From the moment she bought her first pole, Liz “Metallichik” Brower was hooked on pole dancing. She’d spend hours watching online videos to perfect her technique before attending workshops, performing in events, and eventually becoming a teacher at a local studio. Today, Liz extends her years of practice and expertise to students at her own studio, Sensual Fluidity.
Amid towering mirrors and glimmering metal poles, Liz leads ladies of all experience levels through her repertoire of more than 100 pole-dancing movements, from tricks to transitions to combinations. In addition to refining pole-dancing skills, Liz’s workouts aim to tone muscle, slim physiques, and boost confidence. Liz also conducts a variety of other innovative fitness classes, including an aerial-hoops class and a Sexy Stilettos class, where students learn to walk, strut, and sensually stamp on spiders while wearing high heels.
For personal trainers Phil Wehrman and James Nalepa, the path to fitness is paved with goals, inspiration, and an abundance of heavy objects. At Fitness Evolution, LLC, the duo cements the will to succeed, whether the client wants to slim down for a wedding or bulk up for a bodybuilding competition. During one-on-one training, they draw upon more than 20 years of experience to tailor workouts and nutrition plans to specific goals and lifestyle considerations. The motivational power of teamwork fuels group training sessions, where three–six exercisers build strength and endurance with functional fitness tools such as battling ropes and TRX suspension straps. In addition to swathing their charges in personal attention, Phil and James stress safety by teaching proper form for lifting free weights, kettlebells, or babies dressed in chainmail.
Professional body builder Ken Jackson teams up with a seasoned dance instructor and two certified personal trainers to lead a diverse array of fitness classes. Within a 3,000-square foot training studio, the expert trainers lead functional workouts that aim to strengthen cores, tone muscles, and increase endurance. Other days, they conduct rigorous kickboxing training sessions and lively Latin dance-inspired Zumba classes.
Focusing on fitness from an early age, instructors Brenna Medley and Joshua Hunt picked up a wide variety of training techniques while playing everything from hockey to lacrosse to baseball. Today, in their 3,800-square-foot gym, they help others reach their fitness goals with the varied exercises and training styles of CrossFit. Its broad focus—which draws from gymnastics, weight lifting, and track and field—ensures a comprehensive workout, enhancing strength, agility, stamina, and speed. During workouts that change daily, they push participants toward fitness with a variety of equipment, including plyometric boxes, barbells, and pull-up bars. The constantly rotating exercises and drills ensure all muscle groups are equally targeted and stave off the boredom of repetition. As the workouts can be customized to everyone, the trainers offer beginners' and standard courses, as well as CrossFit for Kids, which helps wee ones who are preparing to beat an orangutan in a monkey-bars race.
In addition to his NASM certification, Jungle Gym Fitness Studio?s owner Jason Schaefer spent six years as the official trainer for Automotion, the Detroit Pistons dance team, helping him helm a gym where patrons can work out and express creativity in innovative classes. The bare-bones studio hosts indoor and outdoor boot camps as well as nightclub-inspired dance and boxing aerobics courses. Class sizes are limited to about 20 students to ensure each student gets ample attention and personalized technique tips. Along with group classes, instructors lend nutritional advice and assist patrons in training for races and sports-specific goals such as improving golf swings and preventing wrist injuries in ping-pong marathons.
Master Your Body Fitness gives exercisers the power to take control over not just their appearances, but their lives. Owner Victor Oddo has spent a good chunk of his own life helping others realize their potential, and he’s used physical fitness as the vehicle to do so. At Master Your Body, Victor joins forces with personal trainer Marvin Hayoo to identify fitness problems and stomp them out on the spot. The duo offers one-on-one training sessions as well as intense group classes, including beginner martial arts, cardio kickboxing, and strength training. In the latter, students learn how to safely and properly perform powerlifting and Olympic exercises, whether they’re simply trying to build muscle or get strong enough to become a superhero who specializes in opening pickle jars.