MCCC Fitness Center Adds New Equipment

4/23/04

When Dennis Jones of West Windsor retired from a very full-time job with the State Office of Management and Budget, his next item of business was getting in shape. A year ago, he turned to the Fitness Center at Mercer County Community College, located on the college’s West Windsor Campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road.

“I knew I had to do something,” Jones recalled. “When I was working, I would eat to relieve stress and do little physical activity. Now I do the reverse.” Jones exercises regularly at Mercer, mostly in the college’s Olympic size pool, and occasionally in the Fitness Center. “It’s the closest place to my home and also the most affordable,” Jones said.

Jones started off by taking an introductory, five-week “Personal Fitness” class offered through the Fitness Center. According to Fitness Center Manager Peggy Schaffer, the course covers the proper use of the exercise machines and teaches participants how to set up a personal workout regime. It also provides information on health and diet. “The course includes one lecture and two workout sessions each week,” Schaffer said. “We hope that participants will get ‘hooked,’ developing a routine of working out at Mercer that will continue after the course ends.”

Schaffer notes that the Fitness Center recently added four state-of-the-art exercise machines to its inventory. “As new and improved versions of the equipment are introduced, we try to add as many of them as we can in order to give our members the best work-out options,” she said.

Fitness Center Manager Peggy Schaffer introduces member Dennis Jones to the supine leg press, one of several new machines.

The largest of the new items is the cable crossover machine, which offers a wide array of high and low pulley exercises that enable clients to work virtually every major muscle group. Dominating a section of the Fitness Center, the machine can accommodate up to eight people, all doing different exercises. To introduce members to the full range of possibilities, the college has produced a video featuring faculty members Helen Tanzini and John Kalinowski using the crossover machine. “We plan to set up a VCR and repeat the video throughout our operating hours until people become familiar with this versatile new system,” Schaffer said.

Other new items include a multi-press chest machine, an easily adjustable bench system that can be used as a chest press, incline bench press and shoulder press. The supine leg press provides conditioning of the quads, hamstrings and gluteals. The lateral pull down works the muscles of the upper body, especially the back.

Schaffer notes that the new machines are proving very popular. “Every time we introduce a new piece of equipment, our clients are eager to try them. It makes the workout more interesting and challenging.”

According to Schaffer, the Fitness Center environment is very relaxed. “People appreciate the friendly atmosphere. There’s no pressure here. Members wear what they want and they don’t worry about how they look as they do their workout.”

Among the Fitness Center’s other inventory are Nautilus machines, lifecycles, treadmills, Stairmasters and rowing machines. An Olympic size swimming pool is included in the membership for an additional fee.

According to Schaffer, membership rates at the MCCC Fitness Center are the lowest in the area. Clients may choose from several membership options ranging from $150 to $225 (includes use of pool) per year, or pay a quarterly rate of $75, or a monthly rate of $35. Fitness Center hours are: Mondays and Wednesdays, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

First opened in 1985, Mercer’s Fitness Center relocated in 2002 to a spacious new facility that adjoins the MCCC Physical Education Building. It is handicapped accessible according to ADA regulations. For membership information, see Fitness Center, email fitness@mccc.edu, or call (609) 586-4800, ext. 3738 or 3758.

For more information on recreational programs at Mercer see:

Fitness Center
Pool Hours
Recreation Programs

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