Tyler English knows the look of frustration. In his ten 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.
After finding that her yoga practice helped her overcome her own personal health issues and depression, studio founder, macrobiotic chef, and certified instructor Barbara Ruzansky maintains a passion for introducing “yoga and healthful eating to people, so they can continue to grow and reach their full potential.” Held within a warehouse-like studio with two technicolored practice spaces, Barbara's classes offer a dynamic combination of Ashtanga yoga, Vinyasa flow, and Forrest yoga. She and her large team of equally passionate instructors also helm a selection of slower and gentler yoga styles that cater to three-toed sloths and students recovering from injuries.
My Fit Mommy owner and director Mary Damato is passionate about giving moms a place to get fit while they spend quality time with their kids. A mother of three herself, she saw a need for a laid-back, mom-focused workout space, where moms could interact with other adults while still participating in an intense workout. Each outdoor, boot-camp-style class is led by a certified instructor and focuses on burning calories through circuit training and toning the body using small weights.
The personal trainers at Big Sky Fitness cut frustration from the range of emotions their clients experience. That's because their X-factor coaching is grounded in science, ensuring that exercisers reach their goals if they stick to the regimen. Group fitness classes act as a helpful add-on to the personal-training sessions, as do nutritious shakes from the Shake Bar.
Zoey Trap and Kathryn Coyle specialize in the art of not sitting still. Zoey's MS in exercise science and research on spinal therapies combines with a respected expertise in Pilates and yoga—knowledge that fuels her teacher-training programs and fills her much-translated publications. Kathryn has applied her Pilates certifications to rehabilitative work and presentations delivered across the globe. Both women have been featured in Pilates Style magazine, and have populated The InnerSpace studios with qualified instructors to lead students on their journeys to mental and physical wellness. The InnerSpace's classes promote traditional yoga and Pilates methods. Through group and private sessions, trainers help students of all fitness levels to pursue personal growth, imparting skills and physical abilities that can segue from the studio to real-life situations such as coping with stress and tightrope commutes. The chandeliers in the public posing area bathe visitors in a quiet glow, one that evokes the peaceful atmosphere of the library that once occupied the building. In intimate alcoves, the instructors coach clients in one-on-one sessions, tackling equipment such as the Reformer, and alternative wellness services—including massage and Reiki—drain tension from muscles.
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.