News: New fitness center opens in 4th IBCT complex
Story by Sgt. Mary Katzenberger
FORT STEWART, Ga. – When you step inside the new physical fitness facility located in the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team complex on Fort Stewart, Ga., you won’t be hard pressed to find the equipment you require for pursuing your fitness goals.
If anything, you might have a hard time deciding what type of exercise you want to engage in.
The 80,327-square-foot facility, which opened Nov. 15, features a rock wall, a swimming pool, an expansive weight room, six basketball courts, a CrossFit area, racquetball courts, an indoor running track, treadmills, stationary bikes, locker rooms, saunas, and a coffee and smoothie bar.
Jake Battle, the fitness and aquatics director for Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, and the facility manager, said the gym will not only serve to meet the physical readiness training demands of “Vanguard” soldiers, but will also serve a greater good in the Marne community.
A mission aspect has been integrated into the facility, Battle said, which will allow soldiers the space to conduct functional training like combatives and CrossFit. And, because the gym also offers a wide array of other exercise equipment soldiers can utilize when they’re off work, the facility manager said he believes the morale of the post’s soldiers will increase.
“We want happy soldiers because happy soldiers mean more productive soldiers,” Battle said. “It probably means [there will be fewer negative] social issues within the community because all of a sudden these soldiers [will] have somewhere they can go … and be able to relax and enjoy working out.”
Battle said 1,200 people visited the gym on opening day, and he expects the number of regular patrons to grow rapidly. The facility manager predicted that the CrossFit area will be one of the biggest draws for patrons.
Second Lt. Benjamin C. Tanner, a native of Palmetto, Fla., and an infantry officer with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, took advantage of the CrossFit area, Nov. 18, to introduce soldiers from his platoon to medicine ball exercises. The platoon worked on their core muscles by tossing the balls back and forth to one another and by performing weighted abdominal exercises.
Tanner said the new fitness center is, and will continue to be an asset for the “Vanguard” brigade.
“The equipment ... [is] up to date,” Tanner said. “[The fitness center is] going to be able to provide us with the facilities and the ability to do some things we weren’t able to do before with our [physical training] program.”
Pfc. Blake J. Herwat, a Detroit native and a combat engineer with Company A, 4-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th IBCT, said the fitness center is conveniently located, which will aid soldiers like himself who reside in the barracks, in becoming more physically fit.
“Anybody who may be struggling on [physical training] … can come here and get a nice workout in, along with a good run from [their] company or anywhere else,” Herwat said. “And maybe it’ll raise some [physical training] scores and lower some failures and overweight problems.”
Battle said he has plans on bringing additional activities to the gym in the future. The facility manager said he’d like to bring intramural basketball play to the courts and certified trainers to the CrossFit area.
“The whole concept behind this, at least from my perspective, [is] that we [want] to get that ‘wow’ factor when people [come] into the facility,” Battle said.
The fitness center, which has yet to be named, is open Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Saturdays and holidays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from noon to 7 p.m.