Colorful knobs and grips jut out from City Climb's angular white walls, guiding climbers of all experience levels along routes designed by USAC-certified setters. These vertical treks are made safe by ropes, which are looped into climbers' harnesses and held below by belayers. No harness is necessary to clamber along the curves of a bouldering cave, however—or while army crawling the entire length of the floor. Students can bring their own equipment or rent climbing shoes, harnesses, and chalk bags at the gym.
The expert climbing instructors at CT Rock Gym guide cliff-scalers through the ins and outs of rock climbing and belaying during a 90-minute On Belay! class. Teachers introduce students to climbing equipment, movements and techniques, and the basics of belaying, which involves clambering up overhangs while tethered via rope to a partner. Two automatic belay machines help solo climbers achieve the heights of dynamic duos, and the staff ensures safety by checking each person prior to their belaying foray and leading everyone through typhoon disaster drills. A two-week membership allows patrons to develop their climbing prowess by exploring a bouldering area, which includes a cave, and shimmying up artfully designed rope paths that rotate every 2.5 months—the time it takes to hatch a rhinoceros.
Made up of wooden footbridges, ziplines, and demanding rope courses, each of the 5 aerial trails at The Adventure Park at Storrs winds higher and higher above the forest floor. The color-coded pathways were built with climbers of all skill levels in mind, ranging from low-to-the-ground beginners' courses to the more advanced skyward trajectories. Safety orientations precede every climb, upon which participants embark while strapped into a climbing system that always remains securely connected to a safety line. The park strives to keep its surrounding forest and trees healthy by making sure light, air, and moisture flow freely along each trail.
The team at CrossFit Factory Square knows that each person has a different fitness goal. For some, that might be having more energy and losing weight. For others, it might be improving athletic performance or doing enough bicep curls to eliminate the need to shop with a grocery cart. Whatever the motivation, their strength and conditioning program—which is used by many police academies and military units—is designed for universal scalability, and it can be implemented by beginner or advanced exercisers.
The protocol calls for constantly varied, functional movements such as squatting, pushing and pulling, and running. Staffers challenge guests with more than 6,000 square feet of traditional kettlebells and rowing machines, as well as some devices you might not expect to see. Build strength on a pair of gymnastic rings, traverse the monkey bars on the Killa Kage, or train on an outdoor enclosed sandpit, which absorbs force and offers better resistance training than asking a toddler to eat vegetables right before naptime.
New Britain-Berlin YMCA's 90,000-square-foot complex helps members improve their lives through community programs, personal training programs, and a variety of fitness facilities, including a new massage studio. Besides bulking up on full circuit of Nautilus strength equipment or powering through Precor treadmills, steppers, and ellipticals, visitors can join friends for games of basketball in the double gymnasium or chuck tomatoes at the walls of five on-site racquetball courts. The clear waters of the 25-yard swimming pool parallel the mirrored walls of an 800-square-foot fitness studio, where members can partake in several health and wellness programs throughout the week.