Don't let the Webster Fitness Club's fancy neon signs fool you. This down-to-earth Lincoln Park mainstay offers one of the best membership deals in the city. Its monthly dues are lower than the corporate alternative clubs ($46 a month after the $125 initiation fee), with a $36 per month discount rate offered to neighboring businesses, DePaul students and cash-strapped theater professionals.
WFC's claim to be "The Last of the Neighborhood Clubs" isn't completely accurate, but the independent business has attracted a loyal membership base in the heart of Lincoln Park since 1980. It packs a full range of Nautilus and Cybex strength equipment, free weights and cardio trainers into two stories of a converted rowhouse, and the wait for these machines is rarely long.
The classes: Low-pressure group fitness classes are offered throughout the week and include yoga, pilates, kickboxing and core conditioning. All sessions are free with memberships and class size is capped to prevent crowding in the modest-size back studio.
The extras: A certified Nutrition Management Consultant provides holistic, encouraging one-on-one guidance with clients on site, at work or at home. Personal trainers cater individualized routines for an extra fee, and the staff overall is friendly, casual and patient with those who haven't picked up a barbell since last century. Locker rooms are smaller but accommodating, where members can enjoy hot showers and towel service after a workout. Membership also includes complementary use of the Lincoln Park Fitness Center at Fullerton and Clark, which stays open a few hours later during the week and opens earlier on Sundays.
Centerstage Reviewer: Justin Sondak