BRIDGEPORT — A new fitness destination on the East End is getting participants in shape without the use of treadmills, dumbbells or shoes.

With a love for obstacle course racing and physical fitness, Stratford residents Matt Sonak and Jamie Clifton opened Epic Hybrid Training in December. The duo made use of reused factory space within the Bridgeport Innovation Center at 955 Connecticut Avenue.

Sonak said he and Clifton wanted to bring a program to Bridgeport that would incorporate their passion for fitness while setting themselves apart from other gyms in the area.

“It’s not a big box gym,” Sonak said. “This is all group fitness, so you can’t just come in a work out.”

Epic Hybrid Training incorporates high-intensity interval training in a circuit format. According to Sonak, a constantly rotating workout schedule keeps members guessing as each class blends cardio and strength training, without the use of machines and other equipment in a commercial gym.

Rather than offering a room full of free weights or cardio machines, the single-floor studio is lined with suspended monkey bars and rings, medicine balls, TRX bands and more

“It’s kind of like a weird gym,” Sonak said, adding that it may look intimidating at first, but once members get started with the group classes they progress quickly.

“Each station and each exercise that we have for that workout has different levels,” Sonak added. “For the beginner to the advanced, everybody just works at their own level and you progress up.”

While none of their members are looking to compete in a Tough Mudder or Spartan race, Sonak said the studio uses similar movements and exercises in its classes. On any given day, a coach will host a 30-minute, 16-person session that could consist of exercises from kettlebell swings and burpees to traversing monkey bars and climbing ropes hanging from the ceiling.

According to Clifton, each day features a different themed workout which is changed at the start of each month.

“I’ve never taken a class where I have swinging monkey bars before, and you don’t have to be an obstacle course racer or somebody who is great at monkey bars. We have all levels,” Clifton said. “We do a mix of conventional and non-conventional.”

Perhaps the most unconventional aspect of Epic Hybrid Training model is that all workouts are on a padded floor without shoes. The duo said it builds stability and strengthens ankles and feet.

While the facility is still new to the area, members said they appreciate the change of pace.

“I have been going to various kinds of gyms my whole life, but I never stuck with anything because it gets boring,” said Susan Barksdale, of Stratford, who was one of the original members to try out the program when Sonak and Clifton hosted mock classes prior to opening their location.

“It’s fun because it’s very social,” Barksdale added. “You’re not going to the gym by yourself and just work out and go home.”

Along with the workouts, the fitness studio also features a lounge area where members can hang out and grab a cup of cold brew coffee or Kombucha. The business partnered with Stamford-based Rise cold brew and Cross Culture Kombucha of Danbury and features both drinks on tap in the lounge area.

“We’re trying to build this community,” Clifton said. “All the members that we have are very supportive of each other and are all different levels. People hang out in the lounge after, and they’ll have some nitro coffee and they’ll be like ‘Hey, look what I did.’ It’s different than other gyms I’ve been to.”

Epic Hybrid Training hosts morning and evening classes, and is looking to add afternoon class schedules as membership grows.

jordan.grice@hearstmediact.com; Twitter: @JordanEGrice