SAGAMI GENERAL DEPOT, Japan (Sept. 2, 2020) – Although the 2,600-square-foot room in the back of the Sagami Depot Lounge is no longer a ballroom, it is still a place for good times.
Camp Zama’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation officials converted the room into a gym after they learned the first week in August they would have to close the installation’s existing facility due to construction.
The 24-hour gym reopened Sept. 2—less than a month later—thanks in large part to staff from the Yano Fitness Center and forklift drivers from the U.S. Army Garrison Japan Directorate of Public Works who moved the fitness equipment and helped set up the new location, said Stefan Thompson, chief of fitness, athletics and aquatics for Camp Zama’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
“DPW support was vital to the relocation’s success,” Thompson said.
Patrons will access the gym using a cypher lock access system, just like the old gym, and it will have a new code, so patrons will have to ask for it at the Depot Lounge, Thompson said.
Anyone who hasn’t signed the gym’s liability waver can sign one at the lounge Monday through Friday from 7 to 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thompson said.
“After they submit the waiver they’ll get the cypher lock combination,” Thompson said. “We ask, 'Please, do not pass that combination out because it’s only for people who have signed the waiver and it helps keep internal control for those patrons using the facility.'”
The gym includes about a dozen Hammer Strength and Life Fitness “selectorized” equipment pieces; dumbbells from five to 100 pounds in five-pound increments; 20- to 70-pound fixed barbells in 10-pound increments; a mat area for stretching; exercise balls; three treadmills, two of which are brand new; two elliptical machines; a recumbent bike; an upright bike; a Jacobs Ladder machine; and a spin bike, Thompson said.
The gym also features a strategically placed station with hand sanitizer and bleach bottles, Thompson said.
“We ask each and every patron to please, please wipe the equipment before and after each use,” Thompson said. “Make sure you use the hand sanitizer for your hands.”
In addition, the facility includes free internet access and a first aid kit, Thompson said.
There are now few reminders that the new gym was formerly a ballroom, save for the large mural near the entrance that features cherry blossom trees in bloom. Because the building has two ballrooms, there is still one available, Thompson said.
Most would recognize the gym’s location through the lounge, but for those who might use an installation map to find it, it is in Building 135-S2.