This club is where fitness fans from across Chicagoland converge, throw out their differences and work things out. Fitness Formula at Union Station has everything under the sun to please its diverse crowd, which typically work in the Loop and commute through the Metra station to an overabundance of neighborhoods and suburbs. The professional crowd means the workout rush is split three ways: before work, during lunch and after work, which boils down to a club that's never too crowded for you to use your machine of choice. And with capacity to grow, the club monitors membership levels closely and adds machines as the numbers grow to prevent crowding. When the club reaches capacity at 5,000 members, the memberships will be capped.
It's the first Fitness Formula(there are seven in and around Chicago) to partner with a major hospital. Rush-St. Luke's-Presbyterian Medical Center is less than a mile away, and instead of building its own wellness center, the hospital partnered with the established Mulitplex name to build a superclub; with the hospital behind it, you know this place is serious about taking care of your health and wellness.
Several retailers rent space in Fitness Formula's massive complex and offer discounts to members, including fitness apparel and equipment specialists Londo Mondo, vitamin and supplement gurus Nutriplex, and the notoriously delicious Corner Bakery restaurant, where you can grab a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner. Health South physical therapy rents out space on the actual fitness floor, and while members and nonmembers need an appointment or referral, it's a convenient place to stop in for ice or immediate care.
The Equipment: Rows and rows of cardio machines face a central station of TVs mounted on the ceiling with more than 800 stations from Direct TV. Just plug your headphones into the Cardio Theater and enjoy the show. You can also tune into the radio from the Cardio Theater or bring a CD and ask management to play it on one of the stations. Strength equipment and free weights include the standards like Cybex; the gym also carries Hammer Strength, a brand popular in college weight rooms where the NCAA athletes are taller and wider than the average human. There's a private cardio center for women.
The Classes: Four studios hold more than 70 classes per week. A private Pilates studio has full equipment, and the boxing studio has gloves, heavy bag and speed bag. The Spinning studio overlooks the river.
Personal Training: All new members participate in a free personal training program when they sign up that evaluates goals and records progress. It's a great way to learn how to work out correctly and start off on the right foot when you can't afford the extra fee of a regular trainer. Fitness Formula is partners with NASU. All trainers are certified.
The Extras: New members are sent a summary of how frequently they visited the club in the first 30 days so they know if they're on the right track. It's good motivation not to slack off, and to figure out if you have to start coming more.
You don't have to be an exec to workout here; there are plenty of buses and trains that'll deposit you in the neighborhood, so hop on one and take advantage of the widespread health offerings of this mega club. There's no pay-per-visit here, but you can try out the club by participating in one of its programs: The club attracts many non-members with its year-round triathlon and marathon training groups. It holds a wildly popular indoor triathlon a few times a year that attracts novices and veterans alike. Non-members also take advantage of the private Pilates reformer training. A masters swim program is available.