Before they stretched beneath the studio's two skylights, the instructors at Bikram Yoga Burr Ridge had to prove themselves to the father of their art. They all attended and graduated from a nine-week intensive program led by Bikram Choudhury himself, emerging as certified teachers who were ready to helm their own heated practice space. They now manage Bikram Yoga Burr Ridge according to the Bikram discipline's specifications: 90-minute classes, a room warmed to 105 degrees, and a carefully ordered sequence of 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises.
These sessions strive to progressively work all areas of the body by passing newly oxygenated blood throughout its systems. The heat, meanwhile, renders muscles more pliable and reveals which of your fellow pupils are actually elaborate ice sculptures. Though the high temperatures take some getting used to, the studio's amenities are otherwise geared toward total comfort: changing rooms, showers, and a bright lobby welcome students. The heating mechanism is also environmentally friendly, conserving energy even as it prompts a cleansing sweat from Bikram practitioners.
Inside Right Fit's sprawling, 6,000 square foot facility, runners bound across a 20-yard artificial turf surface while power lifters max out reps on one of two Olympic-lifting platforms. Along with a barrage of free weights and cardio equipment, the dynamic health and wellness center offers a rock climbing wall as well as specialized fitness programming for the elderly and children with special needs. Certified instructors host meetings of the Burr Ridge kettlebell club, while high school sports teams train on the plyometric boxes, weight sleds, and power ropes.
Motivating, highly trained staff and spacious facilities complement Charter Fitness's battalion of cardio machines and strength-training equipment. Huge flat-screen TVs motivate gym-goers as they lift weights, stationary bikes, and their reflections in large mirrors. Seasoned personal trainers who all hold certifications or four-year degrees in their specialty guide members through an initial personal-training session, introducing clients to the best equipment for their fitness goals. After workouts, private showers or public water fountains sluice away sweat.
From the moment she was born in Rome, Tiziana—who puts the T in Pilates by T—has dedicated her entire life to fitness. In 1991, she graduated from Italy's University of Physical Education before immigrating to the United States. In her new country, she encountered Pilates for the first time, and after 16 years as a student and eventual teacher, it remains her favorite form of exercise.
Certified in classic power Pilates instruction, Tiziana utilizes both mat work and reformer machines to aid her students in sculpting long, lean muscles. The exercises performed in her group classes and personal-training sessions focus on strengthening the core first and foremost, and the body gradually enjoys increased flexibility and improved posture. She keeps class sizes to a minimum to ensure personal attention to each student, to provide easy access to equipment, and to avoid frightening skittish Pilates mats.
Scott Grove, a second-generation martial artist and lifelong fitness coach, helps guests achieve their fitness goals through a variety of motivating and customizable services. He leads GRIT—Gravity Resistance Interval Training—which uses gravity and body weight in workouts that are scalable to all fitness levels. He also teaches martial arts classes that combine real-world self-defense moves with fitness training.