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Barksdale gets back to basics

By Senior Airman Amber Ashcraft 2d Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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"You know what ya'll got comin'? Seven 23-hour days of fun and adventure. I'm gonna make you boys strong!" said Maj. Benson Winifred Payne, a fictional character played by actor Damon Wayans in the 1995 comedy, "Major Payne."

Although Major Payne's facetious behavior and Marine Corps training helped turn his Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program around in a movie, an Army Guardsman is teaching a real-life basic training for members of Barksdale, cadence style.

"The class is designed to improve an individual's overall health and physical fitness," said William Gamble, Army Guardsman and health promotion educator with the 2d Medical Group's Health and Wellness Center. "Though it's a mini refresher for military on basic training workouts, spouses and civilians join the class as well for help on getting out of a work-out rut."

Through several exercises targeting different areas of the body, participants are being consistently challenged as each day brings varying workouts to keep them "on their toes."

"Sometimes, those who get in a routine become bored doing the same thing over and over again, each time they work out," said Mr. Gamble. "Their muscles get used to their regime, so the results aren't as prominent or even cease to exist. My program helps to keep each targeted zone constantly active, so that it doesn't get used to the same routine."

With no fee or sign-up, participants are free to join the class any time, Monday through Thursday at 5:15 p.m. Even when a participant cannot attend class, Mr. Gamble volunteers to send them that evenings workout so the member can keep track of the class' progress.

"The aim is to keep people motivated with healthy living," said Mr. Gamble. Spouses and civilians are able to get a dose of the rigorous training that their military counterparts went through and the military members get a flashback.

"The class even helps the military members with their physical training and testing requirements. I throw in push-up and sit-up training so everyone gets the help they need in the prospective areas," he continued.

"Some people teach to help others pass a test, but Mr. Gamble teaches in a way that allows participants to prolong their fitness level, and be able to pass any sort of test," said Staff Sgt. Wayne Freeland, 2d Bomb Wing Judge Advocate, general law paralegal and class participant.

From lateral raises, reverse fly's, round-robin runs and body squats, Mr. Gamble uses his Army training to keep a light, drill-sergeant mentality, and keeps the participants sweating and guessing.

"I tell them to pay attention to my cadence," said Mr. Gamble. "I change the pace so that they'll be doing quick movements one moment and a slow count the next. We do a military four-count as well. With varying tones, it keeps the body guessing and no one gets used to just one pace."

Though anyone is welcome to join, a projected Mommy Boot Camp is in the works, said Mr. Gamble. The class would be similar to the regular "Boot Camp", but targeted towards mothers who have a busy schedule and time restraints with day care.

"The class would be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., so that mom's still have a chance to get a workout in, without trying to pry time from their evenings," said Mr. Gamble.

With a healthy lifestyle as the main focus, Mr. Gamble welcomes every Barksdale member to the challenge of his basic training class.

"Whether it's for P.T., ideas for new exercises or wanting to start to get in shape, this class will give you the leg up for what you need," he said. "Members just need to be prepared to sweat the Louisiana heat and leave with a satisfying workout."

But for some participants, the heat is a non-factor.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going to Mr. Gamble's class," said Sergeant Freeland. "You get out of the class what you put in, so Mr. Gamble's motivation definitely helps at all levels."

For more information on the boot camp class, contact William Gamble at 456-6010.