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Ramsey Trainer Seeks Treadmills For Gym Goers With Special Needs

Russ Van Ness of Gifted Fitness works with a client.
Russ Van Ness of Gifted Fitness works with a client. Photo Credit: Russ Van Ness
Russ Van Ness poses with one of his clients.
Russ Van Ness poses with one of his clients. Photo Credit: Gifted Fitness

RAMSEY, N.J. – Like all personal trainers, Ramsey trainer Russ Van Ness spends his days helping clients get the most from their workouts.

But most of Van Ness’ clients aren’t able to use the typical gym equipment at the New Jersey Sports Academy in Ramsey where his business, Gifted Fitness, is based.

Now the Fair Lawn native, who works with kids and adults with special needs like cerebral palsy and autism, is on a mission to change that.

He started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for special adapted fitness equipment that will allow his clients to exercise on treadmills, ellipticals and bicycles. As of Wednesday evening, the campaign garnered nearly $4,000.

“Almost all of our clients see the typical treadmills, stationary bikes and ellipticals and want to try them. Due to the lack of adaptability, seating options and safety straps, our clients are unable to use these pieces,” said Van Ness of North Haledon.

Van Ness said the money raised through the campaign will go toward purchasing adapted fitness equipment so he can offer more exercise options to more people.

“The next time one of our amazing clients requests the elliptical, we want to be able to say yes!” he wrote.

Van Ness has ten years of experience working with people who have special needs. He was recently featured on PIX 11 News for #sweatforCP , a social media campaign he created to raise awareness during March, National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.

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