Plenty of us are using video conferencing apps for meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Combined Arms Trades and Training branch is using Zoom to conduct physical training sessions. 

SO1 Lieutenant Colonel Adam Reimers said the idea of the initiative was to manage the physical and mental health of the team members who have been working remotely since March. 

“It’s been an effective way of maintaining team identity,” Lieutenant Colonel Reimers said. 

Physical training instructor for the Combined Arms Training Centre Corporal Matt Siddle stepped in to provide structured workouts. 

He said he participated in sessions, checked form and gave virtual encouragement to those sweating it out at home. 

“As with any PTI-led lesson I will explain and demonstrate the exercises and give regression exercises too. From there we all conduct the session together followed by a short cool-down and stretch,” Corporal Siddle said. 

Sessions are conducted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8am. A message is sent on the signal messaging app the night before with the warm-up and routine details.

“This allows everyone to set up their area and grab a bench or chair. Individuals can also send me a private message to get an alternative exercise if they are working around an injury,” Corporal Siddle said.  

“While our group is maintaining and improving their aerobic conditioning at home with limited equipment, 20 to 30 minutes of exercise with a bit of friendly banter thrown in keeps everyone feeling connected during these unusual times. 

“It’s great for our mental health as well as the physical.”

Acting SO2 of the Combined Arms Cell Captain Joseph Smith said the regular turnout had been impressive. 

“Physical fitness has always been a central quality of the land combatant so it was naturally the go-to for maintaining normal work relations in an abnormal work environment,” Captain Smith said. 

“It’s unlikely we will return to standard group PT at the headquarters anytime soon so we’ll probably continue this for the foreseeable future.”