Gym secures contract with US Defense Department

Training techniques out of ordinary

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MAYPORT, Fla. - Trainers at a Mayport gym have a big task ahead of them. They just secured a federal contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to teach new fitness techniques to Pentagon employees.

Those at 324 Gym off Edgar Road in Mayport teach untraditional techniques to get out-of-the-ordinary results. Trainers often encourage people to lose the dumbbells and weights and use more out of the ordinary tools, like dragging tires and hitting them with sledge hammers.

Functional fitness, as it's called, is different from traditional workout routines.

"The workouts that are utilized at the Pentagon are basically from the same template that 324 has established," gym co-owner Jason Haines said. "We're now applying that in that facility as well."

Haines the other owners are former military and have designed the high-intensity workouts based on their years of experience. Haines said securing a contract with the Pentagon is an honor.

"I just think it's a statement regarding the effectiveness of what we've put together," Haines said.

"It's not meant for you to breeze by at any level. It pushes you to your personal limits," said Joseph Thompson, who trains at 324.

While many who workout at the gym are at the top of their game athletically, even they get winded and exhausted by the workouts. The instructors say most of the exercises just take some practice and a willingness to keep pushing on.

"You don't necessarily have be an elite athlete. You don't necessarily have to have any background," Haines said.

"Especially coming from my background, former military, it's good to see people are noticing the benefits of this type of workout," Thompson said.

The point of the workout is not to spend hours in the gym. It's more of a get-in workout for 20 to 30 minutes at a very high intensity and then get out.

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