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Vincent Palazzolo

Vinny is currently a shift Lieutenant and a SWAT team commander with a Suburban Detroit Multi-Jurisdictional SWAT Team. He is a certified SWAT, Firearms, Defensive Tactics instructor and an Army Infantry Combat Veteran (OIF). He has a strong and lengthy background in organized group physical training and motivation. Given the nature of his career, it is important to maintain a high level of fitness in an effort to be prepared for any obstacles his job may present. To achieve this high level of fitness, he has chosen CrossFit.

Certified CrossFit Kettlebell Trainer
Certified CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certified
CrossFit Mobility Certified
Certified First Responder/CPR American Heart Association

Matt DeMinico


Matt DeMinico is one of only three CrossFit Level 2 certified instructors in Michigan. He started Motor City CrossFit in his tiny garage back in 2007. With a regular 9-5 engineering job, he doubles as our behind-the-scenes tech guy when he’s not running classes. He and his wife have five kids, and they are very active in their Church.

Matt came across CrossFit when he was looking for a good strength and conditioning program to supplement his speed skating training, and someone said to look into “that CrossFit thing”. Up to that point, he had been doing the standard off-ice training that most speed skaters do, including strength, bodyweight, and bike work, mixed in with interval training. He switched to Crossfit, and after three months of Crossfit training, felt twice as good on the ice compared to the previous year and a half of other training methods.

CrossFit Level 1 Certified
CrossFit Level 2 Certified
CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certified
CrossFit Gymnastics Certified
Red Cross CPR/AED Certified


Yvette Lepore

Yvette spent  over 10 years as an automotive professional before deciding to make a career change to pursue her passion in fitness.  Sports and fitness have been a part of Yvette’s life for as long as she can remember.  She was snow skiing, water skiing, and riding dirt bikes as a small child, and running cross-country and track in school.  She took up distance running after college, and has several respectable marathon finishes to her credit, including 2 Boston marathons.

Yvette got involved with weight training in 2006. She was instantly intrigued and became an ACE certified personal trainer in 2007. She left her automotive career in early 2008 to pursue a career in fitness.  She moved to the St. Louis area and became a full-time trainer and fitness manager of a large globo gym.  She trained a diverse clientele of one-on-one and small group clients in functional training, strength training, nutrition and weight loss, and injury rehab.  Yvette has guided pregnant women through an active and healthy pregnancy, as well as help high school football players put on size and strength, Jiu-Jitsu fighters win an important fight, and senior citizen diabetics get off of their medications.  “One of the best feelings in the world is helping people push themselves to reach a goal they never thought possible.  I never felt anything like this in the corporate world.”  Yvette quickly became a self-proclaimed “gym rat” and a self taught expert in everything fitness.  She became involved in powerlifting, as well as bodybuilding and physique competitions. At 40, she competed in and won her first figure competition. She went on reach National level qualification before discovering Crossfit .

Yvette was ready for a new challenge and was looking for something fun and different.  What she found was not only fun, but much, much more. Yvette joined MCCF in April, 2010.  “The people at Motor City Crossfit quickly became my family, and Crossfit my passion.  I thought I loved working out before…..that was nothing.  I have never been so happy in a gym in my life!”  Yvette received her Crossfit Level 1 Certification in July, 2010 and has never looked back.  “I am stronger, leaner and more fit than I have ever been in my life.  Crossfit works. Period.  In all my years in this business, I have never found anything that makes more sense or gets the results that Crossfit does.  The results got me addicted….the community will keep me here forever.”  Yvette has been a trainer at MCCF since mid-2010, and is amazed and rewarded every day by the incredible spirit and strength of its members.  “I love training these people, and I’m proud to call them my box-mates.”

Crossfit Level  1 Certified

Crossfit Kettlebell Certified

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

CPR/AED Certified

Kat Calandra

My name is Katherine Calandra (everyone calls me Kat).  I have gotten to know quite a lot of the athletes at  MCCF, but for those of you who don’t know me I’m the girl usually working out with my daughter Lyla in the jogger stroller.  Fitness has always been a huge part of my life. Growing up I played pretty much every sport there was. Once I got out of high school I knew I wanted to make fitness my career choice.  I decided to become a personal trainer and worked in a one-on-one training facility for many years. During that time I obtained multiple fitness certifications including: group fitness, SPIN, zumba, kickboxing, piyo (a mix of pilates & yoga), TRX as well as ketlebell. During my years as a trainer I always sought out different ways to not only improve my own fitness capacity  but mainly new ways to make sure my clients got the most out of their workouts. And then I discovered it, Crossfit!  I fell in love with CrossFit the moment I tried it and I have never looked back.  It is by far the best training modality I have ever taken part in, and I am so excited to be training with everyone at MCCF. Everyone at the box I feel is an extension of my family because we all share the same passion for fitness. I recently obtained my  CrossFit Level 1 and I am looking forward to not only training at MCCF but also being part of the coaching team.  ~ Train hard!


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

CrossFit Kettlebell Trainer

AFAA Personal Fitness Trainer

AFAA Group Fitness Instructor

TRX Trainer

CPR/AED certified


Christopher Plague
“The Plague”

The Plague
While growing up I played all kinds of sports, eventually focusing on baseball. One of my favorite things about playing sports was training hard in the weight room in order to improve on the field. Once I stopped playing baseball competitively, my enthusiasm for working out started to dwindle. Fortunately, around this time I heard about CrossFit and decided to give it a try. I was instantly hooked on the challenge to learn all the different movements and skills. After exposure to it through CrossFit, I became particularly interested in Olympic Weightlifting. I’ve always had aspirations to have a career related to fitness or sports, and after joining Motor City CrossFit I decided there was no better place to start than getting my CrossFit Level 1 certificate.  Currently I am studying Kinesiology at Michigan State University and spending my holiday breaks and summers training and working at Motor City CrossFit.

CrossFit Level 1 trainer


Magic Mike

Mike McNichol

Mike currently works at a construction company that deals with remodeling and preserving foreclosed and rental properties. He is also an OEF Combat Veteran and a Squad Leader for an Infantry Company in the Michigan Army National Guard. Fitness first became important in his life in high school and it has continued to be a major part of his life throughout college and the military.

Mike attended Central Michigan University and received a Bachelors Degree in Health Sciences in 2012. He began doing Crossfit in 2011 on his own to prepare for deployment to Afghanistan. Shortly after returning home in late 2012 he joined his first Crossfit Affiliate. In February of 2014 he took the Crossfit Level I course and began coaching immediately upon his return. He is a firm believer in the theory and programming behind Crossfit and it’s ability to prepare not only first responders and military, but civilians as well, for the unknown events of everyday life.

CrossFit Level 1 trainer

Pete Nellis

Pete Nellis

Much like many other athletes, they want to stay competitive after collegiate/high school sports. I found Crossfit through one of my best friends and we started doing WOD’s once in a while in a local gym where our dad’s work. It then turned into more of a weekly occurence. Just out of college, I was ready for something new. I tried crossfit at a box about 45 minutes from my house in Syracuse, New York and never turned back. The results are immediate and the community can’t be touched by any other fitness organization or class. Between working out in Syracuse and buying my own equipment for a garage, Crossfit became a passion. It became my life and something I loved to do.

I have always loved coaching, and I knew I wanted to help people to reach their goals and help them to push their own limits.  I pursued my CrossFit Level 1 in October of 2013 and began coaching immediately. A few weeks later I moved from Oswego, New York to Berkley, Michigan  to begin work at General Motors. On day 1 of life in Michigan, I came into Motor City Crossfit and met a few people who have become some of my closest friends. I began coaching In Janaury of 2014 at MCCF and have a passion to making people better and helping them reach their goals. The family here has made my life-changing move so much better than expected.

CrossFit Level 1 trainer

Scott Ziegler

Scott Ziegler

Fitness has always been a part of my life, from playing childhood sports, to the first time I got to go to the weight room in high school gym class. I became a firefighter in 2004, 10 years ago, and fitness became an even bigger part of my life, it now depended on it.
I was always jumping from this program to that program, while I liked them all, none of them really pushed me to my limits. Five years ago I was hired onto the Highland Park fire dept. My first day on the job a senior member told me I was chubby and I would never make it there. He said “you should try crossfit”. Not having a clue what it was I ignored him. Later that day we responded to 3 fires including an apartment building fire. In my career up to that point, I had never seen so much fire in one day. I was exhausted. I felt like trash. And I realized that guy was right. I wasn’t going to make it on a dept that was this busy.
I googled “Crossfit”.
Started doing “crossfit” unofficially at a local gym for a few years where I lost weight and got into much better shape. In feb 2012 I found Crossfit transformation and started doing Crossfit officially. My first day I knew this was thee best possible thing for me to stay in shape. After a year and a half, I was more in love with fitness than I ever was before, I was much stronger, and I was able to do my job much better than I was before Crossfit. I decided I wanted to help other people feel the way I did. So I took my level 1 and started coaching with CFT, a few weeks before we merged with Motor City Crossfit where I plan to coach for many years to come.
As of next week I will be starting a new career with the City if Detroit Fire Dept. I won’t be around the box as much for the next 4-6 months while I go through Detroit’s basic training program, but I am looking forward to coaching, and working out with my crossfit family when I return. And I hope to see many new faces.

CrossFit Level 1 trainer



Kristine Safranek  “SAF”

I am a Mother, Wife, Engineer, and an Athlete. Yup, I’m over 40 and getting better everyday!  Age truly is just a number!  My background comes from an active lifestyle of soccer (in my 30’s) & Globo gym rat on and off, a 5k here and there, but I never considered myself an Athlete or Athletic for that matter.  So I choose to excel academically, I went to college at Michigan Tech, became a Mechanical Engineer, landed a good job, achieved a Masters degree.. And as the years started to pass me by, I began to fall into a rut where life started to lose its luster.  My once life, full of promise of a successful future was over.. I was essentially there, good job, husband, 2 children, a house, 2 dogs… I had it all, but  why  wasn’t I happy looking at myself in the mirror.. What happen?? Somewhere along the way, I lost myself! I had no passion for life.  Who was I?  What next? Is that it?   Then suddenly, in 2009 after the birth of my 2nd child, I found Crossfit. My Crossfit journey has not just been a work out.  I have re-found my passion for life and for myself.  Training has become the place I go to focus on being My Best Me.  Knocking down walls, one after one.  This thing that just started as getting stronger and being more fit kept giving back, and  it was not just externally. What was happening?  Before I knew it, I was competing and even winning sometimes!  I was learning Olympic lifts and doing things I never thought I was capable of doing.  I was excited! I had something to look forward to for just ME. A tiny new challenge to go after each day.   The largest transformation is what happen internally. While all this hard work was happening at the gym, something happen to my mind.  I  had built this crazy “mental toughness”, a newfound self.  A person of empowerment.  The charter traits of self confidence, commitment, dedication and integrity had grown so much that they were spilling over to all avenues of my life. And when I really opened my eyes and looked around, I was surrounded by a community of people whom were all experiencing the same thing.  We have all found a way to find our own greatness within ourselves. Becoming a trainer is the gift I can give back to help others unlock their own true potential and embrace how amazing each person can be both inside and out. So, while some may say “Crossfit”, Pfft.. It’s just another crazy fad workout,  I say, It saved my Life! CF L1 Trainer Reply Forward

CrossFit Level 1 trainer

Katie 1

Katie VanVechten

Katie has been doing Crossfit since 2010. She stumbled across Crossfit on Facebook and has loved the combination of fitness and family that it provides. Katie likes all aspects of Crossfit, but loves lifting. Want to snatch all day? Count her in!
Like all the coaches at Motor City, Katie wants to see everyone improve and excel at our sport of fitness and reach their fitness goals.

CrossFit Level 1 trainer


Edward Curry

25 years of age
4 year infantry veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Played hockey my whole life. Power lifter turned crossfitter. Crossfit introduced me to the sport of Olympic weightlifting in which I currently compete.

CrossFit Level 1 trainer


Jacob Liska

Fitness has been a part of my life from a young age. I started playing sports when I was 6 yrs old and was introduced to the weight room at 13, when I started playing football. I loved being in the weight room and continued to lift weights after my playing days were over.  But after years and years of the same workout schedule and exercises I found Crossfit.  I found out that a friend of mine and fellow instructor, Carey, was opening up Crossfit Transformation. I called, texted and emailed her.  I immediately fell in love with it and still love it to this day.  I began coaching in 2012, and the one thing I love about coaching is being able to help members to reach their goals of become healthier.

CrossFit Level 1 trainer


jim park

Jim Park

Jim is a research engineer for US Army TARDEC.  Like many, he found Crossfit out of the need for a workout with enough variety to keep things interesting, focus on results, and to keep fit in order to enjoy anything life threw at him.  Initially, he found it struggled to make it to class due to work and work related travel.  That excuse vanished as the supportive community motivated him and he discovered hotel WODs.  Jim still loves to travel, but always manages to find a local box or enjoys the outdoors wherever he goes.  In 2013 Jim obtained his Level 1 Crossfit Certificate so that he could help others enjoy the variety and results that he has.
CrossFit Level 1 trainer

Contact us:
Phone: 586 834 7282 (Sterling Heights)
(313) 468-6044 (St Clair Shores)

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Owners Contact Info:
Main MCCF Phone:
(586) 834-7282

Matt DeMinico
(586) 258 8571

Vincent Palazzolo

Joanna Palazzolo

Active Duty Military Members
If you are a Crossfitter and on leave, stop by and get a work out on us. Its the least we can do for you serving. Thank you
AMRAP Nutrition
AMRAP Nutrition, for Crossfit Athletes on the Paleo diet!