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.
Certified personal trainer Fabrice DeCola founded Body Physics in 2006, and it is his current professional outlet for his ongoing passion for fitness. His experience in the industry covers more than 22 years, going all the way back to a collegiate period when he was nationally recognized for his skill on the wrestling mat. His father, a professional soccer player in Italy, inspired him to succeed at other sports, and a career in business management gave him the market savvy to put his training certifications—earned from NFPT, NASM and AFAA—to use at his own facility. There, he adheres to the Egosque method, which focuses on dispelling imbalances in the muscular and skeletal system. His expertise in yoga, Pilates, and tai chi augments programs to improve posture, and an emphasis on mobility over strength ensures that his clients do not lift cows without first being able to outrun them. Fabrice's highly qualified staff of fellow trainers all contribute to the studio's roster of personalized services. Lessons center on each client's dictated goals and can lead to results such as weight loss or better sports performance. Most regimens incorporate a mix of resistance work, cardio drills, and nutrition advice for a more holistic approach to health than eating your doctor. Group classes can inject camaraderie into calorie-burning workouts, and specialized exercises prep prenatal, postpartum, and injured physiques for rehabilitation.
Cannon Ridge is a place where students can practice the deadly hand-to-hand combat maneuvers of krav maga in both morning and evening classes with executive protection specialist Chris Petitti. Within this 6,000-square-foot facility, an eclectic crew of trained professionals lead a well-rounded selection of self-defense and fitness classes such as basic and advanced krav maga, cardio, and weapon defense.
The exercise facilities at FitCon Fitness and Massage Therapy are designed for optimal strength and conditioning. The team has set up four lifting stations stacked with bars, bumper plates, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, and plyometric boxes. Team members train clients' cardiovascular systems through circuit training, jumping rope, running, sled work, and rowing. These exercises are all part of the team's signature FitCon plan, which is designed to produce optimal strength, power, and endurance. Instructors lead small-group classes each week, as well as personal training and private martial-arts training. In the therapy center, massage therapists nurse tired bodies back to health with a variety of sports, recovery, and neuromuscular massage.
Rebecca Smith DeFelice's fitness philosophy embodies two extremes. On one hand, the former Army instructor doesn't shy from intense, interval-based training in her boot camp workouts. However, her training background in dance and yoga—a discipline she discovered while rehabbing a dance injury—emphasizes meditative, calming movement. Rebecca does not view these workout methods as mutually exclusive. Her breadth of knowledge and experience drives Woodbridge Body Works, where she and several other instructors lead classes for all skill and fitness levels.
Their curriculum covers a range of yoga disciplines, from basic posing to flowing sequences of more vigorous postures. There are also yoga offshoots such as Core & Breath, a restorative class featuring hands-on adjustments and breath work. Boot camps rely on bodyweight exercises rather than barbells or machinery to strengthen the entire physique. Rebecca also breaks her boot camps down into 15-minute "Melt Down" sessions on weekdays to accommodate working clients who have short lunch breaks or long bathroom breaks.