About Staff

Richard Anthony DeStefano, BS
Certied Personal Trainer
Professional Coach

    Rich graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 1993 with a bachelor’s in Human Performance. Early on in his career he was employed by Yale University School of Medicine and worked at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital in Pediatric Cardiology as an Exercise Physiologist. Rich co-directed the Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Exercise Lab where he has extensive experience in both the clinical and research settings.  Rich co-founded Bright Bodies, a weight management program for children and adolescents. 

     Rich's story is unique in that during his career at Yale he was allowed, as an amateur athlete, to chase his dreams of becoming both a nationally ranked track and field athlete and an Olympian.   With years of discipline, endless sacrifices and, a boatload of dedication Rich became a top-ranked American javelin thrower for over a decade. His athletic career had soon sparked an interest in coaching and he wanted to give back and help others persevere the way he did. Rich's coaching career ran parallel with his athletic career and was able to share his passion with track and field teams at Hopkins School, Cheshire High School and, Hillhouse High School.  Rich was selected by the Men’s US Olympic Development Committee to coach the Junior Elite Team in 1999 at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. During the same era, Rich was Youth Development Chairman for USATF-CT where he started building grassroots programs for young athletes.

    Things transpired for Rich during the late ‘90s when he decided to work outside the high school environment and in the private sector.  He approached a gym specifically designed for children and adolescents in Cheshire, CT. called the Cheshire Fitness Zone.  It was there he wanted to share his broad knowledge and firsthand experience as an elite-level athlete with others. Rich proposed the idea of incorporating strength and conditioning programs for athletes who wanted to ready themselves either before or during their respectful seasons.  After just under a year of doing so, word got out and the training spread like wildfire.  Sport-specific training became contagious and Rich was soon training 8 high school sport teams. There were 100's of athletes believing in his successful  "train with purpose" training programs.  What made things even more solid for Rich professionally and giving him a little more credibility was that he managed to qualify and compete in the 2000 US Olympic Trials. The top US nationally ranked athletes were invited out to the Olympic Training Center in CA in preparation for the US Olympic Trials/Games. Rich finished his 2000 season athletic career ranking top ten in the US.  All this for an athlete who only stood 5'6" and weighed 165 lbs. soaking wet. What was his secret?

    In 2006 Rich left his healthcare career at Yale to pursue a career in wellness.  He accepted a Fitness Director position at Healthtrax of the Glastonbury Wellness Center in Glastonbury, CT.    Besides wanting to make a difference with others, Rich also dedicated his time running fitness (PT) for 100's of recruits at the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden.  Rich's knowledge and credibility from both Yale and coaching allowed him to continue to create effective and quality training programs for all levels. After 9 years of receiving “Trainer of the Year” awards amongst 300 trainers in 18 different centers across the east coast  

    Throughout the years Rich  has trained 1000's of athletes and police recruits and in doing so has helped coach 18 All-Americans, 22 New England champions, and over 4 dozen state champions .  In addition to running DeStefano Strength and Conditioning, Rich  has been running the DeStefano Javelin Clinics for the past 26 years in locations all over Connecticut. Rich currently earned a Master’s degree in Sports Psychology.  Alongside owning DeStefano Strength & Conditioning, Rich is spearheading the personal training program at Fitscript in New Haven, Ct.  Fitscript offers a program called GlucoseZone, which caters to people with diabetes.