Lori Murphy sums up her exercise philosophy in the simple maxim, “Don’t use a machine, be the machine.” Besides encouraging students to replace their hands with cybernetic free weights, it reminds them that a strong workout regimen can travel outside of the gym. As owner and head trainer of My Stronger Self Fitness Studio, she brings her 18 years of experience leading exercise classes to teach time-honored, as well as new-fangled, moves during kickboxing classes, outdoor boot camps, and intense personal-training sessions.
Captained by certified strength-and-conditioning specialist Jessica Foster, iPush Personal Training bases its boot-camp regimen on functional training, a method that disdains extremity-isolated drills and targets the entire body. After collectively waking the sun by pulling its blanket off, pupils of all fitness levels will motivate each other to hustle through maneuvers that crank up the body’s strength, flexibility, and stamina. Each session keeps muscles guessing with a different lineup of exercises such as stair climbing, Pilates, free weights, obstacle courses, and simulated bank heists. By the fifth class, sweat donors will notice better muscle tone and definition, tighter waistlines, rocket-powered metabolisms, and the ability to smell time.
Founder Stacy Pillera, who holds fitness certifications through the AFAA and Madd Dog Athletics and a BA from Oakland University, removes daunting gym arenas from the workout equation with her group- and personal-training services. Stacy holds small boot-camp classes in the First Baptist Church's Fellowship Hall, encouraging campers to heft medicine balls and dumbbells to the beats of motivational music. She can also travel to area homes for private sessions, toting along all of the necessary equipment and cancelling the uncertainty associated with complex exercise machines and surprise locker-room labyrinths. Throughout her programs, Stacy ensures that she is completely accessible to clients through e-mail, online networks, and phone calls, readily responding to all health and nutrition queries.
As a doctor, Mike Sartorius knew that packing on pounds every winter and struggling to shed them the following spring was setting his body up for a major metabolic breakdown. Even after he finally decided to lose the weight and keep it off, it took him five up-and-down years to learn the habits that would lead to long-lasting results. Once he nailed down his five principles of staying fit, however, his body underwent a transformation. Before long, his career would follow suit.
Dr. Mike soon teamed up with his friend, Jerry Lockwood, to found VIP Training and Fitness. The boot camp, which draws on Dr. Mike's experiences with weight loss, proved an initial success and has since been featured on shows such as MTV's I Used To Be Fat. Dr. Mike and Jerry continue to host boot camps at two locations, though nine other trainers have stepped up to pack each week's schedule with 27 available classes. In all of these classes, trainers strive to maintain a balance between fun and intensity. They ensure their campers’ safety at all times by demonstrating proper form and using seat belts as resistance bands.
Each boot camp spans four weeks of exercise, with classes held up to five days a week. Classes might meet indoors or out, depending on which of the nine locations a client chooses to attend, but the regimen of exercise remains the same. Trainers cook up new routines daily, which might include fitness kickboxing, jump-roping, obstacle courses, or sport yoga, in which the class plays a scrimmage using the first student who manages to contort themselves into the shape of a football.
The word "Chela" is Hindi for "one who studies spirituality," and Chela Yoga believes in being a sacred space dedicated to helping its students connect their minds, bodies, and spirits. Chela Yoga is a warm and intimate yoga studio with a small group of focused, certified instructors teaching classes in everything from Ashtanga yoga to Zumba. Clients come into the minimally decorated studio to link breath with flowing movement in Vinyasa yoga sessions, or build lean muscle in challenging boot camp classes.