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.
Co-owner Craig Kastning and his crew of devoted personal trainers push clients toward the finish lines of personal fitness goals through fat-burning and muscle-toning exercises. Fueled by motivational words from exercise gurus and promises of a M*A*S*H-reunion episode, customers reduce corporeal circumferences by relying on a nutrition cheat sheet and custom workout routines. In addition to burning calories and building up formerly dilapidated muscle groups, the trainers at Chi Town Boot Camps boost trainee endurance through jogging and other exercises that set heart rates racing.
As a broadcast journalism student, Kimberly Refilek found time between lectures, internships at Kiss FM and NBC, and papers to pursue her other passions: sports and fitness. Somehow she found the time to study and work while scoring goals for the co-ed soccer team and training in boxing and muay thai.
Inspired by her after-work and between-class endeavors, Kimberly's colleagues began to ask her to help them train. She balked at first, saying she only knew how to train herself. But at their insistence, Kimberly began to help and slowly she came to the revelation that not only did she truly love fitness, but she also loved helping others reach their fitness goals.
After graduation, Kimberly switched careers, swapping her steno pad for kettle bells and her pencils for more kettle bells. At Moirai Health and Fitness, Kimberly provides many forms of personal training and nutritional counseling but also teaches fitness classes including Moirai Surfset, a workout that approximates the core-toning experience of surfing.
The clients at CrossTown Fitness follow the gym?s motto of ?Eat clean. Train dirty.? During group and personal training sessions, trainers challenge athletes with high-intensity interval workouts divided into cardio and strength-training segments. Usually around 50 minutes long, sessions involve dynamic combinations of exercises such as free weight strength training, TRX suspension training, and kettlebells.
Emerald Smoke MMA stands as Chicago's only mixed martial arts-exclusive gym, fully equipping its training grounds with professional-grade gear alongside a regulation-size octagon cage. A sprawling six-day spread of group classes offers up a sparring smorgasbord robust enough to make Steven Seagal weep tears shaped like tiny fists. Soak up MMA fundamentals in a course of the same name, picking up a range of fighting techniques culled from kickboxing, boxing, and wrestling traditions. Or, hone skills in specialized jiu-jitsu and muay thai kickboxing courses, focusing on striking forms, core work, and stamina. Students can opt to round out their body-intensive fitness carte with a brawn-nursing core or yoga course, which employ deep breathing, stretching, and muscle milk bottles to tranquilize tendons left tender by their martial melee.
Designed to keep everyone motivated and on track to meet their goals, the Mike George Fitness System is three-pronged and personalized. It incorporates cardiovascular and strength training, as well as holistic nutritional coaching to complete the fitness trifecta. Instructors keep classes at six or fewer to ensure individual attention, hosting them in their gym stocked with everything from medicine balls and weight machines to kettlebells and dumbbells. Indoor and outdoor classes include Elite cross training, downhill skiing, hand-to-hand combat, Pilates and flexibility, and more.