Marines hone warrior strength, defeat stress in Chuck Norris House of Pain

8 Aug 2007 | Sgt. Andy Hurt 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit

The mind of a warrior is the most lethal weapon in our arsenal. Without a strong body, however, the mind/body continuum fails to achieve maximum potential. Recognizing the issue as a readiness factor at the war base here -- Combat Outpost Golden -- Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, trains exclusively in the Chuck Norris House of Pain.

Featuring free weights, a bench-press, dip bars, pull-up bar and the Chuck Norris House of Pain supports nearly any type of body tuning and serves the Marines at COP Golden twenty-four hours a day. The House of Pain also hosts an authentic endorsed-by-Chuck Norris “Total Gym 9000.”

The gym’s founder, Gunnery Sgt. Amman Catalan, said the equipment was one of the first items in place when the COP was occupied.

“Last deployment in Haqlinyah we had ‘The Penitentiary,’” Catalan recalled. “It took us six months to set up, and we got thirty days’ use out of it … I wasn’t going to let that happen this year.”

Catalan states that, the gym’s introduction here has made a positive impact on the combat community here at Golden.

“A lot of thinking gets done, and a lot of business is conducted in the gym,” he said. “If you don’t want to bother someone in their office, you can always wait to catch them in the gym,” said Catalan (referring to Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Moses, BLT 3/1 sergeant major).

According to Marines here, the Chuck Norris House of Pain has also been a critical outlet for harmful stress.

“It’s good we have this because it gives guys something positive to focus their energy on,” said Cpl. Johnathan Campos, weapons company clerk. Campos said the rigors of combat can take their toll on Marines. Instead of harboring negative emotions, Marines can displace fear and anger into a positive mind-set. There is also an issue of vanity involved.

“And guys wanna look good for their wives when they get home,” the San Antonio native added.

For more information about the Chuck Norris House of Pain, or the warriors of Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, visit the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Web site at

13th Marine Expeditionary Unit