When Barre Bee Fit founders Jillian Lorenz and Ariana Chernin opened their first studio in Chicago, they considered it a "leap of faith." As it turns out, their passion for women's fitness proved infectious with clients and, within four years, the humble basement location blossomed into a national franchise spanning eight cities. But for all that expansion, their fundamental mission has remained the same: to empower women.
Jillian and Ariana resent the image of the ideal woman as being represented by Barbie dolls or really stylish Go-Bots. Even the name itself, "Barre Bee," playfully jabs at that notion. Their rotating lineup of cardio and strength-training barre classes focus more on helping women feel healthy and fit rather than being able to squeeze into a size 0 or their elementary-school snowsuit. Sessions take place at a ballet barre, covering repetitive isometric movements to tone bodies, giving gals the confidence to strut out the door at the end of sessions with a sense of accomplishment.
The inspiring trainers at MetaBody lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
At Bad Boy Gym, amateur athletes train toward fitness prowess through kickboxing, in a no-frills, full-boxing-ring environment. The gym?s powerhouse instructors shepherd students through group sessions to blast fat from bodies as they train under the royal-blue ceiling. Insanity classes put students to the test with intense intervals of cardio kickboxing to forge a full-body, cardio-conditioning workout, while Let's Get Ready To Rumble classes feature a new full-body exercise every 8 seconds set to energetic music. Eschewing group classes for the plentiful bonus balls and resistance bands, guests can forge fitness paths on their own. They can improve their musculature by shadowboxing in the ring, whip endurance levels into shape with jump ropes, or pummel a punching bag until it promises to train them personally.
With its open floor plan, graffiti-style artwork painted on the walls, and aerial rigs hanging from the ceiling, it's clear that Pulse Fitness Training is no ordinary gym. Clients can find all the classic cardio and strenth-training equipment they'd see in a traditional fitness center, but can also work out with functional equipment such as tractor tires and battle ropes out on the floor. Aerial silks and hoops can be climbed to build upper body strength or to finally impress old elementary gym coaches. There's also a host of small group fitness classes led by certified instructors, ranging from TRX training to yoga and cardio barre sessions. After the workout, gym goers can head over to Pulse's nutritional shake bar, where a staff member will whip up a fresh protein shake to help replace burned energy.
The instructors at Al Irish's Shut Up and Box channel more than 14 years of experience into intense circuit-training workouts brimming with dynamic movements and power-packed blows. In addition to variable workout formats such as TRX straps and kettlebells, classes feature live DJ tunes that couple music and fitness better than a mariachi band performing on a treadmill. Captivating laser projections zip and scatter across the gym walls and replace traditionally somber gym decor with an invigorating, club-style atmosphere.
Steven Pierce, founder of RS Health & Fitness, doesn't limit his exercises to the gym. He sees the big picture and prioritizes wellness education on a large scale within the Detroit community. Steven's efforts have taken him to the airwaves as a featured expert on Fox 2 News, to Charter Health High School as a physical fitness educator, and to businesses as a seminar leader. Even if his clients are unable to meet with him, Steven will provide them with plans for at-home and travel workouts, such as bench-pressing a flight attendant.
RS Health & Fitness remains his base of operations, however. Here, Steven and his team of personal trainers provide customized exercise plans for anyone from professional athletes to first-time gym-goers. Each of their personal-training programs takes a comprehensive approach—they include fitness evaluations, nutritional consultations, and check-ins every 30 days that monitor progress. The instructors also host boot-camp classes for groups, accommodating all skill levels with fast-paced kickboxing drills and sandbell lifts.