The Schoolcraft Fitness Center encourages students to join
By Casey Samyn
Campus Life Editor
While the Fitness Center is open for community use, Schoolcraft students can benefit in more ways than one. Completely free to all credit students after providing their schedule, the Fitness Center is located in the Physical Education Building room PE120 and is the perfect place for people of all fitness levels to get in shape, have fun and meet new people.
The Fitness Center is two and a half years old and all equipment is up to date. Aside from the over 110 different workout stations available for use, a membership includes access to a pool, six handball/racquetball courts, locker rooms and a sauna.
While Schoolcraft students can use the facility for free, all Continuing Education students can use the Center for $20 a month, staff and faculty for $15 a month and the rest of the community for $25 a month plus a one-time fee of $35.
Maggie Leins, a student employee of the Fitness Center said the Center is the busiest during the first weeks of the fall semester, but a machine is always available for use. The staff is readily available to help; at least two student employees and one staff member are always on site.
The Fitness Center is closed during major holidays, including Christmas and Thanksgiving break. Until August 29, the summer hours are Monday-Thursday 5:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m., Friday 5:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Saturday 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. After August 29, the Center will be open Friday 5:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m., but all other hours will be the same.
Patty Donohue Ebach has been the Fitness Center Manager since it opened in 2012. She has dedicated almost nine years at the college as a teacher in first aid, CPR and wellness and fitness conditioning. She also has over 20 years of experience at other fitness centers prior to her position at Schoolcraft.
Ebach said that when the Center first opened in 2012, a student membership cost $15 a month and a total of 1,746 people registered. Now, less than three years later, nearly 6,500 registrations have gone through after the Board of Regents determined students could use it for free.
When one signs up, a free equipment orientation and a fitness assessment are available the same day to determine a baseline for each patron. There is also a tour available for new and interested members.
The tour includes an introduction to the gear available for use such as a self-propelled treadmill called the Woodway Curve® machine, several Precor® strength bikes, Keiser® machines that have different levels of air pressure to lift instead of weights and the FreeMotion® Incline Trainer, which has a built in iPad that connects to a satellite to show one’s progress as they virtually run along real trails throughout the world, is also new and only available for a limited time. Jacob’s Ladder™ is a new stair climber in the center. One can also take a ride on Expresso Bikes®, which have a variety of courses to virtually race through—including catching dragons—with or without friends.
In an effort to encourage a competitive and fun atmosphere, there is a whiteboard with several different records on it that members have accomplished and/or are trying to beat, such as deadlift, squat and one mile run.
A comfortable and laid-back ambiance is provided with refreshments and various memorabilia such as t-shirts, water bottles and earbuds available for purchase.
There are lockers with digital locks available for free each visit, or they can be rented out for a semester fee of $20.
While enrolled at Schoolcraft, one will not regret taking advantage of the Fitness Center. No other gym offers the convenience, affordability and support as working out at the Schoolcraft Fitness Center, especially when an enrolled student.
Peter Hubbard frequents the Fitness Center on average three times a week. “It’s a friendly, just bubbling atmosphere. Everybody, the staff, is really upbeat, the students are respectful to one another,” said Hubbard. He likes the free weights section the most because of “how well developed it is and how many different machines and benches [there are].” His advice for students that might be nervous about working out in front of their peers is that he has made a lot of friends from the Fitness Center and that “people talk to one another and ask advice and everybody can increase their own fitness if they have friends that encourage them, push them and teach them.”
One is never too old or out of shape to get fit, stay healthy and make new friend while doing it, and as the fall semester creeps up, the perfect time to start is now.
For more information, stop by the Physical Educationa building or visit http://www.schoolcraft.edu/campus-life/fitness-center/the-facility.