Fitness Center underutilized by students

With the New Year beginning, many people have made their new sets of resolutions.

But the fad to not be fat doesn’t seem to have reached MCCC’s own Fitness Center.

While many students and employees do use the workout facility, there are many more who do not, according to Karen Turner, Fitness Activities Coordinator.

“During the week, about 60 to 80 students use the Fitness Center per day,” Turner said.

There are often only three to four people using it at a time, however.

 So where are all of the other people?

Alumnus Jason Childress, who works out at the center, said most students are more interested in gaming or other aspects of life than being in shape.

 “I also think there is a misconception that you have to already be in pretty good shape to show up at a gym,” he said.

Dillion Messer, an MCCC student, said some students may not use the college fitness center for obsessive-compulsive reasons.

 “The students who don’t use the Fitness Center may want a certain brand of equipment. Maybe they want more room,” Messer said.

According to Turner, all students are automatically given a free membership to the Fitness Center.

“Students should take advantage of this because if you’ve ever used a membership to a gym, they are expensive,” she said.

The YMCA of Monroe’s Web site says that a monthly membership for an adult is $31 and for a young adult it is $25. For a yearly membership, the cost for an adult is $374 and for a young adult is $300.

Snap Fitness charges $34.95 per month, plus an additional $49.95 enrollment fee for an adult membership.

Anytime Fitness Center’s Web site says: “Monthly dues are generally less expensive than the average monthly cell phone bill.”

Sarah Schneider is an MCCC student in the Registered Nursing program and uses the Fitness Center almost daily.

“It’s a good reason [that it’s free] when you’re trying to pay for nursing school, because I used to go to Snap,” she said.

Three groups of people can use the Fitness Center, according to Turner.

 “Students that are both credited and non-credited have free membership; all MCCC staff has free membership; and members of the alumni are given membership. An alumni member has to have 24 credit hours from MCCC and be a part of the alumni association. They pay an alumni association fee of $15 and then a $50 membership fee per year. Guest passes are unavailable.”

The Fitness Center consists of a workout room, the gymnasium, and locker rooms. With the membership, students, alumni, and staff have access to all three.

The workout room has a wide range of different types of Hammer Strength weight-machines, free-weight dumbbells, Stairmaster training equipment, elliptical cross trainers, rowing machines, stationary bikes, stair steppers, life shapers, and treadmills.

To entertain members as they exercise, there are multiple TVs in front of the cardiovascular machines, and there is a radio that plays through speakers around the room.

“Everything is nice,” Messer said. “The equipment is nice, the facility is clean, and the equipment isn’t too old. There’s not much that I don’t like about it.”

 “Most of the time I work out and take classes at the YMCA here in Monroe,” Danielle Prusaitis, a 19-year-old first year student at MCCC, said.

“I go to the ‘Y’ for their fitness classes. I wish the college had more of those classes, like yoga.”

“I also wish they had more treadmills and elliptical machines because when it’s busy I have to wait to use them,” Prusaitis said.

Devin Kachar is a 19-year-old, second year student at MCCC and does not use the Fitness Center.

“I used it once, and wasn’t really impressed,” Devin said. “I like the facility as a whole. For cardio it’s good; they have good cardio and endurance machines, but I was not impressed with the overall weight-training department.

“The weight-machines seem out-dated compared to the 24-hr gyms in Monroe,” he said.

Kachar suggested that the Fitness Center should invest in not necessarily new equipment, but more of a variety, such as a bench press for guys who want to lift heavy weights.

As for starting new fitness classes, that project is already up and running. MCCC has built a whole program for non-credit classes through the Lifelong Learning department.

 In this program, there is a wide range of classes from sports and recreation to computer training, business and professional development, medical, health, and wellness.

The fitness classes include different levels of yoga, tae kwon do, zumba dance fitness, belly dancing, and boot camp. There also are personal trainers students can hire to help them succeed in losing weight, or just getting in better shape.

There even is a personal fitness trainer certification class for students who want to earn a personal trainer’s certificate.

Messer said he works out at the Fitness Center because it is convenient. Prusaitis said she likes the weight-room, and Schneider said she loves the hours the Fitness Center is open.

Messer and Prusaitis agreed that better advertising would help more students know about the Fitness Center. 

“I don’t think everyone’s aware that it is even there.” Prusaitis said.

“If students don’t have a class in the health building, they usually don’t know the fitness center, (or the gym) even exists.”