Mark Balkun (Owner): Specializing in boxing/ kickboxing, strength & conditioning, flexibility,weight loss, and nutrition. Mark has been practicing and teaching in the fitness industry for over 16 years. Playing football at the high school and college level, along with competing in amateur thai boxing, athletics has always been a huge part of Mark’s life. He cant wait to get you started on your fitness journey!
Coach Balkun graduated with a degree in Sports Management from Endicott College and is currently a certified:
USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach
CrossFit Level 1
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist
KettleBell Concepts Level 1 Instructor
ISCA Boxing Instructor
ISCA Kickboxing Instructor
Russel Leak (Owner): Specializing in boxing/ Kickboxing, martial arts, self-defense, weight loss. Owner of Underdog BJJ our partner gym. A master of the martial arts, Russel currently trains amateur and professional Mixed Martial Artists. His fighters compete all over the world as well as in local events. Russel is known as one of the top striking coaches in the area and we are very privileged to have such a talented owner!
Kevin Doyle (Owner): Head strength and conditioning coach at Trinity College and owner of Underdog BJJ, our partner gym. At Trinity, Kevin is in charge of over 600 student athletes. During his time at Trinity, Kevin’s programming has led to an increase in strength of all student athletes and a reduced injury rate resulting in multiple National Championship teams. His never-ending knowledge rooting from his background in high school and college football make him one of the most sought after coaches in the area.
Nicole Haffey: Master of Neuroscience, Stott Pilates certified with 8 years of experience. Incorporates powerful, energetic movements with still staying true to the traditional Pilates form. Her background in athletics started at an early age with soccer and continued on throughout college. Being an athlete her whole life has instilled a hard working and motivated mindset in Coach Haffey that we see carry over into her clients everyday! She instructs her classes/ students with a wealth of knowledge coming from her own personal experience and education in Neuroscience. When Nicole is not training in the world of fitness, she also teaches Biology for the University of Hartford and is a natural in the classroom. We are very lucky to have such a talented, educated, and well rounded coach in Nicole!
Drew Cost: One of our main group class coaches, Coach Drew has always had a passion for fitness. His ability to communicate and share this passion is what makes Drew special. Beginning with competing in amateur bodybuilding, Drew built a strong foundation in strength training and nutrition. However, bodybuilding was just a start for Coach Drew. He later found the world of competitive fitness and has been hooked ever since. Learning under Coach Doyle, Drew’s knowledge increased drastically. Learning the importance of flexibility, form, cross training, and olympic lifting has refocused Drew on eventually competing at a the highest levels of fitness as a sport. His positive attitude and contagious personality make him one of the favorite coaches at Fit Factory!
Nathan Pagán: Nathan Pagan comes to Fit Factory with a formidable athletic background. He was a Junior National Tae Kwon Do Champion. He was a Division 1AA Football player at Central Connecticut State University, where he played running back, full back, free safety, and captained the team his senior year, and was a 4-time NEC Academic All Conference athlete. In addition, he was the 2013 NSCA Strength and Conditioning All-American Athlete of the Year. After interning at Central and Underdog BJJ as a strength coach, he earned a degree in Exercise Science attained with honors. A certified ACSM Health Fitness Specialist, Nathan brings a not only athletic prowess but a strong coaching background to the gym. Coach Nate is currently aspiring to be a high level Olympic Weightlifter and to debut as a professional MMA fighter.
Stephanie Barry: Stephanie Barry has always had a passion for athletics. Growing up in Pembroke Massachusetts she was a 3 sport varsity athlete playing field hockey, basketball, and tennis. Stephanie showed her leadership skills as a captian for all three sports her senior year. She was a league All Star and Patriot Ledger all scholastic for field hockey 2003-2005. After high school she went on to play field hockey for Bridgewater state college where she was the team MVP in 2008. At BSC Stephanie majored in exercise science and graduated Suma Cum Laude. Her passion for athletics led her to work as a personal trainer and a coach for field hockey at Silver Lake Regional High School. She was hooked after her first CrossFit WOD(Mary) in 2012 and has finally found her home at CrossFit West Hartford after a recent move to Connecticut.
BS Exercise Science
Crossfit Level 1 Instructor