Tag Archives: testimonials

Another Endoresment for Shawn O’Brien and Excel Fitness

Another Endorsement for Shawn O’Brien and Excel Fitness

by Martha Price Miss Hartford County 2011


I had the pleasure of working with Shawn O’Brien at Excel Fitness in preparation to compete in the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Pageant.  He helped me reach my goals of slimming down, toning up, and most importantly, living a healthy lifestyle.  After several personal training sessions, Shawn has provided me with a wealth of knowledge about health and fitness which I am sure to use for the rest of my life.

One of the most valuable things that Shawn taught me was how to challenge my body using a variety of equipment and techniques.  He tailored my workouts to accommodate the equipment I had at my school’s gym.  Before working with Shawn, I usually played it safe by containing my workouts to the treadmill, elliptical, and stretching area.  Now, I’m confident and comfortable using every piece of equipment, lifting weights in the weight-room, and lunging across the room with 10 lb dumbbells. Needless to say, I am now much better equipped to stay in shape.  Since I typically travel to Connecticut on the weekends, I was wary about not being able to keep up my workout regimen at home.  Shawn provided numerous creative alternatives to maintain my workouts using the limited equipment I possessed.  The variety of exercises I learned was not only effective, but it also made my workouts interesting and continuously challenging.  From this experience, I have taken away a wealth of knowledge about how to get fit no matter where I am or what equipment I have.

Martha Price - Miss CT Top 10
Martha Price - Miss CT Top 10

Before I started working with Shawn, I assumed that his role would simply be to help me get in shape.  After our first session, I knew that Shawn was more than a personal trainer.  His genuine words of encouragement helped me not only persevere through challenging workouts, but also through the stress and pressure of competing in a pageant.  Shawn constantly reminded me to stay positive and keep working hard to achieve my goals.  His optimism is contagious, and made me feel as if I could accomplish anything I set my mind to.

I am very blessed to have had Shawn on my support team as I prepared for the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Pageant.  I took the stage feeling confident, healthy, and focused.  With Shawn’s help, I was a top 10 finalist.  I am excited to continue using the knowledge that I have gained from working with Shawn not only in preparation for future pageants, but also in my everyday life.

Forever Grateful,

Martha Price, Miss Hartford County 2011


Excel Fitness 2-Week Guest Pass with Free Session (click here)


Testimonial for Excel Fitness by Kaitlyn Tarpey

Dear Shawn,

As a pageant girl I’ve attempted numerous diet and exercise regimes: Some great… some not so great. It’s imperative that I live a lifestyle promoting healthy habits, and I couldn’t seem to find the perfect niche. Working with you helped me find not only my inner-fitness-guru, but also the habits and workouts I needed to maintain my preferred body image.

You made sweating glamorous and kept me smiling through all my rigorous routines.  You kicked my butt into TOP shape and I felt like I had one of the most competitive swimsuit bodies at Miss Connecticut; I would not have made top ten without your help.  You not only were supportive in my preparation, you ensured I had the tools necessary to maintain this body for the rest of my life. I’m so proud to say that I’m at the same weight today- 4 months after Miss Connecticut- that I was the day of my swimsuit competition.  I would not be as healthy as I am today without you.

When I was crowned Miss Rocky Hill 2011, I was skeptical to have to drive to Excel from Stamford, CT but you ended up being worth every mile!  I’m so thankful for all of your tips and support through my journey and I can promise you I will be in touch not only for future events but also for everyday lifestyle questions.
All the best to you and everyone at Excel,

Kaitlyn Tarpey

Miss Rocky Hill 2011

Lee S. Testimonial for Jeff Roux @ Excel Fitness

Investing in personal training with Jeff Roux is by far the best money I ever spent on my fitness goals.  I recommend him to every person I know who has a fitness, weight loss and/or health-related goal, even if seemingly unattainable. Jeff will help you get there! I’ve trained with Jeff for over 5 years through a variety of stages in my life: wedding preparation, post-back injury (not related to workouts with him), triathlon preparation, maintaining fitness and now post-pregnancy fitness and weight loss.

Jeff has never – I mean NEVER – missed a training session or called in sick. Each time Jeff has tailored the training session to meet my very personal and specific needs. Jeff has his thumb on the pulse of emerging fitness trends and exercise science, keeping the trainings new and fresh, but keeping me safe from fitness fads. There are many poorly educated meatheads out there pretending to be professional personal trainers. Jeff is not one of them!  Jeff is attentive, respectful, energetic, positive, reliable and an expert on motivation. In less than four months after the birth of my son, I am back into my favorite (pre-pregnancy) jeans.  Thank you Jeff Roux!

– Lee S.

The Last Year Revisited

When you are looking for something new, Don’t just change EVERYTHING look back at what you did first!! 

Make something you are doing better OR revisit something that worked well in the past and tweak it.

This week I revisit this past year’s accomplishments and how looking for something new really means tweaking how you do something.

Here are a few posts from last year-

Growing and Learning – The First Post

Knowing the Facts – Shawn O’Brien’s First Knowledge Based Post

Jeff Wins 40 Under 4o with HBJ

Excel Fitness Goes Pink!

Miss Hartford County, Martha Price and Her Workout

Lynn Sweet-Dobrow Testimonial for Matt Knight

A year later, as we look to what we can do to grow as a business and become a greater asset to the community Team Excel Fitness looks to where we can TWEAK things.  Since last year, we have won or been nominated for a few more awards, the entire staff has contributed to our blog with great testimonials and fitness advice, we had multiple successful charity drives for food, school supplies, and clothes and one of our greatest moments was raising over $7000 for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides for Breast Cancer (look carefully in this photo I am the only guy Pacesetter in this photo).


  • Wine Tasting Open House For Charity

                   Supporting the American Cancer Society

                  at Excel Fitness, Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 from 6p to 8p.

                  Wine Cellars of Farmington, CT will be donating 10% of its sales here that night

                   Excel Fitness will be donating a portion of its sales from July 13th, 2010 to July 27th

  • Continued Expert Fitness Advice From Our Trainers
  • Excel Fitness Brings Staff to St. Joseph’s College for Adventure and Team Building
  • Helping Local Charities
  • Making Hartford County a Healthier Place to Live

We will continue to move fitness and the community in to a good direction.

Thank you for all your feedback and referrals.

Shawn O’Brien


Testimonial- Lynn Sweet-Dobrow for Excel Fitness and Matt Knight

In April of 2010, I came to Excel Fitness hoping to make a change in my life.  Over a period of two decades, due to personal responsibilities and health issues, it had become increasingly difficult for me to engage in a number of activities that I had enjoyed in the past.  I had spent 20 years trying unsuccessfully to return to and maintain a healthy weight, I had knee issues from my youth, and I was experiencing varying degrees of pain in my neck and upper back daily from a whiplash injury. As I approached a time in my life that would allow me greater freedom to pursue my own interests once again, I came to the conclusion that I did not simply need to lose weight.  I also needed to become stronger and more physically fit.  With knee, neck, and back issues, I knew I should not attempt this on my own.

Matthew Knight was the first person I met at Excel, and helped to form an incredibly positive impression.  He was professional and courteous from the start.  During our first meeting he took care to understand my history and my lifestyle as well as my goals, and helped me to understand how Excel could help me reach those goals.  He explained what a reasonable rate of improvement might look like with my commitment and Excel’s support.  I decided to join Excel and to sign up for some personal training sessions with Matt.  It has proved to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I had never imagined working with a personal trainer before, but the first sessions with Matt were so helpful that I decided to continue.   Matt’s positive and supportive manner enabled me to focus during my visits instead of feeling ridiculously self-conscious about what I couldn’t do.  Within a short period of time I noticed decreased neck and back pain and increased strength.  In the course of the coming months, I went from taking muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory medications regularly to taking them rarely.  In addition, thanks to Matt’s further guidance regarding cardio work and diet, I was losing weight.  In the first four months, I had lost 20 pounds. 

The workouts that I do with Matt are completely different than any I could attempt on my own.  Matt uses his wealth of knowledge and expertise as a trainer to tailor my sessions to my personal needs, and to work multiple muscle groups at a time.  It’s obvious that he keeps my neck and knee issues in mind and that he plans my workouts around strengthening these areas without stressing them.  This individualized approach is just one characteristic of Matt’s training that helps me to meet with success.

I am continually amazed that while Matt has trained professional athletes, he is also able to be incredibly patient and thorough with those of us who have little or no experience at all, and to maintain a positive spin on things in order to keep us motivated.  Matt’s energy and enthusiasm are contagious and keep me looking ahead to meet my goals, while his calm and steady demeanor keep me from ever feeling overwhelmed.  As a teacher, I encourage my students to work toward and celebrate those small, steady improvements that add up to larger achievements over time, but hypocrisy strikes when I sometimes expect great leaps from myself.  Matt puts this in perspective for me.  At Excel, I am the student and Matt is the teacher.  He reminds me of how far I have come, educates me regarding his choice of exercises for me, and offers me unwavering guidance and support through each step of the way.

At the end of this month it will be one year since the day I first walked into Excel.  I cannot believe the progress I have made.  Thanks to Matt, I have lost a total of 38 pounds so far, and I have more living to look forward to every day.

Lynn Sweet-Dobrow

Client Testimonial To Excel Fitness – Tara Cappa

Client Testimonial

by- Tara Cappa


I have always struggled with my weight.  As a young overweight adolescent to an even more overweight adult it has always been a losing battle.  Granted I had my ups but had even more downs as a result of my yo-yo dieting and exercise.  My detrimental ways came to a head when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in late 2007.  It was an obvious red flag that I was out of control and needed to make some serious lifestyle changes.  But it was quite some time before I had my “moment.”

One day in the summer of 2009 I looked at myself in the mirror and could hardly recognize what I had become.  As I stated before I was never a thin girl, but the person staring back at me was not at all what I could have imagined.  It was then that it became clear that it was time to kick this unhealthy lifestyle for good.  At 215+ pounds it was a decision that had to be made not only for myself but in order to see my son grow up and not miss a thing.  I knew my health would suffer greatly if I kept on the same destructive path.  So as I had done so many times before, I started with a combo of cardio and dieting and was very successful as I had been in the past….but I knew I needed to take things to a different level.  I started communicating with Shawn O’Brien through Facebook.  Having lived down the street from Shawn all my life, I was hesitant and slightly embarrassed to discuss with him my situation.  Once I did, it was the best decision I could have made.

Excel Fitness was holding their own “Biggest Loser” contest and Shawn thought it might be a good thing for me to look into.  I joined the program on February 1st of this year and have not looked back since.  As part of the contest I was able to meet with Shawn on a one-on-one basis and he helped me with a workout and diet regime.  Even though I had been succeeding with weight loss he helped me to realize that I was going about things in the wrong way.  He developed a workout plan that included both cardio and weight training as well as helped me design a healthy eating plan.

Once I got back into the gym, I realized how much I loved the weight training and how much I had missed it!!  For the three months of the competition I had a great support system between the other contestants and the encouraging Excel Fitness staff.  I started the competition at 164lbs and 34% body fat and ended at 138 lbs and 26% body fat.

The contest was the just the beginning of what was to come.  I was so grateful that I had the chance to be a part of something so positive and did not want it to end.  I became so comfortable with Shawn that I decided I wanted him to train me personally on a weekly basis.  In June I begin meeting with Shawn weekly and we took off running utilizing the tools I had been given the previous months.

I am currently down another 15+ pounds and even more incredible is that I have dropped to 18% body fat.  I have made the healthy eating and exercise a lifestyle change and could not be more happy with my results.  Of course I have my days when I want to just give up and go back to the old me but I always think about what Shawn and the rest of the Excel staff has helped me to accomplish and do not want to let them or myself down.

I am sure you have heard the old saying if I can do it then anyone can, but I am living proof that it is a very true statement.  With the proper guidance I truly have “exceled” and am looking forward to a healthy and prosperous life!

Looking for the RIGHT Personal Trainer??

Top 5 Ways to Find the Right Trainer

5.  Research the trainer’s education or certifications, logistics with the training packages (restrictions, cost, discounts, etc.).
4.  Make sure to read testimonials to the trainer from the client with the largest amount of weight loss – 50lbs, 80lbs 100+lbs.
3.  Ask their clients, “How is your trainer with his/her clients?”  FOLLOW UP WITH  “Would you have him or her train your mother?”
2.  Visit gyms or locations where the prospective trainers work, be an investigator.  Do you see yourself fitting in there?
1.  Ask friends, endocrinologists or local physical therapists for a referral.

ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS. You are the customer!!

Shawn O’Brien
Excel Fitness, Co-Owner
M.S. Exercise Science
(860) 523-8167
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