Final Round Combat Sports Academy's 14,000-square-foot facility includes a boxing ring, an Olympic-style wrestling mat, a CrossFit box, and even a yoga studio. Instructors use every inch of space to help their students get fighting fit. The lineup of teachers includes certified CrossFit coaches and martial artists specializing in MMA, boxing, and jiu jitsu. John Paun?head CrossFit instructor and two-time All Around State Champion in gymnastics, for instance, teaches morning CrossFit classes, drawing on his training as a Greco-Roman wrestler. Though strength, endurance, and mental toughness are important for any martial artist, instructors acknowledge that students also need skills that can only be coaxed out in a slightly gentler fashion. They use yoga to cultivate flexibility, weightlifting to build strength, and mitt-based boxing to build coordination.
In its earliest stages, airbrush technology was used solely for magazine cover models, deceased-rapper t-shirts, and makeup for the cast of Cats. But when airpaints shot to $93 a barrel in 2000 following the dot-com bubble burst, airbrush artistry became financially unviable. A drought of airbrush artists resulted in finger-paint-based photo retouching, shirtless Tupac fans, and the renaming of Cats to Humans. At the 2008 International CO2-Based Design Conference, out-of-work airbrush artists finally discovered a profitable solution: airbrush tanning. They immediately went back to work, delighting the millions of Americans patiently waiting for sunless, streak-free tanning options. “It's called Ortanic, and it's nothing short of amazing. We've tried Mystic Tan in the past and ended up looking less-than glowing and more like macaroni and cheese. We've tried self tanners and spent many nights lathering ourselves with different lotions to come to determine which one is the top runner, followed by many days walking around with different colors stained on our skin.
Sprinkled across Chicago from Evanston to the West Loop, the Chicago Athletic Clubs set a modern and user-friendly gym experience in urbane neighborhood settings. The various facilities are equipped with all the required equipment for losing weight, putting on muscle, or building flexibility on cardio equipment, weight machines, and free weights. Group fitness classes such as yoga, spinning, and Zumba fill the schedule, and the several locations with indoor pools host water aerobics and family swim classes. The personal-training staff can also help tailor workouts based on your particular goals and share encouragement with you as you transform from chrysalis to Dwayne Johnson. In addition to the exercise areas, the gyms also sport such amenities as kids' clubs and sauna and steam rooms. Three locations even offer indoor rock-climbing facilities. As beginners and experienced climbers traverse craggy surfaces while protected from the elements, additional challenges crop up on the gym's endurance routes and in the bouldering cave where climbers defy gravity without being strapped in by ropes.
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.
Working out shouldn't feel like a chore. That's the idea behind Kick@55 Fitness, a studio helmed by personal trainers who create fun, interactive workouts. High intensity boot camp sessions?which change weekly to keep students challenged?swap out sprints for relay races or games of tag. They also include elements from Pilates, dance, and boxing while incorporating jump ropes, kettlebells, and tires. Personal training sessions tailored to individuals adopt the same ever-changing principles to help each client reach their goals, which could include toned muscles, a slimmer physique, or the endurance needed to run an underwater marathon.
The fitness professionals at Ravenswood Fitness lead a full schedule of small- and large-group classes. Each class has its own particular focus: instructors might use interval training and yoga-inspired stretches to sculpt abdominals, elevate heart rates with high-energy indoor cycling, or combine kickboxing techniques and dance moves to build strength and endurance. Ravenswood Fitness offers these classes free to its members, along with open-gym. However, the impassioned personal trainers are always willing to offer their expertise by scheduling one-on-one sessions, designing individualized exercise plans, and providing motivation and encouragement throughout each visit.