The Base Gym – MCAS Miramar

Like I mentioned before, I spent the past few day in Southern California to see my brother when he got back from Afghanistan and to celebrate his homecoming with family.  It was great to see my brother again for after so long (as well as meet his sweet girlfriend and see extended family!), but another major highlight was getting to enjoy base housing while we were there.  I absolutely love being on military bases – no matter where they are, driving onto base always feels a bit like coming home.  One of the perks is trying out the various base gyms.  I was very impressed by the facilities at the MCAS Miramar Fitness Center and Sports Center.  The fitness center was within walking distance of where we stayed, and I was highly impressed by what they had to offer.

Naturally, I took some stealthy creeper photos to share.  The operative word is “stealthy.” (That’s why these are blurry…not because I had a seizure, but because I am not the most adept at taking creeper pics.)  First of all, outside the fitness center was a huge field with a track that had to be at least 1/2 a mile around, and scattered around the track were little fitness stations with standard chin up bars and dip bars, but also things like outdoor “exercise bikes” and “ellipticals.”  At first I thought they were the coolest kind of kid’s playground equipment I’d ever seen, but then I read the sign and realized they’re actually intended for adult use.  I saw a few folks using them during our stay, and I thought it was a cool option to have available.

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They had a large main room with free weights, selectorized weight machines, about 20 different cardio machines, and a couple cable towers with a pull up bar in the middle.

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It was a bit crowded, but so well-equipped that I didn’t care.

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  They even had Woodway treadmills, which I had only heard of before.  I was even temped to try a quick run on one, which says a lot for someone who is not a runner.

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 They also had a group fitness room, which was pretty standard.  I did not sneak a photo there because there was a group of older Asian women in there sitting on Swiss balls, and it felt really weird to interrupt their gabfest.

There was a really beautiful basketeball court at the other end of the gym.

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That big, shiny floor made me really want to run some suicides…but I didn’t, because even more than that, I wanted to put their kettlebell selection to good use…in the wonderland that was the badass room…

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At least, I’m calling it the badass room.  It had rowers (my favorite), a spin bike, a rope pull machine, an ab chair/pull up bar/dip stand combo, a heavy bag, a soft mat  for floor work or grappling (plus gloves and pads), med balls and Swiss balls, a closet filled with Bosus and ab rollers and the like, and a lifting section complete with barbells and bumper plates and a padded “platform” so people could drop weights without ruining the floor.  (You can see the guy standing on the “platform” in the photo.  He was working on some Olympic lifts while I did my kettlebell circuit.  Man, it had been too long since I heard the sweet sound of weights being dropped.)

This was the beautiful view from the little corner where I staked my claim:

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Maybe it’s because I haven’t been in a commercial gym in over six months (since I left my job at the gym and my complimentary membership ended), but it was glorious to work up a sweat at the base gym.

Later that day, my dad showed me the sports center, which was maybe half a mile down the road from the fitness center.  Needless to say, I got twitterpated all over again.  They had all the cardio machines in the front/middle room (the standard treadmills/stepmills/elipticals), plus a small room to the side that looked like it was meant for circuit workouts and/or martial arts, with heavy bags, mats, and the other usual suspects.  But to the left and down a few steps was this mecca:

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It was the playground of my dreams.  The part that sealed the deal was the chalk bucket and the fact that they had a trap bar.  (This is the first gym where I’ve ever seen a trap bar.  Told yall I love base gyms.)

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I swooned real hard at that.  On the walls, they listed bench press records, which was neat.

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They take this benching stuff seriously.

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That little sign to the left, above the water fountain, reminded gym-goers to that spitting in the fountain is prohibited because it can spread illnesses like cold, flu, and herpes.  (Thank you, MCAS Miramar, for doing your part to eliminate the threat of the herps.)  Outside things just got better and better.  They had a standard field with a track, along with some tennis courts, but they also had tires lining the track and a trailer full of barbells and bumper plates.  So you can put together a circuit that involves tire flips, sprints, barbell lifts, and even pull ups (on the many, many pull up bars they have beside the track)…is that great or what?!  You can see a couple guys taking advantage of just that in the photo.  One of them is actually pressing a log overhead.  An actual wooden log.  Not sure if he found that in the equipment trailer or, you know, in the woods.  But still, pretty badass.  The only thing they were missing was a set of rings (which they do have at the base gym at MCRD…)

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And when I thought it couldn’t get any better, the guy working the front desk gave us free Core Power protein shakes.  I love food, and I really love free food.

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MCAS Miramar, you sure know the way to this broad’s heart.  Today, working out in my garage was fun as usual, but tinged with a longing for greater things, like the base gym facilities.  I consoled myself by wearing the shirt my dad bought me at the sports center, and it helped a bit…

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But still, I miss the base gym already.  I miss base life.  And I miss seeing men in uniform everywhere I go.

Maybe I ought to just enlist…

(Kidding.  Maybe.  A little bit.)


Have you ever worked out in a base gym?

What’s the best gym you’ve ever visited?


3 thoughts on “The Base Gym – MCAS Miramar

  1. We have a base gym here and it is horrible. The Air Force isn’t as concentrated on fitness as the army or marines, but we try! I wish our gym was half as cool as this! That’s why I’ve chosen to do CrossFit at somewhere in a local town, rather than on base! Awesome pictures though!

    1. Aw man, that’s too bad that they don’t provide you with better fitness facilities. On the bright side, you can choose base housing at a Marine base next time you travel and enjoy the perks! 😉

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