Those looking to get fit this summer but not break the bank on monthly gym fees can look no further than James Brown Park.
Tucked right next to the Shuman Recreation Center is the weightlifting facility, which is the training center of Team Hinesville, the local Olympic-weightlifting team.
The facility is free for the public to use and is open from 4-8 p.m. Monday-Friday.
“My focus is the kids,” said Chris Wood, Team Hinesville weightlifting coach and facility manager, referring to the team’s Olympic weightlifters he currently works with.
“When I have time, I can also work with people in the community, which is kind of nice,” he said, adding that he has several people from the community coming in to take advantage of the free facility.
He said two women have been coming in for the past two years, one of whom has lost 40 pounds. The gym is well-equipped with many of the same machines and equipment found at local gyms. People looking for a cardiovascular workout can jump on the treadmills, elliptical trainers or recumbent bikes. There also are several pieces of equipment to tone the abdomen and a variety of free weights and lifting bars, dumbbells and weight-stacked machines.
“Most of it is excess equipment that came from Team Savannah, and there are about three to four pieces that were donated by a man who wishes to remain anonymous,” Wood said. “He is a former lifter, and he saw that we needed a few things so he is letting us borrow it.”
Team Savannah is an Olympic-weightlifting team that operates out of the Anderson Cohen Weightlifting Center in Savannah. Team Hinesville operates and competes under the umbrella of Team Savannah.
Wood said there is plenty of room and equipment in the facility, which allows the general public to work out without interrupting team training. He said he enjoys explaining proper exercise techniques and added that the Liberty County Recreation Department is offering a free weight-training program at the gym starting this week.
The first session, open to ages 8-12, runs from 4:30-5:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday from Tuesday through July 31. The second session is for ages 13 and older and runs from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Editor’s note: The Coastal Courier plans to follow Team Hinesville’s progress this summer as it prepares for meets.