Carla Schmitz, Jack Bauer, Ilana Faust

Hello Jason!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge Ilana, Carla, and Jack for their stellar service in supporting my ongoing fitness goals.
I’m not one for Facebook and other social media postings, as I feel a letter of acknowledgement is much more professional and purposeful.
As a regional manager in the retail industry, I am well versed on what superior guest service should look, sound, and feel like, and these three individuals truly embody that vision.

I’ve recently surpassed my third year as a member of FFC East Lakeview, and I am truly impressed with the level of service the club provides.
I like FFC’s holistic approach to fitness and well-being, and it’s incredibly convenient that I can obtain multiple fitness services in one building.
For this, I am truly grateful.

I’ve been involved with personal training since my first day at the gym, and Jack is now the fourth personal trainer I’ve worked under.
I’ve only worked with Jack for a little over a month, but his passion, professionalism and integrity for his work is unsurpassed in the industry.
His communication is top notch, and I have every confidence he will continue to drive ongoing results.

I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Carla for almost a year, and her support and knowledge has been equally instrumental in achieving a new level of weight loss.
With Carla’s mentorship and enthusiasm, I have lost almost 20 lbs. in the last year, and I have gained so much insight into portion size and nutritional content.
Eating healthy is no longer a chore – it’s a pleasure.

Lastly, I made the decision to add Pilates into the mix this year, and so began my journey with Ilana.
I’ve wanted to try Pilates for many years, but it was Ilana’s excitement and infectious spirit that made me take my first step into the studio.
Pilates has dramatically elevated my flexibility, breathing, alignment, and control of my core, and Ilana’s instruction and encouragement are the driving force behind these results.

Most importantly, Ilana, Carla, and Jack are more than an instructor, nutritionist, and trainer – they are people I call friends.
The personal attention and care they invest in their respective craft is remarkable and definitely worthy of acknowledgement.
I know every industry is different in how they approach employee recognition, but it behooves me to let you know that you have three stellar professionals on your team.
Through their combined service, I am in the best physical condition ever at 40 years of age. (I know, I know………I don’t look a day over 30. J)

Jason – thank you for being responsive and open to my communication.
I appreciate your time and look forward to many more years of membership at FFC.
All my best

Linda Spriggs

I am so excited for being a member of the South Loop FFC.
I joined the Pilates mat class with Linda with hesitation and it literally changed my life!
Linda is reading your body, and she knows how to get the best of you. Even though I joined the class disappointed and in a bad shape, she inspired me and helped me to achieve my goals. And be healthier. She is amazing! She is that important to us that when with my husband bought a house, we chose the neighborhood of South Loop in order to be flexible for Linda’s classes.

Jack Bauer

Dear Jason:

In customer-service businesses like yours, it’s all too often that customers go out of their way to make note of the negative.

I’m writing for the opposite reason. I want you to know how thoroughly impressed my wife Lisa and I are with your facility, your team, and in particular, one young Personal Trainer Mr. Jack Bauer.

Lisa and I are of the age and physical condition where we were truly concerned about our health and knew that we had to do something while there’s still time. We cannot tell you how intimidated and out-of-place we felt walking into a gym to sign up on May 10th.

We’re not in a strong financial position at the moment and it meant a lot to us that you and Zeke were able to offer us the 21-Day Weight Loss Challenge program at no charge on the front end. We’re particularly grateful for the limited complimentary Personal Trainer services that came with our membership.

Jack Bauer got us off to a welcoming and great start. Jack immediately made us feel comfortable and like we knew we’d made a fantastic decision. We were inspired by Jack’s own story of weight loss. With his genuine concern and encouragement, we decided right then and there that we can do this. Lisa and I are doing this as a team. A little over a month in, we’ve both dropped about 15 pounds and are on the path to where we know we can be.

Lisa and I will never forget Jack’s words on our first meeting, May 11th. “You can definitely do this. The transformation begins!” Jack was right. We can do this. It’s happening right now. And it will change our lives.

You have an awesome employee in Jack Bauer, Jason, and we want you to know how profoundly he’s impacted the lives of two people who seriously needed some help and encouragement.

From Jack Bauer, to Zeke Sprague, to the smiling faces who greet us at the front desk, to the guy with the beard and the heavy black glasses who works tirelessly to keep the place in great shape, you have a team to be truly proud of. We’re grateful for all that they do.

Lisa’s an international flight attendant and sees people going out of their way to point out the negative every time she goes to work.

We want to say something completely different: Thank you!

Kind regards

Larry Duncan

The staff at FFC Gold Coast has become my family over the last 9-10 years. Every person I have met throughout the years has been trained to provide great customer service, is educated, and has a passion for fitness and proper nutrition. I can’t say enough about Larry, the General Manager, as well. Having him as a leader provides the support and focus that all employees need. The members feel this.

Linda Spriggs & Ben Timmis

I love my Pilates with Linda and the education and support she gives me. I love my training with Trainer Ben Timmis and his patience, vast knowledge, and attention to detail. The front desk staff is very friendly. The locker rooms are very clean, although high powered hand dryers would be a nice improvement. More hand wash or wipe stations throughout the gym floor would be nice as well. Overall, it is my experience with my two instructors that will keep me coming back and recommending the club. I am in recovery and a trauma survivor; Linda and Ben could not be more in tune with the mind-body connection. They are instrumental in my progress in the living of my own life.

Mr. Duncan, Lois Miller, Bianca Berger, Heather Hamilton

Mr. Duncan and his colleagues run an excellent program in all ways. Above all, they listen and do a very good job of meeting the needs of the members. I have had the pleasure of being an FFC member for the past several years. With only rare exceptions have my needs not been met or exceeded. The only sadness I have is that there are tooooo few step aerobics classes but that type of exercise hasn’t been “trendy” for more than two decades and is not easy to learn to do well. FFC is very lucky to have both Lois Miller and Bianca Berger and, now, Heather Hamilton as teachers of this athletic dance form.

FFC Halsted Street

A friend recommended me to the gym and I would kindly do the same for another. The gym is so well maintained and the locker rooms are always impeccable. The staff is so friendly and the trainers are great as well.

FFC East Lakeview

I enjoy FFC East Lakeview because there are always available lanes to swim in every time I go. I also belong to the LVAC; however, I will be cancelling my membership because I always have to share a lane and I have been hit several times while trying to swim there.

FFC South Loop

Clean & well maintained machines (and plenty of them), friendly/knowledgeable/helpful staff, great locker rooms, location, hours — all fantastic

South Loop

My name is Kevin and I absolutely love this gym. I have never been happier at a gym before. The staff up front is great, the trainers are super friendly and knowledgeable and the membership staff goes above and beyond for the members. I have told many friends about this gym but words can not truly express how happy I am to be a member. I used to go to X Sport on State and 9th and I hated life but now I am back at 5/7 days a week at the gym and working harder then ever. Thank you!

Igor Melnik

I am writing to share about a portion of my personal training session tonight with Igor Melnik that stood out to me and made me realize what a great gym I belong to. A gym with excellent staff and trainers who go above and beyond in their daily tasks.   I have been training Igor for almost a year now.  We were on the last circuit of the evening and all 7 exercises were in reps of 49. I questioned Igor on why he chose 49 instead of 50 to make it an even amount.  Igor responded with “This is a dedication circuit for the 49 victims that lost their lives in Orlando.” It was a small act implemented into his clients workout to pause and honor those victims in a unique way.  It made me realize and do those 7 exercises not only for myself, but for those 49 individuals and their families. Let me tell you, those 49 reps of each exercise were the best I have ever done of certain ones. It was a great way to end tonight’s workout. FFCs staff is truly does go above and beyond for not only their clients, but for the community. Thank you.

FFC Union Station

I want to commend the ladies that work in the locker rooms and cleaning the machines… front lobby etc.
Everytime I go, they are hard at work and very friendly and welcoming….Every time I have needed assistance with anything in the showers.. or even when I absentmindedly forget which locker I used that day, they are more than happy to help me. At Union Station I have encountered nothing but diligent and kind service from the three ladies.

Barrett, Michele, Tanya, Tyrus!

I loved everything about this club. Barrett has always been helpful anytime I’ve ever asked anything of him.
Jeff is awesome and always says hello any time i’m there.
The volleyball league has grown from nothing to a great league with Michele’s leadership.
I’m pretty sure Tanya gives the best massages in the world, but I’m not entirely sure… it’s pretty close.
Tyrus is by far the best trainer i’ve ever come across.
I’ll definitely miss everything about this gym, and I’m sad to leave.

Angelina Iovino

I have been training with Angelina for about six weeks. She is a great personal trainer – very knowledgeable and fun. The front staff are very professional and friendly. I like that the gym is always clean and the equipment is always in good working condition. It is an excellent facility with very good staff.

FFC East Lakeview

Staff is always professional, everybody at the desk always says hello ” how are you doing, enjoy your workout” making you feel welcomed into the club, and when you walk out after your workout desk staff try to make a point to say goodbye to you when you walk out. You might think this is so small but it really makes a big difference, making you glad you came.

FFC Union Station

Super clean facility which is extremely important to me. Friendly courteous staff. Equipment is up to date, latest machines. Great location, views of downtown. Guests are respectful as well, dedicated to working out VS socializing as I have seen in other gyms.

FFC West Loop

I have been a member at other gyms before and I think FFC is the best gym membership I’ve had. The price is a little steep (I am an orange member) but I frequent the West Loop location and love the outdoor pool. Also, I have never had to wait for a machine and I tend to go at the busiest times (5:30pm on a weekday). I also always have space to do my own weight workouts. There are many classes, I sadly do not join the classes but the ones that I have been to I have enjoyed.

FFC Halsted Street

FFC Halsted provides high quality equipment and classes in a clean and comfortable setting. Most importantly, there is a strong sense of community and friendliness at FFC Halsted.

FFC South Loop

The entire staff is amazing and I’ve had some great experiences with the trainers. I have recommended 3 people and two of them have join the gym.

FFC East Lakeview

What I can share with others is that my experience at FFC East Lakeview has a profound effect on my quality of life. The club has plenty of equipment to use for those who prefer that type of exercise, but it is the group classes which impress me the most. The classes are thoughtful concepts which provide a well rounded fitness regimen to members who like to work in groups. The years I have been a member those classes for the most part been led by high quality instructors/trainers who seem to enjoy their work. It’s reassuring to feel the instructor is skilled and personable. The hydro-fit classes are the home base for my fitness regimen and over the years regular attendance has aided in improving my physical fitness, changing my appearance, and boosting my emotional well being. Also, it is a bonus that the club is very conveniently located for many residents of East Lakeview. Walking distance from home is a huge factor in attendance. This is something I include in the discussion when inviting people who live near me to the club.

FFC Oak Park

Great facility. Good staff. Friendly atmosphere great food. Yoga teachers. Very clean and well maintained. Feel like it’s my second home

FFC West Loop

love FFC! I already did recommend you to all of my coworkers. We try to get there as often as possible for the positive environment, great classes, plentiful equipment, and clean facilities. Thanks!

FFC Halsted Street

Love this gym! The classes are great and staff is friendly. Also Derek, one of the massage therapists, is amazing!

Keith Kimble and Rebecca Faria

Amazing instructors – Keith Kimble and Rebecca Faria are my favorites!

Lincoln Park

FFC is a great gym for several reasons:
-I love that the gym is big and I never have to wait in line to use the equipment
-There are a ton of great classes to choose from, I especially love Antonio’s Chisel class on Monday nights
-The trainers and class instructors are great
-There is a pool and a sundeck
-The online app makes it really easy to see what classes are being offered on any particular day. I also like the search options based on location or instructor
-Membership includes 2 hours of free garage parking so I never have to worry about finding a spot on the street
-The locker room is big and pretty clean

Halsted Street

Love the location. Staff is always friendly. The place is super clean. Makes you feel like you belong.

Nate Levitt

My trainer, Nate Levitt, is what keeps me coming back. First, he listened to my fitness objectives and makes them happen at every session. He pushes me, but appreciates my boundaries as well. And amazingly personable and friendly.

Greg Robbins

In all of the gyms I have been to, none compare to FFC due to the facilities, atmosphere and trainers. My girlfriend and I have been training with Greg for a year and it was the best health decision we ever made. The best thing about Greg is that he works with us on our own individual and specific goals, yet switches up each workout to keep it interesting and challenging. Each week, I look forward to my session with Greg not only because of the workout, but also to spend time with a great individual. Moreover, because of all of the equipment at FFC Lincoln Park, there are endless options in each of our sessions.. I recommend FFC to all of my friends and anyone who just moved to the city, and also urge them to train with Greg!

Jessica Frank

This is well overdue – Jessica Frank is my trainer. I started with her when I joined the club in 2014, but I didn’t get serious about the whole thing until February of 2015. I started taking all of the group Pilates classes I could. I try to get in a weekly 1:1 session with Jessica and the TRX, the kettlebells, the weights, and whatever other “torture” J she has devised for me that week.
I recently saw a doctor I had gone to around the same time (Feb). I have lost about 30 pounds since that last visit. I also uncovered an old set of measurements. I have lost about 4 inches each from my bust, waist, and hips. I have also lost a bunch of old aches and pains (hip pain from a high school sport’s injury, upper back pain from working at a desk …). I’m really quite pleased to be rid of all these things.
I’ve also looked into the literature about plant-based diets based on her suggestions (e.g., Forks Over Knives). My husband and I have made pretty significant changes there as well, and we both feel much better for it.
I still have some work to do, my weight still isn’t quite where it should be. But the change over the last year has been massive considering my past attempts. And it has been lasting, as the weight has come off … it has been staying off.
Jessica has made a tremendous difference. I can’t thank her or recommend her enough. I look forward to working out with her!

Union Station

The club is a mainstay for anyone like me who wants to live a healthy life. I have gotten 10 years younger since I joined 10 years ago! The staff is uniformly friendly and responsible. The facilities are excellent and kept very clean. Not sure how you manage to do that,,, US ffc is a living miracle! Thanks for all you do!

Skip Chapman

I have been working out at FFC Gold Coast for about 8 months now. It is by far one of the best gyms in Chicago! It has everything and more that an exercise enthusiast needs. Great staff, the BEST trainers, and always clean.

I hurt my back while squatting a couple months ago. This was an old lacrosse injury that has flared up in the past. When it would flare up in the past, I would not be able to workout for a period of 4 weeks, while attending formal Physical Therapy sessions 3 times a week. Working out and staying healthy is a huge part of my life and not being able to do this for 4 weeks is devastating. This past time, when it happened, I saw both Jeremy Gorden and Skip Chapman who performed MAT (muscle activation technique) on me. I am a physician myself and at first I was a little skeptical about what MAT could do for me. Within just two days I was back to lifting again, obviously easing back into my regular routine, but still able to workout. Without the expertise and experience of both Jeremy and Skip I would have not been able to return to the gym in such a short amount of time. I am truly grateful to both of them!! I would HIGHLY recommend seeing them if you suffer from an injury. In closing I was not offered compensation for writing this testimonial.

Louie Nissan & Carla Schmitz and the East Lakeview Staff, WOW

Having gone there for 8 months I have been very successful losing weight and building muscle – I have lost 30 lbs.! I owe it to my amazing trainer, Louie Nissan and also my nutritionist, Carla Schmitz. They both have motivated me and are a great team. In addition I like how clean the club always is, I like the soothing music played in the locker rooms and I like the club in general. I also am a big user of the classes and instructors. I go to Spinning and Fitcore regularly and have also gone to Iron Horse, 312, Urban Athlete and Motiv8. Keith Kimble and Erin Sneed are totally outstanding instructors who have motivated me and keep me coming back for classes, among other trainers. Lastly the people who work at the club are so friendly and personable – including John Beale, Norma Rixter, Megan, Dan and others. One wish I have would be for you open a club north like in Evanston. Thank you!

Keith Kimble

I love the new spin bikes at LP FFC! It makes class so much better to have numbers to measure effort and keep track of progress.

By the way, I enjoy all of the classes I attend at the LP location but I was lucky enough to score a spot in Keith’s spin class on 6:15 on Wednesday. He is the most motivating instructor, challenging and he always has perfect music. His classes are an absolute blast to attend!

FFC Oak Park

I love FFC! The group classes are great- fun and challenging. I participate in spinning, yoga, pilates, and fitkick. The Kids Club is excellent. My kids love it there and I completely trust the employees. We now take advantage of the PNO program, which is fantastic- an adult dinner and happy kids!

FFC Union Station

FFC continues to take advantage of the three legged approach, price, quality and customer service. Need I say more.

Erin Sneed

I am just writing with positive feedback about the one class I took last night. On a short notice at Halsted street Monday May 2, due to precaution of carbon monoxide, Erin Sneed was asked on short notice to take her fitcore, spin, and amped up classes and have them on the turf, but make adjustments to the spin class and do a boot camp instead. I LOVED her boot camp class and it would be a nice class to have in the future! She did a wonderful job and kept a positive attitude and high energy throughout all 3 of her classes and provided challenging workouts! Thanks you. I have enjoyed my experience of my time here at FFC and continue to attend the gym daily, thanks to the wonderful staff!

Phoebe, Austin, Letti

Phoebe is the most friendly person at the front desk across all the FFC facilities I go to. My personal trainer, Austin is great….and even Letti who works in the women’s locker room is very supportive and friendly to me each time we meet. While I thought this would be the least “neighborly” gym, people here are friendly like the local neighborhood Starbucks.

Halsted Street

The effort put into this gym is the exact experience you back from it. Positive energy creates more positive energy, using the tools provided (equipment, classes, and staff) will keep you pleased with your membership.

Becca Russo

I just wanted to send a note and tell you about a wonderful instructor you have: Becca Russo. About 3 weeks ago I was attending the Saturday noon Zumba class. Unfortunately, I injured my leg but Becca jumped to respond and help me. She not only called for assistance, she went way out of her way to get me to my apartment. She’s not only an amazing teacher but a very compassionate person. She’s the best!!

Chelsea Melzer

Hi Marcus,

It was great to finally chat to you today.

I have been so impressed with Chelsea, and love working with her so much that I wanted to provide a testimonial to show just how fantastic she, and the FFC team, is.
Hopefully I’ll see you over the next couple of weeks before I head back to the UK.

So here goes:

I joined FFC South Loop in February having come to Chicago for a 3 month period from the UK. I was primarily looking for a gym as a way of meeting people, not because I am a keen gym-goer. In fact, gyms intimidate me and I have always preferred to exercise at home. I had read many great reviews about FFC and decided to see what the fuss was about.

I was not disappointed!

Not only was I given a thorough and welcoming tour of the facility before joining, but I was amazed to find that my membership included 4 complimentary personal training sessions. I have never encountered this service with another gym before, and it was a fantastic opportunity to finally kickstart a fitness programme after years of rarely working out.

I was fortunate to be paired with my fabulous personal trainer, Chelsea Melzer. She immediately made me feel at ease and as soon as we started training I forgot I was in a gym full of other people! Her circuit training sessions were fun, challenging and varied from the start, and after just 2 of my 4 complimentary sessions I signed up for a further 15, and then signed up for more to keep the great work going.

What I love about working with Chelsea, above all else, is that we have so much fun! Her circuits are always well thought out in advance. No two sessions are ever the same and when she feels as if we need to try something different, she comes up with new ideas and suggests we try them to keep things fresh.

Chelsea has introduced me to equipment and exercises I have never come across before and I look forward to finding out what’s in store each time I see her. I love that she demonstrates the correct technique for every exercise first and explains the benefits of each one, advising me which muscle groups we’re hitting, and then throughout each exercise she is there to monitor my technique, improve or correct my form if needed, and ultimately to motivate me! I know I am always in good hands and her priority is to train safely to avoid injuries.

But don’t be fooled by her gentle, petite appearance – she is a taskmaster! Just when I think we’re nearing the end of a circuit, she’ll squeeze a few more reps out of me. The feeling of achievement supersedes any of the pain from the burn, and she pushes me harder than I would ever push myself, which is what it’s all about!

Best of all, I am able to do exercises I NEVER dreamed I would be able to do, my fitness has improved significantly, I have gained strength and power, particularly in my upper body where I lacked it completely, and my body mass index has fallen 2% in just 2 months. I’m not suggesting this is going to be the same for everyone, but the whole experience has been hugely positive for me, and for my confidence.

My only disappointment is that I have to return to the UK and cannot take Chelsea with me!

Exercise is now something I look forward to, and this is all down to her! I cannot speak more highly of her, and her co-workers at South Loop. Every time I visit, the team are always super friendly and welcoming from the minute I walk through the door, to when I enter the gym. They have a fantastic rapport with one another and a great team spirit too, which makes FFC a fun place, and not the intimidating place I feared it might be. If you’re looking for a gym, or would like to find a personal trainer, look no further!!


Hope that’s OK, Marcus and not too long! But I didn’t want to leave anything out. For someone like me, who hates exercising in public, this is a big deal!

Have a great evening!