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Expansion completed at YMCA near Mt. Pleasant

| Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 9:02 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant Journal
Hudnell Caldwell of Scottdale, a fitness coach at the Regional Family YMCA of Laurel Highlands in East Huntingdon, demonstrates use of the new TRX-brand equipment recently installed there in a photograph taken on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Kelly Vernon | Mt. Pleasant Journal
Mt. Pleasant Journal
Danielle Brnilovich of Mt. Pleasant tries out the new Cybex ARC Trainer elliptical equipment in the fitness center of the Regional Family YMCA of Laurel Highlands in East Huntingdon in a photograph taken Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Kelly Vernon | Mt. Pleasant Journal

Members of the Regional Family YMCA of Laurel Highlands in East Huntingdon said they are “thrilled” to have more room to exercise following the recent expansion of the fitness center, said Steve Simon, the facility's chief executive officer.

As a result of the work, the fitness center has more than doubled in size to more than 5,000 square feet, Simon said.

The expansion allows members to work on their flexibility without the feeling that someone is going to intrude on their personal space, he said.

“In the past, the fitness room could feel crowded. Now there is more room between all of the machines, even with the additional equipment,” Simon said.

Some of that new equipment includes machines that allow members to use their body weight for resistance which are becoming very popular, Simon added.

In addition, several thousand pounds in additional plates and bars have been added to the facility's weight lifting area, Simon said.

Rubber flooring was installed in the weight lifting section, along with a variety of new benches and three-plate loaded machines, Simon said.

For the last several years, facility employees have been gathering input from members and researching the latest exercise trends to aid them in making new equipment purchases, Simon said.

“The staff made great choices on the new equipment,” said Dan Proud of Mt. Pleasant, a 10-year member at the facility. “The expansion made equipment available when you want so you can keep on track.”

The two new ARC-brand trainers are favorites among the recently added cardio equipment, Simon said.

These elliptical machines alleviate stress on the knees of those using them and they also have iPod connectors to help keep track of progress, he said.

“I love the new ARC Trainers. It's easy on my knees,” said Joyce Prutz, a fitness instructor at the facility.

Two new treadmills and several other training machines were also added to the facility, Simon said. All of the existing treadmills were completely overhauled for peak performance, he added.

Individuals interested in trying the recently installed TRX-brand suspension training equipment are encouraged to see a fitness coach and watch a video on proper techniques, Simon said. The program builds strength, balance, flexibility and burns fat.

Local contractors including Scottdale Builders, The Uber Company, A & M Paint and Paper, Baker Masonry, Anchor Block and Carl's Signs were hired to complete the renovation, Simon said.

Kelly Vernon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media . She can be reached at 724-547-5722 or