Punk Fitness Rocks the Streets of Ferndale   

originally published June 15, 2009


By Brita Brookes


If you see a group of people power walking down your local sidewalk while listening to Detroit’s very own super hip rapper, esQuire, singing the song “Brandy & Xanax”  from a CD playing backpack, you have just been witness to the Punk Fitness outdoor Power Walk and Sculpt exercise class.


Owned and founded by trainer and fitness expert Julie Hecker, Punk Fitness is Detroit’s alternative to elite fitness clubs for the few and fortunate. A self professed punk rocker and member of the cheerleaders for the Motor City Rah Rah’s, Julie is the brainchild of the concept of Punk Fitness. While in one of her classes Julie explained to us why she started Punk Fitness,” I wanted something for musicians, artists and creative types to be able to do for a workout option. Something that was not so expensive, boring or complicated in regards to attendance so that any of us could join and easily attend class”



With classes held in places like the Magic Stick downtown and at Hamtramck’s Belmont bar, Punk Fitness is definitely not your every day fitness class. Each week Julie downloads song requests to her computer and arranges an energetic and electric playlist of music that always highlights local Detroit talent. “This is the Orbit Suns”, yells Julie, as we all sit on the green grass on matts doing crunches. Julie then proceeds to tell us about all the upcoming events going on around town as we switch to hula hooping under a tree in the park.


An avid promoter of the creative class of Detroit, Julie has created a one of a kind fitness hybrid that is a mix of highlighting the powerhouse of cool local music we have here, showing us individual and specialized exercise movements to target problem areas like abs, gluts and thighs, and then being a sort of personal Made in Michigan promoter as she communicates a list of enticing Michigan events to go to as we all complete the next lunge set.


Punk Fitness is now holding several classes at the Gerry Kulick Community Center on Livernois and has just started a series of Thursday evening outdoor classes where the focus of the class is to enjoy the outdoors while we can, by power walking through Ferndale past local storefronts, gardens, parks, playgrounds and even street musicians.


The class begins each Thursday at 7:00 PM at Geary Park off of Pinecrest and Breckenridge on the West side of Woodward, but it’s always good to check the Punk Fitness web page for any class location changes or other as Julie likes to keep things fresh and new.


The outdoor class starts with stretching and warm up on the grass park lawn. After a good warm up, class moves into a strong power walk that makes its way across the city to see the sights while getting a good cardio workout. As one walks, Julie makes use of local playgrounds and other urban structures by stopping and having everybody do exercises like stepping up stairs, curbs, hopping, jump rope, hula hoop, and pull ups and push ups. Once the sets are done, it’s back into a power walk and back to the starting point for a closing stretching session on the green park lawn.





Eventually Julie will integrate the walker’s path for the Thursday classes past local business and “Thursday Nights on the Nine” street musicians in order to celebrate Ferndale’s community and local cultural happenings. “This makes the class fun and also supports and celebrates Ferndale and being fit overall”, says Julie


So if your tired of the indoor, bad lighting, bad music and boring fitness class routine, come on down to Geary Park for an outdoor workout “Punk Fitness” style!


Thursday classes are at 7:00 PM and on a drop in basis and costs only $5.00 for over an hour of creative fitness Punk Fitness Style. Bring a matt for stretching and some water. See you there! Meet in the parking lot of Geary Park at 7 PM. Look for the other “cool” people!


For more information on Punk Fitness and all of their scheduled classes go to their web pages at: