Member Testimonials

I had packed on over 30lbs over 5 years from just poor eating 
habits as most of us have. Finally I had enough of not fitting in 
my clothes year after year. I sat down with Brian and told him my 
goals - to lose body fat and build muscle. I was motivated to get 
into the best shape of my life and to live healthier as well. I knew 
it would be a long road but I was committed 100%. Brian 
developed a workout and nutrition plan for me. It was amazing 
how much progress I made from month to month. I began feeling 
great and I had so much more energy. I was also eating better 
and found I wasn’t looking to snack between meals as I had in 
the past. I will continue to keep fitness a part of my life forever. 
There is no better feeling than being able to transform your body and knowing that you have the ability to reach your goals if you just push yourself. It is truly empowering. I lost 35 lbs. and went from 16.8% body fat to under 10%. I wish I did it years ago!!! Brian is very inspirational and will be with you every step of the way. Let him transform you into a healthier person. I encourage you to at least give it 8 weeks and if you give it 100% the rewards are sure to keep you going. Fitness has changed my life…Let it change yours. 

David K.
More Before & After Stories
My weight has always been a struggle for me. I started to gain weight in high school which continued into college. I didn’t exercise and I pretty much ate what I wanted when I wanted so needless to say I was unhealthy and unfit. In November 2000, I decided to lose weight and by March 2001, I lost about 35 lbs. bringing me down to about 145 lbs. I did it by reducing my calories and walking on the treadmill. When I met my husband in college in 2001, I was skinny, but still unfit; I didn’t have any muscle tone. I gradually lost sight of my fitness goals and over the next five years I gained 60 lbs. by going back to my old ways of no exercise and no discretion for what I ate. I remember weeks where my lunch was a Dairy Queen Blizzard everyday. In 2006, I got married which was one of the happiest days of my life, but unfortunately I was the heaviest I had ever been. I vowed that I would never reach 200 lbs.  Unfortunately, before I knew it I had reached
205 lbs., my body fat had reached over 30% and I was wearing a size 18 in pants and large/x-large tops. 

After that I yo-yoed for a 
while, I'd lose some weight
but would wind up gaining 
it back.  Finally I decided 
to get serious. It hasn’t 
been easy, but with Brian's
knowledge of fitness and 
nutrition, & motivation, I 
was able to get down to 
150 lbs., 17% body fat, 
between a size 6 and 8 
pants and small/x-small 
tops! I look and feel better, 
and am healthier than I 
have ever been. If I can do
it, so can you.

-Julie A.

I've Been There...

A few years back, poor eating habits and the holidays hit me hard.  By January I had blown up over 227 lbs and about 16% body fat, kind of sad for a trainer.  So I started on an intense 6 month diet and exercise program which stretched into 7 months, but by the beginning of August that year I had reached my goal.  I was 6% body fat and 200lbs!!!  But wait, those aren't the pictures you see here, because I was also mentally and physically exhausted from making such a drastic change that I immediately fell back into my old eating habits.  For a while I was able to eat what I wanted and my metabolism was so high that I stayed pretty lean, unfortunately that would not last.  By January of the following year I was pretty much back where I started at 226lbs and about 16% body fat. Those are the before pictures that you see here from January of 2008.  I was so disappointed that I had let myself squander all that I had worked for.  I made it my New Year’s resolution to not only get back to where I was that previous summer, but this time instead of just following a crazy diet I would work on fixing my poor nutritional behaviors and make a lifestyle change so I wouldn't gain it all back.  By July of 2008 I had beaten my previous year’s best by reaching 6% body fat at 205lbs, having gained more lean mass over the year.  But more importantly, I made healthy eating habits part of my life and have never been back to 16% body fat. 

I’ve been where you are and I’ve gotten to where you want to be. It's not an easy road, but I've traveled it and I can guide you through the pitfalls to your own success.  

-Brian Ayers, CSCS - Founder of Rugged Fitness 
After gaining over 20lbs in college, I knew that I had to start losing weight 
somehow. I would work out and eat healthy on my own and would lose about 
8lbs but it would never last. Every time there was a birthday party, a holiday, 
or just a night out with my friends--I would give in to social pressures because 
I had no plan or strategy to get to get back on track. Then I would end up 
going back to my old eating habits and would gain the weight back and then 
some. This cycle would repeat over and over. Each time I would feel worse 
about myself and end up feeling that I would never change my habits. This 
would lead me to eat even more unhealthy and stop exercising. I hit an all 
time low when I was up almost 30lbs from my weight when I started college.  
I was desperate for a change. That's when looked into Rugged Fitness 
because it was different than any other gym I had tried and after reading 
over the "YourPath" program description on the website it sounded like 
exactly what I needed.  

The Wellness Vision worksheet really made me think a lot about the deeper
reasons of why I wanted to change my habits. I determined what my final 
goals for my weight loss were, then worked backwards from there to create 
3 month goals. From there, I broke down my 3 month goals to weekly goals that focused on small (but crucial!) steps that helped make the changes manageable. My goals for my nutrition changes and weight loss suddenly seemed achievable and that was a great feeling in itself. I no longer felt hopeless. 

I used to view weight loss as having to go on a "diet" and then I could go back to eating junk food, but now 
I know that will never lead to success that LASTS. I learned that being successful in weight loss is to learn how to incorporate these nutritional changes into my lifestyle. I am now the lightest I have weighed in 4 years, have reached all of my 3 month goals, and I even ran my first 5k this fall. I now know I can accomplish my goals thanks to the strategies I have learned in this program. The small lifestyle changes I have made each week have added up to 15lbs lost, cooking healthy meals, exercising at least 5 times a week, and most importantly MAINTAINING healthy habits regardless of obstacles that come up in daily life! I know that I wouldn't be where I am now without this program and I am more motivated each day to continue in my success.- Jennie C.
Check Out Nio's Amazing 
6 Month - 110lb 
Body Transformation!
TSgt. Chris Babcock 
Talks About How Rugged Fitness Helped Him Ace His Airforce PT Test
Before I started at Rugged Fitness, I lost 65lbs on my own BUT I was doing absolutely no strength training.  I didn’t like to workout and avoided it at all cost.  I had no muscle, no balance and was not toned.  I was basically a 140lb weakling and I knew that my next goal should be strength training.  I started at Rugged Fitness in January with a push from a friend.  I was completely intimidated by the words “Boot Camp” and before I started class I addressed all of my concerns with Brian and he made me feel totally comfortable and gave me the courage to try the class.  Although skeptical in my abilities, I found the class went by really fast and the staff was very supportive and friendly.  Almost 6 months later, I attend not only Boot Camp, but Boxing and Private Sessions.  I am toner and stronger, but since coming to Rugged Fitness, my greatest accomplishment is my increased self-esteem.  Every time I am faced with a workout challenge that I feel that I can not do, Brian encourages me and when I do finally accomplish that challenge, I take pride in that accomplishment.  I am not a person who ever enjoyed going to a gym or doing sports and I have never ever looked forward to working out, but now I look forward to coming to class and I actually miss the workouts when I can’t attend.  I have set new goals for myself and now I know that I can accomplish those goals.   -Kim Cromack

Last summer my friend convinced me to sign up with her to do the New England Tough Mudder.  I agreed, but in my head I knew there was no way that I was going to be able to complete that race.  While I had been fairly active, swimming competitively and completing in annual triathlons, I was nowhere near where I needed to be to get through that race.  Every time I went on a training run, my mind kept shouting at me "You can't do it!"  "This hurts!" and I was unable to complete anything more than 2 or 3 miles.  I drove by Rugged Fitness and it immediately caught my eye, and after speaking with Brian, I knew that this was the place.  Within a month of joining RF I was able to run 6 miles.  The RF coaches were awesome and kept encouraging me to keep going even when I thought I couldn't do anymore.  Knowing that I could run up arrow rd. with a giant sandbag on my shoulders and not pass out, helped the miles fly by during my runs and helped shut that negative voice in my head up!  Before I knew it I was able to do 11 miles, while slow, they still got done.  When it was  
time for the Tough Mudder, I didn't have any doubt in my mind that I couldn't do it.  Yes there were times during that race that I was tired, sore, and in pain, but never once did I want to quit.  I have never been as proud of myself as I was when I crossed that finish line and received my orange headband and cold beer.  My husband said I was beaming.  Since then I've continued to challenge myself, I signed up for the Hartford Half Marathon and many more adventure races.  Now it seems like the possibilities are endless and I can't wait to see what the next day brings.  Rugged Fitness has done so much for me.  Not only is it a great workout, but I have a great time and have made many friends while being a member.   -Kaitlyn Ellis
I’ve been a member at one of our local gyms for what must be all of my adult life, but had never taken group classes before.  Instead would just go to the gym alone and do my regular routine.  I never really knew about changing up workouts or doing something fun.  I have always loved outdoor adventures and have gone on trips to climb Mt. Washington, Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Hellens and Denali,  but I never felt like I had an adventure at home.  Now I have one!!
I found Rugged Fitness at the Newington Business Showcase and once I saw the video they were showing of clips from their classes, I knew I had to attend this unique place!  Upon visiting the website I was so happy to find out I was able to try out my first class for free.  I went by myself and was welcomed by Brian and his team and felt at home.  That first session was the most challenging and rewarding class I have ever taken.  I don’t think I ever sweated so much in my life!!
Through going to Rugged Fitness I also discovered the Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash and Rugged Maniac challenge races and recently competed in my first one.  I love going to Rugged Fitness and really challenging myself and I would recommend it to anyone.  The entire staff is knowledgeable and helpful and I look forward to continuing my membership for a long time.   –Theresa Reynolds

5 years ago I went to the hospital emergency room that ended 
up with news I couldn’t even believe..... I was 35 years old and just 
found I had type II diabetes. My future just flashed before me, I saw
a battle that I now had to deal with the rest of my life. My weight
was up to 275 pounds, my diet and lack of exercise being all 
contributors to this life long disease. I saw clinicians that showed 
me how to administer by own shots of insulin, how often to take
pills. They taught me how to live and manage this disease going 
forward. At that moment I had a whole new life ahead of me being 
a diabetic. Through out the years I dropped some weight and 
became stabilized with metformin and injections, but would gain 
weight back. I was always in the gym on a regular basis, but was 
never really a cardio guy. I had no interest in walking or jogging on 
a treadmill in one place or riding a stationary bike for 30 or 40 
minutes. In my mind despite doctors and nurses giving me the 
advise of how to live with the disease I decided not to accept that 
as my fate.

Last November (2013) I joined Rugged fitness, did a couple classes, but then the 
holidays derailed my goals. About halfway through January (2014) I got serious 
and started going to boxing classes 5 days a week. In 11 weeks I dropped 25 
pounds and was in the best shape of my life. I wanted more, I had more energy, 
I liked the fact that I was back to my weight from my college years. With that drive 
I started to take some private boxing classes with Pito. I am now down to 220 
pounds from a beginning weight of 260 pounds and have gone from a 40" to a 
34" waist.

Rugged Fitness gives results! Although I have spent most of my time with Pito, 
it is impossible to not mention the other trainers as well. Both John and Adel 
have kicked my ass plenty of times and their workouts are completely different 
from each other targeting different areas. As of June 2014 I am a med free 
diabetic. I have to wait for a certain time before I can be cleared, but that kind 
of wait is easy when I have the trainers and support of Rugged Fitness. All of 
the staff is educated and knowledgeable about health, wellness, and of course
how to live life rugged!

I can’t thank you guys enough for what I did, yeah sure, I paid for the membership,
I drove there, I did the workouts. However if I went to an ordinary gym I would 
have never gotten the results that I have gotten with Rugged Fitness. In a regular 
gym I would have lost interest with that attention to detail that you get at Rugged
is not there in gyms.  I am continuing with private classes with Pito as well. I have
sparred a couple of times and at this point might even become a professional 
boxer. - Chip Miller

Chip Knocks Out Diabetes!!
Update: Chip Wins His First Amateur Fight!!
"I worked out religiously for 10 years but never saw results as quickly as I did after working out with Brian. Brian set me up on a fitness routine for after I had my first baby, and within 3 months I had lost all of the baby weight and was looking more toned and slim than I had in ages! Thanks Brian!!" 
  -Elizabeth T. age 28, post pregnancy client
I had decided to make the change to a healthier lifestyle. However, after attempting to do it on my own I found that it wasn’t quite working out the way that I had wanted. Lowering my body fat percentage was an obstacle that I was still struggling with and even though I had developed some muscular definition with the workouts I was doing, it was not as visible as I wanted. Brian instructed me in new training techniques to target body fat loss and then designed a routine that combined these new exercises with important nutritional tips. At first, cutting down on eating my favorite high fat/sugar foods was hard, but after a week or two I lost the craving for them as I began to look and feel better. I lost about 18 lbs., dropped a couple waist sizes and finally was able to see the muscular definition that I worked hard for. I reached the goal I had dreamed about in just a few months. My advice to anyone else looking to begin their own transformation is work hard and stick with it. If you want to look like a champ, have Rugged Fitness draw you the right blueprints and start building. 
 - Scott H. College Student
"I had success losing weight in the past, working out on my own. Unfortunately, I was quickly gaining back the weight and I couldn't seem to find the discipline to eat right anymore. I went to one of Brian's lectures and after listening to what he had to say, I decided to start training with him. The exercise programs that he has put me on, along with his nutritional advice have made all the difference."
  -Nancy P. age 53, office worker
I have been a runner and a long time member of the local gym for many, many years, but Rugged Fitness is like no other gym I've belonged to. I used to dread working out because it was so boring but there is never a dull moment at RF and the time flies during the workouts. There is a variety of classes, and I have pretty much done them all. I love alternating the boxing with the boot camps. While they are intense, everyone is able to go at their own pace, and receive awesome words of encouragement from Brian and the other trainers along the way. I was in pretty good shape cardio wise when I started, but as the weeks went by my overall body strength increased greatly. On day one, I could barely ripple the ropes, and now I am doing them with ease. The progress from week to week was amazing. Rugged Fitness is the perfect place for anyone who is looking for a fun, incredible, unique workout. Everyone fits in here and supports and encourages one another. I have gotten to know so many great people and have had a lot of laughs along the way. Brian runs a wonderful gym and truly cares for his members- I highly recommend Rugged Fitness and hope to be a member for a long time to come!  
  -Stacy V., Nurse & Endurance Athlete
Rugged Has Something For Everyone
Team Rugged Obstacle Course Racers
 I joined Rugged Fitness just after my 50th birthday. At that point, I was in poor shape, very overweight, and looking to improve my cardio and overall fitness. I do karate as a hobby, and was also looking for someplace I could practice kicks and punches to improve it. I certainly got plenty of practice kicking and punching over the next two years at Rugged; John was particularly helpful in correcting some basic errors in form. I also got a series of great cardio workouts. As my fitness level improved, I increased my Rugged sessions from once a week to two or three times a week to three or four times a week. I also improved the quality of my workouts. While I'd been working out since I was 14 or 15, I hadn't really changed my workouts much over the last 20 or 30 years. Brian and all the trainers at Rugged were incredibly helpful in correcting a lot of mistakes I made, showing me new, innovative exercises, and pushing me to improve weak spots which have existed a long time. Rugged also does a wonderful job providing information on nutrition. I just finished an 8 week weight loss program with Danielle, who provided me a huge amount of information on the right way to eat for health and weigh tloss. I've completely revamped my diet--and I lost 16 pounds in the program.
​Today, I'm 30 pounds lighter than I was two years ago, and in better shape than I've been since my low 40s. I've got a ton of extra energy, and this has really improved my life. My wife, my friends, my family, and even my doctor have complemented me on the improvements in my appearance. But I've got an even more ambitious goal for 2015. Who wouldn't want to be 35 again? - James Streeto
We Change Lives Here Every Day!
Mary Is Rugged!!  Are You?

My biggest challenge before starting the program 
at RF was my self-image…I didn’t think I would fit 
in with the RF clientele because of my size/weight
and the fact that I had issues with some movements
and balance, had no endurance, and was lacking in
strength. I was so wrong, on so many levels! I quickly 
discovered that RF is not a bunch of muscle heads 
vying to see who can lift more, punch harder, and 
pose in a mirror better! It is full of people of all ages 
getting fit and working with the best trainers around.  
All I had to do was finally walk through the door and 
commit to the weight loss program to really see 
what a great environment it was. I am so glad I did.

I started with the Weight Loss Program which had so much great information…not just an eat this, do that program and “Voila! You will lose weight!!” Nope, it is full of real life information and strategies for real people in real world   situations to truly eat healthy…not diet! The results for me really showed after the program ended, when I put all the information learned into practice! I’m still reaping the benefit of the program, and have changed my eating habits for the better. When I did the FMS screen, I was shocked at how ungainly I felt. It took a screening to show me how much I had to work on to get moving correctly. Danielle then used the results of the screen to work up a set of exercises that would improve my functional movement and I have seen great improvement in everything from walking up stairs, reaching for things, lifting things, balance. I learned through the process that exercise isn’t just working out…it is training for your body. Personal training has enabled me to really work on the areas where I need extra work...but that’s not really saying enough… my trainer, Danielle, has help me to be a more functionally fit person. I am stronger, have lost (and continue to lose) weight, and see significant improvement in the strength of my shoulders and knees, as well as increased core stability. All areas lacking just months ago. The best part is that the workout is never boring, and always challenging. I have also met “workout buddies” and really enjoy training…I can’t really say I’ve found that elsewhere! I’m looking forward to losing more weight, building more muscle, continuing to improve my functional movement, and maybe…just maybe try an obstacle course race this summer. I guess that’s where I have seen the biggest gains; I’m willing to step out of my comfort zone and work for things that I never thought I’d be able to accomplish!

The Amazing Disappearing James
Frank's Story
In this member spotlight we hear from Frank, one of our hardest working and most positive members. Frank came to us just before his second hip replacement surgery so that he could get stronger and not be out of commission as long as he was for his first hip replacement. He also participated in our Weight Loss Workshop and talks about how the changes that he has adopted from it have made a big difference in his lifestyle.
Member Spotlight: Becky Tyre 
One of my favorite things about Rugged Fitness is the atmosphere. After trying various unsuccessful methods of getting in shape, including a few different gym memberships, I found Rugged Fitness. I had never taken any group training classes besides yoga, so I had no idea what to expect and was really anxious before heading in for my first class. As soon as I walked through the doors to, everyone was so welcoming and all the anxiety went away! The coaches are great. They take the time to work with you no matter your level of fitness and help you to modify movements. They are wonderful motivators, cheering you on during class, and they’re there for any questions you might have about workouts or nutrition after class. 
My fellow classmates are just as amazing. Not only is everyone friendly, they also help you through new movements, cheer you on when you think you can’t push any further, and always crack a joke right when you think you might throw in the towel. 

Since I started at Rugged, I’ve lost 30lb. and dropped three sizes, but it’s more than numbers on a scale. I feel stronger – I notice it in little things like carrying groceries into the house or going up stairs. My confidence is higher, my posture’s better, my energy is up. I’ve developed some great habits, like moving more rather than sitting around on the weekends or at night. I’ve also become more aware of my eating habits thanks to the Weightloss Challenge and the Weightloss Workshops that went with it. I make healthier decisions about what I eat, but it’s never felt like a diet. I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself because it’s felt like a natural progression. In the past, I always had to force myself to get to the gym, but at Rugged, I hate missing classes. This is a place that makes me feel like I have it in me to get better, and that makes me want to come back week after week.