MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
A “gym rat” is a term often used to describe a person who spends a lot of time muscle building, strength training, cardiovascular or aerobic activity, specifically at a gym. Therefore, Camp Pendleton fitness centers have coined the phrase for a program that inspires service members to stay fit.
Marine Corps Community Services Semper Fit Gym Rat program uses a points system, where participants can earn one to five points for participating in various physical training activities.
For example, one point is earned for 30 minutes or longer of weight training and cardio training. In addition, you can only earn points in one category per day. After earning 100 points, participants receive a t-shirt exhibiting the Gym Rat logo, officially declaring them with the title.
“If you have a goal, you are more likely to make it a part of your lifestyle,” said Annaleis K. Petrich, manager, 24 Area Fitness Center, Marine Corps Community Services. “Gym Rat is significant because it has become an honor to the base community,” said Petrich. “The t-shirt shows you have worked hard.”
With more than 3,000 participants in the program, service members and their families alike are eager to challenge themselves to earn the coveted t-shirt that displays a muscular rat in military clothing lifting weights.
“It took me a long time, but I am really glad I earned the title,” said Lance Cpl. Stephen C. McReynolds, mortar man, Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.
The Gym Rat incentive program is open to all active-duty and retired military and their families, at any base fitness center.
For more information on becoming a Gym Rat, contact your local fitness center or visit www.mccscp.com/getfit.