New Look for JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center

After 21 years, JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center has gotten a brand new look, and new equipment to inspire area residents to a lifetime of health.

Since December 2017, the fitness center has added a new rubberized surface for the walking track, a new surface for the aerobics floor, new carpet throughout, and a complete new set of selectorized weight training equipment.

With the 13 new pieces of Cybex selectorized weight training equipment, Burkley Fitness Center members can do all of the exercises they could do on the 14 models replaced – and even more, said Craig Bontrager, Burkley Fitness Center director.

“With the new equipment, lifts and techniques have been updated and are more ergonomically correct. Several of the machines have individual motion, meaning each limb can move separately. This is beneficial in many ways, and makes the equipment especially versatile for rehabilitation,” Bontrager said.

The new equipment is very user friendly. Each piece has a diagram to show proper use, a QR code links via smartphone to a video demonstration, adjustable areas and handholds are clearly marked, phone and water bottle holders enhance convenience, and weight can be adjusted in 5-pound increments with a simple twist of a knob. Safety, too, has been enhanced, with completely enclosed weight stacks and smooth adjustment of seats and back pad positions.

Bontrager said the response to the new equipment has been positive.

“They love it. We’ve got people coming in now to use the machines who have never lifted weights, and they feel comfortable doing it. We have people who started using the new equipment when it was installed in late January who say they already feel better and can see a difference in their muscle tone,” Bontrager said.

One of the most exciting new pieces of equipment for many users has been the dip/chin assist machine.

“With this machine anyone can perform dips (pullups),” Bontrager said. “Unassisted only about 10 percent of the population can do a pullup. With this machine I’ve seen people successful who have never been able to do a pullup before. The motion is great for the back muscles – and helps our users to strengthen their backs, which is a difficult area for many people to strengthen.”

Bontrager said when the Magnum equipment was installed when the fitness center opened it was top of the line. More than 21 years of use and new developments in the fitness industry meant it was definitely time to replace the equipment, he said.

“A brand new set of top of the line Eagle and Prestige models of the Cybex equipment will serve our community well for years to come,” Bontrager said.

Bontrager encourages anyone who hasn’t yet tried the new equipment to ask a staff member for assistance and training.

“Come check out the new machines and try them,” he said.

The new equipment, at a cost of $50,672, was funded by unrestricted donations to the Jefferson Health Care Fund. When donations to the Jefferson Health Care Fund are unrestricted, the JCH&L board of directors may approve their use for any JCH&L projects.

“The board felt this was an excellent use of a portion of our unrestricted funds, as the equipment fits with our mission of providing exceptional health and life services and our vision of becoming our community’s most trusted partner for a lifetime of care,” said Chad Jurgens, JCH&L CEO. “The equipment is appropriate for those at any fitness level, and can help people reach their health and fitness goals.”

The carpeting and flooring portion of the project was an additional $35,000, which was funded as a capital project for the fitness center by JCH&L.

There is some updating of the Burkley Fitness Center still to come. A new filter system will be installed in the swimming pool late this summer. The locker rooms will also be getting a facelift in the future, with new flooring countertops and sinks. Timing on the locker room project is not yet definite, but we will keep members informed on plans for the project.

Bontrager thanked members and guests for their patience throughout the project, and for the projects yet to come.

“I encourage those who haven’t been here for a while to come check out our new look, our new flooring and our new equipment,” Bontrager said. “We work hard to keep our fitness center equipped to help our members meet their goals.”