OCTOBER 19, 2016, ARABIAN GULF (NNS) – Throughout their deployment and in the heat of U.S. 5th Fleet, Sailors aboard guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) have been holding group PT (physical training) sessions in preparation for the imminent physical readiness test (PRT) season.
Unlike many large-deck ships which may already offer group fitness classes or have several large gyms, smaller ships are somewhat limited in space to host a large group of Sailors doing physical activity. Stout Sailors have incorporated a variety of workouts to improve their fitness and have also piqued interest of their shipmates who have joined in their efforts.
“Our group started off small doing a combination of body-weight, Crossfit-type exercises mixed with high-intensity, interval training,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Erin Southworth. “The key to consistency with our regimen, especially in this part of the world, is hydrating. Staying hydrated and motivating to one another has pushed our group to continue our efforts throughout deployment.”
According to Southworth, who serves as a cryptologic specialist aboard Stout, the group meets a minimum of four days each week for intense PT sessions on the ship’s aft missile deck. Since the beginning of deployment, their attendance numbers have increased.
“The thing that motivates me most is having more and more people join in on our sessions,” said Southworth, who often leads the sessions. “It is important to have deployment goals, and a lot of people’s goals involve physical fitness. Personally, I wanted to lose 25 lbs. I have lost 20 lbs. so far, so I think when people see these changes, it just motivates them even more.”
Many Sailors aboard Stout enjoy the challenge of working out in the intense heat to better themselves and prepare for their bi-annual PRT.
“I prefer a challenge,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Appelberg, a navigational specialist aboard Stout. “The farther I can be pushed, the better I feel with the results. The way I see it, deployment is a great opportunity to make changes. I know our schedules are rough, but we should always seek self-improvement and want to come back home better than we were before we left.”
With the looming PRT season and the taxing nature of deployment, most Sailors at sea may feel as though they do not have time to workout or their time may be better spent catching up on sleep. The group aboard Stout continues to push one another to perform better as their deployment quickly comes to an end.