Visitors never have to wait in line to workout at Cardio Express—each of the six clubs boasts a ton of Cybex strength-training machinery, an arsenal of free weights, and more than 80 pieces of cardio equipment affixed with personal 15-inch television screens. Compassionate instructors imbue gym visits with a human element as well, leading classes such as Core Fusion, Total Tone circuit training, and spinning sessions at the Southington, Vernon, and Manchester locations. Each year, the staff members carry the same motivational energy they use in their studios to recruit members and friends for the Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour. Cardio Express has raised a grand total of nearly $400,000, and it also acts as title sponsor for the 2012 benefit.
The sound of clanging metal emanates from a factory-like structure flanked by asphalt and trees. This plant doesn't manufacture station wagons or wrought-iron fences. Here, certified CrossFit coaches transform exercisers into athletes with barbells and sledgehammers. Classes revolve around functional workouts, which teem with strength-training moves inspired by Olympic weightlifters and gymnasts. In addition to building lean muscle mass with dumbbells and pull-ups, participants torch calories and cultivate stamina with cardio challenges such as rowing and sprinting. During On Ramp classes, instructors show newcomers how to exercise safely, whether they're wielding a heavy weight or jumping rope with a sleeping boa constrictor. The exercises can be scaled to different levels of fitness, allowing beginners and accomplished athletes to work out side by side.
The instructors at Accelerated Fitness Solutions create workouts with a scientific approach to fitness that helps clients achieve dramatic fat loss. The center’s crew of nationally certified trainers challenges bodies through high-impact, results-driven workouts that are available in a group setting or one on one. During a standard session, exercisers can be seen hurling medicine balls into the air, pulling cargo ropes, or gnawing on iron ore to make their own kettlebells. Bolstering the sinew-shaping workouts is the FirstLine Therapy program, a holistic 12-week nutrition plan run by a certified nutritionist and tailored to each student.
Certified personal trainer Amy Goodwin's mission is to help people enjoy getting fit. As a mom of three energetic daughters, she knows it's not always easy to make time for a workout, and she admits that it takes dedication and discipline to reach fitness goals. She strives to make fitness accessible with a variety of group classes, ranging from stress-relieving yoga sessions to total-body RIPPED workouts, which engage the entire body more effectively than dragging a 200-pound ball and chain everywhere you go. During personal-training sessions, she merges functional movements with training tools such as free weights, kettlebells, and TRX suspension bands. Her training style also includes mixed martial-arts moves, plyometric training, and stability exercises.
The passionate instructors at Centerspace Wellness Studio cultivate creative energy through art and wellness classes, including several styles of yoga. Students concentrate on bodily alignment and breath control as they flow through a flurry of asanas during energizing Hatha yoga classes, while Spaaah yoga classes help overworked students release their choke hold on stress and frightened office interns by moving through a series of restorative postures set to a relaxing pace. Svaroopa techniques gradually release deep layers of tension with primary spinal openers—fundamental poses designed to limber up the tiers of muscles encircling the spine. Greenhorns shuffle through modified and prop-based poses during 60-minute sessions of beginner yoga, which strive to enhance body awareness and reveal thoughtful gift ideas for the toes. The welcoming studio supplies all necessary mats, blocks, props, and blankets, and recommends that all students arrive for class 5 minutes early free of perfumes or scented oils.
For a decade, Anne and Matthew Falkowski have been transforming rookie stretchers into professional yogis. The lessons at Samadhi Yoga Studio usher guests, regardless of age, flexibility, or experience, into a community whose leaders emphasize the growth of bodily awareness. The 40 yoga classes per week encompass Beginners, Moderate, and Vigorous sessions, which gradually widen students' understanding of postures and breath work. Rather than spending hundreds of hours searching for inner peace in the national phone book, those yearning for further enlightenment can attend a 200- or 500-hour teacher-training program. The nationally certified curriculum has passed more than 150 graduates, steadily expanding the reach of its art to Manchester and beyond. Though yoga is the main focus, Samadhi Yoga Studio rounds out its class roster with other dynamic offerings. Festive Zumba workouts showcase heart-healthy twirls, and specialized workshops combine yoga with other disciplines, such as dance and running.
Court House Fitness & Wellness boasts more than 40,000 square feet of conditioning facilities and equipment, as well as an array of tailored wellness programs, supplying gym-goers with a direct conduit to a healthy lifestyle. A sprawling floor of free weights, cardio equipment, and strength machines allows visitors to fly solo. Group fitness instructors lead more than 110 classes a week, including the Latin calorie conquistador Zumba and mind-body benders yoga and Pilates. Basketball, volleyball, and racquetball courts sing their competitive siren songs to athletic passers-by, and an 86-degree pool hosts an array of rousingly submersible activities. During the four one-on-one personal-training sessions, certified muscle-molders develop an exercise routine, teach proper form, and push clients to succeed at their fitness goals. The gym keeps the same hours of operation for every day on the Gregorian and Mischievous Kitten calendars.