Rowing is one of the few exercises that burns calories, works the entire body, and isn't rough on the joints—so it makes sense that it's the only workout that's offered at Power 10 Indoor Rowing Center. Inside this state-of-the-art facility, seasoned coaches teach adults and youths how to row during a range of programs. For obsessional rowers, the facility is also equipped with Concept 2 ergometer machines and a Swingulator, a virtual-race rowing simulator that cannot be won with a little cheat code like Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start.
At CrossFit Gulls, trainer Elliott Laden and his fellow CrossFit Level 1 certified coaches push the accelerator six days a week. They lead clients through CrossFit's intense workout of the day, a continually changing workout consisting of functional exercises that can be performed by nearly anyone, including kids and imaginary friends. Newcomers can prepare for the workout by attending instructional OnRamp classes or scheduling a Bodivis body-composition analysis. Then, on Sunday, after everyone's umpteenth pull-up, pushup, and squat, the staff and their students do what any sane person would do—they rest.
At CrossFit West Hartford, knowledgeable coaches draw from trainings and disciplines such as MMA fighting and college football to get their students fit and healthy. Instructors work hand-in-hand with each trainee to help them understand the science behind each workout, tailoring exercises to each pupil's abilities, whether high-intensity CrossFit sessions or precise Pilates movements.
Olympic lifts, gymnastics, and calisthenics. When you take elements of all three and perform them at a high intensity, you get CrossFit. At CrossFit South Windsor, founders Merle McKenzie and Glenn Perra create total-body workouts that change daily to keep muscles guessing. Merle and Glenn have found that CrossFit is one of the best ways to bolster physical power, speed, and agility, but they also value its easy scalability. Students of all abilities can find an intensity that works for them, all while keeping boredom at bay with rapidly changing exercises.
One practitioner of CrossFit summed up the lifestyle with one simple perspective: "People walk through the door and say, 'Hey, where's all the machines?' We're the machines." Everybody motivates everybody else in these group exercises, which strip away the fancy devices and fads of the moment to focus on natural movements. At CrossFit Playground, exercisers build muscle by climbing ropes, jogging backward, lifting heavy weights, and doing battle with their shadow-selves. The workout is different every day, and the instructor takes care to exactly explain the exercise du jour. Combining community, expertise, and old-fashioned hard work, CrossFit delivers proven results.
The ground fighting, chokes, and locks of Brazilian jiu jitsu are traditionally associated with the legendary Gracie family—and Soulcraft Brazilian Jiu Jitsu features an instructor who knows the family well. Marcio Stambowsky studied with the family and was one of just a few to earn his black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu under the tutelage of the late Rolls Gracie. Now a seventh-degree red-and-black belt, Stambowsky and Brazilian jujitsu black belt Brad Wolfson lead a team that instructs students in jiu jitsu and muay thai kickboxing. Youngsters get in on the act as well, with kids' classes that teach self-defense, boost confidence, and demonstrate how to avoid conflicts with that kid at lunch who keeps trying to trade a fat-free Fig Newton for a chocolate-pudding pack.