Alpha Warrior competition challenges Benning Soldiers

Brent Steffenson, American Ninja Warrior champion, demonstrates how to correctly maneuver from one hanging chain to the next Sept. 27 in the Alpha Warrior exhibition at Smith Fitness Center on Fort Benning. (Photo Credit: Gerald Williams)

Brent Steffenson, American Ninja Warrior champion, demonstrates how to correctly maneuver from one hanging chain to the next Sept. 27 in the Alpha Warrior exhibition at Smith Fitness Center on Fort Benning. (Photo Credit: Gerald Williams)

By Gerald Williams, Bayonet & Saber /

FORT BENNING, Ga., (Oct. 5, 2016) — The Alpha Warrior competition challenged Soldiers in a timed obstacle course run Sept. 27 at Smith Fitness Center.

“We are trying to promote health and fitness,” said Ronnie Duckworth, facility manager at the Audie Murphy Athletic Performance Center. “We want everyone to get fit and have a good time working out.”

“The course challenges a lot of your upper body strength. There are ladders, pegboards and ropes that challenge a person’s core strength and upper body strength.”

Duckworth explained that the Alpha Warrior competition would be moving to other Army posts throughout October.

“The whole big picture is that they want to have these kind of rigs built on these installations,” said Duckworth.
“Some military installations have already purchased these rigs. Cross fitness is trending right now. We want to stay as modern as possible on fitness trends. It’s a great option for those who want something other than the basic workout routine.”

“The Army wanted to have a battle rig for their installations so we created this for them to train with,” said Dan Deville, co-founder of Alpha Warrior. “Now they’re going to start purchasing these and setting them up with different garrisons. We’ll be doing the same thing with the Air Force.”

“The top three winners from each garrison will be put into a pool of contestants that may be chosen for a national competition the Army wants to hold at our headquarters in San Antonio,” added Deville.
American Ninja Warrior competitors Brent Steffenson and Kacy Catanzaro helped host the event on Fort Benning.

“Readiness is important to the Army,” said Catanzaro. “We feel that our obstacles can help improve that ability in Soldiers. We do a lot of body weight training to make ourselves as efficient as possible. We’re strong. We can get through obstacles quickly and we think that this kind of training really goes well together with Soldier readiness.”

“Not only does it make you as functional as you can be, it’s also a lot of fun, said Steffenson. “If something is not fun, then I am not doing it. It helps fuel my motivation to train and push myself.”

“The most challenging thing for this course is the salmon ladder,” said Steffenson. “It’s a very technical obstacle. Any time you take the bar out, it may not go back in.

“The toughest thing about this course, to me, is that they are all in a row,” said Catanzaro. “The first four obstacles you perform are done without your feet touching the ground. I think the obstacles, individually, are difficult but putting them all together challenges your endurance.”

“I was inspired by the show in Japan called Sasuke,” said Steffenson. “I’ve always been into things that involved my body moving or flipping around. Parkour is an activity that helped me to get fit so I could compete in American Ninja Warrior.”

“I grew up being very active in gymnastics and watched American Ninja Warrior on TV,” said Catanzaro. “I loved the obstacles and the challenge of overcoming things.”

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