The Edge Fitness Club and Kong Crossfit, two gyms in Norwalk, have different approaches for residents with fitness resolutions for 2013, but they agree on how to accomplish those resolutions.
"Commit to something they love," said Chris Wyant, an owner of Kong Crossfit, which moved from Van Zant Street to a larger space at 173 Main St. in mid-November. "I'm not going to say crossfit is the ultimate answer, or zumba is the ultimate answer, or anything is the ultimate answer.
"Just like yoga isn't for everyone, crossfit isn't for everyone. It's whatever you fall in love with -- commit to it."
"I think it's really about finding something that you like and something you enjoy," she said. "Finding what you enjoy and doing something you actually like doing will then create the habit, and you'll continue to grow.
"Finding something you enjoy is definitely the key to keeping that commitment."
Andrew Kindt, an owner of Achieve Fitness at 27 Lois St. in Norwalk, said accountability also is important.
"Most people don't have accountability," he said of those with fitness goals. "You always find something better to do than work out."
Kong Crossfit and The Edge are mostly centered on exercise classes, which add a social dimension to exercising and the chance to build friendships, Wyant and Falco said.
"Ultimately, it's a community-based gym," Wyant said of Kong Crossfit, which holds a class with the same exercises multiple times a day. "The members all know each other, they talk with each other and work out with each other."
The exercises, which combine strength training and cardio into one workout, change on a regular basis, Wyant said.
"There's no sense of routine here," he said. "The only thing that is routine is literally taking off your jacket. Every day is different."
Wyant described Kong Crossfit's class as "high-intensity training that utilizes functional movements that are based in Olympic lifting, powerlifting, kettle bell training, gymnastics, running and rowing."
But the gym isn't only for people already in shape, Wyant said. He said his gym offers "on-ramp" and "foundations" programs, which include private and semi-private training sessions. The on-ramp and foundations programs still adhere to exercises in the crossfit class, but they're modified so someone can use lower weight and work out at a slower pace.
"Regular crossfit classes are like being on a highway, and on-ramp is just what it sounds like," he said. "We don't change workouts for people, we don't change exercises, but we scale very effectively."
Membership rates at Kong Crossfit vary and discounts are offered for first-responders and students. A weekly membership for an adult is $75, and a monthly "auto-renew" membership is $179. Other rates can be viewed at www.KongCrossFit.com.
The Edge offers classes in a variety of exercises, such as spinning, kickboxing, zumba, pilates, yoga and flex (exercises with weights), Falco said.
"We have a real variety of classes you can take," she said, adding that members have unlimited access to classes at no charge and that classes, typically 45 minutes to an hour, are offered in time slots beginning at 5:15 a.m. and ending at 8 to 8:30 p.m.
"We're known for our classes," Falco said. "It is what we're known for and I think it is one of our best features."
A membership at The Edge costs $19.95 a month, not including a start-up fee of $19.95.
Achieve Fitness requires members to work with personal trainers at least once a week, but does not have a membership fee. Working with a personal trainer makes people accountable and enables them to work toward fitness goals with the guidance of a professional, Kindt said.
"People tend to stick to their resolutions better when they have somebody guiding them and holding them accountable," he said. "People without a trainer may work out 20 to 30 minutes and say that's enough. With a trainer, you're in here for a solid 60 minutes with someone who knows what they're doing.
"You have accountability to do it and you get kept in check all year long by that trainer."
The cost of personal training sessions at Achieve Fitness is $800 for a package of 10 sessions; $1,500 for a package of 20; and $2,100 for a package of 30, according to the gym's website, www.achievefit.net.
Meanwhile, The Edge early next month is starting "The Edge Revolution," an eight-week "body transformation plan" that's similar to "The Biggest Loser" on TV. Each participant will be weighed, have their measurements taken and have a "before" photo taken. After eight weeks, a judge will review the data and photos and people in the program will be declared the winner in age and gender categories, Falco said.
"It's not based on weight lost or measurements lost. ... We go on pure visual change," she said. "It's body change, not weight lost."
The average weight loss from past Edge Revolution programs is 13 pounds, though some participants have lost eight pounds, while others have lost 30, Falco said.
The Edge Revolution will be offered only once this year and involves one group exercise class a week with a personal trainer and an exercise and nutrition program that participants follow on their own on the other six days of the week. The nutrition program involves eating meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds and avoiding carbohydrates, starch and sugar, Falco said.
"We obviously can't make anyone eat that way," she said. "It's a way of eating we advise people to do."
Participants in The Edge Revolution also have access to fitness instructors' email addresses if they have questions on diet or exercise, Falco said.
Kindt said Achieve Fitness has 25 to 30 personal trainers and that members set goals with a personal trainer, who then develops a program to achieve those goals.
"The trainers are versatile in all aspects of fitness," he said.
While personal trainers are more expensive than working out alone or in a class, Kindt said he believes most people can afford personal training if they budget for it.
"A lot of people, over the years, think it is a luxury, but I don't agree with that," Kindt said. "I think it's a necessity."
Members of Achieve Fitness have unlimited access to the gym if they meet once a week with a personal trainer, but Kindt said he doesn't encourage "pushing the envelope" by going every day because people tend to get burned out and abandon their fitness program.
"I can't tell you how many times people want to come in every day, and they last a month," he said. "Rest is one of the most important aspects."
The Edge in Norwalk has a full range of cardio equipment and weight-training equipment, such as barbells, dumbbells and machines, Falco said. Kong Crossfit has barbells, dumbbells, rowing equipment and exercise bikes, Wyant said.
"Not machines, because you are the machine," he said.
Achieve Fitness has cardio equipment and weights and equipment tied to suspension training. Kindt said flexibility and balance also are important and that people should have fun when they work out.
"The more fun you have, the more chance you have of coming back," he said.
The first quarter of the year is always the busiest at The Edge, Falco said. There's not only an influx of new members, but existing members who "kind of lost their way" but never cancelled their membership, she said.
"It's definitely our season," Falco said of the first three months of the year. "We are not at capacity at that gym (in Norwalk.) We still have room for new members and welcome them."