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Top Dog Fitness a Hidden Gem in Bighton Community

Brighton Wrestling Coach Sam Amine opened the gym as a training facility in January.

Top Dog Training may have started out as just a dream for Brighton Head Wrestling Coach Sam Amine, but it's just now starting to take off as more community members discover this hidden gem of fitness centers.

The fitness center, located at 401 Washington Street - right off of Hyne Street, officially opened in January as a wrestling all-year round training facility.

Amine said his business first began growing by word-of-mouth, then he began getting requests for Zumba and boot-camp classes. He decided to expand and offer more in May.

"The different sports (baseball, wrestling, football, cheer) are what made me think of adding different things," Amine said. "The cross-training for wrestling and football players - they both work out, but there's different exercises that you do per sport. That's why I got Brad involved."

Brad Hagan has been a personal trainer for 15 years and now teaches crossfit  as well as youth training classes at Top Dog Training.

"When you do circuit training, you're getting the best of both worlds - you're getting cardio and you're getting strength work all in one workout," Hagan said. "When you do functional training you're trying to move in all three planes of human movement. So you're trying to combine all three planes in every move you do - which isn't hard when you're on your feet - you're moving, twisting, lifting and pushing stuff. So we try to incorporate as many muscle groups in a single exercise as possible. We are full body."

The crossfit classes begin with medium difficulty dynamic warm-ups  then go into more intense circuit training for a specific length of time. There are six stations that people cycle through twice. After the circuits, the class does a metabolic finish, usually cone drills, sprinting or hurdling, before beginning a cool-down. Classes typically last about 75 minutes.

The exercises in each class are 50 percent different each time, Hagan said.

Brighton resident Lisa Berlasi and her daughter Marisa, 17, participate in the crossfit classes together.

"It's nice in this environment because it's soft and padded and better for older joints," Berlasi said. "It's a nice spot, we didn't know about this until Brad started working here. It will really give you strength - Brad's big on core strength. And it helps with everything - it really helped me with running."

Oceola Township resident Tina Iceberg lost 15 pounds taking the crossfit classes at Top Dog Training in eight weeks.

"I've lost one whole dress size," Iceberg said. "It's really hard work. I used to beg, but it got easier as I got more strength."

Top Dog Training now offers Zumba, youth training, crossfit training and of course, wrestling training. Amine plans to start spin classes by the last week in August as well.

"These Real Ryder spin bikes -they lean, they lift, they tilt - they're the closest you're going to get to riding a bike on the road," Amine said. "There are a lot of bike riders in Brighton, and come November, there's going to be nowhere for them to ride."

The spin classes will be offered three times a day, six days a week, with classes beginning as early as 5:30 a.m. for those wishing to get a class in before work.

"We're just really hitting the floor running, with the spin classes and now tumbling classes for cheer," Amine said. "I'm excited to be a Brighton native and open up something for the Brighton community, where the whole family can come there. There's different activities for every person in the family."

There are not any memberships or sign-up fees and prices vary depending on the class. For more information, visit www.topdog-training.biz.

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