Getting in ship-shape form
SEAL training program will do the trick
BY BOB DOLGAN
Times-Dispatch Staff Writer
Monday, July 10, 2000
John McGurn didn't know what he was getting into when he phoned a local sports radio talk show to answer a trivia question.
McGurn answered the question correctly (What former Virginia Tech All-American was on the Green Bay Packers' first two Super Bowl teams? Answer: Carroll Dale) and expected a typical prize -- like a dinner for two at a local restaurant.
"They said 'Can you do the prize?' I said 'Sure,' " McGurn said. "They tell me 'It's two weeks of physical training with a former Navy SEAL.' I said 'What?' "
A year later, the 52-year-old McGurn still is working out with SEAL Team Physical Training. Former Navy SEAL and Richmond native John McGuire started the program in January 1999, and it recently marked milestones by graduating its 50th Adult Basic Fitness Class and first SEAL Teen class. The two- week classes include a different fitness regimen each day, based on adventure-training exercises McGuire learned while a SEAL. The program also offers monthly, six-month and annual memberships.
McGuire stresses the importance of teamwork to his clients, most of whom are women (66 percent) and vastly varied in athletic ability and skill level. He points out that his courses don't involve yelling but are fun and encouraging, allowing clients to work at their own pace.
McGuire waits until the day of the workout to reveal details as to what type of training he will conduct.
"People like that mysterious, Navy SEAL mystique," McGuire said. "You never know what to expect, which keeps it fresh as opposed to going to some gym and always riding the same exercise bike."
Many of the SEAL Team members use the program to get in shape for other sports. Tristan Smucker, a 15-year-old from Chester, provides an incredible testimonial for the SEAL Teen course. Smucker belted three home runs for his Little League baseball team just after completing the program.
"I hadn't ever hit a home run before," Smucker said. "[The program] was fun, and I got a lot out of it. I'm in better shape."
McGuire also related some success stories.
"We have a couple of guys that play in an adult soccer league," McGuire said. "One said 'I'm scoring every game now.' Somebody asked him 'What are you on?' He's just running circles around everybody."
The two-week basic class is $250, and the teen course is $200. The annual membership is $65 per month. Each two-week client begins and ends his or her tenure with a "physical readiness test." This includes sit-ups, pushups and a 1-1/2 mile run.
McGurn, a real estate agent, described himself as "a casual jogger" before he started SEAL Team training. He recently reached his goal of getting his 1-1/2 mile time under 10 minutes. "I was thinking that my athletic days were behind me," McGurn said. "Then I started doing it, and it was a whole, refreshing change."
For more information call (804) 262-1894.
© 2000, Richmond Newspapers Inc.