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Pro Profile: Megan Hoffman, Oxygen Fitness, New Canaan

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Photo by Steven Gomillion

One quick ‘google’ of the name ‘Megan Hoffman’ and you realize quickly that this woman is no joke.  A former All American lacrosse player and coach, an accomplished model, WBFF Diva Bikini Pro, fitness competitor and fitness instructor confirms that she is at minimum an overachiever.  In addition to being genetically blessed (she’s stunning!), her resume proves that she’s much more than a pretty face.  She’s a contributor to one of my favorite online reads, “Well and Good”, Oxygen and Women’s Health magazines and in her spare time developed and hosted the “Slim, Sexy & Strong” workout video for Rodale.

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Photo by Conor Doherty

Back in 2012, Megan was tapped by the owners of Oxygen to become the Director of Fitness at the new boutique gym they were developing.  Together with Oxygen founder/owner Sara Koch, the duo spent months researching and developing all aspects of Oxygen – from the interior and design, to the types of classes offered.  Megan’s positivity and creativity are scattered around the club; she developed and named the juice and smoothie recipes at the O-Bar and the motivating phrases in the cycling room wall are hers as well.

Currently Megan has 10 personal training clients that she sees 1-2x a week and teaches approximately 16 classes weekly (Cycle, Bootcamp, Cross Fit, Fit in 30, Sleek, Sexy & Strong in addition to several after school youth classes).  She’s also the New Canaan Varsity Assistant lacrosse coach/ conditioning coach.

Megan Hoffman post cycle class.

Megan Hoffman post cycle class.

As an instructor and fixture at Oxygen, Megan exudes positivity and simultaneously demands the best out of her students.  Her classes are so. damn. good; intense and no matter what your fitness level, she has a certain way of pushing all of her students above and beyond their comfort zone.  I sampled a couple of her classes and upon completion felt spent and depleted, yet fulfilled and accomplished.  (Do you follow?) She is clearly loved by all at Oxygen; she takes no excuses but is quite likable at the same time.  She is fierce yet creative, motivating and challenging.  She spends evenings after her six year old son has gone to bed pouring over music, finding new, off the beat artists and putting together playlists for her classes.  While teaching she is passionate but makes it look effortless.  In her cycling class she quickly transitions from one piece to the other, allowing little recovery and down time thus maximum efficiency.  She makes her classes interesting, incorporates upper body, takes you up and down rolling hills and through even steeper climbs.  She even threw in a little Tabata at the end of my class.  Her bootcamp was equally intense.  While holding a plank (no standing around in her classes), she walked us through different stations she had set up with weighted exercises.  We spent 1 minute at each station and rotated through all exercises 4 times.  Jump squats (with a sandbag), plank (with a sandbag on your back), up and down stairs (with a sandbag), pushups (with a sandbag), you get my drift? She keeps you guessing as no two classes she teaches – bootcamp, TRX, cycle, Fit in 30, Cross Fit, etc. – are ever the same.

As a personal trainer Megan is always ‘on call’ for her clients.  She responds to their texts on health and nutrition classes around the clock.  Her experience in conquering eating disorders makes her the perfect health coach and she is able to give sound nutrition advice.

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The phrases in the cycling studio are Megan’s mantras

In between teaching a killer indoor cycling class and running in to NYC for a QVC hosting gig, Megan graciously sat down with me so I could ask her a few personal questions…

What do you eat for breakfast?  1/4 cup oatmeal, 1 egg, 2 egg whites and coffee with unsweetened almond milk.

How many fitness classes do you teach per week?  Approximately 16.

What is your favorite post workout snack?  I always have a green apple and a bag of Trader Joe’s of unsalted, roasted almonds.

Your greatest indulgence?  Rose & red velvet

Your favorite line of workout wear?  Lululemon (together with ripped t-shirts)

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?  If I am with my son we are at home.  On alternate Saturday nights you can find me taking photography and drawing classes at the Met or MOMA in NYC dining at restaurants down in the village.

What is your healthy eating philosophy?  I’ve been Paleo for 2 1/2 years now, although I do have 1/4 cup of oatmeal every morning.  I do cheat occasionally; I have a sweet tooth.

Favorite vacation spot?  Tokyo

If given 2 hours to do whatever you want, what would you do?  Take a Soul Cycle class in NYC (some of my best friends are SoulCycle instructors), take a Bikram yoga class and grab an almond milk latte.

Who or what inspires you?  My grandmother.  She played basketball at Mount Holyoke which was almost unheard of in her time.  I come from a family of strong, independent and sometimes rebellious women who inspire me to do the same.

What do you do to stay Fit in CT?  Soul Cycle, Bikram, CrossFit (Hybrid in Stamford).

Need to Know: Oxygen Fitness, New Canaan

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About three years ago, three business savvy New Canaanites (who take their own fitness very seriously) – Dave & Sara Koch & Rich Fedeli, saw an opportunity to bring something to New Canaan that was missing.  They were traveling to Darien, Stamford and Norwalk for their boutique workouts.  They were going to Cross Fit at one gym, cycling at another and yoga somewhere else.  Why not eliminate the need for multiple destinations and open a ’boutique’ of boutique fitness, right in their own hometown?

After 8 months of construction, the three story, 10,000 square foot Oxygen Fitness opened across from the New Canaan train station in May, 2013.

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Need to Know: Swim Seventy, Norwalk

The new year brings resolutions.  Most will incorporate living a healthier lifestyle into their plan.  Some might want to learn a new sport; others will want to lose 5 pounds.  Some may have more ambitious goals like training for a triathlon.

Fairfield County is about to gain a new, 27,000 square foot facility that will help us achieve these goals as Swim Seventy is set to open in Norwalk (just over the Westport border) on January 25.  S70’s main attraction will be its 50 meter (Olympic sized) pool, however, dig a little deeper and you will find that they will be offering a lot more.

Swim 70 downstairs

Swim 70 downstairs

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Food Find: Banana greek yogurt oat pancakes

Happy 2015!  I hope your New Year is off to a healthy start.

I’m confident that I’m not the only one whose holiday season spun a little bit out of control.  With the new year here I am determined to cut out the sugar and other garbage that infiltrated our home over the last month.  This is not only for my benefit but for my kids too who have had more than their fair share of sweets.

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