By Fort Lee Public Affairs

FORT LEE, Va. – Fort Lee cut the ribbon on a new 40,000-square-feet fitness facility today, allowing soldiers and other authorized users to immediately take advantage of more than $700,000 in Post Field House renovations and functional fitness equipment.

The Strength Performance Center joins the MacLaughlin and Clark Fitness Centers to offer the community more and varied options for exercise, said Dan Gauvin, the center’s facility manager. It will be open from 5 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4-8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The new facility features equipment including weighted sled pulls, tires, agility ladders, TRX suspension trainers, treadmills, ellipticals, spinning bikes, rowing machines, saunas, and more. Planned fitness class will include TRX suspension training, CrossFit and Wellbeats virtual training classes.

“This center is different because it focuses on functional fitness,” Gauvin said. “We have 3,000-square feet of Astroturf, so we can do things like tire flips, rope pulls or sled pushes. There are more areas for circuit training for individuals or groups to come in and design their own program.”

“A big reason we wanted this center was because our other facilities are getting overcrowded,” he said. “We didn’t foresee the approval for a new facility, so we decided to preempt that and renovate the Post Field House to meet that need. With the help from Army G-9, we were able to get additional funding for equipment and as a pilot program, we are among the first to get some of the equipment through the bulk-buy program.”

Another way they are bringing technology to the new fitness center is through a program called WellBeats. It offers virtual training in one of the side rooms where a pre-programmed instructor – whose image is projected onto the wall – guides users through the class. There are more than 225 classes available, from kickboxing to yoga to cycling. The room also has a variety of fitness equipment available to use with the virtual sessions.

“In the beginning, we will set up a class schedule to show a variety of the offerings and the classes will start at that time,” said Gauvin. “There is no waiting for other people in the class or the instructor. Best of all, it’s completely free. This system is a direct result of an Army Family Action Plan request for free fitness classes.”

Eventually, people will be able to select the classes they want to take on a first come, first-served basis. If it’s a popular offering, there are additional systems that could be installed in other locations across the fitness centers.

The center also features a mini CrossFit gym. There are classes Monday – Friday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. and 5:30-6:30 p.m. The open gym hours – currently only offered from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – will extend to the facility’s hours.