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.
At his two gyms in Bloomingdale and Rockford, Elite Defense Systems' chief instructor Matt Numrich leads practical, defense-oriented classes focused on jeet kune do, the hybrid martial art and philosophical system developed in 1965 by Bruce Lee. Jeet kune do focuses on efficiency and personal development, guiding students through a mixture of more than two dozen arts.
Though Elite Defense Systems offers one-on-one training, group lessons for men, women, and children are recommended for their sense of community, their varied sparring partners, and their chances for students to combine into a five-piece battle robot. Including Matt, the gyms have a staff of only three instructors and three assistants, allowing for a closer student-teacher relationship.
The caring staff at the YMCA of Rock River Valley fosters healthy habits with personalized fitness programs, family-centric recreation, and more than 50 group exercise classes at both Rockford-area locations. Equipment orientation helps new members feel at home by helping them set workout goals and meet other members with similar goals. After teaming with a certified coach to build a full-fledged fitness plan, guests may follow up with an electronic advisor that suggests changes to the plan based on input from the Y’s human fitness experts. Unlimited access to group classes such as yoga and pool-based aqua Pilates challenges muscles under water. Zumba’s Latin-inspired dance moves get heart rates delightfully elevated, and cardio madness continues the trend with weighted bars and free weights. The Y also sets aside time for families to connect over basketball, movie showing in the pool, or competing in an inflatable obstacle course
In addition to showering members with classes and coaching, the Y bathes them in discounts when they sign up for specialized classes such as triathlon training. Complimentary childcare allows parents to focus their mental energy on physical feats, and a handful of free guest passes lets members show their friends where they climb the climbing wall.
Rhythmic music reverberates off of the mirrored walls of Pole Chicks Womens Fitness Center's brightly lit studio, where towering chrome poles run from floor to ceiling. Here, expert instructors lead women of all fitness levels through a diverse range of dance fitness classes, including pole dancing, chair dancing, and pole-dancing boot camps. Through these sultry twists and slides, the team aims to help students build up their strength and flexibility. They can also tailor each exercise to accommodate individual fitness levels and learning paces.
The studio both hosts and competes in pole-dancing competitions and offers its facilities and instructors for private pole-dancing sessions—an ideal activity for birthdays, bachelorette parties, or uninhibited senior quilting-club meetings.
The colorful and spacious facilities at Maximum Performance Training are rarely crowded—the staff sees to that by keeping its boot-camp sizes small and its member base intimate. The staff packs its club with a comprehensive selection of professional strength-training and cardio equipment from names such as Precor and Life Fitness. Beneath the gyms’ vibrant graffiti and bright lights, instructors lead boot camps, personal training, and sports-performance training sessions. Trainers strive to form personal relationships with their clients, familiarizing themselves with their restrictive issues, injuries, and favorite Rocky movies in order to customize workouts accordingly. Additionally, parents can keep their little ones busy in the studios’ onsite playrooms.