By Seaman Seth Coulter

Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) competed in a metabolic conditioning competition in the ships hangar bay, Mar. 1.

Sailors were given 15 minutes to complete as many sets as possible of five pull-ups, 10 hand-release push-ups and 15 squats.

“The ideas for the contests highlight current fitness trends, and we try to meet them through the competitions,” said Tina Nguyen, Stennis’ afloat fitness director, or fitboss, from Jackson, Miss.

Nguyen added that preparation for the competition was a great way for Sailors to work toward a goal while enhancing morale and overall fitness.

“It’s a good opportunity to be in a more competitive atmosphere,” said Operation Specialist 2nd Class John Fay, from New Orleans.
“[Competitions] are great for building morale, and a change of the everyday pace is always nice. I do similar workouts on my own, but I don’t push myself as hard as when there are other people [to compete against].”

Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class Melisa Bologna topped the female category by doing 11 sets, and Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Derek Gaives placed first in the male category with 19 sets. The winners received a new pair of running shoes.

“The contests definitely help build a community,” said Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class Melisa Bologna from Valencia, Calif. “The crew comes and gives their support to competitors. I just came out to get a good workout, but I’m happy that I won.”

The event was one of a series of recent fitness competitions sponsored by Nguyen in an effort to create a culture of fitness and support the Navy’s 21st Century Sailor and Marine Initiative. The initiative aims to improve the fleet’s level of fitness and create the fittest, most deployment ready force in DoD history.

The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG), consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), is forward deployed to the U.S. 5TH Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.

For more information on the JCSCSG, visit or


Sailors compete in a metabolic conditioning contest in the hangar bay aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Marco Villasana / Released)