Zip Fitness's staff strives to keep intimidation from creeping in to each of the five gyms. To welcome all exercisers—even those who have never had gym memberships before—Gym Geniuses stroll through each location donning bright-red shirts that signal their availability to help guests operate the various machines and guide them in drafting fitness goals and coming up with routines for the day. They've stocked each location with strength equipment from brands such as Precor and Life Fitness, and a guided strength circuit's 30-minute full-body workout takes the guesswork out of toning physiques. Rows of cardio equipment include treadmills, ellipticals, and upright and recumbent bikes, along with rowing machines and StairMaster step mills. For stretching and ab work, bands, balls, and body bars abound, and free weights include dumbbells, barbells, and tamed school bells.
Gold memberships unlock additional perks, such as unlimited access to Hex II tanning booths and the ActivTrax online fitness and nutrition coach, which plots out workouts and offers nutrition tools tailored to each user's goals, from slimming down to having the flexibility to comb your hair with your feet.
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.
Founder Gulia Huertas first tried yoga while looking for way to maintain physical health as she recovered from a series of back injuries. What she discovered instead was a prolonged passion for the mind-body practice and its spiritual benefits, inspiring her to open her own studio and share its therapeutic effects with others. Catering largely to beginners, P.S. Yoga's hatha classes ease students into the practice using safe, slow-moving poses and a progressive approach, while Ashtanga-yoga instructors demonstrate a style that combines deep breathing with spine-straightening postures for both novice and intermediate-level students. Inside the studio, a large mural of a butterfly paints a peaceful backdrop for all classes, while serving as inspiration to stiff-necked caterpillars.
Though it was only founded in 2012, Virtual X has already begun making a name for itself in Chicago's established entertainment scene. It counts hip-hop duo Chiology and rapper Solo Xquzit among its roster of clients and produces a radio show on Intellectualradio.com. It also offers up headshots and demo reels as well as acting workshops that help actors build their skills for television, film, and theater that their loved ones film.
The Dominican University Performing Arts Center's creative spirit swells in a season highlighted with multicultural music, dance, and drama. As a string quartet, Ethel's Juilliard-trained musicians pluck a viola, a cello, and a pair of violins to their own original compositions and those of contemporary composers. These skilled performers join with Grammy–winning Native American flutist Robert Mirabal for a cross-cultural mélange of melody-making inside the Lund Auditorium, whose acoustics are regularly tested by opera-singing mimes.
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.