Face of Defense: Personal Trainer Provides Fitness Advice
By Sgt. Laura M. Bigenho, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2007 A master driver assigned here with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Phantom, became a licensed personal trainer in 2001 and has been helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle ever since.
Army Staff Sgt. David Marr, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Phantom, shows Army Pfc. Jonathan Lipinski, chemical operations specialist, 355th Chemical Company, how to keep balance while performing an abdominal exercise at Camp Victory, Iraq. In addition to being a master driver, Marr is a licensed personal trainer and has been helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle since 2001. Photo by Sgt. Laura M. Bigenho, USA
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
To reach a healthy state, Army Staff Sgt. David Marr said, it is important to understand the aspects of fitness.
“Fitness is your body’s ability to withstand use over a long period of time,” the Ithaca, N.Y., native said. “Knowing the different aspects of total fitness will assist you in getting where you want to be.”
Cardiovascular enhancement, muscular strength, quality nutrition, mental strength, discipline and happiness all are key aspects, Marr said. But due to their complex nature, fitness will be different for everyone. “Depending on how you were made, everything won’t apply to you,” he said. “Not everyone was born with the same chemical and structural set-up.”
Knowing your genetic makeup and family background is key to understanding fitness, Marr said.
“People react differently to exercise. “Genetics play a key role in that reaction,” he explained. “We’re genetically engineered to do different things.”
Marr said that explains why some of the healthiest people cannot acquire perfectly toned abdominal muscles or slim down their legs. Retired professional cyclist Lance Armstrong – now on a United Service Organizations tour with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- is one example. Despite having an overall healthy appearance and higher-than-average fitness level, Marr said, Armstrong lacks visible abdominal muscles that other athletes easily acquire.
“Genetic engineering really is everything, but there are things you can do to help change it,” he said.
One way to start is by monitoring food intake, he said. Everything someone puts into his mouth effects the way his body appears and functions. Vitamins and minerals, he added, are two elements our bodies require to be their best.
“If you take a scientific composition of what’s in dirt, your body is a direct replica of what dirt is,” Marr said. “(Your body) needs the exact same minerals that come from dirt, so make sure you’re focusing on your mineral as well as your vitamin intake.”
In addition to watching daily mineral and vitamin intake, monitor everything else, he said. Limit but don’t eliminate carbohydrates, sodium and fats. Stock up on leafy greens, lean protein and low-acid fruits.
“Look at food labels and know the serving sizes,” Marr said. “Understand what you’re giving your body and how it’s affecting you.”
Performing various exercises also is important.
“By design, your body is a lazy machine,” Marr said. “Know what muscles you’re working and switch it up, because your body finds shortcuts when it’s doing the same thing.”
Army Pfc. Jonathan Lipinski, a 355th Chemical Company chemical operations specialist, and Army Pfc. Dulce Tejeda, a generator mechanic with HHC Task Force Phantom, said they both work out regularly and try to switch up their routines each time.
“We work out as a unit five times a week,” Tejeda said.
The Oxnard, Calif., native’s goal is to have “six-pack abs,” but she’s learning to accept that despite her hard work, it’s possible she may never have them. “I’m learning to just accept my body for what it is,” she said.
Lipinski said he maintains his fitness level by running, lifting weights and watching what he snacks on.
“Everybody wants results fast, but they’re not going to come fast,” said the Las Vegas native. “I try to watch what I eat, but it’s hard here, because you work so hard that sometimes you just want to eat anything.”
Marr said to be patient and results will come.
“Be active, have fun, watch what you eat, and over time you will see results,” he said.
(Army Sgt. Laura M. Bigenho serves with the 28th Public Affairs Detachment.)