Tom Bacha’s fist and feet are like a force field made of whip-quick cobras. The martial artist holds a second-degree black belt in tae kwon do, an Expert Series instructor certification from Krav Maga Worldwide, and a Brazilian jujitsu teaching certification from Best Way Jiu-Jitsu. At Connecticut Krav Maga, he and five other certified instructors draw on their kick-punching prowess to pass on Imi Lichtenfeld’s legendary martial art, krav maga, used by the Israeli Defense Force and the US Marines. Designed around the instinctual ways people defend themselves, the method gets quick-learned into students’ muscle memory, teaching students to fend off surprise attacks or disarm opponents carrying knives, guns, or prosthetic limbs.
The customized workouts at Achieve Fitness focus on clients’ goals, such as running in a marathon, increasing flexibility, or bench-pressing an actual park bench. A variety of equipment is used during personal-training sessions and boot-camp classes, and include exercise balls, weight machines, and treadmills. The studio is outfitted with expansive mirrors that enable clients to keep an eye on their form when squatting or doing Pilates.
Brass City Ballet's classes translate emotions into movement. The dance classes take all forms including graceful ballet for students of all ages, energetic modern and jazz, and teen and adult yoga to get bodies and minds balanced. Dance Discovery classes teach kids aged 3–5 how to move to music and Booiaka card dance fitness helps build up a sweat and work off excess weight.
During Krav Maga classes, fancy rules and poses are obsolete. Designed by the Israeli Defense Forces, the self-defense program teaches its students street-effective techniques for warding off attackers and overly agressive raindrops. Krav Maga is just one avenue toward a healthier lifestyle offered at Tribury Karate & Fitness, a 3,000-square foot, family-oriented facility. Owner, master black belt, and 30-year martial arts veteran Sharon Strobel oversees the facility's operations, setting a welcoming, gentle vibe in the process. For some classes, Master Strobel turns the teaching duties over to her team of instructors, who lead students through sessions of yoga, Zumba, and cardio kickboxing.
It’s impractical to wear a TV screen on a necklace while going for a morning jog. But that’s what one would have to do to replicate a special technology offered for busy parents at Peak Fitness: all cardio machines are outfitted with a personal viewing screen and a channel that pipes into the onsite babysitting room. So while parents are taking advantage of a full range of services, they can keep an eye on their little ones.
Peak Fitness accommodates diverse trainees by offering a wide range of services, from personal training to spa services that heal overworked muscles to meal plans that provide the proper amount of calories. The gym houses strength-training equipment along with a cycling room and cardio floor. Its treadwall creates a never-ending rock climb that builds endurance safely. There’s even a basketball half court and indoor volleyball court, and patrons can purchase nutritional substances and workout gear from the pro shop.
Unlike lousy tour guides, the team at Peak Fitness doesn’t leave clients fending for themselves all the time. Fitness classes cater to different interests with options such as step aerobics, kickboxing, and yoga. After patrons finish their workout and tidy up in individual steam showers, they can further prepare for beach season by bronzing their skin inside a sun capsule or horizontal tanning bed.