Starting today, University of Maryland ROTC students will be getting a leg—and an arm, chest and every other part of themselves—up with the opening of a new “challenge course.”

Located near Xfinity Center, between the Recreation Artificial Turf Field and parking lot 9B, the ROTC Outdoor Fitness Zone is a combination of sit-up, pull-up and rope equipment. It mirrors what is often found on military bases and will help students more effectively train for fitness tests, said Lt. Col. Larry Rentz, professor of military science and leader of the UMD Army ROTC battalion.

“This will put us in a better position,” he said. “Functionally, the ability to lift your own body weight is extremely important.”

A ceremony will be held at the course at 2 p.m. today, with a fitness demonstration by some of the approximately 350 ROTC cadets and midshipmen enrolled at UMD.

Any campus denizens in training for a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race or who just want some extra ambition in their workouts will be able to use the course outside of the priority times for ROTC students, generally Monday-Friday, 5:30-8:30 a.m. The Student Facilities Fund, administered by a student-majority subcommittee of the University Facilities Council, paid for the $109,750 installation and equipment costs.

It replaces an outdoor exercise area displaced by the construction of the new Cole Field House. While ROTC is headquartered in Reckord Armory, Rentz said ground tests and the need for distance from residence halls and other living areas determined that the area near Xfinity was the most suitable location for the new course.

But having to traverse campus to use it will be an opportunity to get students some aerobic exercise as well, Rentz said.

“Running down to the Xfinity Center is a great way to do that,” he said.