Healthy Inspirations’ weight-loss programs help women shed pounds by tweaking everyday routines. Throughout each four-week course, trained weight-loss experts oversee a diet metamorphosis, helping clients reshuffle priorities in lifestyle planning, balance old habits with new ones, and resist the lilting songs of sentient pound cakes. Thrice-weekly one-on-one coaching sessions teach clients how to replace food faux pas with nutritionally sound selections, and expert-advised workout regimens combat stresses that lead to overeating. Before-and-after measurements help track progress, and nutrition plans and easy-to-follow cardio workouts reestablish control over fitness and help clients self-monitor progress. Like a street luge drawn by cheetahs, Healthy Inspirations' program gets off to a fast start, with many clients dropping between three and six pounds in the first three days.
Equipment: Aerial hammocks, poles, Pilates equipment, spin bikes, weights, yoga mats
Students Should Bring: Water, yoga mat
Registration Required: Yes
Good for Beginners: Yes
Average Class Length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class Location: Indoors only
Parking: Parking lot
The sky's the limit at Flying Buddha Fitness. Or, perhaps more appropriately, the ceiling is. Aerial yoga is one of the fitness studio's specialties, and challenges students to perform traditional yoga moves while suspended in fabric hammocks that are attached to the ceiling. It sounds both exhilarating and exhausting, but the method is actually quite accessible for students of all fitness levels. The hammocks are hung close to the ground, so beginners can feel safe as they learn how to use the fabric to maneuver in-and-out of poses, support their body weight, and make old workout clothes feel stylish again, while experienced aerial yogis can work their way up to performing acrobatic maneuvers such as inversions and flips.
Of course, Flying Buddha has plenty of classes for those who prefer to stay on the ground as well. The schedule features everything from meditative vinyasa yoga sessions to upbeat turbo kick and piloxing classes. And, although challenging workouts abound, the studio maintains a family-friendly vibe, as evidenced by its array of youth classes and Friday night family fitness sessions.
Between constant pants and grunts, it can be tough to belt a few song lyrics. But at S&L Tri-Cycle Fit Studio, students strive to do just, spinning feverishly while singing into handheld microphones during karaoke cycling class. The musical motif carries over to the studio's other cycling classes, such as pedal parties, whose colored lights, thumping beats, and disco ball recreate the experience of a nightclub without the mean bouncer drawing mustaches on everyone's IDs.
All these unique class concepts sprout from the mind of owner Leslie Grosshauser, who's worked in the fitness industry for more than 25 years. In S&L, Leslie cultivates a place to get fit, have fun, and fulfill a competitive edge while experiencing plenty of variety—a key component to keeping routines fresh.
The purveyors of Oasis wanted to create a space where women could work out together in a pressure-free and rewarding environment. By outfitting the health club with rowers, step mills, and ellipticals, as well as a daycare, spacious locker rooms, and an infrared sauna, they brought that space to fruition. They also stocked it with a team of fitness experts, many with degrees and certifications in the field. That crew fosters a positive attitude while leading classes such as Pilates and Zumba, or personal-training sessions that can prep members for long-distance runs away from donuts. Events such as boot camps and self-defense courses are designed specifically with women in mind, while their nutrition programs round out plans for total fitness.
Students should bring: A yoga mat, water bottle, and towel
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Average class length: 60 minutes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: 2 hour free parking
Pro Tip: Classes at Navy Pier are first come first serve. Plan accordingly.
Different people want to get in shape for different reasons, and they go about it in many different ways. Fortunately, Fitness Formula Clubs' trainers understand this. They start every new member at their gym with four complimentary personal-training sessions that not only help hammer down each individual's goals, but also provide a solid foundation of knowledge and motivation. From there, equipment and guidance help each client reach whatever heights they're after.
Programs that focus on endurance in running, swimming, and cycling pair with Pilates work and basketball courts to develop well-rounded regimens. There's also classic equipment?cardio machines and free weights?offsetting a selection of less-than-traditional equipment?an artificial rock wall which lets clients build upper-body strength while practicing lines for their Cliffhanger: The Musical audition.
Rapidly approaching their six-month anniversary, JoyRide Cycling Studio rides into the hearts of fitness fans with more than 10 indoor cycling classes per week, each conducted within a clean, state-of-the-art facility and led by one of three experienced and enthusiastic wheel wizards. Students strike up on Schwinn AC Sports Bikes—which use Virtual Contact Resistance technology to simulate the resistance of a real bike ride—to tunes pumped through a booming sound system. Like team-building retreats and meetings for Hot Dog Scarfers Anonymous, JoyRide fosters a supportive environment in which its clients can safely commit to catalyzing their metabolism.