Nearly a year after changes to Air Force PT rules went into effect, service officials announced on Monday the adoption of a new service-wide fitness conditioning program commonly known as Prancercise, Duffel Blog has learned.
Defined as "a springy, rhythmic way of moving, similar to a horse's gait and ideally induced by elation," Prancercise will become the backbone of the Air Force physical fitness program on Sept 1.
According to a new Air Force Instruction, the goal of the new fitness program is to motivate airmen to participate in the freedom of a year-round free spirited fitness regimen. The new program will emphasize self-expression and enhance the inner-child of service members as they prance and galavant down the 1.5 mile fitness course.
"Based on feedback from our airmen, we believe tying our physical training to tired 'workout' routines and exercising in confined, unnatural environments like gyms is dehumanizing," said Air Force spokesperson Capt. Steve Stephens. "We're not like those poop throwing rock-apes they have in the Marines — hanging around a weight room full of meatheads lifting heavy objects and putting them down again is a redundancy beneath every airmen."
Prancercise practitioners use imagery to picture themselves as a beautiful horse — a symbol of strength and endurance — freeing their minds of any negative self image which could directly affect mission accomplishment.
"Allowing airmen to fulfill their own sense of self-expression will lead to proper aerobic conditioning, strength and flexibility," said Stephens. "Other benefits include increased productivity, optimized health, and decreased absenteeism because coming to work will be just so gosh darn fun!"
The new Air Force fitness test will not only measure physical strength and cardo-respiratory fitness as it did in the past. Airmen's PT scores will now also be determined based on gait, rhythm and regularity, canter, and suppleness.
In a related story, the U.S. Navy has set aside $4.2 million to study the viability of adopting a program centered around the Shake Weight. Navy officials cite the vibration plate technology-based program as being a more functional and realistic biomechanical movement sailors actually perform on a daily basis.