Photo courtesy of The Pack
Personal trainers Sebastian Morel-Ferreira (right) and Chris Finn (left) have created an outdoor fitness class in Long Island City.

A Long Island City resident and personal trainer is looking to transform Gantry Plaza State Park into a gym this spring.

Sebastian Morel-Ferreira has created The Pack Outdoor Gym, an outdoor small group fitness class that he says is the first of its kind in the New York metro area.

Originally from Paraguay, Morel-Ferreira moved to New York City eight years ago and to Long Island City four years ago. He has fitness certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Health and Fitness, and he also works as a nutritionist and lifestyle coach.

Morel-Ferreira teamed up with personal trainer Chris Finn, who is originally from Australia and works with celebrity clients like Hoda Kotb, to create this class. The duo held their first demo class on May 7 on the park’s turf next to the East River Ferry pier and will hold another one on May 15.

“A lot of things that New Yorkers love to do is [spend time] outside in the summer,” Morel-Ferreira said. “It’s so beautiful and we basically have three or four months out of the year with nice weather.”

He added that Long Island City is lacking fitness opportunities and since the neighborhood is growing, Morel-Ferreira wanted to provide a service to his neighbors.

The classes officially start on May 16 with one session at 7 a.m. and another at 8 a.m. For now, the classes will be held on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Sessions will start at 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays.

Morel-Ferreira and Finn will focus on mobility and strength training. Though the classes will accommodate 10 to 15 people, the personal trainers want to provide a one-on-one experience to each attendee. The coaches will modify exercises, scale weight loads and provide alternative moves if a part of the workout is too difficult.

“Every single class is tailored for the person that’s taking the classes to have a progression and see the results,” Morel-Ferriera said. “We’re bringing our personal training skills but now for the small group.”

Each 45-minute class will emphasize one move such as a dead lift, squat or clean and press. This way, everyone taking the class will know how to execute these moves the right way in the future. The duo will bring kettle bells, weights, battle ropes and more to the waterfront park.

“We’re not making you run laps and do push ups; we’re actually programming each class to have a progression,” he said.

Those interested in experiencing the class before signing up can attend another demo class on May 15. Flyers will also be distributed around the neighborhood for one free session. Each session will cost $34 and after two weeks, the trainers will provide packages for three sessions, five sessions and 15 sessions.

Morel-Ferriera said after the first two weeks, the duo will also look to provide evening sessions so that those attending after work can do so.

Overall, the personal trainer said he wants to strengthen the Long Island City community with his classes and encourages residents to greet him if they see him around the neighborhood.

“Imagine if you can get up in the morning and take a 7 a.m. class on the beautiful waterfront,” Morel-Ferriera said. “You can go home, take a shower and go to work. I want to make everybody feel welcome.”

To learn more about the class and Morel-Ferriera, click here.

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