M.E.L.T. Fitness Studio's trainers see each body can be defined and molded with the appropriate exercises. Rather than a standard group workout for all their clients, they provide what they call group personal training, modifying and accentuating various exercises to the ability level of their students. They stick to a theme each day, reserving Tuesdays for fat-burning blasts, Fridays for abdominal work, and Saturdays for m.e.l.t.ed cardio, which burns as much fat as possible while building cardio endurance. Within that theme, they provide personal variations for each client to accommodate fitness level or injuries, very often naturally relieving chronic pain by carefully strengthening muscles around the affected area.
For some, like Mission Fitness owner Matt Mund, fitness comes easily. Matt starred on basketball and softball teams throughout his youth, and won his first weightlifting contest in college. But that doesn’t mean Matt, or his team of certified personal trainers, only welcomes equally gifted athletes to their personal-training sessions and three group fitness classes. To the contrary, personal training caters specifically to your goals, whether they’re to lose a hefty chunk of weight or tighten up already sculpted muscles. Likewise, boot campers each move at their own pace through challenging circuits, and bodies of all shapes burn calories via different styles including boot camp, boxing, and yoga.
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.
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.
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.
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.