MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
To start off the new year the Devil Dog Gym replaced its old equipment with almost a quarter of a million dollars worth of new machines. Before the replacement the machines looked tattered and abused after years of wear-and-tear by constant use from Marines and Sailors at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.
“In one day we could have anywhere up to 500 people come in,” said Angel Velez, a recreational assistant at the Devil Dog Gym. “In a week we could get up to 3,500 people come in and use all of these machines. With such a high use it was more economical to replace the equipment than to have someone coming in to fix them all the time.”
Cardio equipment from the cardio room and weight equipment from the weight room was replaced by new, more advanced machines.
“Our most used equipment is in the cardio room,” said Velez. “People aren’t going to stay on one machine in the weight room for 30 minutes, but in the cardio room people would be on an elliptical or the treadmills for long periods of time causing a lot of wear-and-tear on the machines.”
Velez also stated that some of the other problematic machines were the treadmills and the pulley system equipment, like the cable crossover. Constant use by the air station personnel caused the ropes to break regularly.
“Broken equipment wastes people’s time,” said Velez. “If there are two machines and one is being worked on everyone else has to wait. What didn’t get replaced was the equipment, that people had poured blood and sweat into for years and didn’t want us to let go.”
“I come to the gym every day,” said Cpl. Lyssa Bucklew, an aircraft maintenance administration specialist with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366. “Before everything got replaced a lot of the equipment broke easily and you always had to wait for stations. Now there’re a lot more stations and a lot less wait.”
Bucklew also said that the new equipment will create a better appearance overall.
“There’s a lot more machines per muscle group,” said Pfc. Kristian Palmer, an aircraft maintenance administration specialist with HMH-366. “I like how you don’t have to wait for everything now. Once I get into a workout rhythm I don’t like to stop.”
The service members at the gym seemed both pleased and satisfied with the new equipment but had some suggestions about what they themselves would add. “They need to put in a smoothie machine for protein shakes and stuff like that,” said Bucklew.
Velez said that with the approximately 50 new pieces of equipment the gym is back to full working order. He also said that most of the Marines and Sailors favored the new pulley machines and that the complaints that they had been getting for years about equipment are all but gone now.