Andres Schwartz, a US Navy SEAL veteran, casts a bemused gaze at a group of accountants, stay-at-home moms, and pharmaceutical reps as they scramble, sweat pouring into their eyes, over the military-style obstacle course that runs through his gym. He follows them to "The Beast"—an impossibly monstrous pull-up contraption where groups grapple with monkey bars, hoist themselves on rings, and shoulder weights at four squat racks. His unblinking gaze cants toward the ceiling watching a pupil's white-knuckled hand cling to the 12-foot climbing wall, before he turns toward the layered bars of "The Weaver"—a part of the obstacle course's outdoor component. He strolls, arms behind his back, over to a group whose neck tendons strain in unison as they heave against medicine balls, ropes, and kettlebells, the last step in the grueling circuit.
By amassing these functional training fixtures, Andres and his team of trainers prep guests to punch through life's everyday roadblocks. FTX stands for 'Final/Field Training Exercise', and makes up the drills that ensure military personnel are ready for an upcoming mission. FTX CrossFit, brings that concept to the gym, challenging exercisers to complete realistic, if somewhat exaggerated, physical challenges without cheating or cloning a stunt double. The gym's trainers demonstrate CrossFit's signature blend of gymnastics maneuvers, Olympic weightlifts, and bodyweight exercises during classes for both adults and children.
With locations in Carol Stream and Downers Grove, ATI Fitness Center helps its members get in shape and recover from injuries. Its expert staff can work with clients for physical therapy, personal training sessions, and sports training sessions. Meanwhile, instructors lead group classes such as cycling and Total Chisel, a strength-training class incorporating weights, barbells, and stability balls. Alternatively, members can work out on their own with equipment such as circuit-training machines.