 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, teamed up and took first place in the female category.