Fit Body Boot Camp's inspirational instructors raise their voices only to offer praise and motivation to participants sweating through each 45-minute total-body workout. The boot-camp classes let patrons blast through the doldrums of traditional workout routines by constantly changing exercises, incorporating diverse moves, and peering at muscles through a kaleidoscope. Each session torches calories and stokes metabolism while whittling the core and toning muscles. In order to comfortably challenge each exerciser, Fit Body's gym houses a plenitude of fitness-forging paraphernalia, including battling ropes, suspension trainers, and a joint-friendly foam floor. A personalized nutrition plan caps off the six-week series by elucidating healthy eating methods and feeling satisfied while fueling the body with the energy it needs.
Inside an open-floor gym stocked with treadmills, weights, and bikes, Body Empowered Fitness's personal trainers bolster clients' bods with custom workout regimes and specialized exercises. The gym's staff, including owner and NASM–certified corrective-exercise specialist Sylvia Knilans, constructs fitness plans that utilize Simultaneous Functional Training, a fusion of strength and stamina exercises, to slim figures and build muscle without radioactive spider bites. Trainers share their knowledge with up to four participants at various points throughout each workout and catalogue the day's progress for future exercise regimes.
At Body in Motion, a team of personal trainers motivates students with individualized regimens of TRX suspension training three days a week. Created to train Navy SEALs, TRX programs harness body leverage with suspension bands to strengthen and tone muscles more gracefully than a barbell bowtie. During each one-hour class, a fitness guru guides participants through methodical stretches and exercises, incorporating limbering yoga and Pilates poses to fortify core stability and balance while increasing muscle flexibility and mobility. Following TRX training, clients can experience improved posture, decreased chance of injury, and increased chance of confidently strutting.
A joint venture between a professional boxer and a team of successful kickboxing-equipment tycoons, Title Boxing Club maintains a network of dozens of studios spread across 19 different states, winning over a devoted clientele with its invigorating and engaging boxing- and kickboxing-themed classes. Each workout uses the heart-healthy exercise of cardio training to satisfy people’s innate desire to punch and kick something other than a broken jukebox. Participants build lithe, strong muscle tissue by delivering powerful blows to punching bags, and build flexibility and agility by practicing roundhouse kicks and hooks. Students can build their core strength and endurance with medicine balls and burpees, enlist a qualified personal trainer to practice their newfound skills in the ring, or just torch calories during intense full-body Power Hour workouts.
Body & Brain Holistic Yoga's classes incorporate yoga, tai chi, meditation, martial arts, and signature breathing postures to forge a mind-body exercise that helps students to awaken their inner ki energy. The one-hour sessions attempt to improve flexibility, strength, breathing, and energy sensitivity, which contribute to holistic health. Much like a dive-bombing red-winged black bird, classes often vary their approach, ensuring a more dynamic experience from session to session
Tressa Thomas has a résumé most performers would envy. She launched her career on stage with dozens of performances throughout Chicago as both a solo singer and band member. She landed a role in Robert Townsend’s film about 1960s R&B music, The Five Heartbeats, which led to a duet with the legendary Patti LaBelle on the film’s soundtrack.
This was all before Thomas turned 13.
Since then, her momentum hasn’t slowed—it’s just swerved in a few new directions. The Columbia College grad was cast in other movies (including Flatliners and Message in a Bottle), produced three independent shorts, and worked on a fourth that came just short of an Academy Award nomination. In the midst of her cinematic endeavors, she also pursued plus-sized modeling, eventually appearing in Ebony, Jet, the LA Times, and other national publications.
Given that she first started singing publicly at age three, when most children can’t yet tell the difference between music and the sound the vacuum cleaner makes, Thomas has never had an issue with confidence. But she realized that as a successful African-American, plus-sized female performer, she was a rarity. And so she decided to share her confidence with other women. She founded ThYck Troupe, a group that started modestly as a “modeling interest club” and grew into a nonprofit organization that creates performance opportunities for other plus-sized women.
Today, ThYck Troupe has gained the support of Secretary of State Jesse White and Governor Pat Quinn in its mission to enrich the Chicago arts community. In addition to mentoring young women and promoting size acceptance, the troupe produces an original web series, organizes fashion shows, and showcases performers in theatrical and musical productions. The company members represent nearly every medium of the creative arts—there are singers and dancers, poets and songwriters, models and actresses, journalists and radio personalities. With the Thyck and Fit Initiative, they broadcast a message of health as well as confidence, giving full-figured women and men the tools they need to achieve good exercise and nutrition habits at any size.