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Westporter Helps Those Who Aspire to Be Fit

WESTPORT, Conn. — Tommy Baker wears a lot of hats as the owner of Aspire Fitness in Westport. The Staples graduate, who opened the facility in September, runs exercise classes, counsels members on nutrition, motivates pupils and opens the shop in the morning and closes the doors at night. The intervening 14-plus hours are filled with movement, stretching, lifting and cardiovascular workouts.

“I like to think that we’re all in it together,’’ Baker said from his Main Street location. “I’m a little bit unconventional in my approach. We should all have a goal of getting people active. My approach covers all the basics, not just fitness but also nutrition and sleeping habits and lifestyle choices. Every workout is different and is based on what that person’s goals are.”

Baker opened Aspire after a career in finance. He worked with students on an individual basis on the side, and deliberated before making the career switch. “I always had a passion for fitness, but I didn’t know if it was something I thought I’d do for a career,’’ Baker said. “I liked working in finance, but it wasn’t fulfilling for me. I liked how I was making an impact with my clients.”

Baker played soccer and baseball while growing up, and later switched to competitive weightlifting and sprint triathlons. These days he takes part in virtual CrossFit competitions. CrossFit, which combines weightlifting, gymnastics, kettlebells and body weight, is one of the programs he uses to help members at Aspire.

Baker, however, is more than a movement coach. He wants clients to make dramatic lifestyle changes to reach optimum fitness. One method he employs is a challenge that monitors eating habits. The list of don’ts includes processed foods, sugar and alcohol. That’s nearly impossible during the holidays, which is why Baker planned it for this time of year. The winner will receive a month's membership. “The rules are really tough,’’ Baker said. “We’re trying to re-set the body. The response we had to it was awesome.”

Baker expects New Year’s resolutioners to inquire about fitness goals over the next few weeks. While resolutions might work short-term, Baker focuses on long-range goals. “I’m not a huge fan of resolutions,’’ Baker said. “If you want to do something, why not start today? People want to see results immediately. But that’s not how my program works. I have to sit down with them and make sure they’re committed, and work with them to develop a plan that’s right for them.”

Baker keeps hours from 5:30 a.m to 8 p.m. during the week and will even make Sunday appointments. He’s jumped into his new career with both feet and loves what he’s seeing.

“I feel like I’m making a big difference for people,’’ Baker said. “I’m enhancing someone’s life.”

If you're interested in Aspire Fitness, call Baker at 203-222-6362, visit his website or email him at tommy@aspirefit.com .

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