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Vincent Palazzolo

Vinny is currently a Captain in Charge of Patrol Operation. Retired 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.

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

Matt DeMinico


Matt DeMinico 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 six 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 Trainer
CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
CrossFit Olympic Lifting
CrossFit Gymnastics
Red Cross 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

We were recently featured on Michigan Homes, one of the top sites for Sterling Heights, MI Real Estate. Check out the article here..

AMRAP Nutrition
AMRAP Nutrition, for Crossfit Athletes on the Paleo diet!