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.
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.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
The tagline at Mills Gymnastics USA is "home of happy, confident kids." The coaches don't take that motto lightly?the gymnastics center places a strong emphasis on childhood development and self-esteem building. In addition to helping kids work on strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, and stamina, coaches help pupils learn the importance of a strong work ethic, time management, and self-reliance.
Children ages 18 months to 5 years old can attend "Tumble Bug" classes to master basic motor skills and learn tricks to impress the ice cream man. Older kids age 5 through 18 work on skills on floor, beam, bars, vault, and the 40-foot Tumble Trak Trampoline during recreational gymnastics classes. The gym also has a competitive team, an all-star cheer team, and hosts birthday parties, summer camps, and field trips.
Brent Insco had already roundhouse-kicked his way to a black belt in karate, trained with boxers, and learned krav maga when a car crash laid him low. As part of his physical therapy, he soldiered on in his martial endeavors and began the decade-long process of becoming a Brazilian jujitsu master. That was in 2004, and to this day he still makes frequent sojourns to San Diego to study under the BJJ legends, Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, who themselves learned the art at Gracie Humaitá, established by the creator of BJJ, Hélio Gracie. At his own studio, Downriver Jiu Jitsu & Fitness, Insco teaches students of all ages the fighting form—a judo-like discipline founded on the principle that a small fighter can best a larger opponent, as in the tale of David and Goliath or the popular children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, It Will Destroy You. Insco’s trainers also lead fitness classes, such as Latin-inspired Zumba dance, boot camp, yoga, and Bruce Lee’s martial-arts system, jeet kune do, and work with clients one on two in semi-personal-training sessions.
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.