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Countdown Fitness Brings Cutting Edge Workout To New Canaan

Anel Dzafic, founder of Countdown Fitness
Anel Dzafic, founder of Countdown Fitness Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- An exciting new fitness model has come to New Canaan through a super slow, high intensity 30-minute workout created by Countdown Fitness and owner Anel Dzafic, operating out of Personal Training Professionals on Vitti Street in New Canaan.

“We focus on toning and building muscles in a way that most people have never experienced before,” said Dzafic, a certified personal trainer for more than seven years. “In fact our clients are shocked at the results they get from our once a week, 30-minute regimen.”

Thirty minutes once a week may sound too good to be true, but a super slow approach to weight lifting has a long and scientifically proven track record. First promoted by professional weightlifters on Nautilus machines in the 1940s, the super slow lift has since been greatly refined. Dzafic first learned of it at a Manhattan gym and has put his own twist on it by adding high intensity cardio intervals, more boy weight exercises and a lot more fun.

“We lift weights slowly,” he said. “It sounds weird but it’s really effective because slow movements reduce momentum and force your muscles to do more work. Going slowly also reduces the forces that commonly cause injury to your joints, muscles, and connective tissue which makes it safe for everyone.”

Dzafic and Countdown Fitness personal trainer Madison Hughes typically take each client through a custom workout that focuses on 20-second repetitions. There’s a slow count to ten as the clients lifts, a fluid transition and another slow count to ten on the way down. Without pausing the client will repeat that rep several times for an intense burn.

At the very end, when the client feels like they have nothing left, the trainer pushes them to hold the weight for another 10 seconds, which is where the real change occurs. It’s essential to have trainer supervision to ensure proper technique, prevent injury and to push clients past their breaking point.

“You need a trainer with this method because it’s very hard to maintain that slow movement and up your intensity via weight or time each week on your own,” said Hughes. “Your trainer will keep you on track and make sure your form is right.”

“We are very hands on to get the necessary stimulus activated in order to get the body to change safely,” said Dzafic. “And it’s important because while a certain percentage of people come to get stronger and leaner, 95 percent have had some kind of injury due to exercise with the resulting bad postures, headaches and other symptoms.”

Since first opening at Rick Stebbins Performance Therapy Center in Greenwich almost two years ago, the business has seen a burgeoning clientele. Whether they’re high school athletes, senior citizens or anyone in-between, clients come from as far away as Danbury and Westport for the slow burn approach to training.

Dzafic and Hughes currently work six days a week out of the Greenwich location while Hughes is also now available one day a week at the new New Canaan location.

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