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Welcome to the bustling city of Chicago, where the skyline is not the only thing reaching new heights. The pursuit of fitness finds its rhythm in a metropolis known for its vibrant energy, diverse culture, and a skyline that paints the horizon.
Chicagoans are passionate about their city and dedicated to fostering a community that values health and wellness. In this urban playground, we explore the avenues that amplify the fitness experience — where state-of-the-art gyms are places to work out and destinations that define a lifestyle.
This comprehensive guide delves into the best gyms in Chicago, exploring what sets them apart and helping you decide on your fitness destination.
Table of Contents:
Embarking on the quest for the best gyms in Chicago involves a thorough exploration in which we examined equipment, amenities, classes, cleanliness, cost, locations, and atmosphere.
The wait is over, Chicagoans! The 6 best gyms in Chicago are:
Now, let's talk about what makes each of them so great, starting with the fitness center at the top of our list.
Nestled at 1301 W. Madison Ave, Mode Gym isn't just your average 24-hour fitness spot — it's a hub for all-around wellness right in the heart of Chicago. What sets it apart? A commitment to making your fitness journey top-notch.
Mode Gym kicks things off right by offering 3D body fat testing and nutrition assessments. It's not just about the workouts; it's about understanding your body and setting you on the path to overall well-being.
There are no cookie-cutter fitness routines here. Mode Gym believes in personalization. Elite personal training, small group training classes, and aerobic exercises cater to different preferences, ensuring there's something for everyone. It's a 24-hour fitness party that fits your schedule.
Check out this virtual tour of Mode Gym to get a sense of everything it includes.
Yelp contains a plethora of positive reviews about Mode Gym, making it obvious why it makes the top of the list of best Chicago gyms. This Yelp review raves about the gym, stating:
"If you're looking for a fantastic gym, that is both visually stunning and packed with state-of-the-art equipment, look no further than Mode Gym. I've been a member for over a year now and I couldn't be happier with my decision to join.
One of the things that I love most about this gym is its aesthetic. The dim lighting, purple hue and high end finishes juxtaposed with the handmade art wrapping the upper walls give the space a luxe feeling that makes working out feel like a real treat. And despite its small size, the gym has an impressive array of equipment that is always well-maintained and up-to-date.
Of course, with any popular gym, it can get a bit crowded during peak times. But the staff is always welcoming and willing to help and the other members are generally a friendly and passionate bunch.
Overall, I highly recommend Mode Gym to anyone looking for a high-quality fitness experience. The space is beautiful, the equipment is top-notch, and the staff and members are all friendly and supportive. It's the perfect place to work on your fitness goals in style!" (source)
Known for its abundant fitness offerings, Equinox isn't just about general gym access; it's a symbol of upscale wellness, delivering a sophisticated environment and a comprehensive suite of services. Boasting multiple locations across Chicago, Equinox makes luxury accessible without compromising quality, explaining why it's at the top of our best gyms in Chicago round-up.
From specialized Pilates, Yoga, and Cycling studios to an in-house spa, Equinox is meticulously crafted to support you in achieving every fitness goal.
Dive into a fitness journey with access to 11 distinct class categories, ranging from signature Cycling to high-intensity Boxing and Martial Arts, along with sculpting Pilates sessions that cater to every fitness preference.
Kickstart your fitness journey with a personalized touch through our exclusive new member benefits, such as a complimentary fitness assessment, pilates, personal training session, and 15% off The Shop, which is Equinox's curated retail space featuring premium fitness gear and essentials.
Looking for first-hand information? Check out this real-user review of Equinox posted on YouTube:
In addition, this Redditor provides some great feedback on the different locations and potential busy times:
"I go to some of the Chicago locations and crowds vary. The Lincoln Park location is pretty large so it never feels full, but Lincoln Commons is much smaller so the post-work hours can get a bit busy.
Even when it's busy I still don't have too much trouble finding an open machine though, which I think is one of the reasons it's worth it over a different gym. Praise for the luxurious atmosphere and high-quality equipment." (source)
Discover your health oasis seamlessly situated between Bucktown, Lincoln Park, and Logan Square—welcome to Midtown Athletic Club, where fitness meets luxury. This isn't just a gym with conventional lifting equipment; it's a resort-like haven with world-class amenities that redefine the fitness experience.
Midtown Chicago Athletic Club boasts a gym and a wellness destination, with 6 group fitness studios offering an impressive lineup of over 200 weekly classes. Unleash your potential in a sprawling 14,000 square feet of training space equipped with everything you need, from ample free weights to state-of-the-art resistance machines and cardio equipment.
Whether you prefer forging your path or seeking guidance from Midtown Athletic Club's expert training staff, your aspirations are at the forefront. But it doesn't stop there.
Midtown's locker rooms transcend the ordinary, featuring a spacious steam room, sauna, and many private showers stocked with exclusive hair and body products. Wrap yourself in luxury with large, plush towels, turning your post-workout routine into a pampering experience.
Get a sense of how pristine Midtown Athletic Club is by watching the video below:
And, Yelper Olivia J provides a great overview of the Midtown Athletic Club:
"The Midtown Athletic Club is super fancy. The facility has an indoor and outdoor pool, indoor tennis courts, boxing gym, free weights, cardio machines, three studios for group fitness and spin classes, multiple stretching areas, a spa/ salon, cafe and sitting areas and more. The locker room is stunning.
I love that I can secure my belongings with my membership bracelet. You use it to enter the club and it is your key to lock or unlock any locker in the facility. No more fumbling with a lock. I just tap my locker and go.
Overall: It's pricey for a membership, but I must applaud the ambiance and cleanliness of the club. It's a designer gym, so you get what you pay for." (source)
As the prime destination for sport, fitness, and fun in Chicago il, Lakeshore Sport & Fitness captures the essence of a diverse community united by a shared passion for wellness.
With the central location in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, the LakeshoreSF campus spans over 3.5 acres, offering a sprawling haven with more than 185,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor sports and fitness spaces.
Lakeshore Sport & Fitness caters to a spectrum of interests, serving a community that engages in social, instructional, and competitive sporting activities. The expansive programming, designed for the entire family, ensures that every member finds their niche.
Whether you're striving to strengthen your core, elevate your cardiovascular routine, lose weight, or connect with like-minded fitness enthusiasts, Lakeshore Sport & Fitness Group Fitness instructors and personal trainer are dedicated to keeping you focused on achieving your goals, getting in shape, and staying there.
The class schedule at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness is a tapestry of options, ranging from low-impact to high-impact workouts, including yoga, kickboxing, dance, and cycling. With over 30 group classes per week conducted in two beautiful yoga studios, both beginners and experienced yogis find their sanctuary here.
Lakeshore Sport & Fitness is not just a space for adults; it's widely celebrated for its exceptional kids' programs. From basketball and PeeWee pre-school to day camps, super fun birthday parties, swim lessons, and family yoga, LSF fosters an environment where kids not only have a blast but also develop new skills and cultivate a lifelong love for an active lifestyle.
Check out the virtual tour of Lakeshore below to get a true sense of what it's like.
Yelper Elise A. is a fan of Lakeshore's amenities, staff, and family-friendly athmostphere:
"I've been coming here for years, and it's so convenient! They have everything from tennis courts, basketball courts, and a track, to playgrounds, two pools, and even a daycare! The staff have always been nice, and the gym always looks well kept. The cafe is also very convenient, with many snacks, appetizers, and even full meals.
My only complaints are about how full everything is, since there is only one basketball court it's hard to ever get time to play, whether it's teenagers playing full court games (all day and night) or people playing pickleball, it's always packed. The camp counselors during the summer have also not been the most inviting, they seem to be very rude and unprofessional. Overall, this is a nice family gym with many activities and lots of space!" (source)
Embarking on its journey 45 years ago, Quads Gym has transformed from a humble basement space to a thriving 40,000-square-foot establishment on Chicago's North Side. A haven for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts alike, Quads Gym offers a comprehensive array of standard and unique gym equipment, free weights, and specialized boxing, Pilates, and martial arts areas.
At Quads Gym Chicago, the focus is on substance over frills. The gym is renowned for its friendly and dedicated trainers, spotless facilities, and a full line of top-tier equipment and workout gear. While it may not boast as many amenities as some of its counterparts, Quads Gym compensates with a no-frills approach, making it the ideal choice as a powerlifting gym and individuals serious about weightlifting and getting in a tough workout. Make the best use of your time at this gym by heading in with a good workout split.
In essence, Quads Gym is a testament to the purity of strength training, where an impressive array of equipment, dedicated trainers, and a commitment to a no-frills approach converge to create an environment that caters to the serious individual dedicated to lifting weights.
You can get an awesome idea of what Quads Gym is like watching the YouTube video below:
Yelper Caleb J. likes the equipment selection and that it's rarely packed:
"Just joined in early September, and I've gotta say I'm a big fan! I thought I would get a little confused on where everything is, but it's easy to navigate after a few visits. Typically it's not too busy when I'm there after work, and you don't have to wait much for a machine or bench/rack. Lots of equipment upstairs & downstairs, with plenty of variety for what you may want to do. Good spot!" (source)
East Bank Club is one of Chicago's ultimate health havens, encompassing an expansive 350,000 square feet dedicated to fitness, relaxation, and dining. Spanning two entire city blocks, this premier health club is filled with a vast array of amenities, cutting-edge exercise facilities, top-tier equipment, and dining options tailored to fulfill every desire.
What sets East Bank Club apart is its unwavering commitment to providing an unmatched level of personalized service.
East Bank Club is a fitness and lifestyle destination offering an impressive list of amenities, including indoor lap pool and outdoor swimming pools, weight training & workout equipment, 360 Coaching & personal training, salon services, Pilates and Gyrotonic studios, yoga classes, a sun deck, golf facilities, basketball courts, and nutrition counseling.
But it doesn't stop there. This colossal space extends beyond the ordinary, providing a pro shop, dry cleaning services, a car wash, and even physical therapy. The sheer scale of offerings at East Bank Club transforms it into more than a health club; it becomes a comprehensive wellness and lifestyle hub, ensuring members have everything they need under one roof.
One thing to note is that the exclusive experience at East Bank Club comes at a price. It's undeniably on the higher end of the spectrum. Yet, this higher cost serves a purpose, acting as a deterrent that, in turn, helps maintain a refined and trouble-free environment. While the investment may be more substantial, it ensures a clientele committed to a premium fitness experience free from disruptions.
Yelper Pilar G. loves the size of the gym, amenities, food, and cleanliness:
"Everything about this club is fantastic! The place is absolutely massive and has wonderful amenities such as indoor and outdoor pools, luxury locker rooms, included workout classes, a restaurant, juice bar, and deli.
The workout facilities are so nice. Everything is cleaned, well maintained, and up to date. The workout classes are phenomenal. They have everything from hot yoga to boxing classes. Even at peak hours, the club never feels overly crowded. The food here is also amazing! Their salads are delicious. The staff here are so friendly and helpful. It is a happy and pleasant place to workout!" (source)
Check out the YouTube video below, which not only features an East Bank Club member who lost 60 pounds utilizing one of the best Chicago gyms but also highlights some of the equipment and amenities provided there.
With all of that great information about each of Chicago's best gyms, you may be looking for a refresher on what each one offers. Here's a snapshot of the best gyms in Chicago.
"Fantastic gym, visually stunning, state-of-the-art equipment."
Starting from $150/month
"Luxurious atmosphere, high-quality equipment."
Midtown Athletic Club
Starting from $299/month
"Super fancy, designer gym, pricey but worth it."
Lakeshore Sport & Fitness
Ranges from $194 to $404 per month
"Convenient, diverse, family-friendly gym."
Starting from $17/daily
"Friendly trainers, no-frills atmosphere."
East Bank Club
$235 per month
“Everything is cleaned, well maintained, and up to date.”
While the spotlight is on the top gyms in Chicago, several notable runner-ups offer unique fitness experiences.
These alternatives, though not claiming the top spots of Chicago's best gyms, bring their own distinct flavors to Chicagoland's fitness scene, catering to various preferences and lifestyles.
Remaining questions on the best gyms in Chicago? Let's get into them!
Equinox memberships start from $150 per month, making it a premium option in the Chicago fitness scene. Additional fees may apply for specific classes and specialized services.
The best gym depends on individual preferences and fitness goals. Mode Gym, Equinox, Midtown Athletic Club, Lakeshore Sport & Fitness, and Quads Gym cater to different needs, from luxury boutique fitness studios to old-school strength training.
Equinox often stands out as one of the most popular gyms in Chicago, known for its upscale atmosphere and comprehensive fitness offerings. However, popularity can vary based on individual preferences and needs.
East Bank Club
Choosing the right gym for your personal fitness goals is a journey beyond equipment and amenities. It's about finding a community that aligns with your training aspirations and lifestyle.
Whether you're drawn to the luxurious experience of Equinox, the holistic approach of Midtown Athletic Club, the scenic setting of Lakeshore Sport & Fitness, or the no-nonsense vibe of Quads Gym, Chicago has a fitness haven for everyone.
Explore and experience trial options, and make a choice that enhances your physical well-being and becomes an integral part of your lifestyle. Your fitness journey in Chicago begins now!
Lakeshore Sport & Fitness
At SET FOR SET, we strive to equip you with the tools and knowledge needed for your fitness journey. Our team of experts, including certified trainers, dietitians, and athletes, brings over a decade of industry expertise. Our goal is to be your primary resource for all fitness inquiries, guiding you toward a stronger and healthier life. Sign up to stay up-to-date!