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.
Michael Ockrim enjoys being between a rock and a hard place. As the creator of Backyard Beefcake Fitness, he expounds on fitness workouts that make use of the natural and manmade world to build functional strength and total-body fitness. Michael eschews treadmills and bicep curls for chopping wood, pull-ups on a tree limb, or sit-ups while suspended from the peak of Mount Everest. Preaching an attention to the mind-body connection, he leads indoor boot-camp sessions, personal-training sessions, and outdoor camps that help prepare for an upcoming mud run or obstacle-course race.
Equipment: None. Just a dance studio with soft floors.
Students should bring: Water bottle and towel
Average class length: Less than 30 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
Pro Tip: Please make sure to remove shoes and wear socks in class so our floors can stay clean.
The purveyors of Oasis wanted to create a space where women could work out together in a pressure-free and rewarding environment. By outfitting the health club with rowers, step mills, and ellipticals, as well as a daycare, spacious locker rooms, and an infrared sauna, they brought that space to fruition. They also stocked it with a team of fitness experts, many with degrees and certifications in the field. That crew fosters a positive attitude while leading classes such as Pilates and Zumba, or personal-training sessions that can prep members for long-distance runs away from donuts. Events such as boot camps and self-defense courses are designed specifically with women in mind, while their nutrition programs round out plans for total fitness.
Scott Grove, a second-generation martial artist and lifelong fitness coach, helps guests achieve their fitness goals through a variety of motivating and customizable services. He leads GRIT—Gravity Resistance Interval Training—which uses gravity and body weight in workouts that are scalable to all fitness levels. He also teaches martial arts classes that combine real-world self-defense moves with fitness training.
Green grass and blue skies bookend the boot-camp classes at Bulldog Bootcamp. Leading the outdoor workouts, owner Greg Major and his team of seasoned fitness instructors spur their students on by shouting words of encouragement and tearing Chicken Soup for the Soul books in half. Major—a decorated bodybuilder and inline skater—has been a certified personal trainer since 1989, and has since picked up the credentials to teach CrossFit’s Level 1, Football, and Kids programs. He and his staff stage CrossFit classes at Bulldog Bootcamp’s training facility in Forest Park.