Don't Sweat It: Post gyms offer something for everyone
May 30, 2012
By NATHAN DEEN
FORT BENNING, Ga. (May 30, 2012) -- If you're wanting to work out more this summer on Fort Benning, you may not have to drive as far as you think.
Fort Benning's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation operates five fitness facilities on post and caters to the needs of Soldiers and civilians who work on Harmony Church, Kelley Hill and Sand Hill.
The most recent fitness facility addition has been the Harmony Church Fitness Center, which opened last summer. Soldiers in the Armor School should no longer worry about the time it takes to drive to another facility, such as Smith Fitness Center on Main Post, and back again.
"It's quite convenient," said Terry Jones of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment, who likes to use his lunch break to work out. "To drive back and forth (between Harmony Church and Smith), I wouldn't have time to work out. It has everything I need."
Kelly Pulliam, Harmony Church Fitness Center manager, said 175-200 customers come to the facility each weekday. While she said the facility doesn't have the space to fit all of the same equipment as Smith, it allows anyone to work on the same body parts.
However, to get certain types of training or workouts, a Soldier may have go to Smith or the recently renovated Audie Murphy Athletic Performance center on Main Post.
"There is very little at Audie Murphy that you will find somewhere else," said Lori Smith, DFMWR's director of fitness facilities.
Smith said the workouts done at Audie Murphy will allow Soldiers to do their jobs better.
"It's functional," she said. "Some of the equipment that you get at Audie Murphy is what you're going to get as a Soldier. That's why it's called functional fitness."
Audie Murphy has a main gym floor that provides athletes with the means to train for speed and agility through tire flips, kettle bells and climbing ropes. A custom-made power rack can accommodate up to 46 athletes, who can perform a variety of exercises such as pull-ups, squats and bench press. The cardio room provides Jacobs ladders, rowers, treadmills and versa climbers, which can't be found anywhere else on post.
Other unique features include a climbing room, mixed martial arts room and a boxing room, all of which can be converted to a combatives training area.
Smith is the largest fitness facility on post, measuring 100,000 square feet. The two-level facility has a large cardio and free weight area, two racquetball courts and the largest indoor basketball court on post.
Smith is the only facility that has indoor swimming pools, a rock wall, and aerobics training classroom; and it offers child care co-op, which allows parent volunteers to watch the children of others.
"It's a very unique facility for Soldiers and Family members," said Larry McCoy, manager of Smith Fitness Center. "We have the best aerobics program in the area. Customers have said they've been to other programs and they say ours is the best."
Smith opened in 2007 and draws 2,500 to 2,800 people.
Before it opened, McCoy said Briant Wells Fieldhouse used to be the largest fitness facility on post until DFMWR donated it to the U.S. Army Combatives School.
"We only had 12 treadmills there," he said. "Now we have more than 200 pieces of equipment at Smith."
Among of the outlying fitness centers, Kefurt Fitness Center on Kelley Hill draws the most business, with about 900 customers per day, facility manager Jesse Moore said.
Kefurt has a basketball court, cardio room, weight room and saunas.
Santiago Fitness Center on Sand Hill is the only other facility besides Smith that has a racquetball court. It also has a basketball court as well as the standard exercise equipment Kefurt and Harmony Church have.
Smith said MWR plans to make the outlying facilities more Cross-Fit friendly by adding stations outside the facilities for people to work out. TRX Suspension Training equipment will also be added. TRX leverages gravity and the body-weight to allow for hundreds of exercises so any user can reach their fitness or training goal.
For more information about each facility, visit www.benningmwr.com.
AT A GLANCE
Smith Fitness Center:
•Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday -- 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday -- 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
•Indoor, warm water pool, a whirlpool spa and a four-lane lap pool
•Cardio and free weight areas
Audie Murphy Athletic
•Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday -- 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday -- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
•Main gym floor stocked with equipment geared toward functional training, including kettle bells, medicine balls, sleds, power racks, dumbbells, TRX, rowers, ladders, Versa Climbers, stability balls, battling ropes, slide boards and more
Kefurt Fitness Center
•Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday -- 5:00 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday -- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
•Weight and cardio equipment
•Mixed martial arts room
Santiago Fitness Center
•Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday -- 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday -- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
•Weight and cardio equipment
Harmony Church Fitness Center
•Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday -- 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday -- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
•Nautilus Nitro Plus equipment including treadmills, summit trainers, recumbent and spin bikes, elliptical cross trainers and free weights