remote coaching

Kevin Doyle is the Head Coach and Owner of CrossFit Hartford, The Hartford Barbell Club, and The Hartford Hammer amateur GRID team.

Coach Doyle is the former Head Strength And Conditioning Coach of Trinity College in Hartford, CT as well the current Healthy Body Healthy Minds Curriculum Coordinator for the Town of Cromwell Public School System

Coach Doyle has had a lifelong passion for athletics and competition. A Hartford native, Kevin played football, track and lacrosse in high school and prep school at Northwest Catholic High School and Suffield Academy. He played football during his college years at Assumption College. He was also a competitive power lifter until 2006.

In 2003, he became a strength and conditioning coach at Northwest Catholic High School. During his time with the school, Kevin helped coach their football team to five consecutive conference titles. The members of his team were recognized as the best conditioned high school athletes by a study conducted by the UCONN Kinesiology department in association with Gatorade.

In 2005, Kevin became a NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) certified personal trainer. While working at Northwest Catholic High School, Kevin ran his FASST (Functional Athletic Strength and Speed Training) sport specific training camps for athletes from 5th grade up through college level. In 2009, Kevin earned his purple belt under Fabiano Teles with a hard-fought 1st place finish at the 1st Connecticut Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Tournament.

In June 2011, Kevin went to become a Level 1 CrossFit Instructor. He realized that CrossFit was the most effective method to train the students at Underdog Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the gym which he co-owned. Soon after receiving his certification, Coach Doyle established CrossFit Hartford, a CrossFit Affiliate in the same building as Underdog.

In January 2014, Coach Doyle was invited to attend an exclusive Weightlifting seminar at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, and later that year he would go on to coach Juan Russo to Collegiate Nationals for Weightlifting. Doyle has traveled to train with high level coaches, including Dmitry Klokov and Vasily Polovnokov.

Currently Held Certificates: CrossFit Level-1 Instructor, CrossFit Kids Instructor, USA Weightlifting Level 2 Senior Coach, CrossFit Strongman, CrossFit Gymnastics, CrossFit Football, CrossFit Endurance


Coach John Durrett is the former Head Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach at Trinity College. He is currently the Head Assistant Coach/Manager of CrossFit Hartford and also the Assistant Coach and General Manager for The Hartford Hammer, an amateur GRID team. He writes the CFH power lifting program and coaches the athletes on it, and competes as a competitive CrossFitter, training on the gym’s competition team. He has a long history with the martial arts, possessing the rank of Black Belt in Karate and Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as several years experience training in kickboxing at Underdog BJJ under Russell Leak.

Coach Durrett’s history with fitness is a long story of failures and successes. In 2007, John graduated High School weighing around 315 pounds: although he had been heavy his whole life, this was the most he had ever weighed. During his sophomore year at UConn (where he would go on to earn his degree in English), he decided he had to do something or risk serious health complications. Immersing himself in the study of nutrition and exercise, he worked his way down to 200 pounds before joining Underdog in October, 2010. Working with Coach Doyle, he managed to reach a low of 170 pounds, and when Kevin embarked to regain his CrossFit certification, John went with him, becoming a Level 1 CrossFit Instructor.

In January 2014, Coach Durrett was invited with Coach Doyle to attend an exclusive Weightlifting seminar at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. He has also traveled around the country to train with several high level coaches/athletes including Sean Waxman, Brandon Lilly, Dmitry Klokov, and Vasily Polovnokov.

Current Certificates Held: CrossFit Level-3 Instructor (CrossFit Certified Trainer, CCFT), CrossFit Kids Instructor, USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach, CrossFit Strongman, CrossFit Gymnastics, CrossFit Football, CrossFit Endurance, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist, CPR/AED Certified

Relevant Accomplishments: 2014 CrossFit Games North East Regional Judge, 2015 CrossFit Games East Regional Judge, Strength and Conditioning Coach for 2014 and 2015 NCAA D-III Championship Women’s Rowing Team (Trinity College), Strength and Conditioning Coach for 2014 National Champion Women’s Squash Team (Trinity College), Strength and Conditioning Coach for 2015 National Champion Men’s Squash Team (Trinity College), Strength and Conditioning Coach for 2015 NCAA D-III Championship Men’s Ice Hockey Team (Trinity College)

Coach Josh Kaplan

Josh is Currently The Head Wrestling Coach at Canton High School and Underdog BJJ as well as an Assistant CrossFit Coach at CF Hartford.

Josh began training at Underdog in August, 2009. He brings a wealth of wrestling experience to the academy, serving as its wrestling instructor. Josh has been involved in the sport of wrestling for over 12 years, wrestling all four years of his attendance at Canton High School in Connecticut, and then at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.

At the 2009 NAGA NAGC competition Josh took first place in his first ever BJJ tournament, placing first in both the white belt and beginner no-gi divisions, winning ten matches total for the day, four by submission. Josh earned his blue belt for that performance, making him the fastest person to ever earn a blue belt under Professor Teles.

In addition to his love of grappling, Josh has long been interested in fitness, conditioning, trail-running and adventure sports. After Coaches Doyle and Durrett got their certifications, it was simply a matter of time before Josh went out to get his own. In December, 2011, Josh sought his own certification, and passed the examination with flying colors. He joins the staff as a CrossFit Level 1 Instructor.

Current Certificates Held: CrossFit Level-1 Instructor, CrossFit Strongman, CrossFit Gymnastics, CrossFit Olympic Lifting, USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach


Ben is currently a full time Science teacher for the West Hartford Public School system, an assistant Coach at CrossFit Hartford.

The most handsome member of the CrossFit Hartford staff (self proclaimed), Coach Norland began training at Underdog in August of 2011. His dedication to fitness stems directly from his life-long love of sports and the outdoors. Ben grew up playing soccer and tennis and has coached both at the high school level. A goalkeeper in college and beyond Ben also played ultimate frisbee and has appeared in tournaments in the U.S. and abroad. An avid backpacker, tele-skier, cyclist, and trail runner, Coach Norland has carried large loads long distances all over New England, the midwest, the Rockies, Mt. Kilimanjaro and through the Kalahari Desert. His competitions range from sprint triathlons and small mountain assaults in Connecticut and Maine to marathons and the Canadian Death Race in Alberta.

Coach Norland’s second love to the outdoors is teaching. A high school science teacher by day Ben loves working with people of all ages as they challenge themselves and expand their capacities. Under the fine tutelage of Coaches Doyle and Durrett, Ben nurtured his interest in fitness and health into a professional passion; one he is thrilled to share as a Level 1 Instructor at CrossFit Hartford.

Current Certificates Held: CrossFit Level-1 Instructor, CrossFit Strongman, CrossFit Movement and Mobility Trainer, USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach


Nathan Pagan comes to CrossFit Hartford 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 CrossFit Hartford 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. Nathan originally joined the gym with aspirations to be a high level Olympic Weightlifter and to debut as a professional MMA fighter, but has since turned his focus to CrossFit and GRID.
Nate currently coaches at CrossFit Hartford and was a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Trinity College until the end of the 2015 school year.

Certificates/Degrees Held: BS in Exercise Science from CCSU, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist


Coach Drew Cost is one of the most motivational people you will meet on your fitness journey. A man full of spirit, Coach Cost will always be the one yelling encouragement during workouts, whether he is coaching or in the thick of it with a class. Drew’s background is in bodybuilding: he has competed and placed in several bodybuilding competition. After this, Coach Cost began to pursue competitive CrossFit, before transitioning to being a competitive weightlifter. Coaching is a work of passion for Drew, and nothing makes him happier than seeing people get the most out of themselves. Drew’s passions and hobbies include hot chocolate, bowling, music, weightlifting, chocolate chip cookies, and bible studies.

In addition to his job coaching at CrossFit Hartford, Drew also works in Cromwell, CT, as part of the Healthy Body, Healthy Minds Initiative, teaching children and teachers how to stay healthy by doing CrossFit.

Certificates/Degrees Held: ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, CrossFit Level-1 Instructor


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 captain for all three sports her senior year. She was a league All-Star and Patriot Ledger all scholastic for field hockey from 2003 through 2005. After high school she went on to play field hockey for Bridgewater State University 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 Hartford after a recent move to Connecticut.

Steph currently coaches at CrossFit Hartford and was a Strength and Conditioning coach at Trinity College through the end of the 2015 year.

Certificates/Degrees Held: BS in Exercise Science, NSCA CSCS, CrossFit Level-1 Instructor, USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach

Relevant Accomplishments: Strength and Conditioning Coach for NESCAC Champion Women’s Ice Hockey Team (Trinity College)


Mark is the Co-Owner of CrossFit Hartford. Specializing in boxing/ kickboxing, strength & conditioning, flexibility, weight loss, and nutrition, Mark Balkun 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 have always been a huge part of Mark’s life. Mark was the Head Coach at CrossFit West Hartford, but is now vital member of the CrossFit Hartford community, and competes actively in Fitness competitions.

Current Degrees/Certificates Held: Degree in Sports Management from Endicott College, USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach, CrossFit Level-1 Instructor, CrossFit Endurance, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist, KettleBell Concepts Level 1 Instructor, ISCA Boxing Instructor, ISCA Kickboxing Instructor


Juan Russo coaches the Weightlifting classes at CrossFit Hartford and is an assistant coach of the Hartford Barbell Club. Originally from Argentina, Juan moved to the United States in 2008. He has been training with the CrossFit Hartford community since 2010, when it was originally linked with Underdog Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Joining at the same time as Coach Durrett, they both signed on for the martial arts, and trained in weightlifting as a way to get better at their hobby. Juan became a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu before deciding, somewhat inevitably, that his true love was weightlifting.

Although Juan played tennis and soccer competitively in his youth, Weightlifting has become his favorite sport by far, and he has high aspirations. Juan’s goals are to make a world or Olympic team and win Nationals. He wants to be a National Level Weightlifting Coach, and a world-class strength and conditioning coach. He currently attends Eastern Connecticut State University, where he pursues a degree in Sport and Leisure Studies with a concentration in Exercise Science.

Current Certificates Held: USA Weightlifting L1, Associates Degree in Exercise Science, State of Connecticut Certified Coach

Relevant Accomplishments: Qualified for 2014 University Nationals at 77kg (218 kg total) Qualified for 2015 University Nationals at 84kg (257 kg total)


Justin Talbot initially came to CrossFit Hartford as an intern, looking to gain some experience and college credit. The staff quickly embraced him due to his willingness to work hard and his unquestionable ability to achieve excellent results in his work. After his internship ended, he was offered a position on the staff, and now frequently coaches classes at both CrossFit Hartford and CrossFit West Hartford.

Justin has been involved in athletics for most of his life. He played football in high school, and co-captained the team his senior year. After high school, he entered the United States Army, and served for 2 and a half years before being honorably discharged for a medical condition. With his life open to him, he decided to pursue personal training, and was quickly drawn to the exciting world of CrossFit. He loved the great community aspect that he saw at CrossFit gyms, and began to pursue his Exercise Science Degree at CCSU, where he is still attending classes.

Current Certificates Held: NASM Certified Personal Trainer, CrossFit Level 1 Instructor

Recent Posts

1) Power Clean + Jerk 4@80% of 3RM 2) Over head Squat 3@80% of 8RM 3) Front Squat 3×8@80% of 8RM 4a) Lat Pulldowns 3×10 4b) DB bench press 3×10 4c) Singe Leg Swiss ball Hamstring Curls 3×10
1) Power Snatch 4×2@80% of Best 2RM 2) Push Press 3×8@80%of 8RM 3) Back Squat 3×8@80% of 8RM 4) Snatch Grip Deadlift 3×8@80% of 8RM 5) TYI’s 3×12 (On stability ball or incline bench)
Mixed Modal 15-10-5-5-10-15 Kb snatches @53/35 Toes to bar Burpees
Session 1 Clean and Jerks 1×3@60%, 1×3@65%, 1×3@70%, 1×3@75%, 1×3@80%, 1×3@80+% Session 2 5 rounds not for time: Run 400 meters GHD x15 TGU x5
Clean and Jerk 1×3@60% 1×3@65% 1×3@70% 1×3@75% 1×3@80% 1×3@80+% *only attempt the 80+% if you have ZERO misses

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