I started working with Rich after 4 mos of bedrest after surviving near death sepsis leaving me with a amputated toe and inability to walk. He focused on finding my baseline and started building my core strenghts needed for standing. In 8 weeks, (three 1 hr sessons per week) I've gained flexibility to dress myself and do without a slide board. I can now raise my hands above my head, do bridges , and leg lifts. Using my walker now to 60 ft. His cautious stretches and excercises have brought me thus far. Without Rich's nurturing I could not have made this point. Given 4 mos of bed rest, I expect 8 months to a year before walking. I now have every bit of confidence in walking again, thanks to Rich's training methods.
-David Hilton, Rocky Hill, CT
After a month of personal training sessions I recognized noticeable changes physically and emotionally. Both my endurance and strength improved, even at 92. I recommend Rich to anyone who wants to work on fitness and physique. His attitude changed my attitude and I look forward to my 3 sessions a week. He is very skilled and professional.
- L. Thompson.
I met Rich in 2013 at the Connecticut Masters Championships. He spotted me throwing the javelin and offered his services. This was the best choice I made as a javelin thrower. He’s helped add over 20 feet to my PR. I’ve won medals at several national meets and a silver at the 2016 World Track and Field Championships. I firmly believe I could not have done this without his guidance not only in my technique but in my strength, power, flexibility, conditioning and drills. His enthusiasm, encouragement and wise words are equaled by the great wealth of knowledge that he has about proper technique and training. He is a great coach and friend.
-Clay Dennis: Silver medallist at 2016 World Masters Track and Field Championships
It wasn’t in the script. Without warning, I had a ruptured brain aneurysm. When I awoke from a coma after 18 days, a feeding tube provided nourishment as I couldn’t swallow; double vision was my norm; I had difficulty lifting a mere pound; and, as I didn’t have strength or balance, I first was pushed in a wheel chair until I graduated to a walker in order to return home after 3 months.
For Christmas, my brother and his wife gave me a two month membership in a gym, a fitness center. I had never stepped foot in a gym in my life! It was there I met Richard DeStefano, and I’ve never looked back! Balance, coordination and vision challenges remain even after all this time. Some time ago I determined that I wanted to participate in my life. So, Rich asked me what things I wanted to do. Then, he developed a fitness plan, an exercise regimen that would help me achieve those things. He answers my questions. Gradually, some things have gotten heavier and harder. Some things haven’t changed. But, through it all, Rich has been encouraging: Non-judgmental and encouraging. He insists I have done the work. He’s right. But like an able conductor, he has modified and orchestrated a workout that has enabled me to participate in my life.
Because of Rich, I have the strength and balance to ride independently in a therapeutic horseback riding program. Because of Rich I have the coordination needed to effectively row a shell in an adaptive rowing program. I am able to visit places I haven’t seen before, train 3 dogs in order to work in a pet therapy program, search for some kind of meaning and purpose, and to achieve some independence.
Life now is good….different than what I would have envisioned, but good. Thank you, Rich. -Becky Caldwell: Brain Anuerysm survivor
Working with Rich has been Rich has been tremendous for me. Simply due to the fact I used to have constant pain in my shoulders. It wasn't good for my recreational basketball games, playing with my kids or my golf game. I have gained lots of strength for my golf game and am pain free.
Amateur golfer with a 5 handicap