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Training and Education Command

United States Marine Corps
Depot dives into Deep Water Drills

By Lance Cpl. Justin J. Shemanski | | June 18, 2004

MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- Welcoming a change of pace from their daily workout routine, several volunteers were ready to pull on their swimsuits, grab a little sun-tan lotion and head out to the Depot Family Pool Tuesday to participate in the Deep Water Drills advanced group fitness class sponsored by Semper Fit Health Promotions. 

However, due to rainy weather, the class was cancelled and the eager swimmers will have to wait until next week to begin Semper Fit's latest fitness challenge.

The half-hour classes, which will take place all summer long on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, are part of an intense workout program designed to get the hearts pumping and the muscles burning of even most physically fit participants.

"The program is designed to give people an option with how they work out and to take advantage of the warm weather," said Michele Brittingham, fitness specialist and personal trainer. "This is the first time we've put together anything like this and we hope to get a lot of participants to come out for the challenge. It's based on a program I participated in at Camp Lejeune, [N.C.]."

Brittingham said participants could expect to be a part of an "extremely intense" workout. They will do various, timed exercises in the pool and will also spend time out of the water, doing things like crunches and running laps around the facility.

"One of the things we will do is deep-water sprints," she said. "This exercise is really quite difficult when done in a pool because of the constant resistance you get from the water. This program is definitely not for everyone. You need to be used to working out and have to know how to swim well."

But even though it can be more strenuous than conventional means of working out, exercising in the water does come with its benefits.

According to, it is an excellent way to tone your body and muscles while being relatively easy on the joints, which is good news for those suffering from arthritis and other problems with the body's joints and muscles.

Participants could push themselves to their limits in the water and still feel only a fraction of the soreness that they could have after doing a couple laps around the track or other forms of high physical activity.

"No one should run anymore than three times a week." said Dr. Todd May, senior medical officer at the BMC. "Anymore than that is unnecessary stress to the ankles and joints. This program will give people a great option to get in a great cardio workout without having to worry about tearing up their body."

May also noted that water is an effective means of rehabilitation, providing a patient with a non-weight bearing form of exercise that can be performed without beating up injured muscles and other body parts.

"We just wanted to offer a unique way for people aboard the Depot to exercise," said Brittingham. "People can sometimes get bored working out. Instead of doing the same routine in the fitness center everyday, this will give them a chance to come out and experience something different but, still get great results and it should be a good time for them too."

For more information on joining the Deep Water Drills fitness classes, contact the Depot Fitness Center at 228-1563.

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