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 might want 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 some of the best 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.
- Where he works: Professional Fitness Training, Inc.; trains clients at various locations; online training also available.
- Contact him: 734-674-3638, www.fitcoachnick.com
- Years training: Over 14 years
- Specialty: Weight management (loss or gain). “Having a broad clientele from all different walks of life has helped me develop the ability to work with clients of all ages and fitness levels,” he says.
- Degree/Certification: Bachelor of Science Magna Cum Laude from Eastern Michigan University with a major in physical education (strength and conditioning focus); minor in health education.
- Fave equipment/exercise: Favorite piece of equipment is the TRX suspension trainer. The Plank – “‘the best part of the day’ is how it’s known to my clients,” he says – is his favorite exercise.
- Cost: $10 and up depending on form of training (classes, 1:1, in-home visits, etc. are offered; call for details).
- Approach: “I promote lifelong wellness and health related fitness through individually designed programs for my clients,” Cabauatan says. “I like to make working out fun for my clients so they look forward to our sessions. When working with sports teams I make it a point to incorporate exercises that emphasize team building and not just working out.”
- Where he works: Next Level Physique in Warren; offers boot camp classes at Under Armour store in Detroit; online training also available.
- Contact him: 586-719-5712, www.nextlevelphysique.org
- Years training: 15
- Specialty: Transformations
- Certification: IFBB PRO (International Federation of Bodybuilding Professional Athletes); NSCA C.S.C.S. strength and conditioning coach; ACE certified personal trainer, lifestyle weight management coach and sports conditioning specialist; Precision Nutrition Certified; TRX certified; Functional Movement Screen certified; bachelor’s in kinesiology and health education
- Fave equipment/exercise: TRX equipment. Favorite exercise is the barbell incline press.
- Cost: $65-$80 per session; contact for details
- Approach: “My approach as a coach is to create clarity in your goals,” Demchik says. “Create a vision and a roadmap to achieve your goals. I want to challenge you to take not only your physique to the next level, but also the mind and spirit. Keeping you accountable through, exercise, nutrition and mindset.”
- Where he works: Personal trainer and owner at PT in the D, 1420 Washington Blvd., Detroit
- Contact him: 586-381-4387
- Years training: 13
- Specialty: Training clients with previous injuries, and anyone who feels too busy but wants to make health and fitness a part of their lifestyle.
- 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: “Anything that helps the client reach their goals,” Gardner says.
- Cost: $60-$70 for private one-hour training sessions, $25-$40 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 and current motivation level. We try to find a program that fits in with the time they can devote to being healthier. 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.”
- Where she works: Owner, founder and president of Body by Jenn, 6750 Orchard Lake Road, Bloomfield Township; and 2901 Commerce Crossing, West Bloomfield. Gray also comes to clients’ homes.
- Contact her: 248-761-2321 or BodybyJenn.com
- Years training: 26
- Specialty: Women of all ages and sizes. Also offers pre- and post-natal fitness and Bridal Boot Camp.
- 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; four-year degree in exercise physiology
- Fave equipment/exercise: Your body. “I like using your own body weight as resistance because it works all the small functional muscles that give 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.”
Gray says she is “all about having fun,” keeping workouts high-energy and including a cardio element to all routines, “because we only have so much time to devote to working out and cardiovascular is the most important component.”
- Cost: Customized small group training ranges $8-$15 depending on the package. Check website for special rates for Metro Parent readers.
- 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.”
- Where she works: Owner of Let’s Get Fit Personal Training, 1213 Mason St., Suite No. 6, Dearborn
- Contact her: 313-402-4401, facebook.com/LetsgetfitPt/
- Years training: 5 years
- Specialty: Trains men and women, designing workouts for their individual goals. Hall is also a four-time NPC Bikini Competitor and provides contestant prep, posing coach.
- Certification: Certified Personal Trainer through National Academy of Sports Medicine
- Fave equipment/exercise: Squat rack. “I love any type of variation of squats,” she says. “There’s so much you can do with that one piece of equipment.”
- Cost: Based on session length and type (typically $30-$40 for 30 minute session, $40-$50 for hour-long session; $100/month for online sessions)
- Approach: “My biggest thing is consistency is key. The reason why I say that is a lot of people start and they might stop when they start seeing a change,” says Hall, who began her career as an environmental geologist before leaving to pursue personal training full-time. “You are the only person that’s going to determine your outcome … and of course have fun with it.”
- Where she works: Studio owner at The Barre Code Ann Arbor; two locations
- Contact her: 734-436-4948, 734-769-6996
- Years Training: 7
- 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 Brawl: “It’s a cardio-intensive kickboxing class combining the barre,” she says.
- Cost: $99/month; student and teacher discounts are available. New clients get $20 for two weeks of unlimited classes.
- Approach: In addition to living by The Barre Code, the mantra of the studio, Madias focuses on cardiovascular conditioning, training restoration and strength toning.
- Where she works: The Body Principle Personal and Group Training Studio, 4581 S. Lapeer Road, Suite F, Orion
- Contact number: 248-895-8718
- Years training: 16
- Specialty: Body transformation
- Certification: certified trainer, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist and Fitness Nutrition Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine
- Fave equipment/exercise: Body with accessories. TRX, agility ladder, slam balls and free weights
- Cost: $15/group-$80/individual; couples training: $50/session per person
- Approach: “My approach is to customize all workouts to the fitness needs of the clients. I design workouts that can be successfully completed and that give results. I try to empower my clients through exercise!” Also has a youth empowerment program. “As a licensed counselor and fitness trainer, I aim to increase young people’s self-esteem and self-worth through counseling and exercise.”
- Where he works: Franklin Athletic Club, 29350 Northwestern Highway, Southfield
- Contact: 248-408-7596
- Years training: 19
- 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 burpees because you are working your legs, core, lower back, chest, triceps – a variety of muscles at once,” O’Bryant says.
- Cost: $82 per hour
- 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.”
Elissa Smith, Elissa’s Home Fitness
- Where she works: At homes, golf and tennis clubs, offices and businesses; serving Oakland County including West Bloomfield, Commerce, Orchard Lake, Troy, Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills
- Contact her: 248-390-9131, email@example.com
- Years training: 30
- Specialty: In-home training, women’s fitness and weight loss, seniors, post-injury/surgery, TRX, kettle bells, functional training using body weight and balance. Also offers cooking classes and holistic nutrition.
- Certification: ACE certified since 1994, four-year degree in Exercise Physiology and Psychology; senior fitness specialist ACE, Women’s Fitness Specialist, Weight Management Specialist, TRX Certified; Kettle bell Certified, Nutrition, CPR, AED and Advanced First Aid certified.
- Fave Equipment and exercise: Body weight exercises, Circuit training, TRX and Kettlebells. Core using body weight and balance.
- Cost: $40-$85/hour; groups rates available
- Approach: “Everyone is unique,” she says. “I evaluate my client and determine how I can best service them to reach their goals. One client may want to focus on strength while another may need to focus on drastic weight loss. I may have a cooking class for others that want to eat healthier. One client may want a really tough workout where others may have a severe restriction that may limit the intensity. Safety and form is very important to me, (and) making it fun and safe. I have had a lot of setbacks in my life, and I understand each person is unique and as long as I can help them to become stronger and to attain their goals while putting a smile on their face, I’m happy!”
Mark Thiesmeyer, MS, MPH, RD
- Where he works: Better Living Fitness, 834B Phoenix Drive, Ann Arbor
- Contact his office: 734-747-0123
- Years training: 18 years
- Specialty: Weight loss (he’s also a registered dietitian), strength training, flexibility work and rehabilitation
- Certification: American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- Fave equipment/exercise: “The exercise that will strengthen a particularly weak muscle and help someone feel better,” Thiesmeyer says.
- Cost: Memberships/Small Group Training start at $25.99/month. Personal training ranges from $70-$110/hour and $37.50/half hour.
- Approach: “I believe optimal fitness can be achieved with the following seven components: strength work, cardio training, flexibility, stress management, sleep, balance and posture awareness,” he says. “I help people maximize their energy and fitness with effective exercise, appropriate nutrition and the right blend of everything else. Your exercise should make you feel good!”
- Where he works: Certified personal trainer and Precision Nutrition Certified coach at Powerhouse Gym in Novi
- Contact him: www.jimivarner.com
- Years training: 18
- 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 used to achieve any goal, Varner says.
- Cost: Ranges $10-$63
- Approach: “It’s all in the title: ‘personal’ training,” says Varner. “I truly take a 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.”
- Where she works: Owner and operator at Leah V. Fitness
- Contact her: 248-760-9453, www.leahvfitness.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Years training: 18
- 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/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 Veprauskas. “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.”
- Where he works: Owner at GIVE Fitness, 200 Mt. Elliott St., Detroit
- Contact info: 313-451-1348
- Years training: 8 years
- Specialty: Weight loss
- Certification: ACSM Exercise Physiologist, B.S. in Exercise Science from CMU
- Fave equipment/exercise: Body weight (functional) training
- Cost: $30/30 minutes, $10/class
- Approach: “We have tailored programs based on your fitness level and fitness goals. Heart rate monitoring technology allows for safe high quality workout,” Vinson says. “We track progress body assessments every four to six weeks. Our goal is to get you healthy, appreciate your body and then fine tune it.”
This post was originally published in 2011 and has been updated for 2018.