Opening of an outdoor training locker at Warren Y | News, Sports, Jobs

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry William Turfitt works out on the Warren County YMCA Outdoor Workout Locker Dip Attachment.

The OWL landed at the Warren County YMCA.

The outdoor workout locker is open for business in the lot on the Elm Street side of the YMCA.

Whether a member is looking to enjoy the outdoors while working out or is interested in social distancing training, the facility offers just about everything available indoors.

Workout equipment, benches, weights and racks are kept inside the container. A metal frame that surrounds this container provides plenty of space for any type of workout the user is looking for.

“It’s open from opening time until closing at night,” said Turner.

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Warren County YMCA Athletic Conditioning Program Instructor Kristine ‘K’ Hughes works out with TRX equipment at the outdoor workout locker.

The equipment is sponsored by Northwest, Calvert-Pearson and Whirley Drinkworks.

“All users are long-time YMCA supporters,” says Lincoln Sokolski of Whirley. “We all support active lifestyles and healthy living.”

“The OWL has been a great new addition for people who want to train outdoors,” said Sokolsky. “It offers a plethora of training options.”

“It’s a great facility that people of all ages can enjoy,” Northwest’s Colette Bonavita said.

“Anything you can do in a traditional gym, you can do here”, said YMCA wellness director Chris Dolan.

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Kristine ‘K’ Hughes, Instructor of the Warren County YMCA Athletic Conditioning Program, selects some equipment from the outdoor workout locker.

She showed the small supports that can be placed in the frame to create a squat rack. Turner pulled out a one-piece dip bar and set it up for a user.

YMCA fitness program instructor Kristine ‘K’ Hughes brought out the TRX equipment for a quick workout.

Those who want to practice but need instruction can find help inside. “Staff are always happy to come out and help,” said Sokolsky.

For those who just need a little orientation, “there are always workouts listed on the board,” Dolan said.

The locker is near the Y’s outdoor play area. “You can take your kids outside to play and keep an eye on them while you train,” said Sokolsky.

The facility was something Turner hoped he could bring to the Y.

“We were planning on trying to do any outdoor gym for years,” he said.

The permanents he saw weren’t very useful, were getting old, and were very expensive.

The container-based system made sense, but he had never seen it in a YMCA. “They were almost all soldiers and academics”, said Turner. “West Point…they have 25. The Coast Guard Academy has two.” No Y had one.

“It’s what people want and need”, said Sokolsky. “Northwest, Calvert-Pearson and Whirley made this possible.”

“We have made quite a substantial investment in this area in the midst of COVID,” he said. “At a time when we might have to scale back a bit, we decided to look long term.”

“We at Northwest are proud to be a long-time sponsor of the Warren County YMCA and now its outdoor workout locker,” said Bonavita. “As a bank, we care about our employees, friends and neighbors in the Warren community, and we are committed to supporting their financial and physical well-being in any way we can.”

“We believe in the YMCA’s mission to work together to ensure that everyone, regardless of gender, income, religion, sexual orientation or cultural background, has the opportunity to live their full life.” she says. “And we are confident that the Y, along with this innovative new outdoor facility, will continue to play an instrumental role in promoting a stronger, healthier and happier Warren County.

“The Calvert Pearson Insurance Group is proud to be part of the outdoor training locker for the Warren YMCA,” said Dave Pearson. “Through healthy program initiatives and new activities, the Y continues to have a positive impact on learning, leadership and character development. We appreciate the YMCA’s commitment to the Warren community and look forward to future partnerships.

“Whirley-DrinkWorks! is committed to improving the health and overall quality of life of our community,” said Sokolsky. “The YMCA Outdoor Gym is a great new addition to Warren County that aims to promote mental and physical wellness with equipment that allows members to exercise in a beautiful outdoor environment with fresh air and plenty of space to stay socially distant from others.”

“WDW is a long-time supporter of the YMCA of Warren County and is proud to be one of the sponsors and partners of Northwest Bank and Calvert Pearson Insurance in bringing this fashionable gear and environment to promote mental wellness and physics for our WDW TeamMates and community,” he said.

Although the idea was in the works before the pandemic, the timing works well in a social distancing environment.

“Some people are still reluctant to enter” Dolan said.

The locker will be closed during the winter. “At the end of October, beginning of November, we will put everything inside and we will close”, said Turner. It’s so easy.

And, if the location is not suitable, the container can be moved.

Currently, the equipment is new and different, and few people use it. It’s a good time to try, Turner said. “People are going to start using it. It will pick up.


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