The biggest hurtle to fitting exercise into your daily schedule tends to be getting there – finding a class, recruiting a buddy or discovering a location that works with where your work.
Justin Jacobs has heard all of those reasons and then some. So he found one of the highest-density areas in Downtown and is setting up the first “Come Play Detroit’ Fitness Center. No monthly or annual dues. Tons of classes. Free drinks and energy-restoring snacks. And, best of all, no excuses.
CPD’s Fitness Studio is slated to open Feb. 1 at 110 Clifford Street. All of the classes during that opening month will be free, so get ready to get your Zumba on. Everyone and anyone are welcome to try it out, sign up for personal training or check out a class like yoga or a Boot Camp.
The location, which has a six-month lease during this startup phase, is within walking distance of about half a dozen high-rise buildings chock full of offices. Jacobs said the site was ideal in terms of area employees being able to walk to the Fitness Studio at lunch or after work.
CPD doesn’t want to usurp the YMCA or area yoga locations. Instead, its Fitness Studio is intended to offer drop-in options for downtown health fanatics, Jacobs said, particularly those who already are part of CPD’s recreational leagues.
“We wanted to provide Detroit with a space where they can engage in a healthier lifestyle,” he said. “We’re here for the community. Attracting young talent to the city means giving them what they want. We’ll be all ears to hear about what kind of classes meet everyone’s needs and we will work to provide them with that they like.”
As the Fitness Studio grows, people can sign up for packages of classes, either per month or annually, for a small fee. Jacobs said CPD tries to keep its costs low through sponsorships and the like to encourage people to participate.
Jacobs founded Come Play Detroit about two years ago as a way to boost community involvement and engage young people in physical activities in and around Detroit. What started as a Facebook shout out to friends for a pickup basketball game has grown exponentially. Participation in these leagues – which include everything from kickball to bowling – has reached about 3,500 people from across Metro Detroit.
So setting up a permanent workout space here made sense, Jacobs said. Finding a place to exercise and hang out with friends can be challenging, especially given Southeast Michigan’s cold winters and snowy streets. That the Clifford Street location is within walking distance of so many apartments, lofts and offices was an important asset.
Having great partners has helped as well. Support has come from the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit and major Detroit employers Quicken and Fathead. Powerade beverages and KIND snacks (a brand of all-natural whole nut and fruit bars) will provide complimentary eats and drinks for all comers. Don’t just stop in for a free bite, however. At least looking a little sweaty will be mandatory.