With the right plan and the right discipline, you can get seriously shredded in just 28 days.Read article
Alex Morrow grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and he described himself as an active kid. His parents not only encouraged that, they required it. They exposed him to a few different sports growing up, and he ended up running cross country in high school. While it didn’t always come naturally to him during his school years, it turned out to be something that became a crucial part of his adult life.
“Having a good background of running an endurance would be something that served me well,” he said. That’s because after graduation he found himself at West Point, a military academy that is well associated with physical fitness. Even though he doubted himself early on, Morrow excelled thanks to that endurance he developed.
“It was a year into my time at West point that I got on to the rock climbing team. I got some good coaches that kind of forced me to care about fitness more,” he explained. “By the time I got into my third and fourth years, they all knew me as ‘the fitness guy.’”
The combination of military service and fitness would be something that stayed with Morrow in the years since. He went on to serve on active duty in the United States Army from 2013 to 2021 in the 4th Infantry Division and 10th Mountain Division before becoming a part of the US Army Physical Fitness School, and fitness was a common theme for all the locations he has been. It was even a component one of his final assignments while on active duty.
“My last assignment on active duty for the Army was teaching the Master Fitness Trainer course,” he said proudly. “At that point, I had asked myself whether I wanted to stay on the Army officer path, or do I want to focus on health and fitness. I chose health and fitness.”
Alex Morrow is still an Intelligence Officer of the Army Reserves, but he dove headfirst into his passion for fitness because he felt he could help many people improve themselves for service as well as when their active days were behind them. He didn’t just care about the end results or trying to find new workouts. He committed to taking deep dives into the why’s and how’s about fitness for servicemembers and people in general. Along the way, he found that there was quality information about getting in great shape, but the transfer of that information was a barrier that needed to be crossed.
“It was one of the single biggest limiters for readiness,” said Morrow. The way that servicemembers were introduced to fitness in the past may have also been a problem.
“A lot of service members have grown to hate exercise and fitness because it was a form of punishment.”
Alex Morrow sought to change the narrative about training, working out, and fitness in general, but he had to find his own way to do it. One way that he embraced was through a podcast. He and Drew Hammond would create and launch the MOPs and MOEs Podcast and website, where they want to educate their listeners, servicemembers or general population, about all things related to fitness and service. Their goal is to build a fitness community and change the culture around the topic so more people embrace a fitness-themed lifestyle.
“MOPs stands for Measures of Performance, and MOEs means Measures of Effectiveness.”
Their episodes focus on a particular theme with evidence and occasional guests that can expand on those topics. The title of the show even has a purpose because they want their listeners to understand why they are training to maximize performance and how to determine the actual effectiveness of a workout. One series that Morrow was particularly proud of was with NASA, focusing on the needs of astronauts and the people that support them.
“You can find the show on every major listening platform, and we also have a website where there are show notes,” he shared. “The show has been a really cool experience.”
Aside from his podcast, Morrow is also now involved in another branch of service – the Space Force. He is not a Guardian himself, but he and his passion for maximizing human performance is involved in supporting Guardians when it comes to nutritional and fitness needs. Unlike the other branches of the Armed Forces, these types of principles are being established now. So, Morrow is one of several people that gets to help lay a foundation of fitness for future Guardians so the Space Force can be at a higher state of readiness.
“A lot of people are still wrapping their minds around what Space Force means, and that means there is a really cool opportunity here to be part of building something from the ground up.”
You may be wondering what aspects of fitness would be different for the Space Force as opposed to other branches of the Armed Forces. The components themselves may not be very different, but Morrow shared that the situations and locations they are in are factors that need to be considered when establishing fitness programs.
“It is helping different populations navigate the many challenges that they experience. There are different issues such as working night shift or being in different locations worldwide and having to find ways to work out or eat at different places while they are working.”
Alex Morrow is one of many people working in this role. He’s personally stationed at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but there are others in different bases performing the same job he is. Unfortunately, not all bases and stations have a person on location, but their needs and support are still being met.
“Even at places where there aren’t dedicated staff members, virtual support is available to them.”
Alex Morrow may not have felt the passion for fitness early on in his childhood, but it has become a very significant part of his life now, and he gets to be a positive force in helping many others feel that passion and commitment towards becoming their best selves. The work he’s doing now may impact people for generations to come, which is something he embraces.
“It’s an awesome feeling.”