Master sergeant finds HEAT gains him extra edge

  • Published
  • By Mary Lou Gorny
  • Hilltop Times editor
When Master Sgt. Sileon Murray, 419th Fighter Wing, nearly lost an extended family member to health related issues from obesity, fitness became a major priority. He, his wife and his mother all hit the Warrior Health and Fitness Center. When Mac McCurdy gave them some tips, and Murray watched his morning High Energy Athletic Training (HEAT) classes, it was a natural extension of his deep interest in improving his own performance and his goal of trimming body fat.

"I tried everything I could and I was plateauing out," said Murray. "I ran out of ideas. I could not lose any more weight or any more body fat. I approached him and said, 'Hey Mac, can you help me out?'

He joined McCurdy's HEAT classes and within three weeks lost 3 percent of his body fat.

Cindy L. Gibbs, a civilian with OO-ALC/GHOM, stated: "The HEAT program is awesome! With Mac's motivation and encouragement I have been able to push my limitations and do activities I never thought I would or could do; I am stronger and more confident. Mac is a wonderful, creative life coach always encouraging the team (and me) to do their best and step outside our comfort zone."

McCurdy noted, "I think people like the circuit format used in HEAT. Stations with resistance bands, free weights, gliders and weighted bars are set up throughout the cardio room and each station targets a particular body group."

He is offering a new round of HEAT classes beginning March 8 and running through April 26.

The circuit training classes offer a chance to challenge, enhance and improve an individual's mind, body and spirit, McCurdy said.

HEAT Classes are held 5 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 7:15 a.m. Sundays in the Warrior Fitness Center Cardio Room. Class members can sign up for the number of times per week they wish to attend and costs vary. Aside from the 5 and 7:15 a.m. classes, another class; HEAT 9 a.m. has just been added and will run for four weeks on Mondays and Wednesdays.

As a retired Air Force member and someone who helped develop adult education computer training, McCurdy said he offers support to those who are beginners as well as the skilled athlete.

"I show them a basic movement for an individual just starting out; from there I go into a progression movement for the more advanced student," he said.

His HEAT program focuses on smaller groups of 16 or less to add to the group's cohesiveness; this also allows him to observe each participant and their individual fitness needs.

"I like seeing people meet their goals," said McCurdy.

He began his own extended journey into peak physical fitness later in life.

Although McCurdy had always been fairly active with volleyball and softball, when he developed a bit of a tummy and his female co-workers ribbed him about it, he got more intensely involved in fitness. "I said, 'Okay, that's enough,'ΓΆΓΆ" he recalled. "So I started going to the gym and when I noticed that just by going, how motivated and inspired I became, it was a natural for me to want to do more as far as improving myself physically."

When McCurdy retired he became a personal fitness trainer at the Warrior Fitness Center and worked his way into becoming an independent contractor.

"I enjoy what I'm doing and like working with people," he said.

McCurdy encourages clients to let him know about past injuries so the proper training adjustments can be made.

He doesn't believe in the "no pain, no gain" theory. However, "no soreness on the other hand is something entirely different. You're going to get sore. I'm going to pretty much guarantee that one."

Murray smiled at that, "He kept me driven. He kept me pushed."

He said the focus of his fitness mentor helped propel him to a better life.

For additional information or to register for an upcoming HEAT session, contact McCurdy at (801) 721-5832 or