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.
In 1975, Karen was overweight and looking for a change. She began training and teaching as an aerobics instructor at the YMCA, and for the next 15 years led classes around the Chicagoland area. Still, Karen found herself once again seeking a new outlet, and fell in love with pole dancing.
Today, Karen shares her passion for fitness at Studio Venus. Female-focused classes cover a broad range of topics suitable for beginners or experts, and pole-dancing workouts can be supplemented with antigravity silk lessons and yoga. With every class and every expansion of the curriculum, Studio Venus strives to create a safe environment for women to explore new experiences and spin around poles without the hassle of climbing up a barbershop.
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.
While working out isn't all fun and games, the certified trainers at Get Fit Now strive to create an upbeat, inclusive, and supportive atmosphere that encourages women to stick to their fitness goals. The well-rounded group exercise class schedule tones muscles and smiles in equal measure with exhilarating cardio dance classes as well as Pilates classes designed to sculpt pliable limbs and strong cores. Zumba sessions carve paths to fitness lined with enticing dance steps set to Latin music, and Flirty Fight kickboxing routines encourage ladies to punch out frustrations from a long workday rather than seeking vengeance by knitting their coworkers sweaters without armholes.
Younique Yoga of NWI specializes in Vinyasa yoga––a vigorous flow of continuous posture sequences linked together with conscious breaths. To help practitioners sink into deep stretches as safely as possible and warm up pockets full of leftover lasagna, Younique's studio is heated to a balmy 98–108 degrees, making each 70-minute session a sweaty and detoxifying workout that helps to lengthen and heal the muscles. While the sun salutations, balances, twists, and binds are designed to accommodate all skill levels, instructors can guide beginners into modified poses. Students should load up their yoga pack-mule with plenty of water, a mat, and a towel before heading to each class, though Younique Yoga of NWI stocks a surplus available for rent or purchase.
Through expertise as teachers and mentors gained through extensive experience and professional competition, Extreme Martial Arts Academy's instructors guide students of all ages and abilities through avenues of self-discipline, physical fitness, and self-defense in martial-arts programs and classes. Under the tutelage of master Al Verduzco and sensei Steve Reyna, groups of approximately 8–16 students will delve into the benefits of ancient art forms while learning how to keep disgruntled heavy bags from unionizing. Kids will also learn how defend themselves on the ground and standing up as they pick up valuable self-confidence as well as anti-drug and anti-abduction tips.
The only full-service women-only gym in Highland, Womens Core Fitness Center is a supportive, laid-back environment that welcomes all women to come and work up a sweat. There are multiple cardio and strength-training machines, and clients can work out individually or in small-group fitness classes. Certified instructors lead more than 25 classes per week, ranging from Zumba to INSANITY and Turbo Kick. Personal training and childcare are available as well.