Soldier instructor makes aerobics fun

By Spc. Steven J. Schneider
28th Public Affairs Detachment

LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Balad, Iraq — High speed, non-stop and fun are just a few ways to describe the aerobics program Staff Sgt. Adrian B. Woodson, 644th Transportation Company, has started here.

It started off as one day a week in July, but as his class grew in size from about 10 to 50 to 60 people a night it not only outgrew the number of classes but also the aerobics room.

Classes are offered three times week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, at 6 p.m. in the LSA Anaconda Fitness Center and all for free. Often the class must be held on the basketball courts because of the numbers attending.

Woodson also does aerobics with units for physical training in the morning.

Woodson said in his class there is no rank and he isn't "Staff Sgt. Woodson" there. He's just "Woody" as he likes to be called.

"It's a place you can go for an hour and a half to forget that people are shooting at you," he said.

The hour to hour-and-a-half class consists of stretching, 30 minutes of cardio and muscle failure workouts. He said the reaction he gets is payment in plenty for his time.

Woodson has taught aerobics everywhere he's been since he was certified as an instructor at Fort Gordon in 1995. He didn't find aerobics appealing at first, but after his brother and aunt who are both aerobics instructors and in the Army got him started, he never looked back.

"After the first class I went to, I was hooked," Woodson said.

Woodson said he's never had a negative response to his classes but has never seen his students react the way they have here. He knew once he started his workouts, people would start to come.

According to Quincy Richardson, fitness center manager, Woodson is succeeding in attracting all kinds of people to his program just by doing the job.

"He has really improved the aerobic clientele overnight," Richardson said.

"When he came in to ask to instruct, he told me his class would be a success."

Woodson doesn't have a traditional aerobics class. His class turns into a circle with him jumping up and down, pumping the students up as hip hop, jazz or R&B keep the beat going in the background.

Woodson picked the music for people from all generations, and all generations attend. He has had privates to colonels in ranks.

Woodson's circular formation allows him to interact with students better. Woodson loves to interact with students and they seem to enjoy working out with him.

"I have had nothing but positive feedback," he said.

While everyone has fun, they still get a great workout. The class can help greatly with physical fitness in the field by providing a way to release tension, helping with cardio fitness and stamina, and by helping build muscles not used in regular workout plans, Woodson said.

Editors Note: Spc. Schneider is a member of the 28th Public Affairs Detachment from Fort Lewis, Wash. He is currently deployed to Iraq in support of the 13th Corps Support Command at LSA Anaconda.


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(LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Balad, Iraq) - Staff Sgt. Adrian B. Woodson, an aerobics instructor here, gets just as excited as everyone attending his aerobics class. Woodson pushes his body to the limit for his students during aerobics and expects his students to do the same for him. Woodson tries to make his class fun for people, so they don’t think about being tired. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Steven J. Schneider)

news photo
(LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Balad, Iraq) - Staff Sgt. Adrian B. Woodson, an aerobics instructor from the 644th Transportation Company here, leads his aerobics class from the center of a circular formation so he can interact with his students better. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Steven J. Schneider)