Mission Essential Fitness



Mission Essential Fitness (MEF)
Army Force Generation Model (ARFORGEN)

What is Mission Essential Fitness?

Simply put, Mission Essential Fitness (MEF) is the training required to condition Soldiers to perform their mission, in Garrison as well as any operational environment.

A U.S. Soldier is required to have a high level of fitness, capable of performing a multitude of physical tasks, involving power, strength, speed, and agility.  Functional training incorporates all of these fitness components to train Soldiers as tactical athletes both aerobically and anaerobically.

Due to a lack of core training, Soldiers return from deployment with preventable injuries.  Functional training focuses primarily on the development of core muscles as stabilizers, reducing injury and increasing muscular balance and joint stability, thereby positively affecting a Soldier’s performance.

Functional Training has its origins in rehabilitation, where physical therapists would develop exercises to duplicate what a patient did in their daily lives at work or home in order to return after injury or surgery.   Functional training is the utilization of weight bearing activities to target core muscles of the abdomen and lower back to allow the individual to perform daily activities more easily and without injury.

Functional Exercises lead to better muscular balance and joint stability, possibly impacting the number of injuries sustained and a Soldier’s  performance in the demands of combat.  Functional exercises use  training that emphasizes the body's natural ability to move forward/backward, side-to-side, up/down and rotationally to mimic the movements of that a Soldier is required to make in combat situations.  For a tactical Soldier those movements must replicate an unbalanced movement pattern due to a heavy ruck, while maintaining explosive, agile movements required in urban environments. 

Does Mission Essential Fitness work?

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To be effective a Functional Exercise Program should include several different elements:

Specific to the Mission -  All training should be mission specific, working to develop and maintain mission specific strength.

Integrated – It should include a variety of exercises that work on power, strength, speed, and agility..

Increases Core Stability – Core stability is crucial for any mission. A stable core allows for more efficient transference of power from the lower to upper body, and an increased ability to maintain correct athletic posture over long periods of time.

Progressive – Progressive resistance training steadily increases the power/strength demand from workout to workout. While most people are aware of the need for this in relation to traditional power/strength training, it is sometimes overlooked in functional training. For functional training is also means varying speed of movement to make it more mission specific.

Periodization - For professional soldiers and tactical athletes, functional training needs to fit into their training cycle. In broad terms this means that the program will vary throughout the year to achieve optimal results, peaking for deployment and maintaining their power and strength while in theater.  Using there are four (4), 12 week training cycles per year with one (1) week rest between each cycle.   

Mission Essential Fitness:

Unit PT

  •   Traditional morning and non-traditional afternoons classes:
  •   Spin, Kickbox, Step, Boot Camp,
  •   Bosu Ball, Kettle Bells, TRX Straps, Gravity Training Systems, Traditional


  •   Entry Level Circuits designed to teach form and basic strength movements
  •   High Intensity Circuits combining all types of Functional Training to include
  •   compound movements and explosive power

Tactical Strength and Conditioning (TSAC) Certification
TRX Suspension Strap Certification
Group Exercise Certification
Functional Training Equipment Deployment Kits
Special Population Specific Needs
Custom Functional Equipment Workouts
Microfit FAS-2 Assessments



What is Suspension Training?
A new category of exercise for athletes of all abilities, that leverages one’s own bodyweight and gravity to develop strength, balance, flexibility and joint stability simultaneously.


Functional Equipment:

  • TRX Straps
  • Bosu Balls
  • Wobble Boards
  • Kettle Bells
  • Medicine Balls
  • Traditional Weights
  • Elastic Bands
  • Agility Ladders
  • Hoops
  • Hurdles
  • And so forth…

To schedule a Unit PT session in Ironworks Gym
Located on Biggs Field, please call Office (915) 744-5201

Contact the MEF staff for reservations at missionessentialfitness@gmail.com





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