New programs encourage strength training

The Eifel Powerhaus fitness center is offering t-shirts to individuals who reach certain weight lifting milestones as part of a new fitness campaign from Oct. 1 through the end of September 2015. The two programs, Wall of Fitness and Fit Club, are meant to promote strength training and friendly competition among the Spangdahlem community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

The Eifel Powerhaus fitness center is offering t-shirts to individuals who reach certain weight lifting milestones as part of a new fitness campaign from Oct. 1 through the end of September 2015. The two programs, Wall of Fitness and Fit Club, are meant to promote strength training and friendly competition among the Spangdahlem community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- The Eifel Powerhaus fitness center recently inaugurated a new fitness campaign aimed at promoting weight training among base Airmen.

The campaign consists of two separate programs which began Oct. 1 and will continue for one year, ending at the end of September 2015.

The first program, known as the Wall of Fitness, features a weight-lifting competition broken down into different classes. For each weight class, competitors must complete three lifts: bench press, deadlift and squat. The participant with the highest total weight after all three lifts will claim the spot for their weight class on the Wall of Fitness. According to U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Crystal Morris, 52nd Force Support Squadron fitness center director and native of Frederick, Oklahoma, the wall will display the champion's name, photograph and amount lifted until a new challenger comes along and beats the champion's score.

The second is called Fit Club and is not a competition, but a program that rewards participants for reaching certain bench press and deadlift milestones.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Malcolm, a 52nd FSS fitness specialist and native of Norwalk, Connecticut, said the staff of the fitness center hopes the program will give members extra motivation to work out in addition to simply passing their physical fitness test.

"We noticed that individuals don't have a goal here to work toward, other than to be in shape for their test," said Malcolm, who is the main organizer for the events. "With these new incentive programs, Airmen can be excited to strive further and receive all the prizes we have, depending on the plateau they reach."

Malcolm said he hopes to bring a spirit of competition to the fitness center, motivating Airmen to work harder.

The fitness center hosted a bench press competition earlier this year at Spangdahlem's Combat Fitness Center with a turnout of approximately 25 participants, however, Morris believes the new programs will have much higher participation due to a longer timeline, more publicity and the incentives offered to competitors.

The fitness center hosts new incentive programs for patrons each fiscal year, and will reevaluate Wall of Fitness and Fit Club at the end of 2015 to see if they should continue, Morris added. Participants can register in person at the fitness center during normal duty hours.