Visitors never have to wait in line to workout at Cardio Express—each of the six clubs boasts a ton of Cybex strength-training machinery, an arsenal of free weights, and more than 80 pieces of cardio equipment affixed with personal 15-inch television screens. Compassionate instructors imbue gym visits with a human element as well, leading classes such as Core Fusion, Total Tone circuit training, and spinning sessions at the Southington, Vernon, and Manchester locations. Each year, the staff members carry the same motivational energy they use in their studios to recruit members and friends for the Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour. Cardio Express has raised a grand total of nearly $400,000, and it also acts as title sponsor for the 2012 benefit.
The sound of clanging metal emanates from a factory-like structure flanked by asphalt and trees. This plant doesn't manufacture station wagons or wrought-iron fences. Here, certified CrossFit coaches transform exercisers into athletes with barbells and sledgehammers. Classes revolve around functional workouts, which teem with strength-training moves inspired by Olympic weightlifters and gymnasts. In addition to building lean muscle mass with dumbbells and pull-ups, participants torch calories and cultivate stamina with cardio challenges such as rowing and sprinting. During On Ramp classes, instructors show newcomers how to exercise safely, whether they're wielding a heavy weight or jumping rope with a sleeping boa constrictor. The exercises can be scaled to different levels of fitness, allowing beginners and accomplished athletes to work out side by side.
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 instructors at Accelerated Fitness Solutions create workouts with a scientific approach to fitness that helps clients achieve dramatic fat loss. The center’s crew of nationally certified trainers challenges bodies through high-impact, results-driven workouts that are available in a group setting or one on one. During a standard session, exercisers can be seen hurling medicine balls into the air, pulling cargo ropes, or gnawing on iron ore to make their own kettlebells. Bolstering the sinew-shaping workouts is the FirstLine Therapy program, a holistic 12-week nutrition plan run by a certified nutritionist and tailored to each student.
Certified personal trainer Amy Goodwin's mission is to help people enjoy getting fit. As a mom of three energetic daughters, she knows it's not always easy to make time for a workout, and she admits that it takes dedication and discipline to reach fitness goals. She strives to make fitness accessible with a variety of group classes, ranging from stress-relieving yoga sessions to total-body RIPPED workouts, which engage the entire body more effectively than dragging a 200-pound ball and chain everywhere you go. During personal-training sessions, she merges functional movements with training tools such as free weights, kettlebells, and TRX suspension bands. Her training style also includes mixed martial-arts moves, plyometric training, and stability exercises.
Star Hill is expansive, but its staff strives to keep the environment unintimidating. Beneath the white dome lies 105,000 square feet of fields, courts, and tracks, which host sporting clinics and league games throughout the year. Alongside, the main facility's 30,000 square feet house a 25-yard swimming and diving pool, a fitness center with top-of-the-line cardio and weight machines and free weights, and group fitness rooms. Personal training for kids and adults can focus on anything from getting in shape to targeted sports fitness or even triathlon training. After a run around the quarter-mile track, a skip on the treadmill, or taking in a field-hockey game, members can take advantage of the arcade or enjoy dinner at the caf? on the outdoor patio.