Shaping up for summer
North Bergen has a variety of fitness opportunities
by Vanessa Cruz
Reporter Staff Writer
Jun 10, 2012 | 4359 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SUSPENSION CLASS – TRX Suspension Training class during their last couple of minutes
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For those who don’t like what they see in the mirror and yearn to get summer-ready, there are a multitude of possibilities. Gym memberships, workout videos and free outdoor exercises are great options to get fit, look better in your summer wardrobe, and feel better about life as the season heats up.

Summer’s start on June 20th is right around the corner, so the pressure is on! For those who have been caught up with work or life in general, there are a number ways to get in shape for the summer, beginning with a membership at your local gym or health club.

“They can come take our group training classes,” said Manager Eddie Mendoza from North Bergen’s East Coast Fitness, “which is kettlebell, TRX (suspension training), boot camp, or they can come work with a personal trainer for a couple of months, or they can do some sessions.”
“A community of people who live the lifestyle, they are committed to working out.” – Manager of Dumbbells MaryAnn Donzi
Mendoza said this way people can get great results very quickly if they’re looking to get in shape right before July and August when it gets really hot. Or they can just come sweat it out in Zumba, an energetic dance class. The gym also offers free child care while parents work out.

“The best way is with a trainer, there’s no doubt,” MaryAnn Donzi manager at Dumbbells, said. “I just started working with a trainer about two months ago, and I already dropped 15 pounds. We have about eight or nine trainers that are available, and we have male and female,” said Mendoza.

She described Dumbbells Health and Fitness as a more “serious-minded gym. A community of people who live the lifestyle, they are committed to working out.”

Tracking those calories

Since the hot weather has arrived, North Hudson County’s James Braddock Park is another option that many people utilize as a free alternative to a gym membership.

“At least four times a week, I just finished walking then I use the fitness center for strength training as well as flexibility,” said MaryAnn Rumplasch, an exercise physiologist. “When it’s nice out I spend most of my time outdoors because I love being outdoors.”

A former member of the North Bergen High School track team, Sujal Shah, said he walks, runs, and uses the park workout apparatus to do pull-ups and sit-ups, or joins a volleyball or basketball game.

“My main goal is to stay active and keep moving,” he said.

“I walk and run (around the track),” said Mario Plata, another park regular.

Braddock Park also has a tennis court for exercise that doesn’t feel so much like a workout.

“It’s our first time coming here [the tennis courts]. We normally play soccer, go on our bikes,” said Marlin Cartagena.

“We do it throughout the year but we don’t do it because of work,” said his brother Giovanni. “Me and my brother, we do it every Sunday.”

To the courts

North Bergen’s summer tennis camp registration for boys and girls ages 9-14 begins on Thursday, June 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. and continues Friday, June 8, and Monday, June 11 from 9 to 3 p.m. The program will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 25 through July 19.

Those interested must bring proof of residence, birth certificate and a registration fee of $35 to North Bergen Recreation, 6300 Meadowview Ave. Summer tennis camp will be limited to the first 75 children. For further information, call (201) 861-9601.

According to a tennis court employee, all Hudson County residents are able to utilize the tennis courts, as well as out of county and out of state residents. For out of county players the fee is $10 and for out of staters the fee is $20 per hour.

“During the summertime I play tennis outdoors,” said Ismael Hamed. He uses the tennis courts five times a week.

Volleyball camp registration begins this week for boys and girls in the 7th and 8th grades. Registration dates are June 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. and continues June 12 and June 13 from 9 a.m. to 3p.m. The program will occur Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m. which will begin July 5 until July 31. Those interested must bring proof of residence, birth certificate and a registration fee of $35 to North Bergen Recreation, 6300 Meadowview Ave. Volleyball camp will be limited to the first 75 children and for any further information call (201) 861-9601.

Free alternatives

The fitness section at the North Bergen Public Library, 8411 Bergenline Ave., has countless books, CDs, DVDs and Zumba video games for the Nintendo Wii. You can contact the library at (201) 869-4715. Its hours of operation are Monday - Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday the library is closed.

Vanessa Cruz can be reached at

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