by Walt Johnson
The Mountain Post is blessed with some of the finest fitness centers in the Colorado Springs area. If the Army is going to be capable of fulfilling its mission of being “Fit to Fight,” it is imperative that facilities like the ones at Fort Carson exist to give the Soldiers the best chance it can to succeed.
Fort Carson has four physical fitness facilities – Garcia, McKibben, Waller and Forrest – that have some of the most up-to-date workout equipment and programs designed to give Soldiers and their Family members some of the top fitness centers in the country.
Garcia PFC operates seven days a week and holidays. Centrally located on the post it has more programs going on at its facility than any of the other fitness centers on post. The center hosts intramural basketball, aerobic exercise programs, weight training and cardio exercise equipment, and also hosts combatives training.
According to Amber Zurita, Garcia PFC manager, there are a number of things for patrons at the center. Zurita said all the post facilities have personal trainers who can design tailored programs to meet any fitness needs.
“We are very proud of the services we have to offer at our facility. We think we provide a very family friendly environment and many programs that will keep people motivated to having fitness as part of their daily habit.”
According to Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation officials, Garcia Physical Fitness Center is equipped with a regulation-size collegiate basketball court, two racquetball courts, a cardiovascular room, and a strength room with new Hammer Strength equipment and free weights. The cardio room features state-of-the-art equipment including treadmills, ellipticals, summit trainers, step mills, recumbent, upright, and spin bikes. Cardio Theatre is provided on cardio equipment for personal enjoyment on six different televisions.
The center also offers free towel service, a coed sauna, day lockers, showers, whirlpool cable and vending machines.
Another program that highlights the post’s ability to take care of its fighting men and women is the combatives program. The program is an intense hands-on training that allows Soldiers to train to get the very latest in combatives warfare techniques so they can fully protect themselves in any environment.
McKibben PFC is open every day except holidays and training holidays. McKibben is not the newest facility, but it has the newest fitness mission. Two years ago, post officials got the idea to take out the basketball goals in the main gym and add a new state-of-the-art weight training area that has been an instant hit with Soldiers and family members.
According to DFMWR officials, the transition was made to offer more fitness and weight training options for the Fort Carson community. The upgrade to the facility includes the purchase of a wide range of free weights, plate loaded machines, selectorized resistance training equipment and a larger selection of cardio equipment.
Like Garcia, McKibben PFC offers free towel service, a coed hot tub and sauna, men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers, cable TV with Cardio Theatre in the treadmill area, two Olympic lifting platforms with bumper plates and personal training. The center also is home to the newest fitness class, TRX training which is held Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10-11 a.m., noon-1 p.m. and
5-6 p.m. The classes are limited to the first 12 people that sign up. Group appointments can also be made for the TRX training by calling 526-2597.
Waller Physical Fitness Center is open seven days a week and training holidays but is closed on federal holidays.
Waller has three weight rooms that are equipped with the newest, state-of-the-art, plate-loaded machines, selectorized (pin-select) equipment and free weights, with weight plates and dumbbells ranging from five-180 pounds, according to DFMWR officials. The center also offers modern aerobic training
equipment, to include 12 treadmills, five Summit Trainers, six elliptical trainers, six recumbent and seven upright bikes, as well as a step mill and five indoor rowing machines.
A highlight of the facility is a speed bag and two free-standing kick bags (heavy bags). Waller also offers a racquetball court, a sauna, a hot tub, and an area for stretching and stability ball/medicine ball training (mats and stability balls are available), according to DFMWR officials.
Waller’s collegiate basketball court is not only used for post intramural and varsity basketball action but is also home to post change-of-command ceremonies and other special events.
Forrest Fitness Center is the smallest of the fitness facilities on post but has so many programs that one might think it would be the largest.
According to DFMWR officials, Forrest has the largest cardio selection on Fort Carson and a variety of strength training equipment, racquetball courts, indoor and outdoor running tracks and the Fitlinxx computer workout system. The Fitlinxx system in Forrest connects to the one in Garcia for those tracking their training.
The facility also hosts a number of aerobic programs that include: aerobics, spinning, physical training spinning, yoga, 20-20-20, body blitz, cardio, mix, kickboxing, toning, step, pilates, spin and tone, kick and tone and cardio salsa classes.