T Nation

Chi-town gyms

Are there any REAL gyms in the Chicago area. All I can find are mainstream, Bally’s type places.

There are a few good gyms in Chicago. First, I suggest Gorilla Sports on Grand and Wabash(38 East Grand) across from P.F. Chang’s. There is another gym, Chicago Sweat Shop on 3215 N. Broadway. Both are good gyms. I like gorilla, because there is a boxing ring in the gym, seperate areas for yoga, Pilates, and massage (if you’re into those type of things?), plenty of good music, tons of Hammer Strength equipment, and octagonal rubber-coated plates. They didn’t mind that I deadlifted or squatted. They have a kick-boxing/MMA room, and a room of punching bags. I didn’t get to try them out, but a couple of string-bean ladies were pounding the crap out of the bags- very impressive. Print out a 3-day pass first, and tell Gina, the cute readhead, that Dave from Arkansas sent you.

As for the Sweat Shop, I’ll warn you, it is in Wrigleyville/Boystown area(not that there’s anything wrong with that). Anyways,towards the rear of the gym, is a hardly used iron pit. They have 2 squat racks, a leg press sled with 100lb plates, plenty of icarian, and hammer equipment, and seperate areas for the floosey stuff. They also have several benches (incline/decline/flat), and all of the cardio stuff is in the front window. It’s so much fun to crank it out on the eliptical, and watch some schmuck outside watching you do cardio, while he stuffs his face with dunkin’ donuts and coffee. It really makes me feel warm and fuzzy about cardio. Give these two a try, and let me know what you think.

-The Starkdog.

HEY JOHNNY! I am from Chicago but I am in GA. Some other good gyms are Sharper Fitness Gym off of 401 W. Ontario. There are a couple of Powerhouse Gyms too. One off of Michigan and the other off of Asland I believe and it’s 24hrs. I hope this helps!

Happy Training

When in Chicago I prefer Quads Gym on Broadway near Grace/Broadway/Halsted intersection. Also in the Boystown area, but so what. This place has enough equipment and iron for three “regular” gyms! It’s huge and it is hard core, not a “spa” environment. They also have a huge cardio area. The other branch of Quads is in Calumet City where Ed Coan supposedly trains. Check it out.

If you are on the southside definately check out Al’s Gym. Its off of 65th and Cicero. The last time I was there it was about 90% free weights. Alot of big dudes there.

saw your post here, and if you’re the same Hali that replied to my Atlanta t-cell meeting notice, I just wanted to invite you to join us for our first meeting…TONIGHT…if you can make it…Thursday Jan 16 at 7:00pm at EATS restaurant on Ponce de Leon. I did see you replied to my posting of the event, but haven’t heard back from you. If you read this, let me know if you can make it. We’ve got about 4 people confirmed coming and more who would come if they didn’t have prior engagements. You can find my phone number in back issues 241 of t-mag under “reader mail.” scroll to end of page for my letter and phone number. Hope to hear from you. Lorne

I lift at the Powerhouse on Ashland and Belmont. I have visited pretty much every gym in Chicago, and I liked this one the most. There are plenty of hardcore lifters and enough equipment to go around. I am constantly motivated to get bigger around these people. And the tail can only be surpassed by Bally’s or one of the foo-foo health clubs.
Quads is balls-to-the-wall, and they have a website if you want to check it out (www.quadsgym.com). A lot of iron-clanging going on there.