Inspiration Fitness's owner and published author, Angela Ramos, hurtles clients toward their fitness goals in camps, classes, and workshops throughout the week. The fitness guru, one of the only trainers in the area certified in Russian kettlebell, transforms viscous cores into torsos of molded steel, always employing an eye for safety that she plucked from certifications by the International Sports Sciences Association and Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology Institute. Whether working one on one with clients or leading group sessions, she leans on a rotating roster of high-intensity exercises to promote weight loss, tone muscle, and give patrons the body they want without having to raid a wax museum.
Shelton Matsey knows how to whip people into shape. As a former Air Defense officer for the U.S. Army, he motivated his soldiers to reach their peak levels of fitness, resulting in some of the highest physical training scores in his unit. He now helms a squad of certified personal trianers and dietitians to share their ample fitness expertise across the studio’s Chicago, McCook, and Tinley Park locations. The studio’s signature indoor boot-camp classes set muscle groups alight with cardio drills, leap-inducing plyometrics and strength-building exercises, such as heaving free weights in the form of balls, oversize tires, and lethargic moose. Cardio Core classes utilize high-intensity interval training to push patrons to burn fat, increase endurance, and strengthen cores during short workout sessions, and the non-contact kickboxing classes work multiple muscle groups as students strike, jab, and jump rope. Fit Code’s staff nutritionist also hosts cooking classes, which elucidate tips on healthier eating and nutritious food demonstrations.
When someone shows him an invitation to a reunion or a sports meet, Voltaire Hawkins sees a goal for which to strive. He helms VH Personal Training, sharing the skills he acquired through his certification as an International Sports Sciences Association personal trainer. He's certified to train not only athletes, but also children and older adults, combining his vast knowledge of exercise and biological sciences to produce a suite of developmentally appropriate exercises for clients of any age. He enjoys helping young athletes up their game, or young children discover the joy of exercise. He also trains clients toward more concrete goals, helping them look great at weddings or class reunions, and he even provides family discounts so the whole clan can trim up for family meet-ups.
At House of Phitness & Nutrition, certified trainers lead group and personal training sessions. Athletes sweat through moves that blend calisthenics, plyometrics, functional training, and self-defense, all designed to work with their individual bodies. Classes meet indoors at various gyms and outdoors at area parks during warm months.
Throughout his wrestling career, Bryan Harney got his hands on some notable awards–he earned Illinois's Athlete of the Year commendation in 2003 and went on to compete at Michigan State University. As the founder of Southside Knockout, he shares his expertise with other aspiring fighters. He assembled a staff of wrestlers, boxers, muay thai fighters, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu experts—including former MMA professional Jay Estrada—to offer a comprehensive combative education to his gym's members. Outside of martial arts courses, attendees devour calories in speed- and strength-conditioning courses, swinging kettlebells, or outrunning the gym's boxing kangaroo.
Adrian Michalewicz, owner of Apex Fitness, spent years as a personal trainer in large corporate gyms and dreamed of one day opening his own facility. At Apex Fitness, Michalewicz focuses his attention on individual clients, whether perfecting their forms during personal-training sessions or taking them on grocery-shopping trips for healthy food.