View Full Version : Army's pocket gym workout

11-15-2005, 05:49 AM
One of our staff members is an active duty Army NCO. He told be about a product called a “pocket gym” that is being issued to deployed troops so that they can keep up their fitness. He has been trying to get a copy of the workout that accompanied the surgical type tubing that is used to perform the exercise. Does anyone have, or can direct me, to a copy of the Army’s pocket gym workout. Thanks in advance.

Cold War Scout
11-15-2005, 05:56 AM
Army Fitness Deployed Offers Pocket-Sized Gym
By Tim Hipps
Army News Service
April 19, 2005

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Soldiers can flex their muscles any time at just about any place with a strand of elastic resistance tubing in a pocket-sized package dubbed Army Fitness Deployed.

The kit, which includes the Thera-Band® system


of progressive resistance, recently was developed by Morale, Welfare and Recreation sports and fitness officials at the U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center. It comes with a notepad filled with strength-training tips concerning progression, muscle balance and rest and recovery.

The fitness guide was developed for Soldiers to maintain their muscular fitness while in the field.

"The adage "use it or lose it' applies to muscular strength and endurance," said Janet MacKinnon, CFSC fitness program manager. "Muscular strength relates to the maximum force a muscle can generate in a single contraction, while muscular endurance relates to the ability of a muscle to generate force repeatedly or continuously overcome. This kit benefits users at every level of conditioning."

"I came across one of these exercise bands and tried it out," said Sgt. Maj. Michael Fox, chief instructor for the psychological operations course at Fort Dix, N.J. "I had my staff try it out and we were all surprised at the workout it provided."


After having everyone in his detachment of Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Soldiers exercise with Army Fitness Deployed, Fox said he realized that he needed more of the kits.

"I began my quest to locate 400 of these to use in our next classes, as well as provide them to the Soldiers we train," he said. "The fact that it was designed to fit in the cargo pocket of the [battle dress] uniform was a great idea. It allows Soldiers the means to stay in shape no matter where they are stationed."

"We've gotten lots of calls from Soldiers who are deployed," MacKinnon said. "The warmest stories are the ones I get straight from Soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. They call directly and tell me how much they enjoy the bands and that they would like more of them."

Being as ingenious as Soldiers often will be, they discovered many other uses for the resistance bands, such as corrective eye and sunglass straps, clotheslines, tourniquets and gasoline siphoning.

"During the cold weather here, we had a HUMVEE windshield-washer hose freeze and burst, making the wipers ineffective," Fox said. "I took a piece of one of the exercise bands and cut it to replace the bad hose on the vehicle and it worked."

Fox said the tubing also has been used by combat lifesavers as a restrictor band that helps identify the vein for insertion of a needle for IVs.

"If you're going to give a Soldier a tool to use in combat, give them a tool that has many uses," he said.

Ingenuity aside, the purpose of the kit is to keep folks fit despite their surroundings. The Army Fitness Deployed notepad features illustrations and written instructions concerning everything from warm-up to stretching to a 33-exercise regimen, complete with a weekly training plan.

"If you follow the booklet and align yourself correctly, you can work the 12 major muscle groups of the body," MacKinnon said. "That's why we made sure that each Soldier got a booklet and a band together.

"Army Fitness Deployed has been extremely successful, mostly based on all the phone calls that we've gotten from people saying how much they appreciated it," MacKinnon said. "They thought it was very ingenious that something so lightweight and so practical could be used for Soldiers – not only by keeping them mission-ready but by giving them a sense of recreation."


11-20-2005, 05:40 AM
Looks an intreseting bit of kit, were can i get a copy of the work out, already have miles of tubing / bundgees lying around. I travel a lot for work like the idea of using them in hotel rooms.

11-20-2005, 05:49 AM
I bought a three rubber-tube unit with handles from Wally World for less than 15 bucks. Use it in the car on long drives for arm work. Much better than waking up on the shoulder of the road, too.

Now if I could just figure out how to get rid of that shade unit I have built for my belt buckle...:o


11-20-2005, 06:24 AM
Only problem with buying it at "Wally World" its rather a long trip from the UK, mite just make the price a bit prohibitive.

11-20-2005, 06:30 AM
Only problem with buying it at "Wally World" its rather a long trip from the UK, mite just make the price a bit prohibitive.

Sounds like you need to get here ASAP for some "full tilt boogie" weapons training, out in the free country!


11-20-2005, 06:33 AM
Done it a couple of times. but wont leave the United Kingdom full time, would mean that Tony "the grining nome" Blaire would win.

Rob Campbell
11-21-2005, 04:30 PM

I got an exercise band, pair of jogging dumbells, and pair of ankle weights all in a pack for £5 at Lidl. Just keep an eye out, they'll turn up....

Cold War Scout
12-11-2005, 06:49 AM
I recently bought a 25-foot roll of extra-heavy rubber tubing from ShapeUpShop.com. Cost about $25.

I cut it into personalized lengths and knotted up the ends. The personalized lengths allow for use in specific exercises, that the usual 4-foot lengths are not always user friendly in easily allowing.

Squats: 5 feet, 4 inches

Shoulder presses: 7 feet, 2 inches

Floor "bench" press: 3 feet, 2 inches

There was a length of about 5 feet, 4 inches left over that will be useful in dicking around with on other exercises.

Now when I travel I can throw this stuff in my luggage and know I will have at least something to work out with, besides body weight exercises, at my destination. I got stuck in a situation in South Africa several months ago where for a week I had NO access to any strength training equipment of any sort. Even tried to use rocks but sometimes because of the nature of the rocks where I was, they were rather fragile and did not alwys hold up, if I could even find a suitable one to begin with.

12-11-2005, 07:30 AM
In such situations I use my bullworker. It`s not realy small but it fits in my travelbag. What I miss when travelling is a pole for pull ups.

Cold War Scout
12-11-2005, 07:36 AM
In such situations I use my bullworker. It`s not realy small but it fits in my travelbag. What I miss when travelling is a pole for pull ups.

I have a Bullworker™ also. Got my first one in 1977. Too bad I can't fold it up into luggage!