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.
Fitzone for Women’s 14 locations across Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan beckon ladies of all ages and fitness levels to sweat side-by-side during supportive group classes and workouts. Each location hosts 20-minute circuit-training sessions that incorporate Nautilus machines, which increase weight in 1-pound increments, rather than the traditional 10 pounds. Fitness professionals work hand-in-hand with members to design a personalized workout plan, while group classes get bodies in shape with high-energy sessions of Zumba, strength training, kickboxing, and running away from a giant boulder rolling downhill. Fitzone for Women’s specially designed windows simultaneously let in sunlight and block views into studio from the outside, and its locker rooms have private dressing stations for an extra ounce of comfort.
At Livonia Yoga Center, the instructors aren't married to classical yoga styles. They still host hatha classes that emphasize proper pose alignment and vinyasa classes, which feature a flowing sequence of breath-synced postures. However, a menu of four to five classes a day offers a lot of room for creativity. Complementing those staples are less traditional sessions like the Healthy Backs class, which targets the neck, shoulders, spine, and hips to prevent poor posture and help students develop hardier exoskeletons.
A father-son team, David and Art McCullar hold Master Level II certification as brain technologists and founded their practice to help others find physical and mental relief by understanding the operations of the body's resident supercomputer. The technology utilized by the NeuroFitness Center focuses on encouraging the brain to change itself using simple stimuli to evoke the patterns associated with positive feelings and thoughts, such as relaxation or finding a quarter. While the company may use results in its continuing research, it never associates clients' names with statistics and closely guards each individual's information with security measures that exceed federal expectations.
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.
As the name suggests, the trainers at every BODY believe people of all ages and fitness levels can live longer and healthier lives by exercising. They’ve put together a lineup of classes that target specific areas of the body, such as Belly Be Gone and Booty Boot Camp, as well as age-specific classes that pair clients with appropriate workouts and nutrition education. The Discussion Group class fosters a community where students facing similar issues find the support and motivation necessary to face their most daunting fitness challenges and bathroom-scale poltergeists.