Christa Doran

Founder, Owner, Coach

Christa Doran’s love for pasta and wine is overshadowed only by her love of inspiring and motivating women to be their best selves. Christa founded Tuff Girl Fitness in 2009 because she wanted to revolutionize self-image for women. With her guidance, women are no longer at war with the bodies they were given; they are finding out just how strong and badass they can be. Her graduate degree in Occupational Therapy combined with 16 years in the fitness industry gives her the knowledge and experience to create a safe and exciting training environment.  

Tuff Girl is Christa’s entrepreneurial child, but she also happens to have three human children (Livia, Lea, and Keira) with her husband Mike. When she’s not coaching or spending time with her family, you can find her redecorating her house, sipping (ok chugging) coffee, and perfecting her pasta e' fagiole recipe.

Karin Christley


Karin Christley fell in love with fitness at age two when she put on a leotard and walked across a balance beam for the first time. Since then, she’s tackled and owned marathons, obstacle races, women’s rugby and dance. For the past 20 years, Karin has made training and motivating clients her career, training at gyms all over New England before landing at Tuff Girl. As if her time here isn’t enough, Karin also owns INDY Dance, New Haven’s all-adult dance company.

When she’s not dancing or training, Karin’s spending time with her husband and son, sipping wine, and watching any movie with a gnarly sword fight. ::swooshing noises::

Amanda LaCroix

Competitive Powerlifter, Strong(wo)man Competitor

After playing volleyball in high school and falling in love with weightlifting, Amanda LaCroix was inspired to pursue a degree in Exercise Science and make fitness her career. Amanda says that athletics never came easily to her, but her determination to be the best she could be gives her the power and motivation to keep on going. Even when she’s not training badasses at Tuff Girl, she’s sharing how it’s done by competing in powerlifting and strong (wo)man competitions.

After gym hours, you can find Amanda inhaling sushi, devouring murder mystery novels, and sending her family in Rhode Island various “I miss you” texts. ::heart eyes emoji::

Hillary Maxson


With a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s in Exercise Science and Nutrition, Hillary Maxson knows all there is to know about training at Tuff Girl. She’s an avid runner who competed in both high school and college and still races today. She loves to run – so much so, in fact – that she even does it when she’s off the clock. Keep an eye out for Hillary along the shoreline of Old Saybrook.

If you train alongside Hillary while sporting some New Balance kicks, she’ll be able to drop mad shoe knowledge on you. She used to work for New Balance and had the chance to check out the New Balance Performance Lab in Massachusetts.

Gina Iannazzi


Coach Gina started training at Tuff Girl as a member in 2015 while pursuing her Master’s Degree in Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. 

Gina hails from Methuen, MA and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of New England where she played soccer and lacrosse. In May of 2017 Gina earned her Masters degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition from Sacred Heart.

You can find her hiking, backpacking, and enjoying photography, videography, OCR racing, and picking up heavy things. Gina is not only an amazing coach, but she is also a super-duper organizer with fabulous handwriting and a gift for creating amazing videos which you will see all around Tuff Girl. 


Sally Leahy


Tuff Girl coach Sally Leahy earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from Adelphi University – where she was the captain of the soccer team in 2013 and 2014.

From nearby Cheshire, Sally is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. She is studying nursing at Quinnipiac University in the Accelerated Nursing Program and hopes to become a Sports Medicine Nurse Practitioner – while continuing her work in the Strength and Conditioning Field.

When she’s not studying, training or playing soccer, Sally can be found surfing, bike riding or watching the New York Giants with her family.