2017 Easter Holiday Weekend Hours

Attention members: please be aware of the following Easter weekend operating hours. Have a happy and safe holiday!

  • Friday, April 14 – regular club hours
  • Saturday, April 15 – regular club hours
  • Sunday, April 16 – all club locations will close at 3:00 PM
    • 7 AM – 3 PM: FFC East Lakeview, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Oak Park, West Loop & Park Ridge
    • 8 AM – 3 PM: FFC Halsted Street, Lincoln Park, Old Town, South Loop & Union Station


Help Support Team FFC At the 2017 Spin to Break the Cycle Event!


  • 100 BIKES

Daily, the presence and pressures of violence, divide, and poverty impact the health and wellness of our communities and our youth. The perceptions of what is possible are impacted by current circumstances. This does not need to be our city’s story, we are one Chicago and together we can break the cycle and invest in the future of Chicago’s youth – creating stronger, safer, and healthier communities.

With Spin to Break the Cycle, an hour spin workout can help ensure ALL of Chicago’s youth and ALL of Chicago’s communities have access to the power of sport and play – will you step up to the bike?



Date: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Location: House of Blues Chicago (329 N. Dearborn St.)
Time: The first session arrives at 8 AM. A new session arrives every hour through 12 PM. The event ends at 3:00 PM.



FFC will be hosting in-club fundraising classes to help raise money for Spin to Break the Cycle!  These classes will be open to members and guests. Visit this page to RSVP for one (or BOTH) of the following classes!


Whether you are an avid cyclist or a first time rider, this event is a unique and inspiring way for you to get active in making a difference:

  • Hundreds of riders taking over the House of Blues
  • Top spin instructors to lead and encourage you
  • DJ spinning a music mix sure to keep you inspired
  • Rejuvenation area with free massage
  • Post-Spin Reception with  a complimentary drink, appetizer buffet, games, and more
  • Free tech fabric event t-shirt and gift bag
  • Fundraising rewards with the opportunity to earn airline certificates, sports tickets, and exclusive experiences

There are just 2 steps to join

1) Register to Spin: Choose to join the team and session of your favorite FFC instructor or choose one of the other sessions and join the FFC Community Champions Team!

  • 8 AM: FFC Team Jennifer (Jennifer Dahl)
  • 9 AM: FFC Team Bill (Bill Bower)

Can’t make it to one of those sessions? Choose any session and register as part of team FFC Community Champions.

>> As a partner, FFC offers our members $5 off the $25 registration fee with promo code FFC2017

2) Raise Money: Once you have completed the registration, you will be redirected to the fundraising site to set up your individual fundraising page under the FFC team of your choice (be sure to select your team from the drop down menu to join that team). As a part of the event, you are committing to raise a minimum of $250. It’s easier than you think, and World Sport Chicago provides you with tools, tips and support to help make your fundraising efforts successful.


It’s tax-deductible, plus the process is fast, easy, and secure! Every contribution goes a long way to help break the cycle to create a stronger, safer, and healthier Chicago. You can click below to donate to a specific team:


Spin to Break the Cycle sponsors and participants take part in more than a memorable fitness event – they join together to make a difference:

Formed in 2007 as the living legacy of Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, World Sport Chicago has a deeply rooted understanding of the way sport and play can help meet the challenges our youth and communities face on a daily basis.


Proven tools for the physical, cognitive, and social development of youth.  

A catalyst for bringing people together, creating understanding, and promoting Civic Engagement (leadership, community surveillance, volunteerism, empowerment and ownership for their future).

At World Sport Chicago we see every child’s and every community’s potential and we have witnessed first-hand the way sport and play can help unlock that potential. In stepping up to the bike you are helping ensure ALL of Chicago’s youth and ALL of Chicago’s communities have access to the power of sport and play. We are stronger together and together we can make a difference.

For more information on World Sport Chicago and Spin to Break the Cycle visit http://www.spintobreakthecycle.org


World Sport Chicago is here to help. 312-861-4840 or spin@worldsportchicago.org.


April Spa Specials

Spring has sprung and it’s time to say goodbye to the winter weather, indoor blahs and same old routine.

Spring Restoration Massage

Enjoy refreshing massage therapy for body and mind.  Receive 5 30-minute massages for $265 (save $60).

Offer expires April 30, 2016. Packages may not be shared and all massages expire one year from date of purchase. This offer not available at FFC Park Ridge. No two discounts apply.

The Spa Rebate is Back!  

Get $10 in Spa Bucks for every $60 spent on Spa services in April!

Spa Bucks will expire May 31, 2017. $60 is service price not including tax and gratuities.  This offer is available at FFC Park Ridge.

Message from the RDs: Spring Clean Your Nutrition Habits for the Summer – Chelsea Rice

Spring is the time to prepare for those summer months ahead. Even though spring days may still be gloomy and cold, before you know it the sunshine will be out and everybody’s windows will be open. Many of us work so hard in the winter months to achieve our health goals by the summer, but that doesn’t mean that everything should be forgotten when that warm weather hits. Below are 5 nutrition tips that will keep you on track with your health goals, no matter what time of year it is!

Spring clean your kitchen.

We are all guilty of having those foods stocked away in our kitchen that we have been trying to avoid all winter. Take the time now to organize your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Throw away all the food that has been sitting there too long or may be expired. Do you have any leftover treats from the holidays? Get rid of it! If it is still safe to eat, don’t feel the need to throw it away. You can always donate it or give it away to others that could make good use of the food.

Pre-plan your meals.

Spring and summertime schedules start to get busy with extra-curricular activities and events. Plan your meals and snacks around your schedule. Make a shopping list with healthy foods that you can eat through the week. Go grocery shopping at least once a week to restock those fresh foods and ensure you won’t stock up on a lot of processed products.

Eat seasonally.

The fresh produce that you missed all winter is soon to be back in season! Chop up some fresh vegetables for an easy snack throughout the day. Keep a fresh fruit bowl at your home and office to pair with meals and snacks. Most importantly, make sure to eat the rainbow! Bring color to your plate by incorporating a variety of produce, instead of continuing to buy the same fruits and vegetables.

Think outside of the box.

When planning activities, think outside the box. Even though Chicago has many fun events revolving around food and drinks, there are also so many activities to do in the sun that are great for our health. Go on a long walk or bike ride on the lake, take a rooftop yoga class, or join a sports league with friends. These activities will not only keep you active, but social as well!

Hydrate often.

Start off your day by drinking a glass (or two) of water. Keep hydrated around or at each meal, and don’t forget to bring that water bottle to the gym with you! Carrying a water bottle with you at all times is a great way to get into the habit of always drinking water. Struggling to drink plain water? Add fresh fruits and herbs to your bottle for a different flavor (and great added benefits!). See my personal favorite infused water recipe below!

Strawberry, Basil, and Cucumber Infused Water (Yields 1 Serving)


  •    3 basil leaves
  •    2-3 strawberries, sliced
  •    3-5 slices cucumber
  •    Water
  •    Ice


Combine all ingredients in a large glass. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy!

April Complimentary Injury Screening Presented by NovaCare

It’s almost marathon season, everyone! And that means it’s time to take extra care to stay injury-free. Head into your closest NovaCare this month for a complimentary injury screening during one of the times below!

  • FFC East Lakeview – Thursday, April 13 4-6 PM & walk-ins
  • FFC Halsted St – Monday April 3, 4-6 PM & walk-ins
  • FFC Lincoln Park – Thursday April 13 5-7 PM & walk-ins
  • FFC Oak Park – Wednesday April 12 3-5 PM & walk-ins
  • FFC Park Ridge – April 4 3:30-5:30 PM & walk-ins
  • FFC South Loop – walk-ins
  • FFC Union Station – Wednesday 4/19 12 – 1:30 PM​ & walk-ins
  • FFC West Loop – Tuesday, April 18 4:15 – 5:30 PM & walk-ins

Join Team to End Aids (T2) for the 3rd Annual Spin to End Aids Fundraiser! -4/22; 11 AM – 2 PM


SPIN TO END AIDS – Saturday, 4/22; 11 AM – 2 PM

Join TEAM TO END AIDS (T2) for the third annual SPIN TO END AIDS fundraiser. SPIN TO END AIDS will host riders raising funds and awareness on behalf of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Whether you are an alumni or curious about the T2 experience, enjoy music, friends, food, drink and swag.

Registration is only $15 in honor of T2’s 15th year and includes 2 studio spin sessions (12-12:50pm, 1-1:50pm). Attend either or both of the sessions. A fundraising option is available and appreciated.

  • Saturday, April 22, 2017
  • 11 AM – 2 PM
  • FFC Lincoln Park 939 W. North Avenue, Chicago

Schedule of Events:

  • 11 AM: Check-in opens
  • 11:15-11:45 AM: TEAM TO END AIDS info session – learn about our 2017 Signature Events and endurance training program
  • 12:00-12:50 PM: SPIN hour 1
  • 1:00-1:50 PM: SPIN hour 2


Join TEAM TO END AIDS (T2) – RUN PROUD in our 15th year!

Over the past 14 years, TEAM TO END AIDS (T2) has trained 6,000 athletes and raised $11 million benefiting the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and HIV/AIDS-related community charities.

Whether this is your first race or your fiftieth, T2 offers world class training programs for running and triathlon premier endurance events. T2 is about the journey as much as the destination. RUN and TRI Proud with FFC Coaches, T2 staff and athletes. Together we will help you train, fundraise and celebrate life, making your T2 experience unforgettable.

Learn more and register: T2EA.org

Sign Up for the Rock N’ Roll Half or Full Marathon with Team Bright Pink!

Embrace Your Inner Rockstar with Team Bright Pink – No Instruments Necessary!

Start working on your air guitar skills – Team Bright Pink has new charity race opportunities thanks to the Rock N’ Roll North American Marathon series! How does free FFC training, one-of-a-kind community and a VIP race experience sound?!

Join Team Bright Pink for a Rock N’ Roll Half or Full Marathon today! Sign up for the Rock N’ Roll Marathon Series, or learn about other fundraising opportunities like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon or Chicago Half Marathon at TeamBrightPink.org.

March Open House Madness at FFC – March 16 – 18

Invite your friends to see what it means to be an FFC member and join us for 3 Days of Madness during our March Open House Madness event! 

From March 16 – 18* join us at our 10 FFC clubs across Chicago for special bootcamps, fitness demos, nutrition seminars, free samples, live music and much more! Stay tuned for information on registering your guests and a detailed schedule of events for each club.

*FFC Union Station’s 3-Day Madness is March 15 – 17. All other club events are March 16 – 18.

Click here to register your guests!

Win #trainingforlife During Our March Refer-A-Friend Madness!

Friends don’t let friends work out alone! Enter our giveaway and refer your friends with your personalized referral link via text, email and social media before March 31 for the chance to win training for life! 

Click here to get started!

March Spa Specials – Recovery is Key

Hey workout warrior! #trainingforlife comes with its rewards… but it can also bring on soreness and inflammation afterward. Stretching pre-and post-workout is a crucial step in preventing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

That said, improper stretching or not stretching at all can can elongate your recovery time and potentially prevent you from rebounding and sticking to your workout routine.  Just as the best results from exercise come from repetition and frequency, so come the best results from stretching and proper recovery.  

Add staying hydrated, using ice when needed, and peppering in regular massage therapy and you’re sure to keep your workouts on track. If you’re not sure which stretches will maximize your time and benefit your routine, don’t take chances and risk injury, find a massage therapist in your club and ask for help!

Not that you need it, but here’s a little incentive to get a massage this month…  for a limited time, get two 90-minute massages for only $219 (reg. $250). Plus, buy this package, and get a 60-minute facial for just $59. Your winter skin will thank you!

*Offer expires on March 31, 2017. Both massages must be used by July 31, 2017. No two discounts apply. Offer not valid at FFC Park Ridge.

Message from the RDs: March is National Nutrition Month! by Amy Silver

I’m not sure who designated March as the month to celebrate nutrition, but I always find it to be perfect timing. New Year’s resolutions are getting harder to keep up with, but hopefully some of your lifestyle changes have become habits by now. What better time to celebrate food and its ability to give us energy, excite our taste buds, and even show someone we love them? Food has so many roles in our lives, and here are some new trends to look out for in 2017:

Plant-based meals and snacks – I always tell my clients to consume protein and fiber every time they eat, because these two components keep your blood sugar stable and your hunger at bay. Wouldn’t the perfect food, then, contain both of these components? Enter plant-based proteins. Think beans, lentils, peas, nuts, and seeds. These foods contain both protein and fiber, along with various other nutrients, making them a nutrition powerhouse. Food companies are catching on, and you’ll begin seeing more items like roasted chickpeas, bean chips, and more varieties of nut butters.

A focus on gut health – Happy gut, happy life, at least that’s what the research is showing. More and more research is showing that gut health is linked to our immune system, our weight, and even our mental health. In 2017, you’ll begin seeing more foods that contain probiotics on the shelves, similar to kombucha and yogurt. Also, dietitians are working with specific elimination diets, like the low FODMAP diet (check out the recent blog post here!) to help people take control of their gut health. Along with probiotics and individual care for your dietary needs, don’t forget about the fiber needed to keep your gut healthy! Stock your fridge with fruits and vegetables to feed those healthy bacteria.

Lower sugar options – The sugar secret is out. There is added sugar in almost 70% of packaged items in stores today. Now that consumers are aware, food companies are going to try to pull you in by labeling their foods “low sugar.” Don’t fall for their games again, do some digging yourself and look at the ingredients label of any packaged product. Does it have 5 or less ingredients, and ones you can pronounce? Are they replacing added sugar with artificial sweeteners (not a good thing!)? Is it real food? Some brands will pass the test, and some won’t, but at least you’re in control.

Need more help picking out the latest trends at the grocery store? Sign up for an individual grocery store tour with your club’s dietitian today – just stop by the office!

Sign Up for the Stridekick 3-Day Madness Step Challenge!

Join the Madness!

Get moving with Fitness Formula Clubs & Stridekick and join the FFC 3-Day Madness Challenge. Hit your goal of 15,000 steps before the challenge ends on Saturday, March 18 at 3 PM, head to a Chicago FFC club location and show your completion to an FFC team member to win at the big dance. What you win:

  • FFC guests will win a free 1-week membership to any FFC location of their choosing
  • Current FFC members will win a free personal training session!

Must be at least 18 years old and present a valid photo ID with an Illinois address to redeem prize.

We are partnering with Stridekick, which integrates with Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, Misfit, Apple Watch and Withings. No fitness tracker? No problem! Connect your smartphone to track your steps by downloading the Stridekick app from the iTunes or Google Play Store.

How To Register for the Challenge

  1. Text ‘ffc17’ to 27126
  2. Follow the link texted to you
  3. Download the Stridekick app from the iTunes or Google Play store
  4. Log in or create a Stridekick account and connect your tracking device
  5. Get moving! You’ve been added to the challenge.

* If you don’t see the challenge appear on your dashboard search “ffc17” in the magnifying glass field.

Questions or need Help?

Email stridekick.team@stridekick.mail.intercom.io or select ‘Need help? Message us here’ in the More tab of the mobile app!

March Complimentary Injury Screenings by NovaCare

Stop by any of our NovaCare rehabilitations in the month of March during the times below for a complimentary injury screening! What do our complimentary injury screenings include?

  •  A physical therapist or athletic trainer will perform an orthopedic screening
  •  Education regarding your injury
  •  A plan of care, and/or a physician referral, if needed

FFC East Lakeview 3/23 4 – 6 PM

FFC Halsted Street 3/22 4 – 6 PM

FFC Lincoln Park 3/7 5 – 7 PM and  3/30 4-6 PM

FFC Oak Park 3/15  3 – 5 PM

FFC Park Ridge 3/7 3:30 – 5:30 PM

FFC South Loop 3/16 4 – 6 PM                      

FFC Union Station 3/23 12 – 1 PM

FFC West Loop 3/21 4:15 – 6:00 PM

NovaCare Park Ridge is Now Open!

NovaCare Rehabilitation is now open inside FFC Park Ridge! Call and schedule a complimentary injury screen today at 847.720.4165. Want to check out the facility? Join us for our open house at Park Ridge on March 15 from 5 – 8 PM!

Help us celebrate March Madness in our new center! Attendees will enjoy a tour of the facility, complimentary injury screenings and receive a goody bag to take home. Come out and meet Center Manager Beth Ure! Please RSVP to 847-720-4165.  

cycling time trial

Calling All Cyclists! Sign Up For The 4th Annual Chicago Time Trial Cup!

Calling all new and competitive cyclists! Fitness Formula Clubs indoor cycling time trial race series is back with the 4th Annual Chicago Time Trial Cup (CTTC) – a two-event indoor cycling race series featuring time trials of various distances for local cyclists to test their fitness while riding on simulated courses in the FFC Endurance Training CompuTrainer Studio (ffc.com/computrainer)! Sign up for one event and compete to win prizes, or sign up for both races for the chance to become the overall series champion! All you need to do is bring yourself, your bike, and your personal best!

Choose from one or all of the following events*:

  • Sunday, March 12, 2017 – Draft-legal 30 km Road Race: Men’s and women’s heats of eight will race in “drafting mode” to mimic the benefits of drafting in an outdoor race.
  • Sunday, April 9, 2017 – Individual 20 km Time Trial: ride fast, friends!

Register online at  ffc.com/time-trial!

NOTE: All events will be held at the FFC Lincoln Park Endurance Training Center (ffc.com/computrainer). You must bring your own bike to each event. 

*Participants will sign up for waves throughout the day of each event. Anticipate at least 1.5 hours per race including check in, setup, warmup, and cooldown. Parking will be validated for up to 2 hours, so plan accordingly. Avoid parking fees by leveraging free nearby street parking. $30 per event or $50 for series.

For questions or to sign up, contact Coach Dan Dziubski at ddziubski@ffc.com.

Mommy & Me Movement Workshop – Saturday, 3/18; 12:15 – 1:30 PM

Join us at FFC West Loop in the Group Fitness studio on Saturday, March 18 from 12:15 – 1:30 PM for the Mommy and Me Movement Workshop.
It takes babies up to a year to learn how to walk. They earn this skill through each developmental progression – tummy time, rolling, sitting, rocking, crawling, standing, and squatting. These progressions are our body’s natural resets. When we are in pain or healing, these resets restore our body’s natural movement. As a mom, these resets promote healing of the core and pelvic floor.

West Loop trainer Suzanne Ko created this workshop to teach moms how to help their babies with the developmental milestones while also making time for movement. She will show you various tummy time variations, as well as teach you how to roll, rock, and crawl with your baby.

Carrying for our baby is also physically demanding! Learn how to safely move with your baby, utilizing proper breathing and alignment cues.

  • Price: $30 FFC Members, $40 non-members
  • RSVP to Suzanne Ko at sko@ffc.com. Payment before day of workshop is required.
  • Recommended minimum age is 2-3 months. Please bring some of your babies toys. Mats will be provided.

“When my twins were 6 months old I was looking for places where my babies could plan, learn and socialized with other babies. Mommy and me workshop offered me all of the above and also the opportunity to workout while playing with my kids. This was a great push to me to come out of my pregnancy shell and be more active and playful with the kids. My babies always enjoy coming to the workshop and love rolling, crawling, rocking and squeaking along with their friends. Last but not the least, I feel Suzanne is the most appropriate trainer for the workshop. Being a mother herself she knows just the right mix for fun and activities for moms and the kids. She is very patient with the babies and tries to teach both Mommy and baby something new in her class each time. I love spending time at this FFC workshop and will definitely recommend it to all new parents!”

Get Lucky with Team Bright Pink & Upcoming Fun Run 3/23; 5 – 6:30 PM

Kiss Me, I’m on Team Bright Pink!

Who needs luck this St. Paddy’s Day when you can lock down a sure thing like free, top-rated FFC training, one-of-a-kind community and a VIP race experience? Join Team Bright Pink for the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, or any other race of your choice for all that and more!

Then, get even more green this month with a $150 fundraising credit towards your Chicago Marathon fundraising minimum. Visit Bright Pink’s booth at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K Health & Fitness Expo March 31st and April 1st and sign up in-person to lock-in your savings. Learn more about the team at TeamBrightPink.org.

Team Bright Pink Fun Run 3/23; 5 – 6:30 PM

Join the FFC RunMonster Run Club and Team Bright Pink for an after-work info session on FFC’s Chicago Marathon & Half Marathon charity training program with guaranteed entries in the Chicago Marathon and Half Marathon! Join the info session and stay for a fun run to get ready for the upcoming Shamrock Shuffle and spring running season!

Session will be based out of newly renovated FFC Union Station local’84 Cafe on 1st floor!

FFC Union Station – local’84 Cafe

  • 5:00 PM – Check In + Meet & Mingle with Bright Pink in local’84 cafe
  • 5:10 PM – Bright Pink & FFC Marathon/Half Marathon Info Session in local’84 cafe
  • 5:30 PM – Fun Run – gather/change/prep to run outside!
  • 5:45 PM – Head out the door to run 2-3 miles!
  • 6:15-6:30 PM – back at club for stretching!

FYI:  Sunset 7:06pm

Run the Marathon for a Great Cause – Register with T2!

Register for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with T2!

T2 participants receive:

  • 18 weeks of coach-led training beginning in June 2017 and a training plan
  • Guaranteed race entry
  • T2 training shirt
  • T2 run singlet
  • Pre-race Celebration Dinner
  • VIP race day experience
  • Personalized fundraising website page and toolkit
  • Staff-provided fundraising advice and assistance
  • Private social media group to converse with athletes, coaches and staff
  • T2 fundraising minimum: $1,700

Registration is $55 and includes all the amenities that come along with being a charity runner. The registration fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. RUN PROUD with T2! Visit http://events.aidschicago.org/site/TR?fr_id=1350&pg=entry to sign up today!

February Spa Specials

Whether it’s a well-deserved time-out for yourself or a special surprise for someone you love, The Spa at FFC will fulfill all your Valentine’s Day gift needs. From our therapeutic and restorative massage menu to our effective and luxurious facial treatments, look no further than The Spa for a present they’re sure to love. Not sure which treatment to get? – a gift card in any amount allows the recipient to choose what’s best for them!

This month’s featured services:

*Please note, these specials are not currently available at FFC Park Ridge.

Chocolate Cherry Antioxidant Facial

Experience the sensory delights of chocolate & cherry essences while reaping the benefits of the rich antioxidants in this refreshing facial!

  • $89 for 60 minutes
  • Service must be paid for and received in February

Signature 75-Minute Massage

During this customized treatment, you will enjoy 75 minutes of massage using a combination of bodywork styles tailored specifically to your needs. This massage also includes scalp and neck work for a truly head to toe experience. 

  • One for $100 or two for $190, February only!
  • Both massages must be received by March 15 and may be shared with a guest

Sign Up Now for February Unlimited Pilates Group Apparatus Classes for $99!

It’s time to get back into a routine (or even try something new!) During the month February, get access to UNLIMITED Group Apparatus Pilates classes at your club for only $99! For a schedule of classes, visit your club’s Pilates Studio or Fitness Desk. Unlimited Group Apparatus Pilates promotion available at all clubs except FFC Oak Park.

Once you have registered for the $99 Unlimited, you can book your classes via the FFC app, or with your Pilates trainer at the club. For any questions, email Kristin Strom at kstrom@ffc.com. See you soon!


Message from the RDs: Celebrate National Cherry Month! By Alicia Huggler

When people think of cherries they might think of eating grandma’s homemade cherry pie, drinking a Shirley Temple topped with maraschino cherries, or nowadays eating cherries soaked in moonshine. While all the above can be enjoyed from time to time there are other ways to enjoy cherries in a healthier way to reap the health benefits cherries have to offer!

What’s the Scoop on Cherries?

Cherries come in 2 main varieties: sweet cherries (best eaten fresh and raw) & tart or sour cherries (develop a better flavor when cooked). Their deep red color comes from cyanidin which is a flavonoid from the anthocyanin group. Cyanidin is a powerful antioxidant that may aid in heart disease and cancer prevention. Cherries also contain anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce inflammation associated with arthritis and gout.
A study conducted in 2010 by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that consuming 12 oz of tart cherry juice 7 days leading up to a running event decreased post-run muscle pain. Cherries also contain a good source of vitamin C which has immune-boosting qualities can can reduce cold duration. They are also a good source of potassium and are electrolytes. Electrolytes help regulate fluid balance, help control electrical activity of the heart and other muscles, and counteract the effects of sodium which can help with maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Cherries can also help you sleep better since they contain the hormone, melatonin. 1 cup of fresh cherries is less than 100 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber to keep you regular and to help you feel fuller, longer!

Tips for Buying Cherries at the Grocery Store

Cherries are delicate and don’t ship well so you might not always find them in the produce section of the grocery store. Rest assured that you can also buy cherries in the frozen section, canned section (look for cherries packed in water instead of syrup!), dried fruit section (be cautious of the serving size and added sugar!), and 100% tart cherry juice or 100% tart cherry concentrate can be found in the juice aisle.

How to Add Cherries to Your Diet

Freeze cherries when they are in season (May-July in Illinois) to use during the colder months
Add them to a smoothie
Toss in a salad (see recipe below!)
Add cherry sauce to pork tenderloin
Add 1 Tbsp of 100% tart cherry concentrate, 2 oz of 100% tart cherry juice, or or a handful of frozen pitted cherries to sparkling water
Add cherries (fresh or dried) with nuts and/or seeds and a small handful of dark chocolate chips for a sweet treat!

California Cherry and Walnut Salad

1 (10 ounce) bag mixed salad greens
1/4 cup walnut pieces
2 tablespoons dried tart cherries
4 ounces goat cheese, sliced
1/4 pound cooked chicken breast strips
1/4 cup raspberry vinaigrette

Toss the salad greens, walnut pieces, and dried cherries together in a large bowl. Divide the salad into individual salad bowls or plates. Garnish each salad with two slices of goat cheese and a few strips of chicken breast. Have raspberry vinaigrette on the side. Enjoy! (adapted from allrecipes.com)

Warm Up This Winter with Discounted Tickets to These Upcoming Whiskey & Wine Festivals!

Warm up this winter with River North Whiskey & Wine Festivals! FFC has partnered with ChicagoTwentySomething to bring you discounted tickets to these awesome events.

Use code “FFC” for the discounted rate. The sooner you purchase, the bigger the discount will be!

River North Whiskey Festival, Sat 2/18 from 1 – 4 PM at Old Crow Smokehouse
Taste a variety of over 50 local, national and global whiskeys, bourbons and scotches, enjoy food, freebies and contests!
River North Wine Festival, Sat 2/25 from 12 – 4 PM at Moe’s Cantina/ Old Crow Smokehouse River North
Taste a variety of over 35 wines from all over the world available for sampling. Tickets include wine tastings, plus a cheese plate.

February Complimentary Injury Screenings Presented by Nova Care

Don’t quit now! Make sure you’re taking advantage of all the tools to keep you conditioned, stretched and injury-free so you can keep up with your new year’s resolutions. Stop by for a complimentary injury screening this February during any of the times listed below!

FFC East Lakeview – Thursday, 2/16; 4:00 – 6:00pm

FFC Halsted Street – Wednesday, 2/8; 4:00 – 6:00pm

FFC Lincoln Park – Thursday, 2/23; 4:30 – 6:30pm

FFC Oak Park – Wednesday, 2/15; 3:00-5:00pm

FFC Park Ridge – Monday, 2/6; 5:00 – 7:00pm

FFC South Loop – Tuesday, 2/7; 8:00 – 10:00pm OR Thursday,, 2/9; 4:00 – 6:00pm

FFC Union Station – Wednesday, 2/8; 12:00 – 1:00pm OR Wednesday, 2/22; 4:00 – 5:00pm

Complimentary Dance Cardio Classes at Navy Pier! Feb 2 – March 30

FFC has partnered with Navy Pier to host a number of their Resolution Revolution events – a series of free, amped-up winter fitness classes designed to give your New Year’s resolution a good kick in the rear!

Enjoy high-energy BollyX, WERQ and Zumba dance cardio classes every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 – 7 PM in the southwest corner of the New Food Experience, across from Ben & Jerry’s. There will even be a guest Samba event. We hope to see you there!

TH 2/2 – Bolly X
T   2/7 –   Zumba
TH 2/9 – WERQ
T   2/14 –  My Sweaty Valentine Zumba
TH 2/16 – WERQ
T   2/21 –  Zumba
TH 2/23 – Guest Instructor – Samba
T   2/28 –  Zumba
TH 3/2 – WERQ
T   3/7 – Zumba
TH 3/9 – WERQ
T   3/14 – Zumba
TH 3/16 – Zumba
T   3/21 – WERQ
TH 3/23 – WERQ
T   3/28 –  Zumba
TH 3/30 – WERQ

Register for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with T2!

Register for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with T2!

T2 participants receive:

  • 18 weeks of coach-led training beginning in June 2017 and a training plan
  • Guaranteed race entry
  • T2 training shirt
  • T2 run singlet
  • Pre-race Celebration Dinner
  • VIP race day experience
  • Personalized fundraising website page and toolkit
  • Staff-provided fundraising advice and assistance
  • Private social media group to converse with athletes, coaches and staff

T2 fundraising minimum: $1,700

Registration is $55 and includes all the amenities that come along with being a charity runner. The registration fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. RUN PROUD with T2! Visit http://events.aidschicago.org/site/TR?fr_id=1350&pg=entry to sign up today!

This Valentine’s Day, Treat Yourself to a VIP Marathon Experience

Who needs a date on Valentine’s Day when you can experience the one-of-a-kind community, friendship and support that comes with running with Team Bright Pink all year long?

Upgrade your marathon experience this year with paid entry fee, free access to 18 weeks of our FFC Endurance Training and a VIP race weekend. Also included are the warm, fuzzy feelings you’ll get from helping Bright Pink save women’s lives from breast and ovarian cancer. Sign up by February 14th and mention FFC to get a $100 fundraising credit!

CORE4® Challenge School Holiday Camps – 2/3, 2/20 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

School’s out? We’ve got you covered! Join us on 2/3 and 2/20 from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM and drop your kid(s) at FFC Lincoln Park for a fun day of games and activities… and new skills they don’t get in school. Adventures in cooking, money goals, obstacle courses and more!

In this engaging program, kids rotate through the CORE4® curriculum, learning practical life skills in a fun, nurturing environment.

Lunch included – prepared by the campers.

Cost is $89. Sibling discount. Learn more. Register at core4skills.com/register.

Additional School Holiday camp dates for 2017: April 7, 2017

New activities each time! For more information call 773-231-7414 or email cheryl@core4skills.com

Get Scuba-Certified at FFC Lincoln Park & FFC Union Station!

So, you have a thirst for adventure! Perhaps you dream of scuba diving among porpoises in the Caribbean or floating through space like an astronaut on a deep wall dive in Mexico. Most of us never dare to act on our dreams or admit to a great inner desire for adventure.

Fitness Formula Clubs offers a Scuba Certification Course through Divemax Scuba. Enroll in one of the two orientations to sign up for the upcoming class.

Orientations are from 6:00 – 7:30 PM.

Wednesday, February 15 at FFC Union Station

Wednesday, February 22 at FFC Lincoln Park

Class is from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

Sunday, February 26 at FFC Union Station

Sign Up Now for the 2017 FFC Lose2Win Challenge!

Don’t just make health and wellness a resolution – make it a lifestyle change. Register now for Lose2Win!

Lose2Win is an FFC 30-day weight loss challenge with weekly events and motivation from Monday, January 30 – Tuesday, February 28. Everyone will have the chance to win – earn $5 in FFC Bucks and 1 entry into a grand prize drawing for every percent of body weight lost.

Plus, the top overall participant with the highest body weight loss percentage and MYZONE MEP winner will win too! Visit https://ffc.com/lose2win/ to register now and commit to getting fit this year!!


January Spa Specials

Happy New Year! 2017 has officially started, and so has resolution season. Whether you vowed to make more time for yourself, take time to mindfully slow down, relax or meditate more often, or even to achieve new fitness goals or surpass last year’s personal best, we can help you get in the right state of mind. Take advantage of this month’s spa specials!

Work out. Recover. Repeat. 

  • 3 30-Minute Massages for $165
  • 3 60-Min Massages may be purchased for $245

Say goodbye to training pain & hello to a quick recovery with expert therapeutic bodywork at the spa!

Available at all FFC Spas except FFC Park Ridge.

*6 months to use. Offer expires 1/31/17.  May not be combined with other offers or discounts or shared.


Peel Back the Years 

Gentle but effective facial peels help to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin tone and texture.

Three Peels for $265 (reg. $315)

Available at FFC Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Oak Park, West Loop and Park Ridge .

*Offer expires 1/31/17.  May not be combined with other offers or discounts.

Message from the RDs: Improving your Nutrition in the New Year – Setting Yourself up for Success by Mark LeVine

It’s hard to believe, but another year has come and gone, and it’s time again to set those health goals for 2017. If you’re like many, you may be feeling frustrated or disappointed that you were unable to reach the health goals you set for yourself the past year.

The most common New Year’s resolutions usually involve losing weight and improving eating habits. In this fast-paced world we live in, specifically when it comes to weight loss, we want results and we want them fast. With our unlimited access to information and so called “experts” offering their opinions, it can be very tempting to succumb to fad diets to get the promised quick results. Be aware though, that any diet or eating plan that emphasizes or eliminates a specific food or food group should raise a red flag! This goes against the principles of healthy eating, balance, variety, and moderation.

In addition, fad diets are usually too low in calories and can result in lethargy and moodiness, which make them unsustainable. The belief is that fad diets are something that you go “on” and then you go “off”. After coming off one of these diets, most people regain any weight they may have lost and then blame themselves. They get caught in a vicious cycle of trying different extreme tactics, and when they fail they think the reason was for lack of discipline or willpower. The real problem though, was that they are going about weight loss the wrong way.

The reason many people don’t reach their goals, is that they don’t define them or consider them achievable. When you consider what nutrition or weight loss goals you want to pursue, it’s important to realize that a “lifestyle”, rather than “diet”, refers to the way we eat throughout our lives. It’s including all foods in moderation, and the changes you want to make are permanent, not something you only do for 2-3 months.

When it comes to setting nutrition goals, remember that small changes can lead to big rewards, and no change is too small. Once you see where you can make changes, choose a place to start. It will be much less intimidating to focus on one or two dietary changes rather than trying to completely overhaul your entire way of eating. Once you see how much of an impact making the small changes has, it is easier to stay motivate to continue incorporating other healthier eating habits.

When it comes to eating healthier, those who have the most success are not the ones who choose to give up all desserts and their favorite foods. The most successful people are the ones who realize that change is a process, and it takes patience with themselves, and to sustain long-term changes it’s best to start small and continue to build upon their accomplishments.

Happy holidays and New year!

Join Chicago Woman Magazine & FFC for the GO! Health Kick Event! 1/14; 8 AM – 12 PM


Join Chicago Woman magazine along with FFC and a number of other motivational speakers and fitness and wellness personalities at the GO! Health Kick event for breakfast, inspiring speakers, 3 workouts, and yoga with meditation with swag bags of healthy treats and products. Get your inspiration and motivation to keep healthy and fit for 2017!

DATE Saturday, January 14, 2017
TIME 8:00AM – 12:00 PM
LOCATION Germania Place, 108 W. Germania Place, Chicago, IL 60601

To purchase tickets, visit this link!



8 am Check in and Breakfast
8:15 am Welcome
8:30 am Workout Gideon Akande, Men’s Health Trainer of the Year
9:00 am Workout with Fly Girl Dance, Zumba with Kymberlee Raya
9:30 am Health Inspired Panel  with Dr. Nicole Williams, Dr. Joanna Slusky & Lifestyle & Weight loss Coach, Step it Up with Steph.
9:50 am Break Soothe Massage Breaks Start
10:00 am Workout with Fitness Formula Clubs
10:30 am Fashion Showcase Athleta Wear Is Your Confidence
10:45 am Break Gluten Free Pizza with Smart Flour
11:00 am Workout Keeping Fit Andrea Metcalf
11:20 am Workout Yoga
11:50 am Closing



To purchase tickets, visit this link!!
Advance: $25
Door: $35
*Group discounts available

ActivTrax Transitioning to New Results & Workout Tracking System

As of January 1, 2017, we are transitioning away from the ActivTrax platform and creating an FFC-powered results tracking tool. We are also leveraging MYZONE as a fitness feedback and engagement tool to help increase results and performance. This allows us to better control content and product quality, as well as customer support to make sure you receive the best experience possible.

Initially, the workout program and design component that you are familiar with through ActivTrax will not be available, but we are working to create a functional alternative. Until then, we would like to offer a complimentary personal training session to keep you on track with your exercise program and help you reach your goals. Visit the fitness desk at your club for more information!

Eucalyptus Chilled Towels

New! Provancè + Maxine Products Now Featured

Have you noticed FFC’s brand new, custom-blended Provancè + Maxine products? They are dye-free, phosphate-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, have no artificial colors and undergo no animal testing. In addition to being healthier and conscientious, the hair & body wash and conditioner feature our signature scent: a blend of lemongrass, lavender and bergamot.

The products are regionally produced in Michigan and exclusively blended and private labeled for FFC. Try them out the next time you are at the club!

Complimentary Injury Screenings Presented by NovaCare

If your New Year’s resolutions include taking better care of yourself, surpassing a personal best or even trying a new fitness format, you need to take advantage of NovaCare’s complimentary injury screenings! Train harder, recover faster, beat chronic pain and prevent injury. Visit a NovaCare location during any of the times listed below in January!

FFC East Lakeview 1/11 4 – 6 PM, walk-ins welcome

FFC Halsted Street 1/17 4 – 6 PM, walk-ins welcome

FFC Lincoln Park 1/10/17 – 4:30 – 6:30 PM, walk-ins welcome

FFC Park Ridge – 1/9/16 6-8 PM , 1/11/16  4 – 6 PM, walk-ins welcome

FFC South Loop – walk-ins welcome during regular business hours

FFC Union Station – 1/11/17 12 – 2 PM, walk-ins welcome

FFC West Loop – 1/17/17  3:30 – 5:30 PM, walk-ins welcome

Make 2017 the Year You Check ‘Run a Marathon’ Off Your List with Bright Pink!

If you can run a mile, you can run a marathon. Get the motivation and support you need to keep your New Years Resolutions by running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with Team Bright Pink! They’ll cover your entry fee and 18 weeks of FFC Endurance Training that includes group runs, strength training, and interval track workouts. Get a VIP marathon experience and help save lives from breast & ovarian cancer. Get your spot now at TeamBrightPink.org.

Sign Up for the Mommy & Me Movement Workshop – 1/21: 12:15-1:30 PM @ FFC West Loop

FFC Moms, join us for a special Mommy and Me Movement Workshop with FFC trainer and new mom Suzanne Ko at the West Loop Group Fitness Studio on Saturday, January 21, 2017! Cost is $30/per mom.

The recommended minimum age is 2-3 months. Contact Suzanne Ko to RSVP or for additional questions sko@ffc.com. Please bring some of your child’s toys. Mats will be provided, but feel free to bring your own.

It takes babies up to a year to learn how to walk. They earn this skill through each developmental progression – tummy time, rolling, sitting, rocking, crawling, standing, and squatting. These progressions are our body’s natural resets. When we are in pain or healing, these resets restore our body’s natural movement. As a mom, these resets promote healing of the core and pelvic floor.

West Loop trainer Suzanne Ko created this workshop to teach moms how to help their babies with the developmental milestones while also making time for movement. She will show you various tummy time variations, as well as teach you how to roll, rock, and crawl with your baby.

“When my twins were 6 months old I was looking for places where my babies could play, learn and socialize with other babies.

The Mommy and Me Workshop offered me all of the above and also the opportunity to workout while playing with my kids. This was a great push to me to come out of my pregnancy shell and be more active and playful with the kids. My babies always enjoy coming to the workshop and love rolling, crawling, rocking and squeaking along with their friends.

Last but not the least, I feel Suzanne is the most appropriate trainer for the workshop. Being a mother herself she knows just the right mix for fun and activities for moms and the kids. She is very patient with the babies and tries to teach both Mommy and baby something new in her class each time.” I love spending time at this FFC workshop and will definitely recommend it to all new parents!” – FFC Member, Anushree M.




How to Find a Fitness Class at Any Age for 2017

FFC Oak Park Group Fitness Manager Nazha Abushalanfah shares how you can pick the perfect fitness class to try in 2017!


No matter your age, you can find a class at FFC that fits you and your schedule. For those looking for lighter workouts, we have several new FFC Signature Classes. Please note, classes can vary by location. Please check the group fitness schedule here for more information!

The first of these classes is Tai Chi, which uses martial art self defense techniques to promote stress and anxiety relief. The second of these classes is Fitness Fundamentals, which focuses on smaller weights to tone and strengthen your muscles, using workouts derived from Pilates.

For those that looking for moderate intensity workout we have a variety of classes ranging from Zumba to FITCORE. Zumba uses a fusion of Latin and international dance beats to promote a rhythmic workout. Zumba classes require low impact dance moves to break a sweat and have a fun workout.

FITCORE is a FFC brand class that concentrates on abdominal and lower back muscles. This 30 minute class can be done at any point in an individual’s workout to strengthen their core. Moderate intensity workouts come in many varieties, ask a fitness represent at your gym today to see what they recommend for the type of workout you are looking for.

For those that want high intensity workouts we have a plethora of fat burning and sweat inducing classes for you. For an all around workout we have our FITSPORT class, which challenges not only your cardiovascular strength, but every muscle in your body. This is achieved through a combination of cardiovascular segments and compound weight lifting, to make sure every major muscle in the body gets a workout.

We also have a few untraditional high intensity workout classes like our Urban Athlete. Which uses the fundamentals of boot camp styled classes to make a nonstop anaerobic experience for your body. This class utilizes different types of drills,heavy rope training, and a nonstop group experience that is unlike any other workout.

From lighter workouts to high intensity workouts, and everything in between, we have a class for you. If you have not yet tried a group exercise class at FFC, go ahead and find a time and date that fits your schedule and explore how multifaceted a workout can be. Group exercise is a great way to break away from a routine and challenge your body in different ways. When you reach a plateau in your results, changing up your exercise regimen is a great way to reach new heights!


Nazha started in the fitness industry by working out to lose weight. After losing 73 lbs (because she was a gymrat), the manager of the gym was so impressed she hired her to teach classes. The rest is history. She loves what she does and she will do it until she can’t anymore! Have questions about group fitness or want to try a complimentary class? Email Nazha at nabushalanfah@ffc.com!

Become a Better Fat Burner: Metabolic Efficiency 101 Seminar – Monday 1/23; 7-8 PM

Join us on Monday, 1/23 from 7 – 8 PM for a Metabolic Efficiency 101 Seminar – get tested and become a better fat burner!


What is Metabolic Efficiency (ME)? Stop by to learn more about how endurance athletes can learn to train their metabolism to become “better butter burners” and maximize their ultra distance racing performance potential for marathon and triathlon!

Come to FFC Lincoln Park 3rd Floor Community Room and check out the seminar!


Sign Up for the 2017 18th Annual Indoor Triathlon & Duathlon Series!

Fitness Formula Clubs is proud to present our 18th Annual Indoor Triathlon & Duathlon Series – the largest and longest running indoor triathlon & duathlon series in Chicago!  In 2017, our event offerings are expanding with more locations and events for all ability levels – so sign up to compete to test your fitness and win great prizes! Register online at ffc.com/triathlon today!

2017 Race Series

  • January 14, 2017 – FFC South Loop – Duathlon only!
  • January 21, 2017 – FFC Lincoln Park #1 – with Draft-Legal Sprint
  • February 4, 2017 – FFC Gold Coast
  • February 11, 2017 – FFC East Lakeview
  • February 25, 2017 – FFC Oak Park
  • March 4, 2017 – FFC West Loop
  • March 25, 2017 – FFC Park Ridge – new location!
  • April 8, 2017 – FFC Union Station
  • April 15, 2017 – FFC Lincoln Park #2 – with Sprint & Olympic

TriMonster – Triathlon Training Programs + Free Swim Lessons!

Training program are available through the FFC TriMonster Triathlon Club (ffc.com/trimonster) both online and in-person at FFC West Loop (starting January 10th) and FFC Lincoln Park (starting February 21st) – contact endurance@ffc.com or attend an information session to learn more and even enjoy a free swim lesson!

Triathlon Training Information Session & Free Swim Lessons!

  • January 3 – 6:30 PM @ FFC West Loop (Pool Deck) + free swim lesson!
  • January 3 – 6:45 PM @ FFC Oak Park (Pool Deck) + free swim lesson!
  • January 5 – 7:30 PM @ FFC Lincoln Park (Pool Deck) + free swim lesson!
  • February 13 – 7:15 PM @ FFC Lincoln Park (Spin Studio)

12 Days of Fitness: Refer a Friend Now – 12/14 & Score Awesome Prizes When They Join!

Visit your club and ask the membership team about the 12 Days of Fitness or click this link to refer your friend now!