Tyler English knows the look of frustration. In his eight years as a fitness professional in Connecticut, he has helped thousands of health-seekers who feel bored or fatigued by solo workouts at big health clubs find a better path. At his gym, he promotes what he calls an ?anti-health-club? environment, enlivening workouts while aiming to quickly whittle fit and healthy bodies through his innovative programs. English, a professional natural bodybuilder and author, leads metabolic-conditioning workouts, which boost the body?s anaerobic and aerobic capacity with interval-based cardio. He also folds in a series of strength sessions that incorporate moves with dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, medicine balls, and medicine balls encased in concrete. Tyler also counts on The Diet Doc's weight-loss program through nutritional guidance.
Equipment: Zebra mats and cage, Combat Sports boxing ring, Precor and Cybex machines
Students should bring: Workout clothing (i.e. sweatpants and a t-shirt)
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 11–25 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Capoeira offers a great workout that is mentally and physically engaging. Aikido is more traditional.
The air was chilly and the sky was still dark one wintry morning in Hartford, when five women huddled around Racquel, awaiting instruction at the very first Racquels Addiction Fitness boot camp. But as hard as that first workout may have been, it obviously inspired something positive in the women who attended. From that day forward, word spread about the workout that group fitness instructor Racquel had put together—a powerful routine that targeted problem areas such as the hips, thighs, glutes, and abs and quickly transformed them with little to no help from cumbersome workout equipment.
Today, Racquel and fellow fitness instructor Betsy have branched out from just boot camp. At Racquel's Addiction Fitness, they also teach Piloxing (a blend of Pilates and boxing), Zumba, and Hot and Bothered on the Bench classes, which blast calories with help from a step bench and weights. And, in their quest to make fitness fun for everyone, the studio also hosts many exercise-themed special events, including chair dance fitness parties, pole dancing parties, and sultry potato sack races.
The Fit Playground's premise is simple: exercise should be fun. The team strives to take adults back to a time when clambering up trees and leaping over imaginary lava pits was the only workout they needed. Inside the indoor playground, participants scale ropes and swing from monkey bars, toning muscles, burning calories, and doing something gym goers rarely get to do: having a good time. The fitness-focused play isn't just for adults, of course—The Fit Playground also has classes designed for kids and teens.
For many, maintaining a healthy fitness regimen is an off-putting chore on par with cleaning the garage or assembling that backyard roller coaster for the kids. The folks behind Snap Fitness, who now boast locations all over the world, are of the opinion that this doesn't have to be the case. They believe seven-day access to premium cardio and strength-training equipment, innovative easyFIT monitors to track personal progress, and perpetual guidance from certified professionals can help transform physical fitness into an accessible activity that yields measurable and tangible results. In addition to providing online workout rubrics and meal plans, they work to keep sweat glands up and running by offering workout rewards programs, making regular check-in calls, and measuring bodies—sans padded muscle suits—every 30 days.
Lori-Ann Marchese is used to the spotlight. She was crowned Mrs. Connecticut America in 2013, served as a model and writer for Fitness magazine, and has a starring role on Bravo's
pageant-focused reality show Game of Crowns. But at Body Construct, Lori-Ann and her staff of all-female trainers turn the spotlight toward their clients, offering a number of services designed specifically for women's bodies. Besides personal training and fitness classes for women of all ages, shapes, and sizes, Body Construct also offers nutritional counseling services, which can help women make healthier food choices or help pears learn to love their natural curves.