Tag Archives: training

We Are Rugged Maniacs!

We Are Rugged Maniacs!!!!

The trainers at Excel Fitness take pride in their knack for creating a fun environment to work and workout. Every month we get together for staff bonding events, usually in the form of bar-b-ques and the like. This month, we tried something a little different…RUGGED MANIAC!!!

Rugged Maniac is a 5k obstacle course, designed by the Navy SEALS, through the mud, over walls, up planks, under barbed wire, over rolling logs and into massive pools of muddy water! It was hard, it was messy, and it was so much fun! Jeff, Ilicia, Chris, Heather, Gary and Andy met at the motocross track in Southwick, MA on Sunday, September 30th pumped and ready to get dirty. We started off the race strong and for the most part were able to stick together as a team and help each other through some of the more challenging obstacles. Gary came out way ahead, finishing the race in about 35 minutes while the rest of your rugged trainers finished in about 45 minutes.

By the end of the event, we were exhausted, filthy, and smiling ear to ear! Asked to describe their experience, the trainers of Excel Fitness had this to say:

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think Rugged Maniac would be so challenging! What a rewarding experience to push myself and bond with my coworkers! We cheered each other on and supported each other when obstacles got overwhelming.” –Ilicia Balaban

“Going into Rugged Maniac I was a little nervous about how I would do, but as I was doing it, I thought to myself, ‘I just want to finish.’ After I was done, I just wanted to do it again.” –Andy Fazzina

“Great time had by all! Team-building and bonding! Added bonus: NO INJURIES.” – Jeff Roux

“I was so nervous going in but I left it all out on the course! Awesome experience.” –Heather Claflin-Coy

“When I finished the race I felt proud and accomplished!” –Chris Caruso

“Training for the Rugged Maniac gave me great motivation to push harder in my workouts, plus it was a good excuse to get real dirty, have a few beers, and a few laughs with some friends!” –Gary Maher

The general consensus:


Exercising while injured, my personal story.

Jeff Roux B.S. Exercise Science 11/23/11


I recently and unfortunately suffered a laceration on my dominant hand requiring 9 stitches.  The ER doctor asked me what I do for a living and when I told him he kind of laughed and said, “Well, you won’t be working out for a couple of weeks.”  Little did he know who he was dealing with and what I was capable of trying?  In actuality, I believe that he should have suggested continuing to do lower body exercises and cardiovascular work, ensuring to keep the wound clean and dry, but that is another story in itself.


My injured hand

Needless to say within 3 days of the injury I was back in the gym.  I was able to complete a full lower body workout using plate loaded machines, crunches on the ball and two shoulder exercises.  I thought I would still able to palm a shoulder press machine and not affect the stitches and while griping a dumbbell with my left and use my right hand to support and perform a modified DB front raise.  I also ran 2 miles.  2 days after that I returned to do more core, and plate loaded chest machine and used the resistance bands to perform Lat pull downs, back rows, chest fly’s, bicep curls and overhead db triceps extensions.  Through only slight modification in placing the band around my wrist instead of in my palm I was able to complete many of the traditional exercises one would normally complete in the gym.  One week after the injury I was playing tennis with my left hand and actually beat the person I was playing with.  My point is, whatever you’ve hurt there is usually a way to exercise around that injury.  UBE’s (upper body ergo meters, hand bikes) are great for people who have injured their lower body.  The question remains if an injury occurs does this take away from the fact that you still have a health goal?  Are you going to sit at home and wait, or are you going to explore the alternatives?  Everyone knows exercising has positive effects on mood; many people get depressed when they cannot exercise, so why stop exercising?  Find a way, your mind and your body will thank you.

For more information on modifying your exercise program to fit your needs contact the fitness professionals at Excel Fitness, you’ll be glad you did.

Excel Fitness Trainer – Matt Knight – Finishes Hartford Marathon

Marathon Follow Up


Matthew Knight, B.S, CSCS

Excel Fitness Personal Trainer

Matt Finishes Hartford Marathon
Matt Knight Finishes Hartford Marathon

Recently, I just finished my first marathon and I am very pleased with my results.  I finished the 26.2 mile run in 3:40:55 which placed me 458 out of 2,314 people.  I was able to maintain a 7:49 mile pace thru the first 13 miles then miles 13-20 my pace dropped to 8:10 per mile and thru the last 6 miles my pace dropped to 8:27 per mile.

The run was very difficult; I experienced bad chafing about half way during the run so ended up just losing my shirt.  But the hardest part of the run was definitely the muscle cramping.  Throughout the last 3 miles I had to battle thru severe muscle cramping in my hamstrings which definitely showed in my results.  Around mile 16 and then again around mile 22 I took a sport  gel packet which gave me some carbohydrates and replenished some electrolytes, also threw out the run I tried to drink water to prevent dehydration.

Overall I had a great experience training and running the Hartford Marathon.  Now that the race is over my body is very sore, not just my lower body but my shoulders, biceps and back too.  A goal of mine would be to eventually qualify for the Boston Marathon.  In the future I plan to keep on running and improving on my results.

To see my results and an online video of myself crossing the finish line follow the link below…



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Matthew Knight’s Marathon Training Update

Marathon Update

by: Matthew Knight– B.S Exercise Science CSCS Personal Trainer at Excel Fitness

As many of you know I am currently training for a marathon in the Fall Season.  I have been training for about two months and my joints have definitely been taking a pounding running on the hard surface.  I have worked up to my longest run of 16 miles, running that distance I have found it to be more of a mental battle.  But I have pushed myself by running 8 miles out which leaves me no choice but to run 8 miles back.  I recently timed myself in the half marathon and completed it in 1 hour and 37 minutes which is about a 7 minute mile pace.  I figure that isn’t too bad considering 2 months ago I never ran more than a 5k.

In the past month I have also had a battle with maintaining my weight and muscular strength.  By completing a 16 mile run I am burning well over 2000 calories which is the average person’s calorie intake in a whole day.  Therefore I have increased my calorie and protein intake dramatically but it is still hard to keep up with my caloric expenditure.

Have any questions feel free to contact info@excelfitnessct.com or continue following my marathon progression on Excel Fitness’s Blog