After Brian Ayers earned his degree in fitness management and went to work in a corporate fitness setting, he discovered a new kind of training—one that involved challenges such as boxing, mud races, and obstacle courses. "I moved away from using machines and dumbbell exercises to exercises that will get people in shape for more athletic things," he says. In June 2011, he decided to open a studio dedicated to the philosophy of embracing challenge, and Rugged Fitness was born.
Traditional machines do not exist at Rugged Fitness. Instead, there's plenty of space for boot-camp workouts, a pull-up area with TRX bands, and 11 heavy bags for boxing classes, which never exceed 11 pupils. Outside, giant tires patiently wait to be lifted and flipped, and an obstacle course with monkey bars, army-crawl netting, and a climbing wall dares visitors to push themselves to their limit. During the interval-based boot camps, students might heft sledgehammers one minute and drop for pushups the next. Because activities focus on increments of time, rather than specific weights or numbers of reps, everyone can calibrate the exercises to their ability level. And the students do have a range of abilities—some are fitness aficionados, whereas others are complete beginners, and one student dropped more than 100 pounds.
To challenge and encourage students, Brian gathered a staff of experienced coaches, which includes a former professional boxer and an amateur mixed-martial-arts fighter. "Our coaches are all very hands-on," he says, "Everything they they're putting you through, they've done. It's not just someone sitting back with a cheeseburger telling you to do pushups." That spirit of camaraderie extends throughout Rugged Fitness's clientele. "You're all struggling through these crazy workouts we're going to put you through," Brian says. Even outside the gym, members frequently band together to complete mud runs, obstacle courses, and marathon Macarena sessions.
To supplement the classes—which include kickboxing, kettlebell conditioning, and the once-a-week Rugged Boot Camp challenge—the trainers offer one-on-one nutrition counseling. An online nutrition program helps steer guests toward healthier diets, analyzing what they're eating based on the calories, nutritional components, and number of Flintstone vitamins hiding in foods.
It's understatement to say Trendsetters of Cheshire's owner Joan Morgan knows her way around a salon chair. After all, the Paul Mitchell–trained stylist has been brandishing her scissors for more than 19 years, 15 of which were spent in management. She even flaunts her expertise outside of the salon as an educator and advisor for Joico/ISO's and Beth Minardi's signature product lines. The impressiveness doesn't end with the owner—the other expert stylists remain on the cutting edge of the latest trends and industry techniques, too. In addition to trimming hair and rooting out long-lost hair picks from the 1970s, the talented staffers can add color, perform chemical treatments, and oversee advanced procedures such as Awapuhi KeraTriplex frizz-nixing treatments. The salon menu even extends to airbrush tanning and waxing, so customers can put the finishing touches on their new looks in one fell swoop.
From their three locations, the auto mavens at Platinum Car Wash & Oil employ advanced water-reclamation systems and power-conscious equipment during cleaning and maintenance services. The facility's full-service car-wash tunnels spray paint jobs with Simoniz soaps, waxes, and foams before staff members dab rides with microfiber towels. They continue hands-on touch during signature or 20-minute express detailing sessions that unfold as auto owners explore the waiting area's magazines, complimentary WiFi, or leather couch cushions.
Opposed to using recycled or reprocessed oils, the crew spurs pistons with Mobil oil and complimentary top-offs between services. They also help boost car with lube services, such as transmission drains, tire rotations, and VPS fuel-rail services that dislodge harmful debris and misplaced CDs from fuel- and air-intake systems.
Primarily a new and used Chevrolet dealership, Richard Chevrolet has been selling rides and mending vehicles with maintenance and repair services for more than 36 years. The staff of technicians and parts experts inject engines with oil, outfit axles with rotated, aligned, or replaced tires, and restore paint jobs to their original-packaging gleam. Richard Chevrolet’s convenient amenities, including a shuttle service and a quick online appointment system for repairs, make fixing rides much easier than training the family pomeranian to be your sled dog.
Dean and Lisa Rodrigue always talked about opening their own salon. In 2010, they took the leap and founded Couture Salon, a chic hair salon with dark hardwood floors and upscale touches like brocade accent walls. Since opening they business, they’ve sharpened their hair-styling skills and broadened their service menu. In addition to waxing and spray-tan treatments, they offer facials and eyelash extensions. Couture Salon stays open until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays to accommodate the moon if it needs a haircut and those with busy work schedules.
Brimming with a full line of USDA-certified, human-grade treats for pets, The Cheshire Cat & Dog, Too LLC feeds domesticated darlings with scrumptious pet cuisine made with natural, quality ingredients. Selections for cats and dogs include offerings from Wellness, which incorporates human-grade proteins while avoiding meat by-products, preservatives, fillers, and artificial colors, as well as Taste of the Wild dog foods, which supplements roasted meats with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. A variety of raw and canned options for canines and felines ensure dietary variety while providing additional sources of healthy proteins.