Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Cole C. Pielop
SOUTH CHINA SEA – Beads of sweat hit the deck as energetic music pumps in the background. Sailors throw a jab followed by a swift hook, all in perfect unison.
Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Randolph Goodchild stands in a solid fighting position in front of the Sailors encouraging and pushing them past what they believe is their breaking point.
While attending a command fitness leader course in Norfolk, Goodchild learned various ways to keep Sailors in shape. There was the standard pushups and sit-up routines everyone has done before; but the exercise that really stuck with him was cardio kickboxing.
“I like it because it’s different,” said Goodchild, from Brooklyn, N.Y. “It’s not just going to the gym and doing random lifts. It works everything from your abs and legs to your whole upper body, but not just that. It’s your confidence, too.”
With a simple jab and cross, Goodchild said he starts off slow to get everyone on the same page. From there he slowly moves on to more challenging moves.
“When people hear kickboxing they assume there’s contact, and [they] will need some sort of skill to attend the class,” said Goodchild. “There is no contact. Whether you’re a seasoned fighter or just looking for a workout, chances are you will leave the class having learned something and drenched in sweat.”
Using a specific circuit of training, Goodchild said he is able to help focus on the participants who need it, while the more advanced Sailors go ahead.
“The class is built in stages,” said Engineman Fireman Apprentice Isaiah Braden, from Riverside, Calif. “That just means there’s a lot of one-on-one teaching. It’s great for anyone who would like to practice self-defense while maintaining a great cardio workout.”
Goodchild said Sailors might not feel the workout that night, but the next day they will be sore.
“My first thought when I left the class was, ‘Wow, I must have just burned a ton of calories!'” said Lt. Jason Kardos, a martial artist for more than two decades, from Miami. “The next two days my thoughts were, ‘Oh wow!’ as my body felt the shellshock of the workout. It felt great.”
With thrumming bass and catchy melodies echoing through Hangar Bay 3 every Wednesday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., the class tends to draw a crowd.
“His music selection is right up my alley and really pumps everyone up,” said Kardos. “You get into a rhythm with the beat and pushes you through the pain.”
Because of its unique style, the class caught on very quickly and is highly sought after. Even Fit Boss joins in by holding the punching bag, said Braden.
“It’s not just the standard Navy PT,” said Goodchild. “It’s up-tempo and we have fun while we work out. Don’t worry about who is walking by in the hangar bay. Focus on the exercise and what your fitness goal really is. Come on out and let’s have some fun”
While there are a multitude of exercise classes offered during deployment, cardio kickboxing is a real hit. With its own unique style of workouts and motivation, Sailors are gearing up and heading out to get in on the fun needing nothing more than a bottle of water, appropriate workout attire and a good attitude.
Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.