185th ARW Fitness Center Receives $50,000 Renovation

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Rich Murphy
  • 185th Public Affairs

Members of the 185th Air Refueling Wing had an opportunity to see the newly renovated fitness center at the base this weekend. The 185th Fitness Team gave tours of the new facilities and explained the new fitness opportunities available to unit members.

The $50,000 renovation includes seven new treadmills that feature flat panel televisions and headphone jacks attached to each. It also includes several new machines including two Elliptical Trainers and 15 Spin Machines.

In addition to the new equipment, the fitness facility also features a large aerobics area. The Fitness Team will feature popular programs such as P90X®, Biggest Loser-The Workout®, Spin Classes, Pilates, Yoga, and several other popular fitness videos.

Staff Sgt. Amanda Rosalez, the supervisor of the 185th Fitness team, said, "We hope to feature a new program every hour so that Airmen will have the opportunity to come in and take a class in something at any time during drill."

A major part of the renovation was the expansion of the old fitness center. The new gym has twice the square footage as the old. Airman 1st Class Gustavo Salazar, another member of the Fitness Team, said, "We were able to separate the weight training and cardio areas so that Airmen have more room to work."

Another important change to the fitness center is the relocation of the random drug testing area. Rosalez said, "We know one of the reasons Airmen may not have come to the old gym was that we were always drug testing here. We moved that over to supply, so it will not be as crowded during the weekend."

Each weekend, at least two members of the 185th Fitness Team will be available to help Airmen improve their physical fitness. The team is made of Airmen who have received specialized training in nutrition, weight training, and exercise. 2nd Lt. Brian Crichton, the head of the Services flight, said, "The people on this team have a strong commitment to fitness and many of them are in fitness related fields in their civilian careers."

To kick off the new fitness center, the Fitness Team is hosting a "Biggest Loser" competition. Those who sign up will participate each drill weekend in an exercise routine and a weigh-in. The person who loses the most weight in six months will be crowned the first "185th Biggest Loser."

Col. Brian Miller, commander of the 185th ARW, said that the new renovations are important for unit members not only because of the new standards, but because of the climate in Sioux City. He said, "We have snow on the ground six months of the year and in the summer it gets incredibly hot. When we think about it, we have about three or four good months to get outside and exercise. To maintain a fit force, we have to exercise 12 months a year, so developing an in-door gym is critical."

Rosalez said, "The main reason for these renovations is to try to impress a change in lifestyle in our Airmen. All of the unit's commanders and 1st Sgts. have really supported a re-commitment to fitness."

Lt. Col. Joe Ascherl, the commander in charge of the new fitness program, added, "This addition is much more than just a reaction to the new fitness standards. What we are seeing is a change in the culture. We are seeing a culture of fitness."

He continues, "It is no longer the case where guys went to the gym to mess around. Most of the new Airmen coming in are really into fitness and our leadership has made this a priority. Col. Miller has really put the money behind this fitness program."

The cultural change at the 185th has become increasingly apparent. Miller said, "I really think we are on the right track. I see more and more of our Airmen taking fitness seriously."

Lt. Brian Crichton from the Services Squadron has already committed his squadron to fitness. "We plan on closing up shop each weekend at 3:00 and our entire squadron will go to the gym to exercise as team. We want to show our airmen that we are serious about fitness."

He added, "We want to make this a lifestyle change, but more importantly, we know that if they are healthy, they will be better able to complete our mission."

Miller noted that the renovation to the fitness facilities is only the first step for improving fitness in the unit. "It goes without saying that we will be better Airmen if we are fit. But improving our gym is only the first step. We are currently trying to work on a way to help our Airmen who don't live in the Sioux City area. We want to make sure that all of our Airmen have access to the equipment necessary to stay healthy."

Current Training Workout Schedule for Drill Weekends

0830-0950 Yoga Conditioning for Weight loss
1000-1230 P90X ®
1245-1315 Pilates
1320-1420 Insanity ®
1430-1530 Spin Bike Class

0800-0900 Spin Bike Class
0915-1015 Rockin' Body ®
1030-1130 Insanity ®
1145-1215 Pilates
1230-1330 Power 90 Fat Burning System ®
1345-1500 Beach Body- 10 Minute Trainer ®

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