There's a new venue in town for ladies who are looking to improve their fitness and health.
Get in Shape for Women, a national company headquartered in Needham, Mass., opened up a location at 521 S. Livingston Ave. last month.
What makes this fitness studio different is the individual care and attention clients receive, owner Michael O'Koomian said. The studio's enrollment is limited to 150 women at a time and members meet with a personal trainer three times a week, on average, for about hour each session. The training groups are kept small and limited to a maximum of four people.
The program is tailored to focus on four major elements: strength and weight training, cardiovascular activity, nutrition and accountability.
Clients are accepted into the program based on their level of commitment to improving themselves and achieving specific fitness goals, O'Koomian said.
"We're not a gym. We're a transformational program and transformation doesn't (just) mean weight loss and body fat reduction," O'Koomian said. "(It means) bone density increase, more energy levels, more focus and a greater sense in pride and self-confidence, lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure."
If accepted into the program, clients combine the workouts with dieting and they also get emotional support and nutrition advice through text messages, inspirational e-mails and phone calls, O'Koomian said. The training cost as little as $19 per session and clients are required to sign up for a minimum of three months.
Get in Shape for Women has nine New Jersey locations.
O'Koomian, a former product manager who did equity research for Citigroup, said he left the finance world two years ago after hearing about the company through his cousin, Glenn Nazarian, who ran studios in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
O'Koomian opened the Ridgewood branch in May 2010 and the Summit branch last May.
Jill Neff, a human resources director from Livingston, praised the fitness studio for the personal attention she receives from O'Koomian and his staff, as well as their exercise and nutrition knowledge.
Neff has been working out with Get Fit for Women for two months and started at the Summit studio.
Neff called the studio "fabulous" and she said it "provides focus, accountability and trainers who care about your success in you personal transformation."
"I work a crazy job, and most of the time I get home I go to bed or sit on the couch," Beff said. "Having an appointment and schedule keeps me on track. I don't miss my appointments and I don't want to. It's easy to go to the gym, but when you have an appointment you have a commitment."
Neff also said she liked the sense of camaraderie she feels during the training sessions. "Everyone is there for their personal goals, but we're all participating together," she said.
On a personal note, O'Koomian and Livingston studio manager James Daisey, a former banking worker, said they are invested in their client's success because they have undergone physical transformations themselves as overweight teenagers growing up in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, respectively.
O'Koomian, who showed a "before" photograph, said he lost more than 120 lbs. through exercise and healthy eating as a student at the University of Rhode Island. Daisey said he lost more than 100 lbs. through his passion for body building,
O'Koomian and Daisey said they know and understand the various food cravings and workout pitfalls their clients face and they want to help women navigate them and achieve results.
"What's hard about this - exercise and nutrition - is the consistency of it," O'Koomian said. "I think people intellectually get this, but emotionally, they don't follow through, and that's where we help them. I know there are ups and downs, and we will continue to help them transition upward, or in this case, downward."
For more information about Get in Shape for Women, call (973) 992-3630 or click here.