The experienced instructors at Pure Life Yoga & Wellness Center dole out encouragement and support while guiding students through both basic poses and the more-advanced breathing work and alignment of higher-level classes. Students register for any five courses listed on the studio's schedule and step into the studio’s calming confines, awash in neutral tones, wood floors, and artwork skillfully plucking away on harps. Classes last 75 minutes and span a wide range of focuses and experience levels, including beginner's hatha yoga, which helps to build a foundation for future practice with a focus on proper alignment and the connection between breathing, poses, and remaining present during yoga practice. Level 1 Vinyasa classes step up the pace, stretching limbs to more challenging forms of bodytecture, whereas Piyo sessions increase strength and flexibility.
The wall decals at Simpoley Dance act as visual reminders of the studio's sassy, supportive atmosphere, catching the eye with taglines such as "You look absolutely gorgeous!" and "My other ride is a pole." Between these slogans, students rehearse giddy spins and limb-lengthening stretches, treating the pole as a simultaneous dance partner and workout tool. The studio's instructors host 60-minute Taste of Pole classes for beginners and 90-minute standard pole lessons, as well as advanced seminars for those who really know how up differs from down. During private parties, they guide groups through choreographed routines that incorporate colorful feather boas. They're quick to espouse the health benefits of their art, which tones physiques and builds strength by using the body itself as resistance. For a more grounded but equally rhythmic class, they also showcase the cardio dance steps of Zumba.
At House of Phitness & Nutrition, certified trainers lead group and personal training sessions. Athletes sweat through moves that blend calisthenics, plyometrics, functional training, and self-defense, all designed to work with their individual bodies. Classes meet indoors at various gyms and outdoors at area parks during warm months.
The certified instructors at Heatwave Dance Fitness Club channel the rapture of the dance floor into effective workouts that tone the body and liberate the mind. The newly constructed facility offers more than 200 group classes each month, spread across all seven days of the week. By filling the studio with the Latin rhythms of Zumba or the pop and hip-hop beats of Dance Heat, classes take dancers' attentions away from the toils of exercise, turning heart-pumping aerobic routines into raucous dance parties, just like every time James Brown ran the Boston Marathon.
For more than 30 years, the ladies at Women's Workout & Wellness have cultivated a supportive environment in which women can focus on health, fitness, and wellness. Whether grooving through Zumba sessions, pushing weight sleds, performing lifts, or sweating, students find plenty of challenges in the center’s classes. Staffers gauge fitness level by analyzing BMI and testing cardio, strength, flexibility, and the ability to karate-chop airborne cucumbers. Experts also lend advice on nutritional intake and help clients set personalized goals. Before and after sweat sessions, ladies can suit up and cool down in the spacious showers and locker rooms at each location. Daycare is available at some locations for a nominal fee.
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.
When someone shows him an invitation to a reunion or a sports meet, Voltaire Hawkins sees a goal for which to strive. He helms VH Personal Training, sharing the skills he acquired through his certification as an International Sports Sciences Association personal trainer. He's certified to train not only athletes, but also children and older adults, combining his vast knowledge of exercise and biological sciences to produce a suite of developmentally appropriate exercises for clients of any age. He enjoys helping young athletes up their game, or young children discover the joy of exercise. He also trains clients toward more concrete goals, helping them look great at weddings or class reunions, and he even provides family discounts so the whole clan can trim up for family meet-ups.