Taking a holistic approach to fitness, Ypsi Studio provides group fitness classes and personal-training sessions from ACE-certified personal trainer, Level II willPower & grace instructor, and Schwinn-certified indoor-cycling coach, Julia Collins. Her classes include spin, yoga and Pilates classes, as well as willPower & grace sessions, an exercise program that combines dance with yoga postures and calisthenics. Her studio also provides massage and nutrition services for a complete approach to wellness.
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.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottle to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
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.
Bikram Yoga Ann Arbor’s instructors, certified by the technique's creator, Bikram Choudhury, sculpt lean frames with strengthening postures performed in elevated temperatures. They lead patrons of all skill levels through 90-minute Bikram-yoga classes, bathing bodies in hot air, which helps to loosen limbs for deeper stretching and coaxes out beads of sweat to flush out toxins and internal snowmen. The 26 postures pair up with two breathing techniques to awaken slumbering organs and keep veins coursing with oxygen-rich blood as students bolster balance, strength, and flexibility. Recently remodeled, the studio is now 75 percent bigger, includes more showers, and boasts new locker rooms.
Barre Bee Fit's dynamic approach to physical fitness trades traditional exercise techniques for ballet-barre work that blends elements of Pilates, dance, and yoga. The cardio, toning, and stretching classes utilize a grab bag of props and isolated movements that target often-ignored muscle groups to help participants build strength while still maintaining their feminine shapes. The expansive 1,000-square-foot studio gives practitioners plenty of space to swish their limbs to inspiring music and vintage dishwashing-detergent jingles.