Before Nick Lopez was a certified personal trainer, he was by his own admission overweight. But instead of seeking a quick fix for his weight-loss woes, he began the painstaking process of researching and experimenting with different exercises until, eventually, the numbers on the scale became smaller and smaller. His findings helped him lose 80 pounds and ultimately turned into the fitness blueprint for his boot-camp classes and personal-training sessions at Weapons 4 Weight Loss. The evolving workouts consist of functional movements such as running, lunges, and maneuvering through an obstacle course without being voted off by viewers at home.
Rich crimson and jet-black poles punctuate the lustrous hardwood floors paving Fantasy Fitness Studio, where certified dance and fitness instructors aim to enhance both women's self-esteem and fitness through sensual, muscle-toning pole dancing. They bolster their full roster of pole-dancing classes with tutorials on diverse techniques such as hip-hop dance, boot-camp-style workouts, and Zumba, fostering a motivating environment for students of all skill levels during each session. They also host group parties within the elegant studio and can even organize mobile festivities at offsite locations, such as homes or moon colonies.
After Randy Woody lost his aunt and grandmother to diabetes and obesity, he became increasingly distressed about his own 320-pound frame. He began researching weight loss and strength training and set to work creating a healthier lifestyle for himself—all at the age of 13. Over the years he was able to whittle away 145 pounds, and eventually became a personal trainer, competitive bodybuilder, and member of the American College of Sports Medicine. He teamed up with Brenda Woody, a fitness trainer and motivational speaker, to start Michigan Women Boot Camp, a weight-loss program that has transformed the lives and bodies of more than 10,000 clients.
Six days a week, the indoor boot-camp sessions challenge students with a rotating lineup of light running, resistance training, obstacle courses, and core exercises. Like scaffolding that reads only transcendentalist literature, the environment is supportive, yet serious. The Woodys only expect campers to perform to their individual ability level, but they ask students to show up as often as five times a week to get real results. The approach must be working; the Woodys boast that approximately 85% of their members are repeat visitors.
Yoga Alliance–registered instructor Erin Moss designs her classes to cater to specific clientele. In doing so, she has helped musicians and fiber artists—such as knitters and clothing designers—ease tension and enhance their work with poses that can alleviate pains caused by poor posture and repetitive movements. In her beginners’ and stress-relief sessions, Erin emphasizes the meditative side of yoga and helps students assume slow, gentle postures.
Fitness guru Lisa Nash, whose body-sculpting expertise has benefited clients from U.S. Marines to local doctors, leads fitness classes that privilege cardiovascular training and weight loss over hulking machines and protein powder. Athletes of all ages can shed pounds, shake the police, and increase heart health in more than a dozen motivating classes ranging from 50-minute cardio-kickboxing bouts to 90-minute total-body workouts. High-intensity cardio interval-training sessions incorporate Lisa’s experience breaking in military recruits and aspiring firefighters, and Gams, Butts & Guts tones and tightens the lower body with high-rep aerobics rather than saran-wrap pants. High-steppers, kickboxers, and ab toners wishing to enroll in Lisa’s classes must supply their own weights and mats.
Guardian Martial Arts & Fitness's staff of instructors enhances fitness via a robust schedule of lessons conducted in a welcoming, constructive atmosphere. Give your physique a once-weekly firming with the Pilates fundamentals class, a holistic approach to fitness designed to hone core strength, flexibility, and posture, or attack calories in a fast-paced kickboxing course incorporating hand weights and floor work. Pilates courses are offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6 p.m., and kickboxing classes are offered Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m., allowing workers out to sweat away the stress of the office and its high-pressure conference-room Scattergories tournaments.
A 1,201-seat auditorium that values acoustic excellence as much as visual grandeur, the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center houses ornate wooden accents and intricate wall panels that soar over a sweeping balcony peppered with plush red seats. Ample wheelchair seating and elevators to all levels abound, ensuring audience members seated in the balcony won’t need to rely on the creaky wooden catapults still in use at many theaters.