Rob Orlando - Owner and Head Coach
Rob Orlando’s love of functional fitness began when he won an elementary school jump rope contest. When he was 13 years old, he received a plastic Joe Weider weight set and a pull-up bar and started his journey into all things strength and fitness related. This early passion for fitness stayed with Rob as he went on to open Hybrid Athletics in Stamford, CT in 2008. He also pursued a competitive career in which he won six consecutive Strongman contests, and placed 22nd and 15th at the 2009 and 2010 CrossFit Games respectively.
Rob has been sponsored by Rogue Fitness, and he is currently sponsored by Nutriforce Sports. Sponsorship has enabled Rob to travel, train with, and compete against the world’s fittest men. It has also given him a chance to build his own line of fitness equipment including axles, farmers walk handles, yokes, logs, and atlas stone molds.
At his CrossFit Level 1 certification class, Rob asked CrossFit Founder and CEO, Greg Glassman, "How do I combine Strongman with CrossFit programming?" Glassman replied, "No idea. Figure it out and let me know." Rob accepted the challenge and began the process of integrating the two worlds.
Rob’s goal is to re-introduce natural movement patterns to the fitness community. Strongman implements the most basic, innate movements known to man, including pushing, pulling, pressing, squatting, flipping, dragging, and carrying. Combining these "old-school" movements with CrossFit's "new school" programming has proven to Rob to be an effective way to dramatically increase a person’s fitness level. It also created a slogan that captures what Hybrid Athletics is all about: “Revolutionizing Old School”.
In 2011, Rob created the CrossFit Strongman Certification Seminar that is currently taught to CrossFit coaches, athletes, and enthusiasts around the world. In doing so, he partnered with CrossFit, Inc. and joined a roster of 12 Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who travel the world teaching their particular discipline. In this seminar, Rob has taken his years of experience as a trainer and athlete and created a program that teaches people how to build real world strength by moving odd objects and using equipment that is truly functional. The seminar blends the CrossFit and Strongman worlds together, and teaches athletes how to use Strongman movements in their training to improve their overall athleticism.
In November 2015, Rob opened a second Hybrid Athletics gym in Bridgeport, CT. He currently coaches in both Bridgeport and Stamford, and enjoys seeing the Hybrid community grow as new members embrace everything that CrossFit Strongman has to offer. As a coach, Rob loves to work with his athletes to help them achieve their individual goals. He challenges each person that comes through the door in a healthy and fun way, and takes tremendous pride in seeing his athletes grow stronger each day. Hybrid Athletics is a dream come true for Rob. He always wanted a place to share his passion for functional fitness, and he is excited to see how the community of believers is growing.
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Strongman Seminar Staff, CrossFit Strongman Subject Matter Expert (SME)
MaryKate Fahy - Coach
MaryKate Fahy is a CrossFit Level 1 and NASM Certified Personal Trainer. She has a B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation from Southern Connecticut State University, and an M.A. in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy from Brandman University.
MaryKate has over 15 years of soccer coaching experience. She is currently Head Coach of the Newtown HS Girls Freshman Soccer Team, and assists the Varsity program. MaryKate creates and facilitates the Newtown HS Girls soccer summer fitness program. She is also the Assistant Newtown HS Girls Track Sprint Coach, and is the assistant coach for CFC (Connecticut Football Club) U-15 Girls Premiere.
As a club product of Trumbull United and Arsenal Premiere, MaryKate won three CIAC State Championships while at Trumbull HS (1996 - 1999). She also competed in the 800 and the 4x800 in track, and was a three year starter at Southern Connecticut State University (2000 - 2005). She was a two-year captain, culminating with her selection as team MVP in her senior year.
MaryKate relocated to California in 2007 and discovered CrossFit soon after. It was love at first WOD at CrossFit Elk Grove. Her overall fitness and mobility improved dramatically, both on and off the soccer field. She participated in various competitions throughout California, and placed in the top 10 as an individual competitor (as a member of CrossFit Natomas) at Another Level CrossFit in Lodi, CA. She captured one team victory (as a member of Atascadero CrossFit) at Battle of the Boxes.
MaryKate played in the PASL Women’s Professional Soccer League from 2009 - 2014, and success followed as her team won three National titles. MaryKate believes that if it wasn’t for CrossFit, she would not have been able to excel at professional soccer at age 30, competing against 18 year olds.
While in CA, MaryKate decided to make a career change from working in the Mental Health field as a therapist to solely focusing on the fitness industry. She became part of the Give Fitness Gym Personal Training team in Atascadero, CA, where she provided individual training and HIIT group training. MaryKate moved back to Trumbull, CT in 2014 and became the Lead Trainer at T.E.S.T (Trumbull Elite Sports Training) where she taught group and individual sessions with adolescent athletes and adults. She also took on a Personal Training role at Taylor-Made Fitness in Shelton, CT, providing adults with group and individual training.
MaryKate believes in the CrossFit community, camaraderie, competition, all-encompassing varied, functional and creative exercise combinations, and the fact that anyone at any age with any fitness level can participate. She continues to compete in the worldwide CrossFit Open, performs daily WOD’s, does competitions, and runs marathons. MaryKate is beyond excited to be a part of the Hybrid Athletics family, and is looking forward to learning and growing as a coach, athlete, and team member.
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Strongman, NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Mark Chudy - Coach
Originally from Florida, Mark Chudy moved to CT in 2001. As a lifelong athlete, Mark's experience with strength and conditioning began at the age of 15 with the goal of becoming a better athlete in baseball and soccer. After his baseball and soccer days came to end, Mark took an interest in bodybuilding and, like so many of us do, hired a personal trainer. Mark considers this to be one of the best decisions he ever made because his trainer had such a positive influence on him, and ultimately changed his life. The experience also made Mark realize that he wanted to pursue a career in the fitness industry as he, too, developed a passion for helping others achieve their goals.
Mark became a personal trainer in 1999 and has been helping clients achieve their fitness goals ever since. Mark trains his clients with the idea that proper nutrition and constantly varied programming equals results.
In 2009, Mark discovered CrossFit and started implementing the workouts into his own training. He obtained his CrossFit Level 1 certification in 2011 and began coaching CrossFit in 2012. When Mark is not coaching he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and their dog, as well as spending as much time as he can playing golf.
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Strongman, CrossFit Kids
Ryan Hogan - Coach
Ryan Hogan played college lacrosse in 2008 at Dean College in Massachusetts, where he received his associate’s degree in Science. In May 2008, Ryan enlisted in the United States Marines Corps, and served for four years as an infantry man. During that time, he deployed twice to Helmand province in Afghanistan.
Ryan completed his service with the Marines in 2012, and started attending Scared Heart University, in Fairfield, CT. In May 2016, Ryan earned his B.S. in Health Sciences and a minor in psychology. He also got his CrossFit Level 1 certification.
Throughout his undergraduate years, Ryan coached at a CrossFit gym in Monroe, CT where he trained and educated clients in functional fitness. In August 2016, Ryan started his M.S. degree in Occupational Therapy, and expects to graduate in the spring of 2017. Ryan also coaches the Scared Heart Men's Club lacrosse team.
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Strongman
Jessica Angier - CrossFit Kids Coach
Jessica Angier was introduced to CrossFit in 2014 and became hooked after her first WOD. She was looking for a change from what had become a boring gym routine, and CrossFit turned out to be that and so much more. Jess' newfound passion also convinced her husband to give it a try. (Truthfully, she signed him up for fundamentals and put it on his calendar!) The kids soon followed suit, begging for their own workouts. Her daughter Abby's interest and questions convinced Jess to become a coach so she could “train” her daughter.
From there, Jess' passion and commitment to children’s athletics has only grown. Children mimic the lifestyle that we have and if we approach fitness with an open mind and fun attitude, they will often develop a love for it as well.
Jess has launched multiple CrossFit Kids programs for other affiliates. She has coached more than 100 classes over the past year, ranging in size from 2 to 26 students, and in age from 3 to 13 years old. The goal is always for an all inclusive, high energy, and most importantly, fun workout that keeps kids moving and smiling.
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Kids, CrossFit Mobility, CrossFit Strongman
Channing Vidal - Coach
Channing found CrossFit in 2011 when he moved to South Carolina and remembers it putting him on his back after his first WOD (something like pull-ups and push-ups for 14 minutes). Coming from a classic gym routine of free weights with a lot of rest time, the metcon life hit him like a ton of bricks.
Prior to moving down South, he used Olympic weightlifting as a means to rehabilitate his wrist after a major surgery that his surgeon said would leave him little to no range of motion. As he likes to think of it, "front squatting and cleaning literally saved my hand" and helped fuel his desire to learn more about functional movement and this whole CrossFit thing.
By 2013, Channing began coaching athletes at a small box in Myrtle Beach, SC and found a passion for helping people succeed. In his personal life, he is a father of an energetic little girl (Sofia) and husband to a fellow CrossFitter (Ashley) who has been the biggest personal supporter of his love for fitness. When not in the gym, you can catch Channing at his office on the campus of Sacred Heart University, where he serves as Director of Student Conduct and spends time training with his weightlifting coaches. Although he would say he likes any workout that puts the hurt on him, Channing's favorite workouts include "Annie", "Cindy", "Mary", and anything that has snatching.
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1
Matthew Grocki - Coach
Matthew Grocki’s fitness background began 15 years ago with a conscious choice to study Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, full time. Jiu Jitsu is a self defense art based around the smaller and weaker opponent being able to subdue his/her attacker who is much heavier. Using leverage, technique, and speed the smaller opponent is able to defend him or herself in any situation. Matt traveled to Hawaii to study full time, and after four years he returned to the mainland to continue his studies in the art, and work within the sport. Matt was also able to travel the world working for one of the biggest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament companies in the United States. Training and working full time in the sport opened doors into Matt’s new fitness journey. Ultimately leading to CrossFit.
In 2009, Matt found CrossFit. CrossFit Hartford was directly attached to his martial arts academy, and Coach Kevin Doyle also trained BJJ. Coach Kevin told Matt that CrossFit was a great way to get stronger, faster, more balanced, and much more coordinated within the art of Jiu Jitsu. So, Matt began going regularly 2-3 times a week to CrossFit Hartford. About 5 months later, Matt was awarded his purple belt. He attributes this milestone directly to CrossFit and its methods.
In 2010, Matt began shadow coaching/interning at CrossFit Hartford under Kevin Doyle. It was during this time that Matt really began to study CrossFit as an art too. Not just as a fitness plan or model, but as an art form to really help make a difference in someone’s life. As a CrossFit Trainer Matt sought to become more readily available to help promote a fit lifestyle. One year later, in 2011, Matt obtained his CrossFit Level 1 certification and began coaching part time at CFH. In 2014, he obtained his CrossFit Level 2 certification, and moved to Fairfield County to live with his then girlfriend. Matt soon asked her to marry him, and now in November 2016 they will be having a baby!!
Thanks to CrossFit and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Matt wouldn't be where he is today. Both disciplines have taught him a lot about himself, but the one thing that correlates between the two is the attention to detail. Coaching someone through a simple squat in CrossFit, or a sweep/reversal in BJJ isn’t easy. But with some patience, and attention to detail, anyone can learn. Another, and more vital part to this journey was and still is the humbleness you have every day. With CrossFit, a barbell, stone, tire, or pull-up bar can present significant challenges. Just like BJJ. The thing that Matt takes away each and every day is to allow himself to grow and learn from that experience. Allowing yourself to be humbled is a very gratifying experience.
Certifications: CrossFit Level 2, CrossFit Endurance, USAW Level 2 Sports Performance Coach
Marc Covey - Coach
Marc Covey’s fitness journey is best described as “Cubicle to CrossFit”. He played hockey throughout high school, but sports and fitness eventually became a thing of the past. As a software developer, a sedentary life in a cubical took its toll. After reaching a body weight he will rarely disclose, Marc reached a point when enough was enough. Marc knew he needed a change—not only in activity—but in his lifestyle as a whole. That was when he reached out to an old friend. Our members know him as Rob O.
Rob gave Marc his first CrossFit workout of rowing, kettlebell figure-eights, and sledgehammer slams on a tire. Who wouldn’t drink the Kool-Aid after swinging a sledgehammer in a gym? After two years of CrossFit and a controlled Zone based nutrition plan, Marc lost over 60 lbs. In the past three years since, he went from a trajectory towards health problems, to maintaining a fit and healthy life.
Marc has always enjoyed helping other members in the gym with common movement struggles, such as double-unders and pull-up techniques. Since Hybrid Athletics opened its new location in Bridgeport, Marc obtained his CrossFit Level 1 certification and began coaching. He also completed Rob’s CrossFit Strongman Certification Course.
Marc enjoys being able to share his passion for CrossFit with others. He gets great pleasure in seeing countless members at Hybrid taking enormous steps into their own fitness goals. Being a software developer by trade, Marc also maintains Hybrid’s website, produces advertising material, and handles IT and support for the gym.
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Strongman