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Portable exercise equipment ‘working out’ during COVID

Beaver Fit Gym Boxes at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, provide better access to members.

Staff Sgt. Carlos Zapata, left, and Staff Sgt. Ernesto Gutierrez, both from the 837th Training Squadron, use the Beaver Fit Gym Box near their squadron to do pull-ups during a workout at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Jan. 26, 2021. There are currently 12 portable gym boxes located throughout the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Vanessa R. Adame)

Beaver Fit Gym Boxes at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, provide better access to members.

Staff Sgt. Carlos Zapata, 837th Training Squadron, performs a deadlift during a workout at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Jan. 21, 2021. The Beaver Fit Gym Box was relocated to the 837th Training Squadron from the Security Forces Training Complex last year to provide better access to members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Vanessa R. Adame)

Beaver Fit Gym Boxes at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, provide better access to members.

Staff Sgt. Carlos Zapata, left, and Staff Sgt. Ernesto Gutierrez, both from the 837th Training Squadron, use the Beaver Fit gym equipment during a workout session outside their building at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Jan. 26, 2021. Both say the gym boxes have been convenient to help them maintain their physical training requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Vanessa R. Adame)

Beaver Fit Gym Boxes at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, provide better access to members.

Staff Sgt. Ernesto Gutierrez, 837th Training Squadron, removes bumper plates from the rack as he sets up the equipment at a Beaver Fit Gym Box at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Jan. 26, 2021. Twelve of the portable gym boxes are located throughout the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Vanessa R. Adame)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Physical readiness has long been a priority for the U.S. Air Force, and now as COVID-19 is posing restrictions on fitness centers, portable training units located throughout the base are providing a convenient option for service members.

The fitness systems, known as Beaver Fit Gym Boxes, are built into 10-foot shipping containers. The containers include items such as climbing ropes, medicine balls and kettlebells, and are designed for training that can accommodate up to 50 people at one time. The 37th Training Wing acquired 12 Beaver Fit boxes last year as then wing commander Col. Jason Janaros sought to promote physical fitness and readiness. Prior to the acquisition, portable containers had been successfully utilized by the Special Warfare units at the Chapman Annex and various joint service units on JBSA-Lackland.

The gym boxes, which include equipment from resistance bands to squat racks, are designed for easy assembly and transport. The 12 units are currently housed at squadrons throughout the 37th TRW, with 10 at JBSA-Lackland, one at Chapman Annex and another at Camp Bullis. The 37th TRW plans to buy two additional Beaver Fit Gym Boxes this fiscal year.

“The boxes offer a centralized location for members to work out within their squadrons considering the limitations COVID-19 has impacted the fitness facilities,” said Capt. Keith Jones, 326th Training Squadron. “Additionally, the boxes provide the fitness capability to squadrons who do not have a gym or workout area, making it more convenient for members to incorporate a workout regimen within their duty day.”

One of the containers was recently relocated from the Security Forces Training Complex to the 837th Training Squadron to provide better access to members. The move has proven useful for instructors of the International Force Protection to maintain their physical fitness and improved access for members who use the Beaver Fit Gym Boxes.  

“It’s very beneficial having this equipment here, especially now with COVID,” said Staff Sgt. Ernesto Gutierrez, 837th TRS. “We don’t have to drive to the gym; we can do a quick 30- to 45-minute workout. We have all the equipment here.”