Gymnasium weights
Several fitness centers at Fort Hood, Texas, are expanding their hours of operation beginning Aug. 9. Fort Hood's Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation are also hiring more staff members to man their fitness facilities. (Photo Credit: Blair Dupre, Fort Hood Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT HOOD, Texas - John Hamilton, chief of sports fitness and aquatics for the Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation here, stopped by Fort Hood’s Great Big Podcast to give a gym update to the Fort Hood community in the Aug. 5 episode.

He and his staff have been eagerly awaiting the return of normalcy to the Fort Hood gyms and they are still looking for folks that want to join the team.

“It’s actually all on USA Jobs (www.usajobs.gov). Look for recreation aides, recreation assistants … lead facility managers and facility managers in the fitness centers alone,” he said. “I’m also looking for lifeguards.”

While they are still looking for more staffers there are changes coming to many of the fitness centers’ operating hours.

“Coming up on the ninth of August, that is when we are officially expanding operations and it’s not just one or two facilities. Across the board, that beloved lunchtime that everyone’s been clamoring for… it’s happening,” he said.

He went on to list the new hours for several fitness centers. Burba Physical Fitness Center and Harvey Functional Fitness Center will be open from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Starker Functional Fitness Center, Kieschnick Physical Fitness Center and Applied Functional Fitness Center will hold hours of 5 a.m. to 9:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. North Fort Hood Physical Fitness Center will be open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Iron Horse Physical Fitness Center, West Fort Hood Physical Fitness Center and Grey Wolf Physical Fitness Center will hold hours 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

During the downtime Starker Functional Fitness Center received new equipment and Hamilton highly recommends checking it out.

“All new toys, honestly, you’re going to love it. We’ve got at least eight platforms, power racks and everything else that’s associated with that. If you’re looking to get your Olympic lift on, you’re definitely have that opportunity.”

“(The) Showers are open, lockers are open, but again, we need people to be smart about your decisions and smart about what you do in the facilities,” he emphasized. “Like any other muscle, we’re out of practice wiping down gym equipment. Wipe it down. You’re not just helping the staff out; you’re helping the next person coming in trying to use that piece of equipment.”

Mask wearing policies are being reinstated across Fort Hood and Hamilton addressed how that would affect operations at the gym.

“We were prepped mentally with the potential of this happening again. We’re going to have masks available for you in the fitness centers. We’re not the police, we’re not going to police this. Again, it’s about what you do going in and having respect for those around you and for yourself.”

He also said Soldiers looking for volunteer hours can earn some by helping out at the fitness centers around post.

“We can definitely do that and give you opportunities,” he said. “We’re going to get you signed up with our OPOC and we’re going to make sure that you get counted for those hours.”

For more information on the Fort Hood gyms and other MWR events visit their website https://hood.armymwr.com or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/forthoodfmwr/. To listen to the entire interview, check out Fort Hood’s Great Big Podcast at http://www.thegreatbigpodcast.com/.