Parkland fitness center more than just dumbbells and treadmills

fitness center

Although it can seem difficult to find time or space to exercise, especially for college students who are in the midst of a busy schedule, exercise can provide physiological benefits to the mind and the body, which can lead to increased productivity and reduction in stress levels.

(Article by Debbie Skinner, republished from

Rod Lovett, the director of athletics at Parkland, described the benefits offered by visiting the fitness center.

“The fitness center is an outstanding, affordable, state of the art facility that is beneficial to our student-athletes, student body, and faculty-staff alike,” Lovett said. “Whether an individual wants to take a class with or without a trainer or work at their leisure, there are plans open to them. We are a hidden gem of the college and I invite our students to come over and check things out.”

David Garcia, the fitness center director and head baseball coach at Parkland College, reflected on what makes the fitness center at Parkland College unique.

“Parkland College is very fortunate to have a fitness center of this size and quality,” Garcia said. “Our facility [is] one of the best fitness and training facilities you will find at a two-year institution. Having this type of facility at a two-year college for our students, our trainers and our athletic teams and coaches is what separates Parkland College from so many other gyms and college training facilities.”

Garcia described the wide variety of training equipment located in the fitness center.

“We have over 25 pieces of cardio equipment (Ellipticals and Treadmills) as well as 6 multifunctional Keiser Pods that are fully stocked with weights,” he said. “The Keiser machines can be used as a squat rack, bench press, and pull up station. The pneumatic Keiser system included in each of the pods which include its own Inlay Olympic Platform. Each pod has an adjustable pull-up apparatus, dip station, and cable system.”

An additional feature of the fitness center is an area of over 30 yards of multipurpose AstroTurf, which student and Parkland baseball player Matthew Zielonko noted is a great tool in his workout plan. Having an open area such on which to participate in different activities is just one of the many benefits that the fitness center provides for a student athletes.

Not only does the fitness center house multiple pieces of training equipment, there is also the opportunity for students to be hired as student trainers as part of their curriculum. Personal training is available for the public at an affordable cost, with certified personal training along with KIN 201 students who are working towards their personal training certificates available for one-on-one personal training sessions or small group training sessions.

The upper level of the fitness center houses a walking track, which is available for any Parkland student, faculty member, or staff to use during open hours. The walking track can be accessed through the entrance on the north side of the athletic center. Lockers are available in which to place personal items when using the track.

Any Parkland College student, faculty, or staff member who is enrolled in KIN 103, KIN 147, or WCE 800 is eligible to use the additional features of the fitness center other than the walking track. The KIN 103 and KIN 147 classes are a one credit hour class, and therefore standard student fees are charged for these classes, while the WCE 800 class is a non-credit class costing $100 per semester, allowing class members to utilize the fitness center.

The open hours of the fitness center this semester are Monday through Thursday 7 am to 7 pm, Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The facility is closed on Sunday and school holidays. The center is located in the Donald C. Dodds Jr. Athletic Center on Parkland’s campus, near parking lot M6.

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