When it comes to workouts, everybody has an opinion on the best ways to torch calories and burn fat, fast. But we found four local coaches and trainers whose exercise programs produce real results and are grounded in biomechanics and exercise science. Even better, these workouts are accessible to people of all fitness levels, from rookies to veterans. Full disclosure: They require, dedication, focus and a get-serious-or-go-home mentality. But don’t be intimidated. While these trainers may seem hardcore at first, they’re as supportive as they come.
Greenwich CrossFit Greenwich, CT
Not all CrossFit gyms are created equal, as evidenced by the refined, upscale Greenwich CrossFit. And while the workouts are notoriously grueling, co-owner and general manager Colleen Delaney believes hands-on coaching and a careful balance between cardio and strength movements is key. Daily workouts are constantly varied, but maintain core CrossFit exercises, including push-ups, squats, lunges, burpees and a variety of weighted barbell lifts. “A fitness program shouldn’t be complicated, but simple,” Delaney says. “The more complicated it is, the harder it is to follow and the more likely it is to end in failure.” Delaney—a former competitive swimmer who is CrossFit Level One certified and has a variety of lifting certifications—says the best thing about her programming is that it can be modified for people of any skill level. “We consistently work to provide an inviting, all-inclusive, yet challenging wellness environment.” Greenwich CrossFit plans to introduce specialized classes this fall. Pricing is $275 a month for unlimited classes or $300 for 10 classes.
Ml Strength White Plains, NY,
ML Strength’s tag line is “train like a pro,” and gym founder Dana Cavalea knows exactly how it’s done because he spent 12 years as the Director of Strength and Conditioning for the New York Yankees. ML Strength—which has four locations in the New York Metro area—features one-on-one training, rehab services, and training camps. Sixty-minute sweat sessions are sports-based—meaning they replicate movements from a variety of sports. For instance, on the day of a basketball workout, you may do weighted medicine ball jump shots; during a football workout, you may put on a harness and push a sled. “Each sport challenges the body in a different way,” Cavalea says, and the goal is to condition, tone and prevent injury. After an assessment, a client’s metrics are tracked similarly to a pro athlete’s. Mental conditioning plays a part, too: “We work to understand everyone as an individual, including their limitations and motivations,” Cavalea says. Pricing varies depending on type of membership, starting at $179/month.
Fit By July Greenwich, CT,
Dwayne July’s fitness résumé includes playing college football, boxing professionally and working as a trainer for more than 10 years. But his introspective side may be the biggest asset. “I ask everyone what their ‘why’ is for wanting to be fit,” he says. “We can always build a plan around that.” July’s high-intensity interval workouts rely on five functional movements that target different body parts and include squats, push-ups, rows, kettle bell swings and planks. “My goal with every class is that a person is energized and feels good about themselves,” he says. July—who trains everyone from Division One lacrosse players to moms reclaiming their pre-baby bodies in group classes—believes in a positive support system. “Every member has to sign a contract that says you have to be welcoming to everybody who comes in here,” he says. Pricing varies and begins at $247 per month for unlimited team sessions.
Pure Conditioning Stamford, CT,
Daniel Pachter has worked as a personal trainer and nutrition consultant in Manhattan for more than 15 years, and he recently opened Pure Conditioning in a sun-filled solarium in Stamford. The gym features traditional equipment that’s been modified and re-engineered to “enhance the level of muscular stimulation.” In a 25-minute workout, clients are led through a series of movements such as leg presses, pull downs, chest presses, and weighted planks, while trainers carefully monitor the controlled lifting and lowering of weight. “We track the number of seconds you engage the muscle tissue, not repetitions,” Pachter says. This is because, he says, muscles change and become stronger due to tension placed on them. “We do the least amount of exercise that gives you the greatest benefit. It’s not ‘more is better’, but ‘less is more’,” says Pachter. Pricing is $800 for 10 one-on-one sessions.