Local teacher trains Atterbury soldiers, National Guard employees

In just a few sessions, he can save soldiers from a life-altering injury.

Or Jeremy Hartman can train a soldier at Camp Atterbury how to do a new lift they will be expected to do to pass physical training tests or teach an Iraq veteran what he can do to prevent further injury to his back or knees.

Hartman spends his work days traveling between Webb and Creekside elementary schools teaching students physical education during the day. He also works as a strength conditioning coach for Center Grove Schools.

But, a few days a month, he spends time with Camp Atterbury soldiers and with the Indiana National Guard employees, teaching them best practices through a strength conditioning business he owns.

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“I’m looking at it like I am helping them become better soldiers,” said Hartman.

Hartman teaches students at Center Grove how to strength train and also owns his own business where he teaches athletes and power lifters the skills they need to succeed.

People in the military began individually seeking him out for help, including help on new skills they would need to keep up with physical training needs the military expects of those enlisted, Hartman said.

Soldiers he had trained recommended him to the Indiana National Guard, where he gave safety instruction to 70 employees in Indianapolis.

Soon, officials at Camp Atterbury were seeking him out to teach soldiers what they needed to know to pass new physical training standards, including how to properly execute a deadlift, which is a tool to help test full body strength, Hartman said.

Now about twice a month, he teaches soldiers at Camp Atterbury or travels to Indianapolis to present for the Indiana National Guard.

“(I like) keeping the soldiers healthy and able to do their jobs,” he said.

He teaches soldiers how to make sure they are in the perfect position to do the lifts that they will be asked to pass their physical training tests. In some instances he will train a unit on something specific that would help the whole unit, such as flexibility lessons or a quick lesson in nutrition, Hartman said.

Hartman will work with some soldiers one-on-one to help them address an injury they may have received in combat, teaching them techniques that will still allow them to keep up physically, while getting around a damaged back or a bad knee, he said.

And he is teaching soldiers injury prevention, Hartman said.

“It goes back to that you can develop athletes at all levels,” he said. “I can develop athletes to better help them do their jobs.”