• Pito began his boxing career as a coach and trainer at the young age of 15.  He helped establish and lead the first boxing team for the Hartford PAL (Police Athletic League) where he worked as head coach.  His passion for boxing and desire to provide a better life for his family led to his decision to enter the ring and become a professional boxer at the age of 18.
  • Pito retired from boxing in 2012 having been a 2 time world champion with a record of 36(28KO)-10-0.  He won his first 24 professional fights, 18 by knock out.
  • In 2013 Pito was inducted into the Connecticut Boxing Hall Of Fame.
  • In conjunction with his own personal professional career, Pito has coached individuals and managed large group classes for the past 20 years.
  • Pito combines a mixture of true boxing technique with high intensity cardio exercises to produce one-hour calorie smashing sessions burning up to 1000 calories per workout. 

Boxing/Community Accreditations
• 3 Time IBO Junior Lightweight Champion (8/25/95, 4/12/96 and 4/25/97)
• Intercontinental Lightweight Champion - 2/24/96
• USBA Lightweight Champion – 7/1/97
• USBA + NABF Lightweight Champion – 10/16/98 (First Lightweight in  
   the history of pro boxing to hold both American titles, NABF & USBA
• 1995 CT Boxing Guild Fighter of the Year
• 1996 Maria Sanchez Youth Leadership Award
• October 4, 1998 declared “Israel Pito Cardona” day by Mayor Mike Peters
• 2013 CT Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee
• CPR Certified
• NCI Certified

Isreal "Pito" Cardona
Rugged Fitness Head Boxing Coach

  • Brian has worked as a personal trainer and strength coach since 2002. He has developed training programs and nutritional strategies for a wide range of clients in the areas of weight loss, muscle building,  increasing sport performance and returning from injuries. 
  • Brian founded his in-home personal training business, Total Transformations LLC, in 2005.
  • Brian is the Hartford Weight Loss Examiner for the Examiner.com and has written articles on training and nutrition which have also been published in the West Hartford News.  He has given several lectures on these topics, including co-creating a lecture series called Nutrition Nation for the Taking Care Center. 
  • Brian regularly attends seminars and lectures given by the top names in training and nutrition in order to stay on the cutting edge of the fitness industry. 

• B.S. University of Connecticut 
    -Major: Fitness Management
    -Minor: Sport Nutrition 
• National Strength and Conditioning Association 
    -Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist 
• FMS Level 1 Certified 
• HKC Certified Kettlebell Instructor
• TRX Group Instructor
• Trained in Art of Strength Kettlebell Essentials
• Trained in Wellness Coaching
• CPR, First Aid and AED certified 

Brian Ayers, CSCS
Rugged Fitness Owner & Head Coach

- Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from Umass Amherst.
- certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine
- Certified TRX Instructor
- Trained in the Art of Strength Kettlebell Essentials
- Certified Zumba Instructor

Danielle Weeks
Certified Personal Rugged Fitness Boot Camp Coach

  • Danielle has worked as an exercise specialist since 2007. She started at The Body Shop in Amherst MA, where she showed proper form and execution of exercises.
  • In 2008 Danielle became a certified Personal Trainer.  Since then she has written numerous exercise programs for one on one clients as well as developed programs for small group training.  She has also teaches group exercise classes, Zumba being a personal favorite.
  • Danielle continues to educate herself with new exercise techniques and practices, by attending as many lectures, and programs as possible.

State runner-up scholastic folk-style wrestling 1997
All New-England place winner Div III NCAA wrestling 1999
3rd Place finish New York Athletic Club International Greco-Roman Tournament (1998)
Two 2nd place finishes at Northern Plains Regional World Team qualifier (2002,2003)
Two 4th place finishes at University Nationals Greco-Roman Olympic style wrestling
North American Grappling Association (NAGA) Northeast Regional Expert Division Champion
Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the highly accomplished Christian Uflacker
19 pro MMA bouts
Personal Trainer of the quarter, top sales of quarter Northwest Region 24 Hour Fitness (2005)

2008 AAA wrestling State Champions coaching staff Oak Park River Forest
2008 coaching staff USA wrestling Cadet National Team Champions (IL)
2008 coaching staff USA wrestling Junior National Team Champions (IL)
2009 coaching staff USA wrestling Cadet National Team Champions (IL)
2009 coaching staff USA wrestling Junior National Team Champions (IL)
Cross Fit Level 1Coach
2013 coaching staff USA wrestling Cadet Duals National Team Champions (IL)

Joe Manzello
Tapout Coach

Joe has extensive knowledge and experience in all areas of the fitness spectrum. As an athlete Joe competed on a high level under top coaches and trainers nationally and internationally. Joe has taken that experience and applied it to his athletes in the role of both a Coach, Trainer, and Manager. Joe’s professional experience ranges from coaching and officiating k-12 graders in the sport of wrestling all the way to owning his own facility in Chicago, IL. Joe is passionate about bringing knowledge to and empowering people to live a healthier, happier life through nutrition and exercise