by Monica Men
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Peterson gym is decked out for the new year – new weight and new cardio machines were unloaded Dec. 21 to replace some decade-old workout equipment.
It’s a whole new gym, said Monica Schwartz, Peterson Fitness and Sports Center operations director. It’s digital, wireless and provides folks with virtual trainers.
“The whole upstairs and downstairs is being replaced,” she said.
The new weight machines and free weights are the same brands with a few new features. Customers may find themselves getting reacquainted with their small muscle groups, Ms. Schwartz said. Gym patrons will find machines, like the new calf extension machine, more efficient to use with more range in motion.
“When people go from using the old equipment to the new equipment, they will notice a difference,” Ms. Schwartz said. “The key difference is they (the new equipment) are more functional, more effective and safer.”
Peterson’s Fitness and Sports Center is 60,000 square-feet of workout intensity, including one cardiovascular equipment room and one free-weight and dumbbell room. More than 60 machines have been replaced over the past two years. The newest additions – 16 cardio machines, including 10 cross training machines, three upright bicycles and three recumbent bicycles – feature MP3 docks, so users can access their music selections from the touch screen. There also are four new treadmills with MP3 docks and anyone into gaming will take note of the control handles, which resemble joysticks.
“The equipment evolves from one design to the next and so does the Air Force fitness program,” said Ben Beck, fitness and sports center director. “They complement each other.”
Beginning in July, Airmen will launch into a new fitness culture of more rigorous testing, which places more emphasis on the cardio portion of the test. The new equipment is designed to help people achieve their optimal results for their workout.
“I like the variety of the machines,” said Senior Airman Joel Key, fitness specialist. “You can change up your workout.”
The old equipment has been taken to Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office so that other government agencies can use it.
“We are so grateful and so fortunate to have year-end money for this new equipment,” Ms. Schwartz said.
The new machines feature a wireless cardio theater system that allows users to plug in earphones and listen to any of the televisions, which will be replaced in 2010 with flat-screen TVs.
Also new on the cardio machines is a “virtual trainer” function, which allows users to design a more interactive fitness plan that includes advice on how to improve a workout. And, for those who want to keep a diary of their workouts, each new piece of equipment has a USB port for flash drives to record the workout.
“You can take home your flash drive and download the data and manage your workouts more thoroughly,” Ms. Schwartz said. “You can customize your workout to get better, faster and stronger.”
Every person working at the gym is a fitness specialist and there are three personal trainers on staff, said Airman 1st Class Christopher Cutler, fitness specialist.
“There are no excuses now,” he said.
The machines are new, they run smoothly and they are high functioning, he said.
“By updating the styles, it allows more people to use the machines and feel more comfortable,” he said. “We can help people with how to use the new machines.”
All of the equipment is ready to be used. And, now is the time, Ms. Schwartz said.
“In another week, the gym will be packed,” Ms. Schwartz said. “Everyone will have New Year’s resolutions.”
Peterson Fitness and Sports Center is open 4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. family days, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. For details, call 556-4462.