The Janesville Athletic Club and its downtown express location increase heart rates with a full range of equipment and amenities. Beyond standard weights and cardio machines, the club offers 300+ fitness classes per month and court space to practice basketball, tennis, and even pickleball, a fast-growing sport that involves hitting a ball with a paddle and drinking brine instead of Gatorade. Off the gym floor, members can visit the tanning beds, hit the showers, or pick up supplements at the pro shop.
Elite Sports Clubs and its staff of smash-savvy, nationally experienced tennis pros can turn any mechanical stroke into fluid forearmed success on one of more than 30 well-maintained indoor and outdoor training courts. For players seeking to get back into the game or meet the game for the first time, an instructor will spare no bead of sweat breaking down the basics in a comprehensive fashion. Semi-private lessons are limited to two to four students ($30, four players; $35, three players; $40, two players), which means all practitioners develop a variety of techniques in the atmosphere of constant feedback and encouragement. All lessons must be scheduled in advance online. Students can either provide their own racquet or purchase one on-site.
With its bare hands, Norris Recreation Center tears through the piecemeal membership and class fees that keep exercisers from traditional gyms, and flings open the doors to its modern facility. A gift from the St. Charles–native Norris family, the nonprofit establishment makes living healthier a viable option. Within its stone walls, five dedicated rooms bustle with the whir of cardio and weight-training equipment, and swimmers careen down the 12 lanes of the 50-meter pool during lessons, lap swims, and open pool time. The squeaks of pivoting sneakers peal off the racquetball court's walls, and twosomes, foursomes, and Billie Jean King's army of clones descend on the four tennis courts, which guests rent by the hour. Members can simmer in the center's saunas or whirlpool, or shuck off tension with a swedish, sport-injury, orthopedic, or deep-tissue massage before showering and retrieving their gym bags from complimentary lockers.
Trained instructors lead 13 free classes throughout the week, with diverse aerobic curricula that include cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. For individualized guidance, personal trainers coach clients out of workout plateaus. As parents work out, childcare professionals engage lads and lasses with interactive games, toys, and movies in the center's nursery, where kids build social skills and imagination while pretending to be heroic astronauts, firefighters, or accountants.
The practiced pros at Racquet Club of Lake Bluff hone students' strokes on the club's eight indoor Plexipave tennis courts. Beginner classes teach the basics of the game, and advanced classes prepare players to challenge Pete Sampras to a match where the winner gets the loser's Social Security number. During junior sessions, competition-minded youths develop footwork and shot selection with drills and match play supervised by coaches. Kids' classes introduce fundamentals to tykes as young as 4. This Groupon can be used for any of the classes found on this schedule, all of which are limited to six people so participants get individual attention.
Dave Gerry started the Princeton Club with three simple tenets in mind: great trainers, exceptional equipment, and easy access. To realize that dream, he assembled a team of American College of Sports Medicine–certified personal trainers to helm the cardio and strength-training centers 24 hours a day.
Whether working out solo, in a group class, or with a trainer to remind them that bench-pressing beehives is safer with a spotter, guests can drop their young ones off at the free childcare center. Splashes fill the natatorium as swimmers paddle across the six-lane lap pool, as the resistance-current pool's adjustable waves enable guests to walk in place. A dip in the whirlpool soothes stress, and the steam room's eucalyptus aromatherapy and sauna's rejuvenating heat send bodies back into the world refreshed. Above the club, tennis and soccer players soak in vistas of Madison as they duke it out on the rooftop garden's turf. The competition continues indoors on basketball, racquetball, and volleyball courts.
The tennis-crazed Dermody family takes momentary breaks from lobbing balls over nets to sit behind the counters of The Tennis Shop, a players’ oasis that stocks more than 50 different models of ball-hurling racquets and more than 500 tennis shoes. Shaded by the shop’s green- and white-striped awning, knowledgeable staff members show off the latest racquets from such brands as Babolat, Dunlop, and Wilson—all of which can be taken for a spin on the courts via the demo program. A wide array of apparel prepares players to rain down fuzzy neon hail on their hapless opponents, with kicks from brands such as K-Swiss and full clothing lines from Peachy Tan, Little Miss Tennis, and Wilson.