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About Us

THE GYM MAPLEWOOD is a sports training center with a focus on family fitness. Our trainers and staff are committed to helping you achieve your fitness, health, and athletic goals.

We have lived in the SOMA area for more than a decade, we have kids who play sports, and we play sports ourselves. Our model is based on the needs of our families and the families we've gotten to know through our children, our teams, and our previous training facility, The Gym on Springfield. 

Our training staff has more than 30 years of combined experience. We are on a mission to find the best trainers and coaches for our sports clinics and workshops. Our certified Functional Sports Therapy will provide healing therapy to balance your day to day stress and your fitness training.

Our Team

Timothy Reynolds

Managing Director
Personal Trainer 

Tim Reynolds has been a personal trainer for the past 20 years. He has trained clients of all fitness levels, from beginners to professional athletes. Some of his clients have worked with him for a decade or more. Tim began is training career at Peter Anthony Fitness in Soho and Tribeca, and then moved on to Body Reserve and Harbor Fitness in Park Slope, Brooklyn. In 2005  Tim opened his first Maplewood, NJ facility, The gym on Springfield. He'll bring all that he's learned through these experience to THE GYM MAPLEWOOD.

As a result of his long-time training experience, Tim has developed his own system of assessing his clients and helping them understand their bodies. He calls it The Neuromuscular Imbalance Postural Assessment, NIPS for short. 

Check out Tim's published columns.  



Rafal Kazanecki

Fitness Director
Personal Trainer

Rafal Kazanecki has been a strength coach and a personal trainer for over 10 years, working with all levels of clients, from beginner, to advanced clients. He previously served as the Head Coach Consultant for a professional volleyball team in Poland and also has worked as a strength coach for basketball and volleyball players in the U.S.  Over the past 10 years he has trained clients at Motion Fitness in Millburn and the Gym on Springfield, among other facilities. 

Rafal's clients have recorded great progress through his guidance and their hard word, one achieving 100lbs of weight loss in one year while maintaining her muscle mass and significantly improving her strength. Others have gained strength, improved their game, stayed injury free throughout prevention techniques or recovered through rehabilitation, Rafa'ls favorite training methods involve kettlebell, sandbags, and Olympic lifting techniques.

Benjamin -Paul Velarde


Sports Athletic Conditioning

Graduated with Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science and Concentration in Nutrition from The University of Scranton. During his time at the school, Ben assisted with the Strength and Conditioning Coach to help improve the performance for their Division III Athletic Department, and baseball/softball. Since his graduation, Ben specializes in strength/conditioning training and speed and agility movement patterns, for optimizing high level performance for each individual athlete he has worked with, whether through team and group trainings to 1-on-1 training.  He has worked with young middle school, high school and college athletes from multiple sports background to professional athletes that play in the CFL, professional volleyball and soccer players that play overseas. Ben, who has a previous track of physical therapy, has used that experience with many of his athletes. He uses it to build programs for athletes to help bridge the gap between physical therapy and performance training.


Jesse Evans

Baseball Trainer - Pitching, Hitting, Fielding

Jesse Evans is a current student at County College of Morris earning his associates in Graphic Design in Spring 2020. He has played competitively since he was 8 years old. Was a 4-year varsity player at Columbia High School, where he was decorated three times, grabbing First Team All-County honors his Senior year while leading his team to a 23-4 record. 


Currently a pitcher for the nationally ranked County College of Morris team. 

Jesse became an instructor in 2014, starting off only doing lessons for friends and family. Since then, he has worked with several clients and has gained an appreciation for finding the strongest and most efficient ways to better his clients on the field. He has crucial knowledge on the proper mechanics of throwing, hitting, and how to maximize those tools in-game. His main goal is to improve any player that works with him and get them to the next level.

Eric Lax

Baseball Trainer - Pitching/Hitting/Fielding

Eric has been playing competitive baseball for most of his life.  He was the starting shortstop and pitcher for Columbia High School’s varsity team all four years, before being recruited to play for The University of Tampa (D2).


At Columbia High School, Eric was Team Captain, and MVP Honors. Single Season batting records -  Hits (52), BA (.586) OBP (.752), and RBIs (42) All-State Team, NJ State All-Star Team, State Leader -  XBH, Eric was recruited and played for a US International team going on tour in Europe.  He was the first American pitcher to win a game in the new MLB regulation stadium constructed in Hoofddorf, Amsterdam.


Eric’s college career was cut short by a Freshman year shoulder injury.  While making a diving catch at short, he came down tearing the labrum in his left shoulder, which required surgery for repair.  He returned to playing his sophomore year, but was sidelined by a chronic back injury that ended his playing days.


Eric enjoys instructing in all aspects of baseball fundamentals, stressing to his students to simplify their approach as much as possible - less is more!  It is also important for players (particularly pitchers) not to learn or work on skills that are above their developmental level.



Daniella Ibarra

Daniella’s playing career began at the age of 5 and she currently still competes in softball at the international level. Having started her career in baseball, Daniella made the full transition into softball once she started high school while attending Immaculate Heart Academy. As the 4-year starting shortstop, Daniella led her team to 3 County Titles, 3 Sectional State Titles, 1 State Championship, and the only perfect season in program history in 2012 (32-0). During her tenure at IHA, she was named All-County, All-State, 2nd Team All-American, and NJ State Hitter of the Year. Daniella continued her career at the University of Iowa, where she contributed as a middle infielder and was also named 4-year All-Academic Honoree. After college, Daniella represented the national softball team of Colombia playing against team USA, Japan, Mexico, and other top countries in the world. In addition to her current softball career, she also competes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and enjoys working as an umpire, having umpired from 8u, high school, and the collegiate level.

Softball coach

Jordan Stephan


Jordan Stephan is a recent graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She played softball competitively for over 10 years starting at the age of 10. Growing up in South Orange, NJ, she attended Columbia High School, where she was a 4 year starting pitcher and varsity letter winner, 2 time MVP, as well as being named Captain during her senior year. She continued her career and went on to play at Trinity College in the NESCAC division (New England Small College Athletic Conference). There, she was a starting pitcher in each of her 4 years. In each season, she was named a NFCA All-American Scholar Athlete, and was inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society. She graduated with a BS in both Biology and Environmental Science, and is currently pursing graduate school with the intent of working in healthcare.

Softball/Pitching coach
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