Edgewater got a little more fit and hip when Cheetah opened its most recent outpost. The Chicago gym scene offers an abundance of muscle-head options for dudes, scads of dainty and inefficient girly circuit training for women, a few national mega-chains and a handful of great but costly gucci gyms. Cheetah fills the void as a locally owned and operated burgeoning fitness empire with a boutique feel, great facilities and totally reasonable membership fees.
The lovely locker rooms are a great indicator of the vibe and aesthetic of the gym with dark wood lockers, pale yellow walls and comfy chocolate chairs. A yoga and aerobic fitness studio rounds out downstairs, along with the kids fitness area and a stretching room. Upstairs is an airy main space filled with plenty of cardio and weight training equipment. The machines are packed a bit tightly so people must take care moving around during peak workout times.
The Classes: A second studio hosts a range of classes, including Free Wheelin, GTS Gravity, Tri-Train and Pilates mat and reformer classes. Reformer classes are limited to five people and participants need to complete two prerequisite private training sessions. There is also a third floor private Pilates studio for one-on-one hour long sessions which cost $59.
The Extras: One of the distinguishing features of the Edgewater Cheetah is the emphasis on family-friendliness. This means great membership specials for families and a strong child care program. The supervised kids room is set up to accommodate infants, and the older kids enjoy TV, toys and video games. Parents can tune into the kids area channel on the TVs attached to all cardio machines, or they can look at the monitors scattered throughout the facility.
The aforementioned kids fitness area is outfitted with smaller scale strength and cardio equipment designed specifically for ages 9-14, and yoga and tumbling classes are offered for kids ages 3-8. After working up a good sweat and picking up the kids members can stop at the juice bar or check their email before saying goodbye to the friendly front desk staff.
Centerstage Reviewer: Roni Shapira