Morris County Fitness and Weight Loss Meetup - Summer Fitness Boot Camp is the cover story Parsippany This Week, a weekly special to Daily Record.
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The following is the cover story text from Parsippany This Week by reporter and staff writer Vanessa Vera.
Lake Parsippany resident Lori Wink hasn't been to the gym she's a member of for months. The traditional gym environment is distracting, Wink, 37, said. And she doesn't like the indoor "stuffiness'' of gym facilities, aerobics classes that have patrons "packed like sardines'' and the solo factor of working out in a gym, Wink said.
"When you join a gym you're on your own. I belong to a gym, but there's nobody there to motivate me,'' she said.
But taking her first class with personal fitness instructor Carey Yang, 43, of Denville, was a far more enjoyable and effective experience for Wink, she said. Wink said she loved the class, and days later, "I'm still feeling it. No pain, no gain,'' she said.
Yang, who owns Carey for Fitness Personal Training, recently started a Summer Fitness Bootcamp class in Parsippany. The class, which meets for an hour Wednesday evenings at Veterans Memorial Park on Route 46 East and Vail Road, was borne of an online group he started on social networking web site Meetup.com.
Meetup.com allows people to form or join groups based on interests in a particular area.
Yang established his Meetup.com group - called Morris County Fitness and Weight Loss - this past spring. From there, he organized the group's first face-to-face meeting in mid June, and a week later, he held the first bootcamp class in the park.
Classes are $10 per session and are on a pay-as-you-go basis, Yang said. There is no registration or contract, and people are not required to be part of the Meetup.com online group which, Yang said, he originally formed as a support group to reach more people interested in weight loss and healthy living in a way that was affordable for them.
Though only a handful of the online group's 26 members have attended the bootcamp classes Yang recently started, his intentions from the beginning were to maintain a small class size - like a small personal training group, he said.
"I want a group class but, in the meantime, I also want to give each individual personal attention,'' he said.
Though the fitness classes are taught in bootcamp style, individuals work at their own pace and fitness level, Yang said. Eventually, he'd like to expand the class to three times a week - moving beyond "fitness training 101'' and "kicking up the intensity'' to see results. But, for beginners, the weekly class is a good way to teach students how to work out on their own, Yang said.
"At least once a week also provides some type of support, motivation and sharing,'' Yang said. "I think the group dynamic is great because people basically share their success stories, their challenges, and we can offer solutions to each other.''
Yang said he'd like his students to walk away from the class with "a healthy and powerful mindset and attitude ... and this group at least provides some motivation and information to keep them going.
Seeking a venue to pull her back into a fitness regimen is what drew Lake Parsippany resident Melissa Paszko, 40, to Yang's class.
Paszko, who said she has battled with weight throughout her adult life, lost 120 pounds through diet and exercise several years ago. But over the last few years she got out of her exercise routine and gained some of the weight back - something she was not happy about.
"I always felt better when I was working out five days a week,'' Paszko said.
When she read about Yang's class, she thought it would be fun. And after just one session, Paszko was already enjoying her workout, she said.
"When I left there, I felt that I had finally found something that was affordable, that I was really going to enjoy,'' she said. ""(Carey) was very encouraging; he was very helpful. I think it's going to be a plus in my life working with him.'
Lake Hiawatha resident Ruby Darmanin heard about Yang's class through Meetup.com. She was looking for a workout venue that was inexpensive and close by, she said.
"I'm not big on exercise - I never was. It's a hard thing for me to do, not something I enjoy. So I need somebody to push me,'' Darmanin, who is semi retired and currently works part-time, said.
And Carey, she said, is enthusiastic. The classes are better than anything she's tried, including at gyms, which bore her to death, Darmanin said. ""Just having a person like (Carey) helps,'' she said.
Though weight loss would be an added benefit, Darmanin said it is not her main goal in working out. She simply wants to keep fit. And whether or not Carey's classes will prove successful for Darmanin, she said, is strictly up to her.
"I have to be more committed in order to stay in shape,'' she said.
For Lake Parsippany resident Danielle Stecky, daily walks around Lake Parsippany have gone a long way in keeping her fit. But she wanted to try something that would go a step further and help her loose inches around her stomach area and tone her muscles.
For years, Stecky actively did aerobics and weight lifting, but about five years ago she got out of that routine. Initially, when she heard of Yang's bootcamp, she wasn't sure it was for her, Stecky said. She thought it would be an intense class built for 18-year-olds where she wouldn't be able to keep up.
But after a phone conversation with Carey, he assured Stecky she could work at her own pace and she decided to try a class out.
At first, she thought the exercises and seemingly endless squats were too simplistic. But a day or two later, she was feeling the effects of the workout in her body - particularly in her legs - she said.
"It was a good experience and I do want to do it again,'' Stecky said. ""But I'm not going to do so many squats next time.''