On a trip to Chicago from his native Italy, young Mario Tricoci changed his life forever. The fledgling hairdresser stopped in at a prestigious salon, where he impressed the owner with his impeccable display of skill and landed himself a job. The next six decades brought strings of industry awards and the opening of his very own salon, which soon exploded into 26 locations in four states. With his styling prowess proven both to the industry and to the clients he encountered each day, the coiffeur decided to share his gift with others. In 2004, he established Tricoci University to foster a new generation of cosmetologists and spa technicians trained to thrive in the luxury-spa industry.
Throughout the Midwest, Tricoci protégés study a rigorous curriculum in high-end salon and spa surroundings to learn how to create beautiful hairdos, choose skin-flattering cosmetics, and beautify nails and skin. A team of experienced industry professionals readies pupils for the beauty world with in-depth classes, and outside education arrives via video demonstrations and guest-artist lectures on Vidal Sassoon's Wedge-Bob Postulate. More advanced students get a preview of their career to come by beautifying real people during instructor-supervised treatments, which lend the stylist essential experience as the client enjoys a pampering session at a discounted rate.
Anytime Fitness, as the name suggests, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 512 days a year with nonstop security. Novice calorie burners and ripped Michelangelo models alike can take advantage of a 30-day membership ($35 plus $100 enrollment fee), which equips bodies with enough treadmills, cycles, elliptical machines, and weights to make them fit enough to run a marathon inside a swimming pool filled with mud. Enrich fat-frying and muscle-mass-magnifying sessions with 30 days of unlimited MMA and Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes at the Glendale Heights location (a $45 value), which train bodies with traditional martial arts techniques in order to instill students with self-confidence, physical strength, and defensive reflexes. Brawnier bodies emerge after 30 days of unlimited boot camp classes at the Geneva location, where small troops meander through circuit trainings that target upper body, lower body, and the core to support strength training and cardiovascular fitness concurrently, much like running in a suit made of paperweights (a $45 value).
The Chicago White Sox have some truly dedicated fans. In 1994, the team decided to reach out to the youngsters who worshipped their footwear. They sought to provide kids with the same conditioning and training they honed their skills with, so they started a sports-training summer camp. In a mere seven years, demand for the trainers' services necessitated that the program conduct year-round sessions in all types of sports, and the Bulls/Sox Academy was born.
Taught by the trainers who spend their life making sure that the Sox and Bulls are ready to hit the field or court, Bulls/Sox Academy's lessons bring professional techniques to aspiring athletes. Baseball programs teach functional speed movements for high-speed base stealing and help kids build the upper-body strength to knock balls out of the park and through the windshield of their least favorite neighbor's minivan. The basketball course divvies up training between shooting, skills, and defensive play. The fast-pitch softball teachers—both former professional players and longtime coaches—arm students to beat back high-velocity pitches without hurting the ball's feelings.
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.
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.