Lionize Training Center opened in the summer of 2013 and we have been working hard ever since with our members to increase endurance, improve overall fitness, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

Read more about our mission

Our Instructors

Mike Nagy

My name is Mike Nagy and owner of Lionize Training Center in Arlington Heights.  I started in the Martial Arts at the age of 14, under the instruction of Rob and Jim Zbilski (Z’s Martial Arts). I loved all aspects of the Arts and at the age of 17 decided to take it further and began my amateur fighting career. My late teen years and into my early twenties I compiled an amateur record of 31-0 with 27 knockouts in kickboxing. During that time I won 2 Illinois State Titles, a Midwest Title, 2 National Titles, a Intercontinental Title and completed my amateur career with a World Title. I took up Golden Gloves Boxing at the same time and went to the open division finals. Turning professional at the age of 22 I went on to fight for a World Kickboxing Title and the World Shidokan Title. Fitness has always been a huge part of my life. I am happiest when I am at the gym working with and teaching others to be the best they can and helping them achieve their fitness goals.  I currently teach adult and youth Kickboxing and the Cross Training Program.  Hope to see you soon, Lionize Training Center is ready to make you ROAR!


Certifications
  • DVRT Level 1 Ultimate Sand Bag
  • DVRT Level 2 Ultimate Sand Bag

Gil Vega

My name is Gil Vega, a certified Level I and II D.V.R.T Instructor at Lionize Training Center. My focus is all about proper form and results that can be seen and felt.

I am little OCD about proper form, after all it will protect you from unnecessary injuries. Yes, you have to make some mistakes to learn but not at the expense of throwing out your back. My healthy lifestyle started in 2010 when my doctor insisted on medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I was only 24 years old! Fast forwarding to four years later I am down 50lbs and no meds needed! I have hit all types of walls in my fitness journey, quite a few walls (mental and physical) while training for two Chicago Marathons, and obstacle course challenges (ouch).

Endurance Cross Training gave me the perfect combination of strength and cardio training. It has made me stronger, faster and leaner. And now part of my fitness routine for the past two years it has given me the edge in my marathon training and healthy lifestyle. I can’t wait to see the results Lionize Training Center and the Endurance Cross Training Program will bring you.


Certifications
  • ACE Personal Trainer

Julie Lee

My name is Julie Lee and I am an ACE certified personal trainer and Turbo Kick instructor. I have been in the fitness industry for 14 years. In addition to Turbo Kick®, I have taught a variety of classes such as total body conditioning, tabata training, boot camp, and functional training. I am passionate, energetic, and excited to motivate you to take your fitness to another level. On a personal note, I am married and the mother of three. I also like to spend time with my family and friends, workout, and do anything outdoors.  I currently teach the Cross Training Program and Turbo Kick® at Lionize Training Center.  I look forward to you joining me in one of my classes or personal training to help you achieve your fitness goals.


Jeremy Penney

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Black Belt under Jason Sullins (Alliance Team)

Martial Arts Experience:
1998 – Current …. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
1991 – 1995 …. Judo, SSJC
1987 – 1990 …. Nardi, KTA Taekwondo
1982 – 1985 …. White Tiger Kenpo

BJJ Lineage:
Carlson Gracie Team 1998 – 2012
Team Instructors – Grandmaster, Carlson Gracie Sr., Carlson Jr., Jason Sullins
Alliance Team 2012 – Current
Instructors – Jason Sullins, Isaac Riggs

About Me:
I was a Judoka (Judo practitioner) in 1993, when I watched several men take part in a bare knuckle, no-holds-barred, round robin; a martial arts competition to compare one person’s fighting style agains the other. That night was a pivotal moment for the grappling arts and a new era for combat sports, in general.

Royce Gracie introduced the World to, Gracie style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, during the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC 1). I watched in awe as this six foot, one inch, one hundred and seventy-six pound guy dismantled several highly trained fighters of various sizes and strengths by taking them to the ground and then beating them via submission tap-out.

From that moment forward I have dedicated my life to being a student of the ‘Gentle Art.’

I use the word student to emphasize a specific value that I maintain on my training floor; it is an idea that was passed on to me and, now, it’s a concept that I share with my training partners – “Jiu-Jitsu has no masters, only students.”

My interpretation of the word master carries with it a demeaning connotation that says ‘I know it all and, I have nothing left to learn.’ This is far from reality. I will learn much from the white belt and the white belt will learn from me. Together, we are all students in this dynamic sport. We are a team.

Career Achievements:
I have gained medals in national tournaments around the U.S.

Life Philosophy:
Yes you can.


Jennifer Zelazny

My name is Jennifer Zelazny and I started boxing years ago after Mike Nagy convinced me to try it. I was hooked after the first class and now if I am not teaching boxing, I am in the gym working on my form, sparring with others, or watching boxing on TV. I have three children – two of which also box.

I enjoy working with kids and anyone who is eager to learn while putting forward their best effort. I try to make my classes both fun as well as educational so you have a good time while learning something new.


Berto Gonzalez

Biography coming soon!


Certifications
  • DVRT Level 1 Ultimate Sand Bag

Kyle Czarnecki

My name is Kyle Czarnecki and I have enjoyed my four year wrestling career at Boston University. I am eager to continue my participation in the sport through coaching at Lionize Training Center in Arlington Heights.  Throughout my 15 years of wrestling, I have had the great opportunity to be coached by some of the best the world has to offer: Former US Olympic team head coach and current Michigan head coach Sean Bormet, two-time National Champion Carl Adams, three-time world medalist and National Champion Lee Kemp and US Olympic team member Sean Harrington. With this diverse background of coaching I was able to accomplish a few things: 2012 National Qualifier ranked among the top 20 in the nation-conference finalist-2009 high school State champion out of Buffalo Grove High School in Arlington Heights-Top 25 national rank for 160 lb. weight class-3 time regional champion- 2 time conference champion-2 time sectional champion.

In addition to my wrestling experience, I have a broad range of knowledge in fitness and athletic training for men, women and children. I also have thoroughly enjoyed earning my DVRT Certification through Lionize Training Center.  I look forward to working with people of all ages and skill levels. Every day is a chance to grow and learn something new.