As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
At VersaMax Fitness, certified sports nutritionist and personal trainer John Vandegriff and his staff create customized fitness routines. Most of that customization applies to the one-on-one personal-training sessions, which begin with assessments to calculate basics such as body mass index and body-fat percentage. Just as important, though, is VersaMax's nutritional supplements, which help keep exercisers fueled up, energized, and in constant possession of a maraca-type percussion instrument.
Melissa Leach classes walk a tricky tightrope between the fun, upbeat energy of a party and the challenge of a heart-pumping workout. As a trained Zumba instructor, Melissa fills her sessions with passion, liveliness, and insistence that everyone shake off their worries. Set to the beat of Latin dance music, reggaeton, and top 40 hits, guests dance through choreographed moves from salsa and merengue while sloughing off excess calories and Carmen Miranda fruit hats.
Erin Fouch believes that exercise shouldn't make people self-conscious—on the contrary, it should allow them to access and move with their inner rhythm. She leads one-hour Zumba routines to encourage this expression, planning her own dance-cardio workouts that burn calories and shape muscle. Up to 50 people shimmy through intuitive steps as Erin augments her classes with ab-sculpting techniques, such as the no-limbs Macarena.
Founders of Fit For Life Bootcamp, Brien and Kimberly Brockway seemed destined to help others reach their fitness goals. For one, the couple met in college while running cross-country. Brien served in the U.S. Army, where he led soldiers through both physical and mental training. Kimberly, meanwhile, has been a certified trainer since 2006, and has worked with a variety of clients including athletes, kids, and pregnant women. Together, Brien and Kimberly orchestrate high-energy boot-camp sessions, and supplement their intense workouts with plenty of nutrition and dietary advice to maximize results.
Fitness Rx's team of instructors deploys to dozens of locations throughout southeastern Michigan to lead a staggering array of fitness classes. Whether they're guiding groups through kickboxing's strikes, yoga poses, or Pilates’ core-strengthening moves, they draw on their diverse backgrounds, years of experience, and enthusiasm. Additionally, trainers meet for one-on-one or semi-private sessions, and supplement workouts with nutrition support to help clients achieve varied goals, from building strength to fitting back inside their high-school-graduation cap.