What began in 1975 as one inner-city gym in Highland Park, Michigan, has since evolved into a global health-club organization with locations in 17 different countries. Powerhouse Gym equips weightlifters and cardio bunnies alike with all they’ll ever need to keep—or create—a tight and toned physique. The gym offers equipment outfitted with personal TVs as well as a cast of certified and knowledgeable personal trainers. Depending on location, members will also have access to group fitness classes, such as yoga, Zumba, and Les Mills BodyPump, as well as 24-7 turnkey access to the facility.
Snap Fitness is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because this deal includes the all-access key card, you don't have to let the strictures of "time" dictate when you can avail yourself of cardio and strength benefits. Arrive at Snap super late and pretend you're working out in an Edward Hopper painting, or pound the treadmill at 5 a.m. and get pumped for 6 a.m. Even if you exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere will provide a refreshing change of pace from any meat-market gym or tough elementary schoolyard you've experienced.
Equipment: Reformers, Cadillacs, Towers, Chairs, ballet barre
Students should bring: Bottled water
Average class length: 30–60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Print and sign the waiver; bring it on your first day: http://www.pilatesactivcore.com/pdf/New_Client_Waiver.pdf
Planet Rock challenges novice and experienced climbers to discover the depth of their willpower in order to conquer their ever-changing collection of routes. The gym's two locations each host more than 50 top-roping routes and more than 15 lead-roping paths for experienced indoor mountaineers, as well as lower-hanging bouldering paths and caverns. Climbers better themselves using 21st-century technology such as a rotating treadmill climbing wall with adjustable speeds, angles, and frequency of charging mountain goats. Staff members keep extensive and updated guidebooks for both the Ann Arbor and Pontiac locations and can point guests toward quality gear sold at the in-house pro shop. Planet Rock also works one-on-one by appointment with climbers who have special needs, assisting individuals with hearing, visual, or physical impairments, and the climbing gym has hosted the climbing portion of the Extremity Games for individuals with amputations.
Vixen Fitness’s certified instructor Danielle Green was fed up with the lack of exercise programs designed to empower women. After a year of throwing private dance parties in her clients’ homes, Danielle realized that many women pursue fitness to feel desirable, which involves not only simple aesthetics, but also self-confidence. Her insights panned out. Today, her all-female fitness operation includes two studios where she and her team of sultry instructors help women unleash their inner Aphrodites. In a comfortable setting, women swivel into leaner bodies during pole-dancing and sensual-dance classes. When they’re not teaching lap dance and aerobic strip-tease classes, teachers help students carve out fitter frames with Zumba and yogalates—a hybrid of yoga and Pilates—and host the original bachelorette and girl’s night out parties that inspired the studio's beginning.
Born deaf and three months premature, Jordan Levin didn't hit the ground running. He had to work at it. After teaching himself to talk and read lips, he knew he could scamper toward any goal he chose. Now, this certified personal trainer and his wife, Hillary, propel others toward pride and achievement at their gym, CrossFit Bloomfield. During group workouts filled with weightlifting drills and gymnastics moves, clients morph into teammates who cheer one another toward personal bests. Cardio challenges such as rowing and running raise heart rates to increase endurance, and bodyweight exercises such as burpees and pull-ups build cores as stable as a barium isotope after years of psychotherapy. In addition to scaling the workouts to a variety of fitness levels, the Levins tailor programs to the needs of kids, first responders, and exercisers who are overweight or disabled. Clients can zero in on their goals in personal training sessions, in which a certified coach helps them hone their form and hurdle any obstacles hindering their success.