David Krainiak has been fit his whole life, participating in athletics at a young age, graduating from college with an exercise degree, and garnering 15 trainer certifications in his professional career. But the impetus to start a women's-only boot camp began before all that. It started with his grandmothers and his mother, all of whom he watched struggle to stay fit while dealing with their demanding lives. When starting Michigan's Adventure Boot Camp, he sought to create a workout environment that would have welcomed any of his matriarchs—an accessible, noncompetitive camp for women of all ages.
Each boot camp spans four weeks of exercise, with classes held five days a week, with students making sure to attend on three of those days. 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.
I Wish Lessons’ professionally guided classes convene in various venues throughout Chicago, Boston, DC, and Detroit, uniting and educating like-minded learners in vibrant social settings. The company’s hundreds of teachers have educated countless learners while introducing them to new friends and planning private events, including birthday parties and baby showers. Classes broach a multitude of engaging, lighthearted subjects, such as beer and bacon pairing, scotch tasting, cupcake decorating, and sushi rolling.
In the mid-20th century, gymnasts developed a training tool that allowed them to rehearse their flips without fear of gravity. The mini trampolines that they used had an unexpected side effect, however: elation.
Today, Jump Station of Michigan straps visitors of all ages into these springy apparatus, outfitting them with a safety harness that is connected to stretchy elastic bands. The cords simultaneously provide lift and negate a harsh impact upon landing while propelling jumpers into thrilling leaps and flips. The experience even constitutes a stimulating cardio workout as heart rates increase during each jump. Groups can reserve the air-conditioned space for a private party, which includes unlimited jumping and games, and then head over to the Zap Zone next door for rounds of laser tag, glow golf, and go-karting.
A bride and two of her bridesmaids strike Charlie’s Angels poses, their guns replaced with bouquets, in one image from Justin Hill’s portfolio of artful wedding shots. In another, a child tries on a floor length wedding dress, looking disappointed as its skirt polls on the parquet floor; in a third, a couple’s hands interlace next to Scrabble tiles that spell out “forever.” A proponent of candid shots, Hill nevertheless stylizes his photos with funky locations and unique composition, having a couple pose atop rustic railroad ties, honing in on their locked hands, or cropping out their faces to appease invisible relatives. To ensure smooth shoots, Hill keeps his cell phone with him at all times to answer any questions the couple may have.
The crafty bakers at Cake N Candy offer an extensive curriculum in the art of building sweet treats of all shapes and sizes. Students learn the subtleties of cake decoration, dressing breads in icing, flowers, or the smooth, sugary shell of gum paste and fondant. Instructors teach trade secrets of splicing different varieties of cookies or making homemade candy that can cheer up even the grumpiest of nightclub bouncers. Instructors build moist and munchable cake pops or ride the waves of the cupcake craze with an array of recipes and decorating ideas. Classes range from one to four sessions, with some including additional costs for equipment and course books.
The Athletic Club aspires to reach the upper echelon of fitness facilities, leading specialty classes within upscale workout environs. Limbs lengthen and spines straighten thanks to an extensive selection of yoga classes, including Anti-Gravity Yoga, which encourages participants to spite earthly forces while in inverted positions using an anti-gravity hammock. Dance fitness classes such as Zumba and African Movement fuse cardio movements to energetic rhythms. Core-sculpting and strength classes such as Cardio Barbell tone physiques without resorting to monster-truck-tire tossing competitions. Exercise enthusiasts can access the merits of cardio and strength equipment before and after classes at each location. Class schedules span seven days a week with early morning through evening sessions, and the Amherstburg club also offers a schedule of aquatics classes. Further amenities include childcare, along with a juice bar, steam rooms, and saunas.
Inspired by extreme sports, the Muck Ruck is a 2-, 4-, or 7-mile race through mud-slicked terrain designed to rouse beginners and the physical elite alike. The filthy obstacles vary based on terrain, but typically include 12–20 natural and manmade challenges that send participants climbing ropes, sloshing through chest-deep muddy water, and bobbing for leeches. Xtreme Muck Ruck stresses safety with each event, as all obstacles are designed to test your endurance and strength while still being fun. Those seeking to further put their bodies to the test can keep splashing and complete all three courses to join the Xtreme Club 247.