Upbeat music blares at New Haven Strength & Fitness LLC, where the instructors schedule fast-paced fitness classes such as Les Mills BodyPump, Les Mills BodyAttack, and Turbo Kick. The studio is also home to Bokwa classes, which challenge exercisers to draw letters, numbers, and M.C. Escher sketches in the air with their feet. Clients who want a slightly less intense workout can sign up for one of the Pilates-based Slim Sculpt sessions.
Joanna Pearson has never been a stranger to good health—as a registered nurse, it's been her job. But after making it through the rigors of nursing school, having kids, and navigating the ups and downs of everyday life, she realized she needed a change. "I looked in the mirror, and I didn't like what I saw," she said.
So she enrolled in a Zumba class, dropped nearly 40 pounds, and nourished a love for fitness that blossomed into a career. Now, she inspires that same passion in others through her boot camps, which combine traditional exercises (such as push-ups and squats) with creative functional workouts such as flipping tires, aiming sledgehammers at tires, and consoling battered tires. As an RN and ACE-certified personal trainer, Joanna knows how to meet her campers at their level and encourage them to push a little further without intimidating them. Her classes are "rugged,” but “still doable for any fitness level," she said. She also teams up with her husband of 16 years to lead couples boot camps, which enable twosomes to encourage one another as they get fit together.
Joanna meets with each new boot camper for a total-body assessment, including measurements and BMI stats. As a NESTA-certified fitness nutritionist, she uses that information to help craft a nutritional program that empowers clients with the knowledge they need to eat right.
Because she's been leading the boot camps for more than a year, Joanna has been able to see the transformations happening for her campers, which transcend mere weight loss: she said she's seen them gain strength, endurance, confidence, and self-worth during her program. Some of them have even followed Joanna’s footsteps to pursue becoming instructors themselves.
"It's a cycle of giving," she said.
Candy Cane’s fun-minded party hosts add a sexy, cheeky touch to bachelorette parties, birthdays, bridal showers, and girls’ nights out. They are like a full service bar, party house, and fitness studio combined, hosting private parties and events, workshops, and fitness classes. The staffers can also collaborate with customers to create a unique theme, such as sexy delicatessen or sexy Free Willy.
Candy Cane’s kitchen turns out sweet treats and specialty drinks to accompany events, and a full catering menu is available. Sweets can also be stashed in The Candy Store's signature little black box alongside party favors such as tank tops, body paints, and adult novelty items.
CrossFit Future's high-ceilinged, 10,000-square-foot facility is anchored by kettlebell areas, ring stations, and deadlift bars waiting to be hoisted high. Trainers?each with a CrossFit Level 1 certification or better?fuel 60-minute group or one-on-one workouts with calls of encouragement. The fifteen-strong staff unites backgrounds as diverse as a mechanical-engineering degree, a fireman, and a seventh-place finish in the breaststroke in the 1996 Olympics. Using up to date equipment, the team motivates students to sprint up and down the back alley, drag sleds, or toss medicine balls.
West Point-educated Dr. James E. Hicks served in the U.S Army and U.S Army Reserves before settling in at Hicks Chiropractic & Healing Arts Center as a licensed chiropractor. He is also a family herbalist, has a naturopathic medical doctor degree, and is a contributing author of two books that deal with alleviating neck pain. His wellness-based services also include Lipo-Light body sculpting, massage therapy, and nutritional assessments.
Shape Fitness believes that since exercise is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle, people should be able to fit a workout into their own schedules. This spacious gym is staffed and open 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and clients here have access with their own key. Cardio and strength training equipment helps members stick to their fitness regimens, and group class are available for people who like to work out in a motivating, social environment. Certified personal trainers are also on hand to help train those looking to amp up their fitness routine.