When you are looking for a gym in Chicago what do you do? You likely ask your friends or colleagues or take it to Google or Yelp to see what everyone else says. From Andersonville to Hyde Park and everywhere in between, Chicago has thousands of gyms, but what are the best ones?
Any top-10 list is subjective but we wanted to take a look at 10 Chicago gyms that are consistently at the top of people’s list. What makes them good? How do they stand out from the rest? Let’s take a look at each gym and find out what makes them so great.
POW! Gym Chicago
Located in the West Loop on 310 S. Racine, POW! Gym Chicago has an extraordinary reputation. Currently with a 5.0 rating on Google reviews, members of POW get all their boxing and kickboxing needs in this stylish studio.
POW has a wide variety of options for their members. They feature adult programs focused around personal training, boxing, Muay Thai self-defense and corporate team building workshops.
The gym doesn’t just focus on adults. Their kids program is very popular as people from all over the city come to take their kids. The youth program focuses on fitness, superhero training, martial arts, birthday parties, before and after school programs and also houses the Parisi Speed program.
An open floor layout filled with functional training equipment, co-worker lounge, climbing wall and a hydromassage bed are what greet you. Speaking of greeting you, the staff is friendly and knowledgeable and ready to assist you or your child with any fitness needs you may have.
The website is very easy to navigate and the owner, Katalin Ogren, is very hands on and loves interacting with members. She has built something special in the West Loop over the years and her members thank her for it.
Staying in the West Loop is Fit Pro West. Located at 564 W. Jackson, Fit Pro is known as one of the premier personal training facilities in Chicago. The gym features six trainers on staff as well as over 45 independent trainers.
Keiser equipment, Woodway treadmills, Hammer and Strength machines and a plethora of dumbbells, kettlebells and squat racks highlight this training floor. The gym has been upgraded several times ensuing members and trainers have the latest and greatest and are always satisfied.
This shows in Fit Pro’s Google reviews. They currently have a 5.0 rating and seem to go out of their way to make customers feel special. Expect a hello and goodbye upon arriving and leaving the gym. It may not seem like much but it’s the little things that make a gym one of the best.
The staff is led by owner Carsten Beckmann. With over 25 years of training experience in Chicago, Beckmann makes sure his team stays ahead of the curve in both training knowledge and customer service.
The Fit Pro trainers have certifications from NASM, EXOS, CFSC and TPI just to name a few. They offer MYZone fitness trackers, nutrition coaching and flexible hours. The locker rooms and gym floor are very clean and the location is convenient for anyone traveling from work or home. Have your own personal trainer? Inquire how he or she can train you out of their facility. Their website is very easy to navigate and they welcome all new trainers and clients.
As soon as you click on the website for ENRGi Fitness you see exactly what they are all about. They are a group fitness community who pride themselves on living up to their name, Energy! The gym is loud, and electric and the vibes are contagious and the members absolutely love it.
The gym stemmed from group workouts and boot camps all around Chicago. Founder Amy Lee thought she was starting something to help people stay active and give her supplemental income during the summer (she was an elementary school teacher) but she found something much bigger.
With locations in Chicago and Denver now, the gym offers strength and conditioning classes, high intensity classes as well as dance and yoga. In addition to the classes, the recovery process is equally as important here. They preach proper recovery to help you keep going.
They also preach giving back. ENRGi does a ton of work in the community and their members take a ton of pride in being able to help others. With a Google rating of 4.8, it’s easy to see why people keep coming back to this high octane environment. ENRGi can be found on 215 W. Ohio in the River North area.
River North Gym
Speaking of River North, that’s where you can find the appropriately named River North Gym. The original location is located in the Merchandize Mart with a second location recently located in the old David Barton space on 600 W. Chicago.
Client and member testimonials really stand out here. There has been a large amount of people who have seen some amazing transformations thanks to the staff and programming at River North Gym.
From personal training to group classes, RNG features a wide variety of options for anybody looking to jump start their fitness goals. In addition to the programming, the gym has Infuse Craft Coffee, The Sinless Tan, and The Sweat Principle guaranteed to be one of the hottest workouts you have ever had and plenty of corporate options.
Members love the upkeep of the facility and the positive environment the staff provides. They welcome all new members but you can really tell they have a loyal customer base who help drive the culture here. With a Google rating of 4.6, it’s easy to see why people love coming to either RNG location.
The world famous Quads Gym on the north side has a legendary reputation. Some of the best bodybuilders and athletes in the world have walked through the door to get a workout in. The facility is a no-nonsense gym filled with just about any piece of fitness strength equipment you can think of.
People from all over the world know that if you want to get a great lift in you go to Quads gym. Imagine a gym that looks like a Chicago version of the world famous Venice beach Gold’s gym or the “Mecca” as this gym is called by many. That’s what Quads seeks to embody. The culture of Quads is unlike anything you have ever seen.
If you have watched the film “Generation Iron,” you have seen Quads. If you read Muscle and Fitness or Flex magazine, then you have seen Quads featured and if you come in and get a workout you better leave with a t-shirt to go along with the experience.
Quads has welcomed a ton of bodybuilders and powerlifters over the years who provide energy throughout the gym. Don’t be afraid to get sweaty of let out a loud grunt in this gym. It’s not only accepted but encouraged.
Their website doesn’t do the amount of equipment they have justice. Check out Quads on a day pass and you might run into a professional bodybuilder or two. With a Google rating of 4.8, the people locked in to the Quads culture just can’t get enough of it.
The Little Gym of Chicago
Child obesity rates on are the rise in the United States and it’s time for people to take a stand. The Little Gym of Chicago has decided to do just that. Located at 3216 N. Lincoln, The Little Gym are led by owners Adam and Leana Stone. They are parents passionate about children who have gotten quite the reputation working with kids from ages four months to 12 years old.
The Little Gym of Chicago wants to be known as more than just a gym. It’s a place where children can learn motor skills, make new friends and feel comfortable in an environment uplifted by the amazing staff to help kids succeed. Music and toys are included and homework is strongly encouraged. The staff really has some impressive credentials and parents seem to be very comfortable sending their children there. With a Google rating of 4.6, The Little Gym of Chicago is big into taking care of the city’s precious little beings.
It doesn’t just stop with the children who walk through their doors. The Little Gym works with children who don’t get the same opportunity to ensure that they also live the best life they can. Giving back is just another reason why you would have a hard time finding someone who doesn’t love to send their kids to the Little gym.
Shoot over to the South Loop and you will find Phenomenal Fitness. Personal training, semi-private training, weight loss coaching, Bootcamp Blaze and recovery options highlight this facility. With over 17 years in the fitness game, Phenomenal has been around for quite some time and their members appreciate the experience and expertise.
Owners Sean and Maria Armstead have been staples of Chicago for quite some time. Over the years, the couple has built relationships with celebrities and your everyday Chicago citizen and they use those relationships to keep their gym going.
Now located in their second location on 2001 S. State, the gym has a great open layout with a mix of traditional and functional equipment. The staff is small and close knit and the clients appreciate the knowledge and attention they get from them. The website is very inviting for those who want to try out the recently opened location. Perfect for if you just moved into the booming South Loop area.
With a Google rating of 5.0, you can tell Phenomenal Fitness goes out of their way to keep the reputation they are named for. They did so well they had to move into a bigger and better facility. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a gym like that?
When you attach your name to your gym you better make sure it’s good. That’s what you can expect from Lance when you decide to work with him at his gym, Lance’s Gym. They are located in the Bronzeville Art’s Center on 1200 W. 35th St.
The website is being redone but the picture in the background tells you what you need to know. This is a gym that means business when it comes to heavy strength training and powerlifting. Lance himself will offer some serious lifting coaching in his one-on-one sessions or you can come in and lift on your own.
With a Google rating of 4.8, the members love the raw and hardcore environment. This isn’t some fancy health club, just a place to get an old fashioned lift in. The Bridgeport community is very tough and blue collar, Lance’s Gym is a true reflection of the community they are located in and the members appreciate that.
South Loop Strength & Conditioning
You bet a Crossfit gym can be one of the best in the city. It helps when four Crossfit veterans join together to assume ownership of the gym. Located at 645 S. Clark in the South Loop, South Loop Strength and Conditioning is more than just your average Crossfit gym.
In addition to the workout of the day, they offer personal training, nutrition coaching, speed training and a whole host of other programs. It’s important you go to a Crossfit gym with an amazing reputation. You will be hard pressed to find a Crossfit gym in Chicago with a rep better than South Loop.
On any given day, you can see Crossfit professionals as well as fitness celebs train here but make no mistake about it, this gym is all about taking care of the everyday person. Maybe that’s why they have a 4.9 Google review rating and their members have nothing but glowing things to say about them.
The gym has a cool open layout in what looks like an old car repair garage. The turf is large and amazing the equipment is a Cross fitter’s dream come true. Box jumps for days at South Loop Crossfit !
Walk down the street on a nice day and you can probably find the big garage door open and a large group of people working their tail off. Awesome thing about this gym is seeing a wide variety of people no matter what their age or fitness level is.
Need options when it comes to finding a personal trainer? HiFi Fitness can certainly help you out. Located at 820 N. Orleans, HiFi can break down the independent trainers in their gym by speciality, gender and years of experience.
In addition to the many independent trainers, they also offer colonics, a juice bar, fitness photography, a hairdresser, physical therapy and various fitness classes. The gym is very big and has a good mix of traditional and functional equipment.
HiFi has become a favorite for professional athletes too. Don’t be startled if you see one of your favorite baseball or football players training near you.
The 40,000 square foot facility prides itself on allowing trainers who want to be their own boss to come in. The trainers and clients who train there seem to appreciate that. With a Google rating of 4.7, people love meeting their trainer at HiFi and then getting on with their day. Public transportation is right outside the front door and the gym is in the middle of the River West area.
So there you have it. Ten very unique gyms all scattered around the Chicago area. It was amazing to see the old hardcore lifting gyms mixed in with some of the more functional new aged facilities. We found out Chicago residents really love their personal trainers and are very loyal to them.
Children and how we treat them are important and that was reflected on this list. Also on this list was the importance of the group environment. CrossFit and group training are not only here to stay but celebrated across the city.
Did your gym make the list? Are you seriously considering checking out one of the gyms on this list for yourself or a loved one? Continue to check out the Google reviews or complete your own review upon experiencing one of the many fitness options the city has to offer. Gyms love the customer feedback from their members and clients!
By Ross Read, FitPro West trainer