Tag Archives: Success

HBJ’s 40 under 40 Award; what it means to me

Hartford Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Recipient

It’s an honor for me to be selected as a Hartford Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Recipient.  My goal to leave Bally Total Fitness after 10 years of service as the Fitness Director was to open a facility where the customer, staff and the community come first, and if these fundamental points were followed consistently the business would thrive.

Now, in a slumped economy where many businesses are both slashing prices and cutting services, or in many cases closing their doors permanently, Excel Fitness has managed to grow.  I believe our members, who have been tremendously supportive, are a large part of our success.  They have encouraged us to become involved in the community, helped us organize and contributed to our School Supply Drive, Food Pantry Drive and Breast Cancer Walk to name a few.

I also believe who we associate with is a big part of our success.  When I arrived at the winners’ photo shoot I was excited to see that I already associate with and am friends with four other recipients.  I am also proud to say that I am personally training two of them.  It solidifies in my mind if you want to be successful you need to surround yourself with other ambitious successful people.

I have to also give thanks to Karen Robbins, a client for over a year now, and my sister who at the time worked for us at Excel Fitness, for nominating me.  As a HBJ 40 under 40 Recipient, I now feel an even greater responsibility to lead by example in community involvement and in performing sound business principles and ethics.  I will encourage others to work tirelessly putting the community and the customer first to make Greater Hartford a better place to do business, work, and most of all live.


Karen Robbins, Excel Fitness Client

Testimonial from Paul Bunker – Working with Jeff Roux at Excel Fitness

At the age of 53, I decided to embark on a second career as registered nurse.  As I continued my science and medical studies, I realized I would have to be in top physical shape to withstand the daily demands of nursing, and to be an effective role model in promoting wellness to my patients.  I needed to be in the best shape of my life.

While I had always worked out and stayed in decent shape, I decided I had to do more and started a weight training program in earnest.  My program was a mish-mash of exercises I had picked up from magazines, the internet, and just watching other people in the gym.  After making some nice gains, the steady improvements began to plateau, and I was constantly plagued by annoying joint inflammation caused by repeating the same exercises over and over again.  And, I had a hard keeping my body fat low.  It was time to consider hiring a trainer.

When I moved to West Hartford, and asked friends for advice on selecting a gym and a trainer.  Excel Fitness was the overwhelming response, and trainer Jeff Roux was suggested as being the best match to my fitness goals.  After visiting the Excel Fitness web site, I was impressed with the facility, but a bit apprehensive about working with Jeff, whose impressive background includes success as a competitive bodybuilder.

I needn’t have worried.  At our first meeting, Jeff put me at ease as I explained to him that I wanted to be in the best shape possible in 18 months, by May 22, 2010 – the date of my graduation from nursing school.  He accepted my goal, did a personal assessment to create a baseline, and designed an exercise program to get me started.  From day one, the effect of his training program on my body has been intense and wonderful,  to say the least.

Jeff always explains the purpose of each exercise, and demonstrates its proper form and execution.  He consistently pushes me beyond my own self-perceived limits, and provides me with fresh approaches to standard exercises and adding new ones.  For my part, I am encouraged to train to my real potential each time, and I have not sustained any training injuries, as I had in the past.

The result:  I felt I had reached the best shape of my life within 12 months, but in the past six months I have added more muscle, lost more body fat, and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon.  I am able to wear clothes sizes I wore when I was in my 30’s, and friends and family have noticed the change in my body, with the comment “You must live in the gym!”  Well, I train just a little over an hour three times a week.  That’s just a bit more than three hours a week to be in the best shape of your life at any age!   My doctor once said I am his most boring patient, as I take no medications, and have never had any surgery.

Getting back to my graduation as a RN on May 22, I was able to walk proudly onstage at the age of 58 with my white scrub top tucked into my pants, in the best shape of my life.  And I have Jeff Roux and Excel Fitness to thank for this accomplishment.

Paul Bunker