Fitness ‘family-friendly’ style



October 6, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Gleaming, all-new equipment outfits the new CedarBrook fitness center at 1810 East St.
Treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes stand to attention opposite a regiment of training circuit machines and equipment capable of making us into muscle-bound gladiators, or perhaps just a little more toned.
Whatever one’s ambitions, the new fitness center is now open. For this week only, people are welcome to try the center for free.
The fitness center is the pride and joy of Macha Enterprises, the father-son team of Larry and Bob Macha of Iola. Membership in the fitness center includes that of CedarBrook Golf Course north of town. The Machas formed the franchise CedarBrook Golf & Fitness, which is part of the GreatLife Golf & Fitness chain based in Ozawkie. Local membership also gains entry to GreatLife’s other facilities in nine other communities across the eastern portion of the state. 
Members of the new club have 24-hour access through the use of an electronic key system.
The fitness center is equipped with the Precor line of equipment. Included are three ellipticals, four treadmills, one freerunner — an all-motion training device — two stationary bikes, an array of free weights plus machines that target specific muscle groups.
Starting next week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, staff will be on hand to assist with the various machines.
James Casper and Lori Moore will serve as personal trainers. Casper, a native of Moran, also serves as the center’s manager.
Casper has spent the past 10 years working in the field. A 2001 graduate of Marmaton Valley High School, Casper studied physical education at Allen County Community College. Earlier this year he completed an integrated studies degree with an emphasis on psychology from Emporia State University. In 2004, he did a strength training internship under Kurt Kohler for the ACCC women’s volleyball team.
Casper has also worked at gyms in Parsons and Pittsburg. He most recently was the assistant youth sports director for the Emporia Recreation Commission. He still lives in Emporia, and is planning to move back to the area in December, he said.
Casper will work one-on-one as a personal trainer for $15 an hour, he said. The same kind of service in Kansas City would go for $60-$100 an hour, he added. In Emporia and Pittsburg, he charged $35-$40 an hour to work as a personal trainer.
Moore is longtime fixture in local recreational activities, including leading kick boxing classes. Moore works by day as a pharmacy technician at Allen County Hospital and would be available in the evenings and perhaps on Saturdays.
“We’re still working that out,” said her husband, Kris, who works in marketing and development for Macha Enterprises, and has been instrumental in the fitness center’s new look.
The center is the former Lucky Stop gas station and convenience store. The building was easy to convert into a fitness center, Moore said.
The cardiovascular training equipment faces east with big plate glass windows allowing full views of passing traffic on U.S. Highways 54 and 169. Exercise buffs also have access to a multitude of TV screens, including on each treadmill and elliptical. One’s personal headphones plug into the machines to access sound; three machines provide hookups for iPods.
The fitness center has 120 members who have signed on since summer, primarily through their memberships with the golf course north of town.
“We’re shooting for 400-600 members,” Kris Moore said.
The tone is definitely “family-friendly,” Casper said, as opposed to a “gym rat” mentality that can scare away first-timers who may be trying to incorporate exercise into their routines.
The facility is geared for those 14 and older. Youths must be accompanied by a parent.
Membership costs $29, plus tax, per month or $348, plus tax, for an entire year. Membership includes all members of an immediate family.
The fitness center will host an open house next Wednesday.
For more information, contact the center at 620-380-6031, or Casper by cell phone at 620-363-0539.

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