PTLs: helping Airmen achieve fitness goals

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Hailey Haux
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Physical training leaders have the potential to be the bubbly and energetic Richard Simmons' of the Air Force. Replace the short shorts, sparkling tank tops and leg warmers with PT gear and you have enthusiastic PTLs assisting Airmen on their road to a fantastic physique!

Although workouts may not be as spirited and lively as the picturesque 80s fat-burner aerobics, they both have the same goals, for everyone to be fit and healthy.

"PTLs serve three functions," said Cesar Alvarez, 86th Aerospace Medicine Squadron exercise physiologist. "They preform mock PT tests for their units, lead squadron approved fitness programs and they can provide assistance in the Fitness Assessment Cell to provide official testing to the installation."

Before being appointed by their commander, future PTLs must maintain a passing score on their own physical training test and need to complete basic life support and cardiopulmonary resuscitation training prior to signing up for the course.

"During the PTL course we give an overview of [Air Force Instructions] 36-2905 and 10-203," Alvarez said. "We also give them an outline of a PT and nutrition program. The Fitness Assessment Cell then certifies them to conduct official and mock tests. The afternoon portion of the class is hands-on, consisting of PT programming and exercise."

In addition to the day-long course offered at the Health and Wellness Center, all that is needed to stay certified as a PTL is a two-hour refresher course once a year.

"Becoming a PTL was a great opportunity for me," said Airman 1st Class Chandler Marshall, 37th Airlift Squadron aviation resource management and certified PTL. "It gives me a chance to help my co-workers with their workouts and make it as fun as possible for them."

The need for proper physical training is vital in today's Air Force and our PTLs play a key role in helping Airmen achieve their fitness goals, no sparkling spandex and leg warmers required.