FORT KNOX, Ky. – Fitness at Fort Knox has now become the most accessible to date since COVID-19 forced countless closures and restrictions across the installation.
The post’s athletic facilities have been steadily allowing more and more Fort Knox community members back after the pandemic. Gammon Fitness Center program manager Terry Turner said previous restrictions made things difficult for patrons.
“We were only allowing 120 people in the gym at a time,” said Turner. “We had people lined out the door, and it was just one in-one out.”
Turner said with the latest changes made in May and June, the doors are open again to anyone with a military ID.
“The people who can utilize the facilities are anybody with a military ID, [Common Access] Card or contracting card,” said Turner. He said this even includes some school-age children.
“We allow children at the age of 13 to come in and use the gym facilities,” said Turner. “Children younger than 13 cannot use the floor of the gym, but they can use Natcher, Otto and Smith where the basketball courts are available.”
For parents of younger children who would like to use the facilities that require childcare, Turner said keep in mind that COVID restrictions on childcare remain in place at Gammon.
“We do still have childcare available, but parents will have to go through [Child Youth Services],” said Turner.
A recent addition focuses on individual needs, especially for those working on preparing for the Army Combat Fitness Test, according to Turner.
“The newest thing that we’ve reintroduced is the personal training, which gives people a chance to do individual training -- especially with the ACFT coming out,” said Turner.
He explained that with this type of training just becoming available again, it will take time to get it back in full swing.
“Right now, we’re a little bit limited on our personal trainers,” said Turner. “I’m training three or four people, we have another trainer coming on board, and we have a trainer right now training two or three people, so we have that available to people.”
Turner said when the demand grows, he will add further fitness offerings in the form of classes on an as-needed basis.
“I like to do pop-up classes,” said Turner. “If anybody is having any trouble with the ACFT and enough people suggest it, I schedule one and show you the avenues to make yourself better.”
Turner said any time he schedules a pop-up class, he posts the information to the Fort Knox MWR Facebook page, as well as any other gym-related updates. Fitness classes also returned in February, which he said is one of the best aspects of Gammon.
“I’m really excited that we have the classes available,” said Turner. “It gives people an opportunity to kind of break away from their regular routine.”
Turner recommended one class in particular, which offers a number of benefits.
“I’m constantly pitching yoga,” said Turner. “With the new [physical training] test, you do need that flexibility; you need some type of stability. “Even if you’re going to yoga for just the mental aspect of it, it’s very good for high stress situations.”
Gammon also offers a variety of other fitness classes each month. The latest schedules are posted to the Fort Knox MWR website. Turner said it’s unique to offerings off the installation.
“You can just show up,” said Turner. “It’s only $4 a class, and we also offer punch cards if you like the classes and want to come more often.”
While many restrictions have been lifted, patrons will want to note a few safety measures still in place.
“Locker rooms are still closed currently and hopefully will be opening up soon,” said Turner. “Right now, we just don’t have the manpower.”
The mask mandate has also been lifted for those who are vaccinated. Turner said those who have not been vaccinated still need to wear a mask, and all patrons should still social distance for added safety.
Turner also added one other reminder to anyone who utilizes the facilities.
“Please rack your weights and move your equipment back,” he said. “Our staff is very dedicated, but we do ask people to put everything back and please wipe down equipment after using it just to keep everybody safe.”
With the facilities now open to so much of the Fort Knox community, Turner said he hopes more residents will take advantage of all they have to offer.
“Everybody we have on board here is amazing, so just come on out; give it a try,” said Turner. “You will not be disappointed.”