Students take military class to keep in shape, challenge


Alex Connor/Iowa State Daily

A student does sit-ups as part of the physical training test in MS 150. The class meets three times a week and helps students and AROTC cadets enhance their physical performance and leadership.

Alex Connor

“Raiders, ready!” echoed across Lied Recreation Athletic Center on Monday morning as about 200 tired eyes crowded into the rec center.

MS 150, the army physical readiness class, hosted one of its three physical training (PT) tests for both Army cadets and students. The test involved two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups and a two-mile run.

The class, which is designed “to use basic military skills and instruction to develop confidence, leadership and physical fitness,” helps non-ROTC students get in shape and cadets stay active.

Dividing into four platoons, the class began with an army-style way of taking attendance, in which students and cadets stand in formation and take roll call.

After the attendance, students divided into groups of about three people each to be supervised by squad leaders as they began the PT test.

Cadet Andrew Filipp, senior in mechanical engineering and platoon leader, has taken the class at least eight times. It is a requirement of all cadets to sign up each semester.

He helps squad leaders, along with supervising workout plans.

The class is from 6 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Thursday is an optional/makeup day.

Nick Arevalo, sophomore in mechanical engineering, said that “long story short,” he signed up for the class because none of his friends would wake up and workout with him.

He received an email at the beginning of the semester and decided to sign up. He noted that the workouts have been good and are different than what he was used to in high school.

Maria Dickson, senior in culinary science; Chris Smith, freshman in meteorology; and Patrick Hertzel, junior in chemical engineering, also signed up for the class for the first time this semester.

After receiving the email, which stated, “everything we do is ability-group based, so everyone will get results,” Dickson signed up because she already liked to work out. This helps her keep a routine during the winter months as a good motivator to get up and go.

Smith joined because of the “freshman 15,” an expression used to describe weight gain during some students’ first year at college, but also because he wanted to kick-start the year with a change.

Hertzel said that it just seemed like a good idea.

Smith said that the workouts are tough and challenging. Hertzel, who already liked the mornings, likes that the class helps him stay motivated and that it “kicks a– every day.”

As for working out with the cadets, they felt little intimidation. Dickson said seeing them is motivating and she liked learning some of the military stances.

As for non-PT days, workouts focus on weight lifting, running and sometimes swimming. As long as attendance is kept up and students in the class both sustain and improve their physical fitness, the student passes.

“Come see what it takes to be ‘Army Strong,’” the MS 150 email concluded.