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New apps put Navy fitness in your pocket

Jun. 29, 2014 - 05:51PM   |  
The Navy's new three-app fitness series includes exercise demonstrations as well as nutritional guidelines.
The Navy's new three-app fitness series includes exercise demonstrations as well as nutritional guidelines. (Navy)
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Whether you’re looking to get jacked, take on your first mud run or just stay in shape during deployment, the Navy has an app for that.

The Navy wants sailors to stay in shape and has rolled out three new apps with routines to build strength and endurance — either in your on-base gym or cramped spaces underway.

The Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling System program unveiled three apps for the iTunes App Store on June 20 — the Strength, Endurance and Sandbag series. Versions for Android phones are expected to be available in July. At the same time, the program introduced new training for fitness staff at stateside bases.

NOFFS is a follow-on program to the Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling Series, released in 2012 as workout guide on your smartphone that’s built around the pushing, pulling and lifting motions sailors do every day.

“Two years ago, we knew we were going to upgrade it as soon as we started the first series,” Doug Butts, Navy Fitness program manager, told Navy Times in a June 18 phone interview. “Navy Fitness, and sailors, wanted something more intense.”

Butts and his team responded in triplicate: with a specialized workout program, plus nutrition and recovery tips, in each app. Sailors can also access the program through on-base Morale, Welfare and Recreation centers, which are going through training to teach NOFFS.

A team from Navy Fitness was at Naval Base Kitsap, Washington, in mid-June to brief the trainers on the new program, before heading down to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, Butts said.

Ideally, Butts added, sailors would go to MWR to learn the programs correctly and safely from trainers, then go out on their own using the website or apps.

'Fast and forceful'

The first in the new NOFFS series, Strength, is broken into three phases: Build Muscle, Get Strong and Get Powerful. The series starts by building lean muscle mass through low weight and high repetitions, transitions to fewer repetitions with more weight, then culminates with workouts that train muscles to be “fast and forceful,” according to a June 16 Navy release.

Endurance is next. This app’s exercises are designed to help break through training plateaus while decreasing injury risk, through cardiovascular exercises from running to biking to rowing.

Finally, the Sandbag Series app takes after the original NOFFS app, because the exercise it contains don’t require much equipment and can be done in a confined space.

The new apps are not meant to replace the old one, just enhance it, said Nick Aures, a Navy Installations Command dietitian and NOFFS project coordinator.

“If they are on a ship, they can still absolutely use the operational series,” he said. “If they’re now shore-based, and have equipment available to them, they can do the Strength or Endurance series.”

The original NOFFS program received mixed feedback, Aures added, that the team addressed in the updates.

“People wanted the weights, they wanted the strength,” he said. “We have a lot of runners or endurance athletes in the Navy community, so we added the endurance piece.”

On top of the exercise programs, the apps include nutrition tools that can be used at home or underway, Aures said.

So far, the original NOFFS app has been downloaded 35,000 times since its 2012 debut, and CNIC is hoping for comparable downloads in the next year, Butts said.

CNIC has spent about $145,000 on the development and delivery of the NOFFS program, contracting the app coding to Raven Multimedia.

The four-app series is available for iOS devices through the App Store. New versions for Android-powered phones are in the final stages of development and will be available soon via Google Play, Aures said.

For more information on NOFFS, visit http://www.navyfitness.org/fitness/noffs/.

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