PORT HUENEME, Calif. -- Tapout XT program creator Mike Karpenko hosted a special physical training session with Sailors assigned to the Pre-Commissioning Unit Anchorage (LPD 23) on the ship's flight deck March 11. Karpenko was joined by mixed martial arts champion Michael Chiesa, both of whom also held a question and answer session with Sailors to teach fundamentals on physical training, diet and nutrition.
"I saw an opportunity to give back and say 'thank you' to the men and women who serve our country," said Karpenko prior to kicking off the work out session. "It really is my honor to be out here and share a little sweat with you all." The work out session was coordinated by the ship's operations officer, Lt. Cmdr. Clinton Blankenship, who is a participant of the Tapout XT program. "It was great seeing the crew have a lot of fun with what is normally a challenging work out. We often emphasize the importance of physical readiness, but we sometimes forget to inform our shipmates that you can have fun doing it. I think that message came across with Mike's help," Blankenship said.
Ship's Serviceman Seaman Joey Birkel had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with Karpenko as they discussed diet and nutrition fundamentals. "I'm just starting out with my fitness goals and it was great having an expert tell me straightforward the things I needed to know," said Birkel. "It was great seeing Mike so eager to answer our questions and I know in just a few short hours, I learned a lot." Anchorage is the seventh San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock. She was built at the Huntington Ingalls Industries Shipbuilding site in Avondale, La. and delivered to the U.S. Navy Sept. 17. The ship will be commissioned in May in her namesake city of Anchorage, Alaska and is the second ship to be named for the city.