By Senior Airman Stephanie Serrano
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Little Rock Air Force Base offers numerous fitness and nutrition programs to Team Little Rock members.
One program in particular has exceeded all expectations in the past few years.
Starting with only a handful of students required to attend due to PT failures, to reaching more than 1,500 participants attending each month on their own free will, the Vital 90 class, has come a long way.
Vital 90 is a high intensity group-fitness class designed to motivate. Although the class has different and difficult assignments, where physical strength is challenged each time, Airmen and authorized civilians continue to participate as the class continues to grow in numbers as well as instructors.
“It not only pushes you to your limits but also teaches people the principles behind the workout and the proper way to perform each exercise safely,” said Jeff Vaughn, 19th Medical Group health promotion flight chief and Vital 90 instructor.
The attendees work together and build camaraderie. The class is designed this way to allow people to feel comfortable and help each other. There is constant encouragement in the class from the instructors as well as the classmates.
“It’s great because it puts you in an environment where you get a solid work out plan, encouragement, and an education on how to get the most out of your activity all for free,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeffery Clouse, frequent member of Vital 90.
After attending the class for 90 days and using dietary guidance the Health and Wellness Center provided, Clouse lost 27 pounds, five inches off his waist, and took two minutes off his run time.
“Many bases talk about changing lifestyles to meet the physical requirements of the United States Air Force, but this is the only base I’ve seen that is doing and living it,” said Clouse.
With all the education gained from the course, Clouse can now pass the training down to others as he prepares to become a physical training leader.
Each person has their own strengths and weaknesses, and the Vital 90 instructors work with participants to modify each workout to maximize ability.
Just like Clouse, Vital 90 has helped improve the lifestyles of others as well.
New class member, Maj. Philip Erwin, credits the recent success on his PT test to his time attending Vital 90. Erwin was able to complete his first full PT test in two years after being on profiles because of injuring his foot.
“I tell everyone I know, whether they need it or not, to come to Vital 90 just for the education,” said Erwin.
Vital 90 is a place to adapt and overcome, as long as participants are willing to put in the work.
“No matter what your fitness level is, anyone can do it,” said Vaughn. “Don’t be intimidated, just come and you’ll see.”