Semper Fit Offers Marines Personalized Training

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - The motivation to remain physically fit can diminish when you have no one rooting for you in your corner, but the need to keep up a healthy lifestyle remains. Personal trainers empower their clients to motivate and cheer themselves on when struggling to keep their health and wellness a main priority. 

Physical trainer Jason B. Garris, with Cherry Point's Marine Corps Community Services Semper Fit program, is a skilled professional who motivates and guides clients by helping them set goals, and provides feedback according to their fitness needs. Garris educates his clients in different aspects of health and wellness including nutrition guidelines and physical fitness. 

Garris explained that he was always smaller growing up, so when he got to college he decided to lift weights to add some muscle. Amazed by the progress he made and the way he felt about himself, Garris decided to help others achieve similar results.

“Once I saw how motivating it was to help myself, I wanted to help others achieve their [fitness goals] as well,” said Garris. 

Garris assists Marines, dependents, spouses and retired service members improve their fitness. Garris provides services two times a week for four weeks, helping students build strength and maintain weight standards. 

“By getting a personal trainer it really helps [Marines] lose weight and get back in standard,” said Garris. “A lot of [Marines] need help with specific goals, like push-ups, pull-ups and getting their run time down. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s about helping [Marines] reach their specific goals.” 

Semper Fit offers personal trainers for all residents of Cherry Point. Personal training programs are comprised of eight training sessions, with an initial physical evaluation before starting the program and another evaluation after to show the progress students made throughout the training. 

Retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy Tootle began looking for a personal trainer when he started noticing a rise in blood pressure, cholesterol and weight gain. Tootle wanted someone who could assist him in creating a fitness routine that he would be confident and motivated enough to do on his own. 

“The sessions were kind of hard at first, but now I feel good about the sessions and the exercises that I do, and I know it’s going to get better,” said Tootle. 

As Tootle began working on his physical health, he noticed that individual exercise is more difficult than what he experienced in the Army.

“In the army you ran as a group and you conducted [physical training] in a group setting," said Tootle "Everybody did push-ups, pull-ups and everyone ran together. It was a lot easier than doing it by yourself. So I thought, with a trainer, I could get started.” 

Although Tootle is now competing against himself to stay active, he said that it is completely worth the effort. 

“I feel a lot better just by coming to the gym,” said Tootle. “I feel a sense of accomplishment. I feel great.”

Tootle now works out individually, constantly walking and staying active. Tootle informs Garris on his progress outside of their scheduled training sessions and when he has questions about physical fitness. 

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Marine Corps Fitness