ARDENT THREE makes fitness a high priority

Published on LSIS Jo Dilorenzo (author), ABIS Kathy Tuddenham (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Wollongong (P92), Health, Fitness and Wellbeing

ABBM Jacob Machen takes the crew of Ardent Three through a fitness routine. In background are LSMT James Harvey with hand weights, 
LSBM Shaun Black on the weight bench, and ABMT Ronny Turner as spotter. (photo: ABIS Kathy Tuddenham)
ABBM Jacob Machen takes the crew of Ardent Three through a fitness routine. In background are LSMT James Harvey with hand weights, LSBM Shaun Black on the weight bench, and ABMT Ronny Turner as spotter.

There’s no Wi-Fi onboard HMAS Wollongong to distract its sailors from their fitness. The embarked crew, ARDENT THREE, is addicted to fitness.

Every day, the ship’s company is noticeably keen to ensure all work is done by 1530, so it doesn’t interfere with the strict fitness routines onboard.

Leading Hand of the Mess and one of the senior members of ARDENT THREE, Leading Seaman Shaun Black is one of the fitness role models onboard, encouraging all members of Ardent Three to participate in some kind of fitness.

“Fitness is a great team building activity, with such a small crew it is vital for the team to work together,” said LS Black.

There is no dedicated gym onboard; the crew makes the most of what they have. What they have is a stationary bike and a rowing machine, which are set up on the flag deck. A variety of weights and parts of the boats structure are also incorporated into the crew’s intense fitness circuit.

“Train insane or remain the same,” is Able Seaman Jacob Machen's mantra as he provides the crew with the skills he learnt on his Military Fitness Leaders (MFL) course.

“Completing the MFL course has given me the ability to run group fitness classes, to be creative with the equipment we have onboard and utilise our on body weight to ensure the best work-out is achieved,” said AB Machen.

During AB Machen's off-rotation time, he volunteers at the HMAS Cairns gym, where he learns new techniques from Chief Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Rodney Brennan. AB Machen’s passion for fitness has driven him to apply for a transfer of category to become a Royal Australian Navy Physical Training Instructor.

Each patrol sparks a new fitness goal, with some friendly competition between the individual crew members. This patrol it’s a 500 metre row as quick as you can and as many burpees as possible within three minutes.