At The Fighting Fit, certified instructors sharpen both kids? and adults? muscles and minds through lessons in krav maga and CrossFit sessions. Hebrew for "close or contact combat," the krav maga was created by Imi Lichtenfeld for the Israeli army, who needed a hand-to-hand fighting system that could be learned by anyone regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability. Unlike traditional martial arts, krav maga involves no forms, but rather teaches students basic self-defense skills. The multipurpose gym also leads CrossFit Bad Boys sessions that jump-start metabolisms and build dynamic, functional strength and balanced fitness. At least one instructor guides students and all times during classes, and the team offers personal training for individuals who fear being alone in a room with kettlebells.
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.
Advanced Holistic Health aims to give its clients the tools they need to repair their bodies. To that end, they offer massage therapy, exercise coaching, and nutritional therapy, as well as private and semi-private yoga classes that can help students of all levels push through fitness plateaus. Classes such as Hatha, Yin, Vinyasa, and restorative yoga are designed to encourage freedom of movement, expression, and mental and physical practice. In the past, clients have commented on the clean, open feeling of Advanced Holistic Health's building, as well as their friendly and welcoming staff.
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.
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.