Registration Now Open: Sign Up For The Move2Win Challenge!

Move2Win is back! The holidays are right around the corner and what better way to prepare than to get moving?! Let a little friendly competition motivate you to earn points, hit milestones and win prizes.

Registration is now open! Click here to sign up – and don’t forget to recruit some friends or coworkers!

About Move2Win

Exercise with your MYZONE heart rate belt and earn points “MEPs” to reach milestones and win great prizes. MYZONE helps keep you motivated by offering some of the most accurate tracking of your effort levels and workout results available on the market through heart rate monitoring technology.

Whether you’re in the gym watching your live feed or out on the street viewing your tile through the MYZONE app, you can rest assured you’re earning MEPs and tracking your effort anywhere you go.

Plus, anyone can win! Earn MEPs to win FFC Bucks, raffle tickets for a grand prize drawing, and other prizes.


The MYZONE MZ-3 belt is the most relevant, versatile and one of the most accurate fitness trackers on the market that provides real-time feedback on heart rate, calories and effort, ensuring you get the most accurate feedback however you choose to train.

Effort points (MEPs) are earned for every minute spent exercising in your personal intensity zones, based on your heart rate. MEPs level the playing field and standardize effort measurement. Use the app to monitor food intake, connect with friends to get motivated and participate in challenges, and set up automatic emails to get feedback on your workouts. Check out this video for more on the MYZONE HR belt.


October Spa Specials

It’s that time of year again – things are getting spooky at the spa! Been training for race season and need a little bit of recovery in your life? Or just want to spend some time on yourself now that the kids are back in school? Take advantage of one of these specials below!

Back2Back Special: two 60-minute massages or three 30-minute massages for $165*.  

Not only does massage help relax sore and overworked muscles, but it can help identify areas of imbalance in the body, which could be causing everything from stress to pain!

*All services in these package(s) must be used by November 30, 2017.  No two discounts apply.  Not available at FFC Park Ridge. See spa for details.

Trick or Treatment: enjoy a Pumpkin Facial in October & receive two take-home products for FREE!  

Did you know that pumpkin is packed with minerals and vitamins like B, C, E and beta-carotene? This helps promote healthy skin & hair by protecting skin from free radicals, reversing UV damage and improving texture, improving circulation and many other benefits!

*Offer expires October 31, 2017.  Facial must be received in October.  No two discounts apply.  Not available at FFC Park Ridge. See spa for details.

Try This: BIG 10 Workout PTC Series with Israel Idonije – Saturday, 10/14; 10 AM

Join us Saturday, October 14 at 10 AM at FFC Old Town for a special workout with former Chicago Bears player Israel Idonije! The special class will be full of athletic drills, explosive plyo moves, cardio challenges and more! Get a chance to train like the pros – do you have what it takes?

Both members and guests welcome – sign up for your first complimentary class at!

(Class can be modified for any fitness level whatsoever & trainers will be on hand to help).  

About the Big 10 Workout Series

This season, we’re getting into the competitive spirit with our BIG 10 Workout series! FFC has partnered with Lodge Management Group to bring you a back to back workout/game watch event every Saturday during college football season.

Start off with a special performance training (HIIT) class at 10 AM at either FFC Lincoln Park, FFC Old Town or FFC Gold Coast, then head over to She-nannigans at Clark and Division for a marquee game watch, a free nacho bar and a great beer special to root for your team. 

Now Announcing New Features On The FFC Mobile App!

You’ve asked; we’ve listened. We’ve been working with our 3rd party app provider to bring you some of the most requested functions in the FFC app: change your preferred club and see club hours!

  1. Navigate to the menu by tapping the ‘hamburger’ or three small lines at the top left hand portion of your screen.
  2. Tap the name of the club showing in the top. This will display club hours.
  3. You will also see small white down arrows to the left of the club name. Tap the arrows and select your preferred club. Scroll to see clubs not immediately visible. This will now become your default club.  

Moms: Sign Up for a Comprehensive Pre/Post-Natal Workshop! – 10/14; 12:30 – 2:30 PM

Moms and moms-to-be! Join us on Saturday, October 14 from 12:30 – 2:30 PM at FFC West Loop for our first Comprehensive Pre-Natal/Post-Partum Workshop with Suzanne Ko (West Loop Elite Trainer and Certified Postnatal Fitness Specialist), in collaboration with Dr. Erica Burhop (PT, DPT, OCS, Women’s Health Specialist). The duo will be addressing the importance of physical fitness and pelvic floor physical therapy during pregnancy and postpartum.

The workshop is $40 for members and $50 for non-members.

Please email to RSVP! 

Topics included:

  • Signs and symptoms of women’s health issues associated with before and after pregnancy
  • Available treatments for women’s health issues 
  • Nutritional guidelines
  • What we can do to now to improve quality of life during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum healing
  • Debunking myths and answers to frequently asked questions regarding pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum healing

Participants will also receive:

  • Functional performance screens on-site at the workshop
  • A complimentary one-hour fitness consultation with elite trainer Suzanne Ko
  • Access to a women’s health specialist who will be available to consult and discuss questions on an individual basis after the presentation
  • A card for a 30-minute complimentary private women’s health screen with a women’s health specialist at their own convenience
  • Gift bag & swag
  • Entry into a surprise raffle! 


2017 Athlete Village for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon – Sun, 10/8


Chicago Marathon Participants!

Please submit your name & information to to RSVP for the 2017 FFC South Loop “Athlete Village” on Chicago Marathon race day – presented by your Fitness Formula Clubs (FFC) and our “RunMonster” Running Club!

Race Day Athlete’s Village at FFC South Loop

FFC South Loop is ideally located three blocks west of the Chicago Marathon finish line at 1151 S. State Street. Onsite parking is available (enter off 11th street adjacent to elevated train tracks), as well as a full health club with showers and gear check. Please note that parking does fill up and we recommend arriving as early as 5:30 AM to park. Parking is complimentary for a 2 hour period of time. Pricing for parking after the 2 hours is based on the parking garage company.

Volunteer at Athlete’s Village!

This location will also serve as a pre-race meet up spot and post-race “FFC Athlete Village” celebration featuring food, drinks, massage, and more… complimentary for all FFC members, charity partners, and Chicago Marathon participants, friends and family ($10 for non-members!) Please visit the link below to RSVP and get your ticket!


Gear check is available via private keyless lockers, so please familiarize yourself with our keyless locker system via this YouTube video.

FFC Marathon Hydration & Cheering Stations

Between the pre-race meetup and post-race party at FFC South Loop, friends and family are encouraged to visit or volunteer at our cheering stations on race day as they pass near other FFC locations across Chicago.  To volunteer, please register at

Transportation to Athlete’s Village

Consider using public transportation to navigate around on race day – the CTA red/green/orange line Roosevelt station entrance is adjacent to FFC South Loop. For parking at the club, you should enter the parking garage on 11th Street (east of State Street) and adjacent to the El tracks. Validate your parking voucher at the FFC front desk (which will give you 2 hours of complimentary parking) and for discounted rates outside of the 2. Special event rates may apply.

Schedule of Events

  • 5 AM – Athlete’s Village Opens
  • 12:30 – 4:30 PM – FFC personal trainers available
  • 9 AM – 5 PM – FFC massage therapists available (book online)

October Complimentary Injury Screenings Presented by NovaCare & Open House – Sat, 10/7; 11 – 1 PM

This month, join us for a NovaCare open house event at FFC Halsted & Belmont on Saturday, October 7, from 11 AM to 1 PM (3240 North Halsted)!

Attendees will enjoy a tour of the facility, complimentary injury screenings, manual therapy treatment demonstrations, pre-marathon taping, “ask the physical therapist” and more! Complimentary snacks will also be served.

We look forward to seeing you on October 7! Please RSVP by calling 773.281.4220.

You can also join us for a complimentary injury screening at any of the times listed below at each of our locations during the month of October.

  • FFC East Lakeview      Oct 7; 11 AM – 1 PM
  • FFC Halsted & Belmont     Oct 7; 11 AM – 7 PM
  • FFC Lincoln Park      Oct 17; 4 – 6 PM
  • FFC Oak Park     Oct 28; 9 AM – 11 AM
  • FFC Park Ridge   Oct 3; 2 – 4 PM
  • FFC South Loop    walk-ins welcome
  • FFC Union Station     Oct 18; 12 – 1 PM
  • FFC West Loop      Oct 17; 4:15- 5:30 PM


Halloween Events

Message from the RDs: 5 Ways Your Family Can Enjoy a Healthier Halloween by Alicia Huggler

Halloween Events

Fall is here and one of the best things about fall is Halloween! While it is a fun holiday for you and your kids to enjoy, it may turn into endless candy eating, which can leave you feeling sluggish and full of guilt. Listed below are 5 tips to help you and your kids enjoy the holiday season without completing derailing your health goals.

Treat Halloween like any other day

If you have kids or you are a kid at heart, be sure to treat Halloween like any other day. Don’t skip meals (see below for a healthy dinner recipe to enjoy before trick-or-treating), partake in at least 30 minutes-1 hour of exercise (tip: you can do this easily by walking your trick or treaters around the block instead of driving), and drink water throughout the day!

Use Moderation

If it is hard to resist temptation, buy candy the day before Halloween. This can prevent you from munching on Halloween candy all month long. Also, try buying candy you don’t like (i.e. Candy Corn ;)).

If you have kids, have them sort out Halloween candy at the end of the night. Kids should have 1 pile of candy that they want to moderately enjoy for 1-2 weeks, and another pile should be used to donate (see tip below). Teach children moderation by offering them 1-3 small pieces to enjoy for a few days so they don’t feel deprived, and can learn about balancing fruit/vegetable intake with other foods that aren’t as healthy.


There are several places that offer a “Halloween candy buy back” program. Check out the website ( for a location near you. Most of the locations are dentist offices that buy children’s Halloween candy to help prevent them from getting cavities. Also, the candy is usually donated to troops overseas!

Focus on Other Fall Festivities

Halloween is fun, but there are other fun activities you and your family can enjoy this fall besides trick-or-treating. Try pumpkin or apple picking, pumpkin decorating, roast leftover pumpkin seeds, or create fun costumes for your family to wear on Halloween.

***Roasting Pumpkin Seeds: Rinse pumpkin seeds to remove pulp and strings. Spread pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray or drizzle a small amount of olive oil over seeds. Bake at 325°F for about 30 minutes or until lightly toasted. Stir occasionally during cooking. Take a look at your spice rack and try a seasoning on your toasted seeds such as garlic powder or Cajun seasoning! Recipe from:

Become part of the Teal Pumpkin Project

Become a part of the Teal Pumpkin Project by putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep. This simple act means you have non-food treats available for trick-or-treaters who have food allergies. Offer items such as as glow sticks or small toys. See for more information.

Try this Recipe! Stuffed Pepper Jack-O-Lanterns


  • 6 large bell peppers (yellow and orange)
  • 1 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (24 oz)
  • ½ cup long grain rice
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded (try 2% reduced fat cheese!)

Serves: 6 people


  1. Cut the tops from the peppers (and cut out triangle eyes, a triangle nose, and mouth) and remove the seeds and flesh from both the inside and top of the peppers.
  2. Cook the ground beef and onion in a skillet until the meat is browned and the onions are tender.
  3. Add the can of diced tomatoes (don’t drain it), uncooked rice, water, salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring it to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in the cheese.
  6. Fill the peppers with a generous amount of filling. Add the tops back on the peppers once they are stuffed.
  7. Place in a baking dish with about ¼” of water on the bottom (it will depend on how big your dish is).
  8. Cover with tin foil and bake immediately at 400F for 30 minutes.
  9. If refrigerated first, bake, covered at 400F for 45 to 55 minutes or until peppers are soft, and filling is heated through.

Recipe from:

Exercise Smarter & Get Better Results with Resting Metabolic Rate & Vo2 Max Testing!

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and VO2 Max Testing will be available all month long in October at FFC Gold Coast and all month long in November at FFC Oak Park! $149 per test. Contact to get scheduled.

Discounts are available for Nutrition Solutions, Endurance, and Performance Training Center monthly members!

These services are NOT just for serious athletes – anyone can participate. Break through that plateau & see exactly what diet & types of workouts will get you the results you’ve been looking for! Create benchmarks and improve your diet, as well as explore ways to train and eat smarter with FFC’s expert endurance coaches and dietitians!

  • Discover target fat burning heart rate zones for metabolic efficiency
  • Become a more metabolically efficient runner, cyclist or triathlete
  • Schedule a consult or attend a nutrition seminar with FFC’s registered dietitians
  • Learn to train with heart rate for marathon, triathlon and Ironman racing

Save the Date for the 2018 19th Annual Indoor Triathlon Series!

Save the date for the 2018 19th Annual Indoor Triathlon Series! Registration opens November 1.

Triathlon training is available – we’re here for you with great programs and some of the best USA Triathlon and USA Swimming certified coaches in Chicago. Visit to learn more and sign up.

Are you a USA Triathlon (USAT) member? Contact for a discount cold!

The 19th Annual Indoor Triathlon Series will take place over a specific timeframe at all clubs, utilizing the indoor pool. Events include the following:

  • Indoor Triathlon (15min Swim, 20min Bike, 15min Run)
  • Double Triathlon (two Indoor Triathlons back to back, with a short rest in between)
  • Duathlon (15min Run, 20min Bike, 15min Run)
  • Relay (two or three people completing one Indoor Triathlon)
  • Sprint and Olympic Triathlon (optional event at FFC Lincoln Park only – use your own bike!)



Inspire Me To Inspire You: FFC Member Celebration

During the entire month of September, we are celebrating the amazing success of our FFC member community!

2 Complimentary Guest Passes

Not only that, but as a special thank you to our members, we have added 2 complimentary guest passes to your account that you can use during the month of September. See the membership department for more details! 

FFC Member Spotlight

Help us celebrate what makes us FFC – YOU! Defying death through physical and mental activity, avoiding medication with exercise, losing life-changing amounts of weight, trying new things, learning new skills and leading happier, healthier lives – our members have done it all.

Click here to see all of our amazing member success stories.

Have your own member story? Use #InspireMetoInspireYou on social or the form on the web page to share it with us!

Try This: September Unlimited Group Apparatus Pilates Classes – All September Long!

September Unlimited Pilates Group Apparatus 

Start something new and enjoy unlimited Group Apparatus Pilates classes throughout the month of September!

  1. See schedule in your Pilates studio
  2. Reserve your space in class

$99 members, $149 non-members

Contact Kristin Strom at for more details and to sign up!

**No Shows will result in forfeiting future reservations.

Want to Be a Pilates Instructor?!

Or even just learn more about the Pilates method of exercise?

This is the last call for enrolling in the Classical Pilates Formula Teacher Training Program starting mid September. Visit for more info and to register!

Message from the RDs: Back to School Nutrition by Amy Silver

This time of year means back to school for the kids and teachers, and more structure for all of us. Summer vacations are coming to an end, and it’s time to get on track and prepare your own lunches, as well as your kids’.

Many of my clients get stuck on deciding what to pack for lunch and let the idea that is has to be “lunch food” or that it has to be extravagant hold them back. Think outside the (lunch) box, but just make sure you have each component:

Protein/entree: This will provide you and your kids with staying power through the rest of the day. Protein increases energy, helps to build muscle, and helps cure hunger. This would be your turkey on whole grain bread, egg “muffins”, yogurt parfait, or leftover stir fry.

Fruit: This food group is full of nutrients, not to mention the fiber in whole (or cut up) fruit will also help to keep a full stomach into the afternoon and keep your gut healthy. Add berries, cut-up apples, sliced oranges, or grapes to your lunch for a natural sweet treat!

Veggie: All the same benefits of the fruit category, but most vegetables are very low in calories. Raw vegetables can add that much needed “crunch” effect when we’re stressed out, while leftover vegetables can taste great when seasoned well. Fill up your lunchbox with a fistful of veggies!

Whole grains or starchy vegetables: You may have already combined the whole grain with your protein/entree, such as whole grain bread or brown rice. If not, choose whole grain crackers (I love Triscuits) for a hearty crunch. You can also choose a starchy vegetable in this category, such as roasted chickpeas, leftover baked potatoes wedges, or beans.

Putting it all together:

​Now that you know each category, here’s some combinations that work well and don’t take a lot of preparation ahead of time:

  • Baked egg “muffins” with vegetables inside, leftover sweet potato wedges, and a handful of grapes.
  • Whole grain pasta salad with leftover chicken or shrimp, raw vegetables, and a vinaigrette dressing. Add a side of fruit.
  • Use a 6 inch whole grain tortilla to make a bean quesadilla (or use any leftovers), serve with avocado and pineapple.
  • Mash hard boiled eggs or canned tuna with avocado, serve with Triscuits for dipping. Add berries and bell peppers on the side.
  • Mix rotisserie chicken, plain Greek yogurt, pesto, and chopped grapes or apples for a homemade chicken salad for the week. Serve one serving with a whole grain pita or on top of mixed greens.

And don’t forget to add a note to the lunchbox, whether it’s for your kids, your spouse, or yourself! “Why did the orange go out with the prune? Because it couldn’t find a date.” 🙂

New: BIG10 Workout Performance Training Series With Lodge Management Group

Noticed Rush & Division’s new look? You may have spotted flags from every BIG 10 school hanging from each lamp post and the spirit of friendly competition in the air – Fitness Formula Clubs & Lodge Management Group are partnering up this season to bring you the “BIG 10 Block”!
Over the next 4 months, train like an athlete and start every Saturday morning at FFC (at 10 AM) for our brand new BIG10 Workout in the Performance Training Center, at one of three participating locations (FFC Old Town, FFC Gold Coast and FFC Lincoln Park). Classes are suitable for any fitness level, utilize heart rate monitors for maximum results and cover everything from explosive drills and plyometric moves to Olympic lifts and cardio challenges.
Then, head over to She-Nannigans (16 W Division St) from 11 AM – 2 PM to refuel with $3 22-oz Bud Light stadium cups and a FREE nacho bar with the weekly BIG10 marquee game on their 10′ screen! Your school not the marquee game? No problem – they will put your game on any of their other dozens of screens.
Get your head in the game – register for your first complimentary PTC class by visiting!* This series is also open to non-FFC members – so bring your friends!
*Complimentary class available for new PTC participants only.

Get Involved: One Day 100 Bikes – Saturday, 9/23

Be a part of the cycle for change! In partnership with World Bicycle Relief and Fitness Formula Clubs, One Day 100 Bikes is helping to mobilize people through the power of bicycles and bring bikes to students in rural Africa. They are committed to helping people conquer the challenge of distance, achieve independence and thrive. 

Join your friends and make new ones during an unforgettable one day festival of fun, fitness and fundraising to provide bicycles for students in rural Africa on Saturday, September 23 at FFC Lincoln Park. Be a part of the festivities and see how you can make a world of difference in just one day!

Visit for the complete list of events, schedule, information and more!

Celebrity Spin Challenge • Chicago Compu-Challenge and Virtual Rides • Ride a WBR Buffalo Bike • Bike Clinics and Contests – Yoga Classes • Music, Food and Drink • Russian River Wine Challenge • Silent Auction, Raffle Prizes and more! PLUS: Johnny Sprockets Morning Group Ride

There are 3 ways you can get involved!

  1. Register and sign up for events  – secure your spot for the Morning Group Ride, Celebrity Spin Challenge, Chicago Compu-Challenge, Yoga Class and/or join us for the One Day 100 Bikes Festival!
  2. Set up your own fundraiser – be a part of One Day 100 Bikes by creating your own fundraiser. We’ve got the ideas and tools to help. The donations that your event earns will be part of the grand total and help us reach our goal.
  3. Donate to One Day 100 Bikes – can’t attend or participate? You can still be a big part of One Day 100 Bikes by supporting this event with your donation, that goes to help fund bicycles for students in rural Africa.


Complimentary September Injury Screenings Presented By NovaCare

With summer coming to an end our schedules are filling up which can lead to added stress. Stress in life is inevitable, but how we handle stress can make a difference on the way it affects us. Besides the obvious benefits of exercise, such as improving our physical condition and fighting diseases; exercise can also help to keep our stress levels at bay. And while the negative impacts of stress are numerous, what many people don’t realize is the role that physical therapy can play in helping to eliminate the negative side effects of stress.

Many patients visit our centers as a result of the pain and dysfunction which results from stress. A common side effect of stress that many individuals experience is muscle tension, which can cause headaches, neck pain and back pain. Tension in muscles can also cause adhesions in muscle fibers which subsequently cause pain. When tension increases, it becomes difficult for fluid to follow through soft tissue and this creates a stiffness that many of us feel.  

If you’re feeling pain from added stress please stop by our centers located within the Fitness Formula Clubs, or attend the scheduled injury screen times each month for a complimentary injury screen.  Learn more ways to manage your stress here:


  • FFC East Lakeview – 9/14; 5 – 7 PM
  • FFC Halsted Street – 9/13; 11 AM – 1 PM
  • FFC Lincoln Park walk-ins welcome during normal clinic hours (Mon, Wed, Thurs 11:30 AM – 8 PM; Tues, Fri 7 AM – 3:30 PM)
  • FFC Oak Park – 9/26; 5 – 7 PM
  • FFC Park Ridge – 9/12; 2 – 4 PM
  • FFC South Loop – walk-ins welcome during normal clinic hours                                 
  • FFC Union Station –  9/13; 12pm to 1pm.
  • FFC West Loop – 9/12; 4:15pm-5:30pm

New: Alpha Krav Maga Children’s Classes at FFC Old Town

We are excited to announce a brand new children’s class at Alpha Krav Maga Chicago at FFC Old Town!

Classes are for children ages 6-12years old. Our classes are designed to be a fun and challenging way for children to learn valuable life skills and improve their fitness levels through the disciplines of Krav Maga.

What is Krav Maga?

Krav Maga is renowned as one of the most advanced self-defense and survival systems of the world and is solely utilized by the Israeli Defense Forces! Children will gain confidence that comes directly from knowing how to defend themselves in ANY situation.

Our students build strong self and situational awareness habits through tested teaching topics that include:

  • Stranger Danger
  • Home Safety
  • Bullying
  • Street Awareness

Our program also builds key values and our students are encouraged to utilize these core values in school and at home:

  • Confidence
  • Respect
  • Goal Setting
  • Excellent Attitude (at home and academically)

Children will learn how to diffuse a situation quickly by utilizing Krav Maga’s proven defense systems. We instill in all our students that fighting is a “last option”.

Our class structure is included below:

  • Mental Skills
  • Develop Focus and listening skills
  • Develop confidence, self-esteem and social skills
  • Develop Discipline Physical Skills
  • Coordination
  • Flexibility

Self-Defense Little Warriors (6-8 yrs old)

This program focuses on basic self-defense techniques and movement. At this level the students learn to be proficient in self-defense both in standing and on the ground. A great way to develop coordination, discipline, self-control and confidence.

Junior Warriors (9-12 years old)

In this program students work on developing mental and physical skills. They learn to be proficient standing up and on the ground in self-defense. They start learning how to defend themselves against different weapons. For further information, please call (312) 474-0210 or visit our website for further information. We look forward to seeing you at class.

Special rate: normally class rates would start at $99 per month but if they sign up before September 30 they can take advantage of our $79/month rate for attendance up to 3 times per week. This is also a month to month rate.

2017 Labor Day Weekend Holiday Hours of Operation

Can you believe we’re already at the end of summer?! Now’s the time to cross that last bucket list item off, spend time with friends and family, and head outdoors for some fresh air. Please be aware of the following hours of operation for the holiday weekend and Labor Day (Monday, September 4), 2017. FFC wishes you and your family a safe and healthy weekend!

  • Friday, September 1 – regular club hours
  • Saturday, September 2 – regular club hours
  • Sunday, September 3 – FFC Union Station closes at 3 PM; all other clubs close at 6 PM
  • Monday, September 4 (Labor Day)
    • FFC Union Station and FFC Old Town are closed
    • FFC West Loop open 7 AM – 5 PM
    • All other clubs (East Lakeview, Gold Coast, Halsted & Belmont, Lincoln Park, Oak Park, Park Ridge, South Loop)  open 7 AM – 3 PM
  • Tuesday, September 5 – all clubs resume regular hours; 24-hour clubs will open at 4:30 AM

Get Involved: The 2017 August Burpee Blitz Series

Do a Burpee, Change a Life: 2017 Burpee Blitz

Join FFC along with Surge for Water and A Boy and His Dream Foundation this August for the 2017 Burpee Blitz series! Compete individually or create a team – challenge yourself (or challenge your friends to complete a certain number of burpees by donating!).

Step 1: Visit this link to set up your fundraising page or join a team.

Step 2: Visit this link to save your spot for one of the following events.

  • Saturday, August 19 – FFC West Loop – 1 PM
  • Friday, August 25 – FFC Union Station – 1:30 PM
  • Saturday, August 26 – FFC Gold Coast – 1 PM
  • Sunday, August 27 – FFC Oak Park – 11 AM      

Joining the movement is easy. 100% of the funds raised will be split equally between Surge’s water sanitation projects in Kaberamaido & Uganda and A Boy and His Dream’s projects in Ohordua Village and Edo State, Nigeria.

To learn more about Surge for Water, visit this link.
To learn more about A Boy and His Dream Foundation, visit this link.

August Spa Specials

Can you believe it’s almost back to school season already?! That means it’s also race season. Visit the spas at FFC this month to take advantage of some of our best recovery and preventative therapies and treatments.

Complement Your Workout

Massage is an excellent complement to your workout – especially marathon training. Book a massage in August and receive $10 in Spa Bucks! (Bucks must be used by the end of October 2017).

Not available at FFC Park Ridge.

Get Back to School Ready

*Flaunt a golden glow and receive any facial and earn 10% off any skincare purchase in the month of August! (Facial must be received in August).

**You can also take $5 off any body waxing service this month!

*Available at FFC Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, West Loop and Oak Park.
**Available at all clubs except FFC Park Ridge. Excludes facial waxing.

FFC Park Ridge Race Rewards!

FFC Park Ridge racers, rejoice! Receive $10 off any 60-minute massage or $15 off any 90-minute massage if you show a race bib from 2017.

Message from the RDs: Nutrition Timing and Meal Portions By Sarah Sobotka

Is it Really That Important to Consider?

Nutrient timing is a concept that has been thrown around in the fitness industry for quite some time. But does it really make a significant difference for bodybuilders, the average person trying to lose weight or fitness advocates?

In the early 2000s, the concept of nutrient timing and meal portioning for optimal results exploded as the new way to get lean while preserving as much muscle as possible. But like with many other fads, new studies and information came out and things have changed a little bit, and the concept has been tweaked based on the new data.

The original concept was more of a short-term scheme, meaning that it was only completely functional when the diet was followed over a continuous amount of time. If the food intake was altered, most cases noticed weight gains in varying degrees.

Working with a registered dietitian can help you make sure you are losing, toning, gaining muscle in correct/ healthy ways. Registered dietitians want to make sure you are making healthy lifestyle changes so the excess weight or goals do not change over time.

What Are the Facts?

Recent studies conducted by the International Society of Sports Nutrition came to the conclusion that planning out specific dietary ingestion of proteins, carbs and fats, do play a role in protein synthesis, fat loss, and hypertrophy or muscle building, which is great for both bodybuilders and the average joe just looking to lose a few pounds.

How to Portion Your Meals for Optimal Results

I have found, from personal experience, that consuming carbs before and after my workout helps to fuel my lifting session. This is ideal because it helps me push through the workout and helps me maintain muscle.

Consuming the majority of your carbs around your workout will help fuel your lifts and can also help cut body fat. This is especially good for losing weight because it helps your body to use up its glycogen stores (carbs in muscle tissue).

Portioning your meals in a way that allows you to incorporate the bulk of your daily carbohydrate macros around your workouts will go a long way in helping you see great results. However, since the specific amounts are not steady across the board for everyone, having a registered dietitian determine your macro requirement is your best bet. If you are interested in learning more feel free to contact me at or stopping by the FFC Lincoln Park club!

Try This Now: NovaCare Complimentary Injury Screenings for August

NovaCare has full physical therapy clinics located inside the Fitness Formula Clubs.  This means our clinicians are here for YOU!  

Have pain after your workout? Make sure it’s not serious! Stop by our NovaCare pop-up injury screen clinic, for a complimentary injury screen (dates and times for August listed below!). A NovaCare physical therapist  will be available to answer any injury related questions.

Not available during the clinic times? No problem! Our injury hotline is available 24/7 (866) TRY-NOVA (866-879-6682) or  You can also check our Facebook events page for the next pop-up injury clinic near you!

  • FFC East Lakeview – 8/17/17; 5 – 7 PM
  • FFC  Halsted – 8/15/15; 5 – 7 PM
  • FFC Lincoln Park – 8/9/17; 5 – 7 PM
  • FFC Oak Park – 8/29/17; 5 – 7 PM
  • FFC Park Ridge – 8/8/17; 5 – 7 PM
  • FFC South Loop – walk-ins welcome
  • FFC Union Station – 8/16/17; 12 – 1 PM
  • FFC West Loop – 8/15/17; 4:15 –  5:30 PM

Shop for a Great Cause With Bloomingdale’s & FFC!

Join FFC and Bloomingdale’s department stores from August 23 – 27 for their Fashionable Fundraiser event!

From August 23 – 27, shop backpacks, notebooks and other back-to-school items to pick up great gifts with purchase and benefit Mentoring USA. Plus, score some great deals and a 20% savings pass to Bloomingdale’s during the events!

Plus, Participate in a Pop-Up Event!

Who’s your role model? Make a date with your mom, brother, best friend—whoever your mentor or role model is—and stop by your nearest Bloomingdale’s store for a video, gif or photo op, then check them out on our digital wall of gratitude. Participate in some fun workshops, and get the opportunity to win great prizes!

Pop-Up Photo Op Event Dates in Chicago:

  • Thursday, August 24 from 3 – 7 PM
  • Saturday, August 26 from 1 – 5 PM

Participating Bloomingdale’s store locations:

  • Bloomingdale’s Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL
  • Bloomingdale’s Old Orchard Mall, Skokie, IL

(*One gift per customer. See a sales associate for details. Some exclusions for savings passes apply.)

Now Through September 3 Only: Discounted Cirque Du Soleil Tickets to LUZIA!

We are excited to announce we have partnered with Cirque Du Soleil to bring FFC members discounted tickets to their upcoming LUZIA show! LUZIA is a delightfully-imaginative and visually-stunning production – a waking dream of Mexico. From July 21 – September 3, audiences are invited under the Big Top next to United Center to escape on a surrealistic journey filled with grand visual surprises and breathtaking acrobatic performances. Performing jaw-dropping feats of agility, flexibility, strength and tumbling; the 44 athletes and circus artists of LUZIA push forward the limits of physical performance and leave audiences wondering how human beings can achieve this high level of precision, body awareness and perfection.

Take advantage of their special offer and save 15% on tickets by visiting (Note, your promo code is already applied using the link).

Not only that, but recently, a few artists from LUZIA recorded instructional videos on how to perform specific fitness exercises at 3 different levels of complexity (beginner level to expert) just for YOU!

Exclusively created for Fitness Formula Club members, the videos highlight the hard work, dedication and muscle control the artists need to perform their acrobatic acts on stage 8 to 10 times a week, and show that with strong will and consistency, you too can get to the Cirque du Soleil level! Check them out below!








Run the Chicago Half Marathon with Team Bright Pink!

Don’t miss your chance to run the Chicago Half Marathon! There’s only one month left to sign up for the Chicago Half Marathon, and the best way to do it is on Team Bright Pink. Secure your spot today for free, guaranteed race entry, FFC endurance training, exclusive Bright Pink gear and a VIP race day experience. Sign up before spots run out!

Become a Pilates Instructor! Pilates Mat & Full Studio Apparatus Training Programs Now Open

Continue your fitness and wellness education and learn to be a Pilates instructor with our Classical Pilates Formula at FFC program.

We are now offering two versions, both Pilates Mat and full studio apparatus training. Registration is now open for our fall program; classes begin September 15, 2017. For a full schedule, more information and to register, visit

Have questions or not quite sure what to expect? Check out this recent blog post:

6 Other FAQ To Check Out 

You can also check out these other 6 commonly asked questions for more information to consider when signing up!

#1 Do you want to teach Mat Pilates or on the apparatus?

There are 2 main types of programs to consider; Pilates Mat, or Comprehensive. Pilates Mat is only the Mat exercises, and Comprehensive includes the machines that are found in a Pilates studio. Usually Comprehensive Pilates programs will include a series of set class times and seminar hours and tests as well as a bunch of apprentice hours that you’ll need to complete outside of the scheduled hours.

#2 What is included in the cost?

Is the listed price inclusive of everything required, or are there additional expenses.  Make sure you ask about any training materials, like manuals, supplementary books, or equipment. Class time, program tests, uniforms and also many programs require weekly private and or group training sessions that are paid for separately. Also, important to consider: is there a cost associated with practicing or student teaching in the studio?

#3 What are the schedule and total hour requirements like?

What is the time commitment of this program? How many hours per week are required? If it is an intensive or at an accelerated pace, more hours will be necessary than if the program is broken down and more spread out. In completing the required hours, some programs require location in training classroom/studio where others allow multiple studios and instructors for observation and practice, and even some online!

#4 Will I be able to find a job as a Pilates trainer?

Many programs offer auditions throughout the program to start working as a Pilates apprentice in the studio; this usually implies independent contract work or temporary employment to gain hours throughout your program. You might decide that you like your program and studio environment so much and want to work full time right away.

#5 Does this method work for me?

Talk to the program director. Take a session with the program director and the lead teacher trainer to be sure that this is a good fit for your learning style.  

#6 Is this trainer right for me?

Do we work well together?  Is the teacher knowledgeable?  Is she/ he inspiring and motivating? Will I feel proud to have a certificate from this program? During a teacher training program an apprentice will spend many hours with the teacher, it it critical that there is a good trust established that it is a good fit.

Get Zumba Instructor-Certified at FFC! Sunday, 8/20 – 8:30 AM – 6 PM

Join us for a Zumba Basic 1 Instructor Training Workshop on Sunday, August 20 from 8:30 – 6 PM at FFC Union Station!

Ever wanted to become a Zumba instructor? FFC is excited to be hosting a Zumba Basic 1 Instructor training with International Presenter and Zumba Education Specialist Jenna Bostic.

No previous dance or Zumba experience is necessary!


  • Early bird rate: $225
  • Standard rate: $290
  • Rush rate: $315


To register for the event visit

For questions, contact Jenna at or at 727-492-3450.

Ride to Cure ALS with FFC, Augie’s Quest & Windy City Smokeout! – 7/15; 8:30 – 10 AM

Do you know someone who is affected by ALS? FFC is partnering with Augie’s Quest, Windy City Smokeout and Life Fitness for a charity spin class on Saturday, July 15 at 8:30 AM to raise money for an amazing cause!

          > Click here to register & create your team to reserve your bike!

The mission of Augie’s Quest is to directly fund the ALS Therapy Development Institute, whose sole focus is to find a cure for ALS. Proceeds from the Windy City Sweatout event will benefit this research program.

Sign up to reserve your bike and participate in a 90-minute spin marathon from 8:30 – 10 AM before the Windy City Smokeout (doors open at noon), plus get access to the rest of the day’s events and music! Not only that but you’ll have the opportunity to win awesome prizes like artists meet & greets, backstage access, personal training and more!

> Visit this link to get started!



July Spa Specials

School’s been out for a while and it’s time to make sure you take some time to pamper yourself during this slower, more relaxing time of the year. Check out this month’s specials at the spa!

*Offers currently not available at FFC Park Ridge.

Signature Massage

Try our Signature Massage this month:  one for $99 or two for $179!

* Massages must be received by September 30, 2017.  No two discounts apply.  See spa for details.

The Whole Package

SAVE BIG – take advantage of all 3 for $125!

    • Lift & Glow Facial Treatment – for smoother, healthier skin
    • Ortanic Airbrush Tan – to top off your work or weekend look
    • Brow waxing

* All services must be received by September 30, 2017.  No two discounts apply.  See spa for details.

**Offers expire July 31.

Message from the RDs: 4 Tips for Surviving Barbeque Season by Alicia Huggler

With barbecue season in full swing it is easy to put your healthy eating habits on the back burner. However, having a plan can ensure that you don’t go completely overboard. By following these four bbq survival tips you can continue your healthy eating routine, stick to your goals, and prevent your waistline from expanding!

Don’t go hungry!

It is easy to skip meals in hopes for saving room for the food you are about to eat at a bbq. However, this will backfire on you! It will cause you to overeat, and your body will want to store the food as fat. Be sure to not skip meals, and if you are going more than 4 hours without eating have a snack with fiber and/or fat to tide you over for a couple of hours until you are eating at the bbq.

Healthy Snack Ideas:

  • 1 cup non-starchy vegetables (baby carrots, cucumbers, peppers etc.) + (¼ cup guacamole OR 2 tbsp hummus)
  • 1 piece of fruit + (1 tbsp peanut or almond butter OR low-fat string cheese OR plain greek yogurt OR ½ cup reduced fat cottage cheese)

Bring a healthy side dish/main entree to the BBQ

Just because you are attending a bbq doesn’t mean you can’t bring healthier food options to ensure you have healthy foods to choose from if hunger strikes. Bring a veggie tray, hummus, fruit, low-fat string cheese, multigrain pita chips, grilled chicken, 100% whole wheat buns etc. to the party so you at least can control some of what you are about to eat.

Sip smart

Barbecues often have a wide array of caloric drinks such as soda/pop, beer, juices, and hard alcohol. It is best if you want to enjoy some bbq favorites that you keep your drink calories low. Decide what you want to indulge on. Is it the potato salad, cake, or cocktails? If it is cocktails try to drink light beer (~100 calories) or try a shot of vodka/tequila/rum mixed with either iced water (or club soda) + lemon/limes OR a splash of 100% juice OR mix it with flavored seltzer (ex. La Croix) which amount to about 100-150 calories per drink.

FYI: Club soda has 0 calories and 0 grams of sugar. Tonic water has 110 calories & 27 grams of sugar (6-7 sugar cubes) per 10 oz.

You can have it all just not all at once

Barbecues are full of chips, cookies, cheeseburgers, brats, and hotdogs. Be mindful of your portions when you are at a barbecue. As best as you can make ½ of your plate fruits/veggies, ¼ plate lean protein, and the other ¼ plate should be a whole grain. While you can indulge in some of your bbq favorites it is best to choose 1-2 less healthy food items instead of making your plate full of high fat, high salt, or high sugar foods. Practice moderation and enjoy your favorites without the guilt by being mindful of your overall food/beverage choices throughout the day.

Grilled Barbecue Chicken and Vegetables in Foil  (Adapted from


  • 8 aluminum foil sheets large enough to wrap around one chicken breast
  • 4 (4-ounces each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1-2 tbsp barbecue sauce per chicken breast (Try Annie’s natural organic bbq sauce! It is only 4 grams of sugar per 2 tbsp.)
  • 1 zucchini , sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 red, green or yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 8 asparagus spears
  • salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil


  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • For each foil pack, prepare two sheets of aluminum foil; place the sheets one on top of the other for durability.
  • Place one chicken breast on each stacked pair of foil sheets; season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  • Brush each chicken breast with 1 to 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce.
  • Divide equally and arrange vegetables around each chicken breast; season with salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle chicken and vegetables with little olive oil.
  • Fold the sides of the foil over the chicken, covering completely; seal the packets closed.
  • Transfer foil packets to the preheated grill rack and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until done, turning once.
  • Chicken is done when thermometer reads 165 degrees F
  • Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes. Then enjoy!

July Complimentary Injury Screenings Presented by NovaCare

In addition to offering complimentary injury screenings this month, NovaCare FFC Oak Park would like to welcome new staff member Nick Liberatore!

Nick Liberatore is  a new physical therapist with NovaCare and will be working primarily out of the Oak Park FFC location.  Nick recently graduated with his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Washington University in St Louis.  

As a current endurance athlete (as well as playing sports in high school and running track in college at Illinois Wesleyan University), he is thrilled to be a part of such a great fitness community.  Above all else, his main goal is to provide the highest quality patient care for FFC members and others in our Chicagoland communities.  In particular, his focus is on restoring and enhancing proper movement in order to improve my patients’ level of function and get them back to doing the things that they love!  Please feel free to reach out to Nick to say hello, or you have any questions for him!

July Complimentary Injury Screening Schedule

FFC Halsted – St July 17th 11a-1p, walk ins Welcome

FFC East Lakeview – Walk ins Welcome

FFC Lincoln Park – July 12th 5-7pm

FFC Oak Park – July 19th  5 – 7pm

FFC Park Ridge – Tuesday July 25th 3:30-5:30pm

FFC South Loop – July 11th 11:30 am – 2 pm – Walk ins Welcome                              

FFC Union Station  July 26th 12-1pm Walk-ins welcome

FFC West Loop  July 18th 4:15-5:30

2017 4th of July Holiday Weekend Hours

Can you believe it’s almost July?! Below are the operating hours for each club during this year’s holiday on Tuesday, July 4, 2017:

Friday 6/30, Saturday 7/1 and Sunday 7/2 will observe regular opening/closing club hours.

Monday 7/3

All clubs will close at 8 PM.

Tuesday 7/4 (4th of July)

  • FFC Union Station & FFC Old Town: closed.
  • FFC West Loop and FFC Park Ridge: 7 AM – 5 PM.
  • All other clubs: 7 AM – 3 PM.

Wednesday 7/5

Regular hours resume at all clubs: 24-hour clubs will open at 4:30 AM.

Summer of Sharing is Here!!

It’s back and better than ever! Share what you love about FFC with your friends and family by gifting them one of your favorite services (featured below).

Plus, when they join, you’ll receive a month of FREE dues!! FFC Park Ridge members will receive $75 FFC Bucks for every referral who joins.



June Spa Specials

Summer is such a great time in Chicago. All the food and music festivals, BBQs and happy hours are an invited break after months of hibernation. While fun is the order of the season, don’t forget to make fitness and self-care a priority to keep you looking great and also to help the recovery process after indulging in icy cold treats and adult beverages!

Massage therapy will help that recovery along and give you a chance to get out of the heat and sun, but also flush out toxins and alleviate any summer activity-related soreness.

Enjoy a Two (2) 30-Minute Massage Package this summer for $119 (reg $130)

Don’t forget your skin! Protect yourself by wearing a hat, a good zinc based sunscreen, and UVA/UVB protective clothing. Our estheticians can help soothe and replenish your skin after taking in too much sun, give you guidance on how to thwart off the effects of sand & sun, and smooth your skin free of any unwanted hair.  

Come to the spa this month and enjoy a Facial & Waxing (brow, lip, or chin) Package for just $100 (reg $115)*

Looking for a great gift for Dad or the Grad in your life?  

Buy an FFC gift card for the spa this month and get $10 back in Spa Bucks** to use on a future visit!

Happy Summer!

These spa offers expire June 30, 2017. No two discounts apply. 2-pack of massages expires on September 30, 2017. Facial & waxing must be received same day, paid for and received in June. Facial offer not avail at FFC Park Ridge.

Become a Pilates Instructor! Sign Up for Our Classical Pilates Formula at FFC Program

Do you want to learn to become a Pilates instructor? Our Classical Pilates Formula at FFC training programs starts June 16!

Click here to register!

Classical Pilates Formula at FFC is a 450 hour Comprehensive Pilates training apprenticeship program.  We are a diploma program and included in the Pilates Method Alliance Registry of Schools.

  • Learn exercises with Pilates Studio Apparatus– Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, Ped-o-Pull and Magic Circle
  • Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced level Pilates exercises
  • Classical Pilates repertoire and orders
  • Systems of teaching which will enable you to effectively teach all types of people
  • In addition to a thorough instruction of the Pilates exercises, our program highlights anatomy, teaching/cueing techniques, instructions for special case clients (i.e. obesity, pregnancy, back problem, neck, knee, shoulder, etc.), and a Pilates business plan to ensure a successful career as a Pilates professional

Throughout the program, you will be evaluated on your understanding of the material by written examinations, practical examinations and physical performance of the exercises. Have questions? Email Kristin Strom at!

FFC + PRIDE 2017

June is PRIDE month and FFC is proud to support the city and this worthy cause. Check out some of this month’s programming!

Saturday, June 24: Pride at the Pier with Navy Pier

Join us with our friends at Navy Pier with a day of celebrations! FFC will also be leading a special workout at 12 noon. Check out the schedule of events below – we hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 25: Pride Parade

Help FFC show support at this year’s 2017 Pride Parade! Keep an eye out for FFC’s float! The parade will take place in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood, heading down Halsted and Broadway between Montrose and Diversey.


Sunset OmG Silent Yoga with Andrea Metcalf and FFC’s David Bohn

Tune out the city and get centered with yoga and some of the most gorgeous views of the city!

The OmG Silent Yoga sunrise events will occur each Tuesday morning from June to August at 6:30 AM at four unique venues around the city – 360 Chicago, Spirit of Chicago at Navy Pier, Morgan’s on Fulton, and Streeterville Social.

FFC’s own David Bohn will be teaching two of these classes, along with instructors from eight yoga studios! For more information, visit this link for July 11th’s class and this link for August 8th’s class with David.

Fitness at the Field Museum – Sundays, July 9 – August 20

Grab a water bottle and a workout buddy for a series of free outdoor fitness classes at the Field Museum this summer!

Fitness at The Field offers a variety of group fitness classes hosted by FFC South Loop and Bar Method South Loop, including yoga, BollyX, barre, bootcamps and Zumba. All workouts are free to attend. Check out the schedule below!

All fitness classes take place on the Museum’s Northeast Terrace. Fitness at The Field is presented in collaboration with the Near South Planning Board.

Yoga By the Lake – Every Tuesday/Sunday This Summer

Vitamin D

Zen out with the tranquil scenery of Lake Michigan every Tuesday (7 – 8 PM) and Sunday (10 – 11 AM) this summer during our Yoga By The Lake series at Belmont Harbor! Drop-ins welcome.

Note: please bring your own yoga mat. Classes will be held indoors if there is inclement weather. Please call (773) 477-3664 to confirm!


Complimentary June Injury Screenings Presented by NovaCare

The weather has finally changed – summer is right around the corner! Now’s the time to spend your days enjoying the sun and lake breeze – not nursing an injury. Take advantage of this month’s complimentary injury screenings, presented by NovaCare, and visit your chosen location during the designated days this month to prevent injury all summer long!

  • FFC East Lakeview: 6/22/17 4pm-6pm
  • FFC Halsted Street: 6/19/17 11pm -1pm
  • FFC Lincoln Park: 6/27/17 430pm-630pm
  • FFC Oak Park: 6/28/17 from 5pm-8pm
  • FFC Park Ridge: 6/6/17  3:30pm-5:30pm
  • FFC South Loop: walk-ins welcome
  • FFC Union Station: walk-ins welcome
  • FFC West Loop: 6/20/17 4:15pm-5:30pm