10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
Heavy Prowler Push:
3 Round Trips
Donation gives police team the gift of fitness
Michael EinVaughn Howse, of the Pleasantville Police Department, left, Jerry Houck, of Galloway Township PD, and Michael Meyers, of the Stockton College PD, perform push-ups, Tuesday Dec. 7, 2010, at CrossFit OTG in Egg Harbor Township. The D’Arcy Johnson Day law firm donated funds to provide physical fitness training for 60 Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) officers. (The Press of Atlantic City/Staff Photo by Michael Ein)
Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010 2:00 am | Updated: 6:51 am, Mon Dec 20, 2010.
By MICHELLE BRUNETTI POST, Staff Writer
Members of the Atlantic County Emergency Response Team aren’t exactly slouches when it comes to fitness. Made up of elite members of local police departments, most of its members work out several times a week.
But there is always room for improvement, so when CrossFit Off The Grid in Egg Harbor Township offered six months of free monthly workouts to its 60 team members, courtesy of law firm D’Arcy Johnson Day, its commanders jumped at the chance. It will be part of the group’s official training days, said CERT District 2 Commander Chris Doyle, 40, of the Galloway Township Police Department.
The Egg Harbor Township law firm donated the funds, and told CrossFit’s owners to choose what group should benefit, said law partner Chris Day, of Linwood. The firm only asked that the group be made up of first responders of some kind.
“All of us at the firm do (CrossFit training),” Day said. “The workouts are only 12 to 24 minutes, but you go home exhausted. They don’t let you stop, and they change it up every time.”
ACERT executes all high-risk arrests and search warrants in the county and handles hostage and barricade situations, said District One Commander Lt. Jay Woods of the Egg Harbor Township Police Department. “It’s usually involving guns and drugs,” he said.
He said team members typically carry at least 30-40 pounds of gear, and must be both strong and fast.
“If a guy can run a marathon, but can’t also do 20 pushups, he’s no good to us,” he said. “And a 270-pound guy who’s all muscle, but can’t run, is no good to us either.”
“This is such a benefit,” Woods said of the training, known for strengthening the core and improving speed and strength. “And it’s good for the towns, because it makes us all better when we’re out on patrol.”
District 2′s workout last week consisted of a variety of pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, weight-lifting and jumping exercises, all performed at a breakneck pace. Other days the men will work with kettleballs, gymnastics and more plyometrics – high intensity, explosive movements designed to develop athletic power.
“It finds your weaknesses,” said co-owner Nick DiMatteo, 35, of Williamstown, a former high school math teacher who has been running CrossFit gyms here and in his hometown for three years. And then it forces you to confront them, he said.
“People don’t like to do what they aren’t good at. But you only get better by working on your weaknesses, not on your strengths.”
“This is very difficult, once you get going,” said Stockton Police Department member Michael Myers, 30, of Mays Landing, after his team’s first free workout. “It targets everything at such a quick pace.”