Top 12 Personal Trainers in Southeast Michigan

Looking for a change to your workout routine in 2015, but have no idea how? Try tips from these pros in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

Top Southeast Michigan Personal Trainers

Whether you’re a workout maniac or just starting out, there’s no one-size-fits-all workout or secret pill to get the results you want. To get those, you need an exercise routine all your own – and, to get that, you need a personal trainer. There’s no need to hit the computer and research for hours to find the right one, because Metro Parent has already done that. On this list, you’ll find fantastic personal trainers working right here in southeast Michigan in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. Review their certifications, focus and philosophy here, and find the right fit to help get you fit. Note: Trainers are listed alphabetically by last name. Order does not reflect ranking.

 James Cook

  • Where he works: Lifetime Fitness Commerce Township
  • Contact him: 313-909-8481
  • Years training: 7
  • Specialty: Sports performance training
  • Certification: Certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • Fave equipment/exercise: “I love squats. I think they are at total body exercise that builds a strong core and strong legs that will also boost metabolism,” Cook says.
  • Cost: Call for rates
  • Approach: Cook strives to be sure that each of his clients has a workout plan that spans the entire gamut of health and exercise. “I look at metabolism and diet first,” he says. “Then I develop a well-rounded program for each individual that includes weight training and high-intensity interval training.”
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Jamie Davidson

  • Where she works: Snap Fitness in Plymouth
  • Contact her: 734-476-3975
  • Years training: 4
  • Specialty: Functional training with body weights
  • Certification: Certified personal trainer through ACE
  • Fave equipment/exercise: Davidson prefers TRX suspension training gear, because no matter what you’re using it for – be it endurance or strength training – you get a complete core workout. “It’s a full body workout,” she says.
  • Cost: Call for rates
  • Approach: Davidson takes a very individualized approach when training her clients to get them closer to their individual goals. She also likes to use training techniques and exercises that will translate to real world use. “It’s all about working the whole person, not just one muscle group,” she says.

Nicholas DeSantis

  • Where she works: Fitness Quest Training and Nutrition Center in Macomb Township
  • Contact: 586-817-0792
  • Years training: 4
  • Specialty: High-intensity interval training (HIT training) and medical rehabilitation
  • Certification: Certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and functional movement specialist
  • Fave equipment/exercise: If DeSantis could choose a machine for clients to have in their home, or to try out at the gym, it would be the Row Machine. “I think it’s very important and very specialized,” he said. “It works on the whole body instead of just one body part.”
  • Cost: Ranges $15-$60 based on type of training
  • Approach: DeSantis prefers to find out a person’s goals and then begins a program for them based on their specific needs. “Individualizing it physically, emotionally and by overall health is how I attack it,” he says.

Robert Gardner

  • Where he works: Personal trainer and owner at PT in the D
  • Contact him: 586-381-4387
  • Years training: 7
  • Specialty: Weight and fat loss – and the training of those with previous injuries trying to train pain-free while healing from those injuries
  • Certification: Degree in exercise science from Wayne State University, certified personal trainer through American Council on Exercise (ACE), TRX course certification and cancer exercise specialist through the Cancer Exercise Training Institute
  • Fave equipment/exercise: “My favorite equipment right now has been using the barbell to do glute bridges and hip lifts to activate and strengthen the glutes and hamstrings,” Gardner says.
  • Cost: $55-$65 for private one-hour training sessions, $20-$30 for one-hour semi-private sessions
  • What makes his approach unique: “My approach varies with every client,” he says. “I try to take into account what the goals of the client are along with their current fitness level, previous fitness experience, current motivation and with the time they can devote to being healthier. From there, we come up with a plan for success for that person. Everyone is so different that there shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all routine. Overall, I try to encourage living a healthier lifestyle for success, not just taking a short term approach and focus only on a few workouts or a quick fix.”

Eric Gerber

  • Where he works: Beverly Hills Club in Franklin
  • Contact him: 248-497-1495
  • Years training: 10
  • Specialty: Strength and therapeutic rehabilitation
  • Certification: Bachelor’s degree in sports medicine with a second concentration in exercise science from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and health fitness specialist from American Sports Medicine
  • Fave equipment/exercise: “Barbells because they make you strong,” he says.
  • Cost: Call for rates
  • Approach: With his clients, Gerber says he focuses on building a workout routine to help them build a strong foundation and knowing the proper nutrition to fuel their body. “In general, it’s about being well rounded, physically,” he says.

Jennifer Gray

  • Where she works: Owner, founder and president of Body by Jenn, 33022 Northwestern Highway, West Bloomfield; Gray also comes to clients’ homes
    Contact her: 248-761-2321 or
  • Years training: 23
  • Specialty: Mostly women and brides, but she also offers a co-ed program
  • Certification: American Council on Exercise (ACE), the Aerobic & Fitness Association of America (AFAA), exercise specialists and kickboxing; Jennifer is currently certified in-group fitness training through the AFAA
  • Fave equipment/exercise: Your body. “I like using your own body weight as resistance because it works all the small functional muscles that gives women the tone, but a soft, female look at the same time,” Gray explains. “The bosu and barre are my favorite pieces of equipment because you’re using your own body weight. Also, the boxing bag with pink gloves, of course.”
  • Cost: Customized small group training ranges from $8-$15 depending on the package.
  • What makes her approach unique: With a combination of cardio-based circuit training and hot fitness trends like kickboxing, yoga and barre, Gray is able to transform a woman’s body. “My motto of training is don’t pump it up, change it up,” she says. “If you want to look like a woman, you need to train like a woman.”

Adrianne Madias

  • Where she works: The Barre Code Ann Arbor
  • Contact: 734-436-4948
  • Years Training: 4
  • Specialty: Women, barre fitness
  • Certification: Certified in the Barre Code Method
  • Fave equipment/exercise: Her favorite workout is a class offered at the studio called the Barre Brawl: “It gets the heart rate up with moves involving the ballet barre.”
  • Cost: $99 a month; student and teacher discounts are available
  • Approach: In addition to living by The Barre Code, the mantra of the studio, Madias focuses on cardiovascular conditioning, training restoration and strength toning.

Reggie O’Bryant

  • Where he works: Franklin Athletic Club
  • Contact: 248-352-8000, ext. 273
  • Years training: 15
  • Specialty: All-around fitness
  • Certification: Personal trainer, nutrition consultant, strength and conditioning through the American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM) and the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), TRX and AFFA
  • Fave equipment/exercise: “I would say my favorite all-around exercise would be push-ups because you are working your legs, core, lower back, lower back, chest, triceps – a variety of muscles at once,” O’Bryant says.
  • Cost: $70
  • Approach: O’Bryant likes to start his clients out with the basics and build them up from there. “People tend to want to start from the top,” he says, “but you really need a solid base to build from.”

Jimi Varner

  • Where he works: Certified personal trainer and Precision Nutrition Certified coach at The Sports Club of Novi
  • Contact him: 248-735-8850, ext. 233
  • Years training: 15
  • Specialty: Strength and cardio training for weight loss
  • Certification: Certified personal trainer through American Council on Exercise (ACE) and Precision Nutrition Certified Coach through Dr. John Berardi
  • Fave equipment/exercise: Dumbbells – because they are the most versatile and can be use to achieve any goal, Varner says.
  • Cost: Ranges from $10-$63
  • Approach: “It’s all in the title: ‘personal’ training,” says Varner. “I truly take very specific, customized approach to working with each person. Each of us is so complex with a uniqueness that needs specialization to achieve superior results.”

Leah Veprauskas

  • Where she works: Owner and operator at Leah V. Fitness
  • Contact her: 248-760-9453
  • Years training: 15
  • Specialty: In-home training, small group training with all ages and fitness levels
  • Certification: Certified Strength Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through National Strength Conditioning Association (NSCA), certified personal trainer through National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF), Corrective Exercise Specialist through National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • Fave equipment/exercise: non-traditional tools including ropes, heavy bags, sliders and sandbags. “They are the easiest form of resistance training,” she says.
  • Cost: Ranges $45-$80 per session for private training and $15 for small group training (four-10 people)
  • Approach: “I approach my work with my clients in a progressive manner,” says Verprauskas. “I start with achievable weekly goals that change and become more challenging as the client consistently demonstrates ability to accomplish them. I do, though, make a point to discuss the importance of being consistent, long-term, with the recommendations I’m making, and the necessity of putting the time into changing habits and behaviors. Bottom line: I can provide all the information, knowledge and guidance in the world, but unless the client makes a conscious effort to change their thought patterns and resulting behaviors on a daily basis, it will be difficult for them to reach their goals.”

Matt Wehner

  • Where he works: Lifetime Fitness Troy
  • Contact him: 248-267-6666
  • Years training: 20
  • Specialty: Special population, weight loss, kids
  • Certification: Holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine
  • Fave equipment/exercise: “Lunges, because it’s good overall body exercise,” he says.
  • Cost: Call for rates
  • Approach: Wehner specializes in the training of people of all different ages and fitness levels because of this he know that every single person that comes to him should be treated on an individual basis. “Everyone is different,” he says. “Know it, nourish it and move it.”

Danell Wilkerson

  • Where he works: Boll Family YMCA
  • Contact him: 313-309-9622, ext. 3086
  • Years training: 6
  • Specialty: Weight loss, hypertrophy, corrective exercise and sport specific
  • Certification: Certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist and performance enhancement specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • Fave equipment/exercise: “Dumbbells are my favorite exercise equipment,” Wilkerson says. “They are basic equipment but can be used for a vast array of beginner to advanced exercises.”
  • Cost: Ranges $25-$65 per session
  • Approach: “Being fit is a lifestyle,” he says. “People usually become successful with something because they have found away to incorporate into their lifestyle daily. Given the right motivation and accountability people will willingly give up habits that have held them back and replace them with habits that will yield the results they desire.”

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