FORT SILL, Okla. (June 6, 2019) -- The Honeycutt Gym and Functional Fitness Center was rededicated May 29, after it was retrofitted with an artificial turf surface; remodeled training rooms; and added new equipment.

The center's amenities reflect the Army's holistic approach to health and fitness to ensure combat readiness of Soldiers, said Maj. Gen. Wilson A. Shoffner, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill commanding general, who helped cut the ribbon.

The facility has all the equipment needed to train and conduct the new Army Combat Fitness Test except for the 2-mile run, the general said. More importantly, the functional fitness center facilitates preparation of Soldiers for the rigors of combat.

Clifton Bell, Honeycutt facility manager, explained that functional fitness is training body muscles to perform for everyday activities, i.e., mowing the lawn, lifting boxes. For Soldiers, it might be carrying ammo boxes, lifting artillery rounds, or wearing 80 pounds of battle rattle.

Functional fitness exercises typically involve heavy lifting, squats, and aerobic activities, with many joints and muscles working together. Functional fitness allows one to live a better life because it makes physical tasks easier, and reduces the risk of injury, Bell said.

Some of the gear at Honeycutt associated with functional fitness includes kettle bells, medicine balls, heavy weights for lifting and dragging, and X-bars to perform leg tucks.

Bell said he had thought of creating one dedicated functional fitness room at Honeycutt because the Army is moving closer to implementing the ACFT (October 2020). He spoke to Col. Don King, Fort Sill Garrison commander, about it.

"He (King) came up with this great idea of adding turf to half of the basketball courts, and utilizing the other half for functional fitness," Bell said.

King said it was a team effort through the post's fitness advisory board, MWR, the Directorate of Public Works, FCoE, and others that turned Honeycutt into a world-class facility.

"We've made a lot of strides to really getting after the CG's holistic health and fitness strategy to improve the readiness of our service members," King said.

It took a couple months to complete the refurbishment, and at no time was Honeycutt closed because of the work, said Terry Hall, Fort Sill Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sports director. The facility did lose its basketball courts, heavy bags and speed bags, and sauna to create the functional fitness spaces.

Bell said he has not heard any complaints about losing the courts because patrons can still play basketball at the Fires and Rinehart Fitness centers. Honeycutt's spinning cycle area was turned into a functional fitness room, but the spin bikes were moved to Honeycutt's loft workout area.

Honeycutt recently had a soft opening and the functional fitness areas have been popular, especially during PT hours, said Bell.

"They really seem to like it, and I've seen 60 to 70 Soldiers using it at the same time," Bell said. "If the weather's bad, the turf area is packed, but they manage to find their own space and get in their workouts."