Photo Information

Corporal Josh D. Lurie, a field wireman with Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, uses a suspension-training band to exercise during his free time on Fort Pickett, Va., Feb 19, 2011. The bands offer a series of different exercises and a lightweight alternative to free weights.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jeff Drew

1/9 Marines find ways to build muscle in the field

7 Mar 2011 | Cpl. Jeff L. Drew

It takes hard work and determination to get a perfect physical fitness score in the Marine Corps.  For those Marines preparing to deploy, it can be even more difficult.  Carrying hundreds of pounds in assorted free weights out to the field just to get that gym workout is a near impossibility.  Luckily, a few Marines have found an easy and portable way to get a full body workout while away from base.

By ditching the larger free weights that can become cumbersome and implementing suspension bands and assorted training bands, Marines have been able to build muscle and maintain a high level of physical fitness while in the field.              

“With resistance bands, I have from five pounds interchangeable all the way up to 75 pounds and it all fits in a five-pound bag,” said Sgt. Richard D. Sprayberry III, a network specialist with Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.  “When coming out to the field, it’s a lot roomier and weight-wise, it’s much better.”

Out in the field, Marines are able to use their own body weight as a way to target certain muscle groups through exercises like pushups and pull-ups.  With suspension bands they can now get a near full body workout.

“Suspension bands are a big deal in Marine Corps training and they are great for the field,” said Sprayberry.  “It’s just like doing pushups, except you can do triceps, chest and biceps just off your own body weight.”

It’s not just a matter of working out a few times a week and expecting to see a difference.  Attaining that perfect beach body doesn’t come easy.  It all starts with a commitment to make a change.

“I was out of shape before the last deployment when we were on ship every day,” said Cpl. Josh D. Lurie, a field wireman with the battalion.  “I used to sleep and watch movies all the time and I felt terrible.  A few friends invited me to go to the gym and I started going regularly.  I started seeing a difference.  Now I run in the morning and lift afterwards.  When I go to the gym, I just feel good.  It’s like eating breakfast in the morning, it jumpstarts your day.”

As a way to keep in shape while training off base, suspension and resistance bands offer a lightweight and efficient way to get a full body workout.   They also offer a wide array of different exercises to choose from and give Marines the ability to customize their workout according to their physical goals.

“I do chest and triceps one day then back and biceps another day and then legs and shoulders,” said Sprayberry.  “Other Marines might have a different workout or be on a different schedule, but between the suspension and resistance bands, it feels like I’m back in the gym.”