Now that we’re officially in the thick of the holiday weight gain season, with Thanksgiving behind us, and a full month of holiday parties to go, three highly qualified trainers and a fresh workout routine may come in handy.
The Ken Jackson Fitness Factory, owned by a professional body builder, a former Miss Michigan Bodybuilder and a professional dancer and choreographer, can help you sweat off the average 5 to 7 pounds Americans usually gain during the six-week period between Thanksgiving and New Year's.
“The Ultimate Training Facility,” as it says on a gigantic spray-painted mural that spans the length of gym’s back wall, opened in August 2011 inside of a 10,500-square foot industrial facility on West Star Road off Schoenherr Road between 23 and 24 Mile roads.
The building houses a 3,000-square foot aerobic center, a full gym used for personal training sessions, several cardiovascular machines and lots of space to lift tires, run laps or any other physically strenuous workout regimen concocted by the trainers.
Owner Kenneth Jackson, who has opened and managed gyms, enlisted the help of certified personal trainers Sheila Berrios, who has also owned and operated gyms, and Nancy Graybill to help him create a private space for clients to set and achieve a physical goal.
“We’ve all been in the business a long time … so it’s like bringing the all-stars together and we were just looking for a house to live in,” said Berrios.
Thus the idea for a training facility that has no monthly fees attached, just pay as you go for people who were motivated by a common goal, was born.
“It’s a personal experience. We’ll know you. What your name is and your goals are,” added Berrios. “If you have questions and are not sure how to get started, we work with you individually.”
Jackson said the training facility is unique because the trio really put a lot of thought into what motivates people to exercise.
“I realized women really loved group fitness environment and my personal clients loved the privacy of my studio,” said Jackson.
Each Member Brings Something to the Table
Jackson is a professional body builder who can help his clients build strong defined muscles and train athletes.
In September, Jackson won his first national title, snagging the top spot at the NPC North Americas bodybuilding competition for the heavyweight category, which means 275 pounds of pure muscle.
He was recently featured in several bodybuilding magazines and is in talks to become the face and body of Gaspari, an international supplement company.
“I achieved my ultimate goal. Every goal that I set I work diligently to achieve that goal so it’s easy for me because I believe in what I say,” said Jackson. “There are a lot of trainers and fitness professionals telling their clients what to do but in actuality they can’t do it. I call those people ‘sales people.’”
Jackson also trains school athletes and young children on how to exercise properly and how to eat healthy.
Grabyill is a certified personal trainer who has also competed in fitness and bodybuilding shows. She is also a professional dance instructor and choreographer.
She has built a strong Zumba following because of her dance skills and extreme energy levels. She also teaches fit camps and trains individuals and small groups.
“Our challenge is to keep it fresh and new, yet still reaching our clients goals. “ said Graybill. “You can come here, dance, sweat, relax and forget about your day.”
Graybill said there is a high-demand for small group training sessions because it’s more affordable, and the client can still get one-on-one attention and exercise with a group that cares about their success.
“Ninety-nine percent of our group training clients have success. It's been proven that if you train in a group you’re more successful because there is accountability and you can share successes,” she said.
Berrios, a certified personal trainer, can teach two to three intense aerobic classes in a row without missing a beat or tiring, and she also kicks clients' butt into shape with her co-ed boxing and sweat shop classes. To cool down, once a week, she teaches a one-hour stretch class.
Berrios and Graybill hold a Weekend Warrior session once a month for people ages 15 and up, including families and couples who want to train together. The 90-minute class includes a 5K training, full body workout and cool down.
"The whole family benefits. … Mom works out and changes eating habits, Dad loses weight and the whole dynamic of the families lifestyle changes,” said Berrios.
Average Client is Middle-Aged Woman
Don’t let the professionals' expertise intimidate you. They said the more than 200 people that walk through the door a week range from housewives, athletes, marathon runners, bodybuilders and beginners.
However, the average client is a middle-aged woman with a goal in mind.
“We have the expertise to work with an elite athlete but the average client is someone looking to make a change in their everyday life,” said Graybill.
Personal training ranges in price depending on the group size and a list of aerobic classes and prices are to the left.
Jackson said he is proud of what he and his partners have achieved with the training facility.
“Once you walk through the doors you will feel different, you will feel the energy. We have the ‘it factor.’”