Swing into these 30 minute kettlebell workshops! The kettlebell swing is one of best full body exercises you can do. It also happens to be the featured movement of the FFC May Workout of the Month (link to ffc.com/monthlyworkout).

Join us at one of our clubs in May for a complimentary kettlebell workshop! Learn how to do a kettlebell swing properly and most importantly, safely – plus try out the Workout of the Month! Come by yourself, or bring a friend, family member or co-worker. 

  • FFC Boystown – Wednesday, May 30 at 6 PM – to sign up, email smccarthy@ffc.com
  • FFC East Lakeview – Friday, May 25 at 6 PM & Thursday, May 31 at 5 PM – to sign up, email jgroves@ffc.com.
  • FFC Gold Coast – Saturday, May 19 and May 26 at 12 PM – to sign up, email bjohnson@ffc.com.
  • FFC Lincoln Park – Saturday, May 26 at 12 PM; Wednesday, May 30 at 4:30 PM; Thursday, May 31 at 4:30 PM – to sign up, email mhowe@ffc.com.
  • FFC Oak Park – Saturday, May 26 at 9 AM – to sign up, email bkoh@ffc.com.
  • FFC Old Town – Thursday, May 24 at 6:45 PM – to sign up, email jbohland@ffc.com.
  • FFC Park Ridge – Friday May 18 at 12 PM; Thursday, May 24 at 2 PM; Wednesday, May 30 at 10 AM – to sign up, email jbrown@ffc.com.
  • FFC South Loop – Tuesday May 22 at 6 PM & Tuesday, May 29 at 6 PM – to sign up, email mcasas@ffc.com.
  • FFC Union Station – Wednesday, May 30 at 5 PM – to sign up, email ewachs@ffc.com
  • FFC West Loop – Wednesday May 23 at 7:30 PM & Wednesday May 30 at 7:30 PM – to sign up, email mgorrell@ffc.com

One of the biggest pieces of feedback we get as a company from our members is that you want to know what to do at the gym to get results. A program. A plan. A formula.

That is the goal of our Workout of the Month. Each month’s workout will have a feature movement, a progress chart, and up to 6 full workouts per week to follow.

Click here to see the details, learn about the moves, download a PDF you can take to the gym with you and more!

This month’s move is all about fat burning – with higher volume and lighter weight. Check out the movement highlight of the month – the kettlebell swing.

Introduce a friend, family member or co-worker to everything you love about FFC. When they join by May 31, you’ll get to use the club for no charge in July!

See the membership department or go to ffc.com/refer-a-friend for details.

Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS. Please save the date and join us Saturday, July 14 for Windy City Sweatout along with ALS, Life Fitness and McCollister’s for a special workout featuring some of Fitness Formula Club’s best instructors – Jennifer Dahl and Austin Head – on the main stage before Chicago’s largest country music and BBQ festival, Windy City Smokeout!

Raise money to participate in the heart-pumping workouts with some of FFC’s best instructors, plus receive great incentives like general admission and VIP passes into Windy City Smokeout, FFC memberships, and even a meet and greet with Brett Eldredge!

For more information and to register, visit https://www.classy.org/event/windy-city-sweatout/e180859.

All proceeds benefit Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS – learn more at www.augiesquest.org.

Can you believe it? Summer is right around the corner! To help with your May planning, please find the operating hours for each club over the holiday weekend. Have a happy and healthy Memorial Day on Monday, May 28!

Monday, May 28

  • FFC Union Station & FFC Old Town – closed
    All other clubs: 7 AM – 5 PM

All other weekend hours will be normal.

*24-hour clubs reopen at 4:30 AM Tuesday, May 29.

Every Monday and Wednesday from May 1 – 31 at 3:40 PM, your child can join in on our co-ed performance training classes! Kids ages 9 – 14 (accompanied by an adult) will focus on developing 4 domains, including proper movement patterns, light resistance exercise, cardiovascular health and core endurance. Programming is based on the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)’s position statement on Youth Resistance Training and Long-Term Athletic Development.

All participants will need an adult to be present in the club for the duration of the class, and must be accompanied by the adult in the event they need to use the locker room.

Cost: $99 per child per month, or $25 per class

Classes will run for an hour each 2 days per week from May 1 – 31 but will be closed on May 28 for Memorial Day.

Now available at FFC Oak Park, Park Ridge and Lincoln Park: train smarter, not harder! Testing services now also feature RMR and VO2 test results directly to your phone via the new CardioCoach phone app.

Connect a bluetooth heart rate monitor (like MyZone) to get custom tailored workout zones and real-time display of your fat vs. carb metabolism. Whether your goal is weight loss or performance (marathon, triathlon, ironman, etc.), get tested and train smarter this year!

Learn more at tinyurl.com/ffc-vo2-options or contact metabolictesting@ffc.com to get scheduled!

Join the FFC triathlon club! Contact endurance@ffc.com to get our FFC team discount code and save $10 off the Chicago Triathlon, plus get a free TrainingPeaks.com training plan to stay on track utilizing emails, a phone app, plus Garmin watch and Google Calendar integration!

Training Kickoff, Programs and Services

Chicago Triathlon training starts in May. Visit fb.com/trimonsters/events for a list of triathlon training kickoff events at a location near you!

For training options, don’t miss our FFC Endurance membership, which includes unlimited swim, bike, run, and performance training, with classes and programs available at FFC West Loop, Oak Park, Park Ridge, Lincoln Park, Gold Coast and more! The FFC Endurance membership also includes outdoor training, open water swimming, clinics, and unlimited use of our Air Relax compression boots at a USA Triathlon Certified Performance Center at FFC Lincoln Park. Private coaching, swim lessons, and performance testing services are also available – contact endurance@ffc.com to inquire!

The spring schedule of classes is now available on the FFC app (sort by “category” endurance and “location” FFC Lincoln Park) or by clicking here: tinyurl.com/trimonster-calendar

From NFL running backs to our own local superstar/Cubs’ pitcher Jake Arrieta, Pilates is having a SERIOUS moment. What better time to get involved in the Pilates movement than with our May Challenge Your Core events?!

From May 1 – 31, visit your local club, sign up and grab a punch card to get going! The 31-day program is just $59 for the entire month and gives you access to special classes and events, the opportunity to earn prizes, swag and more!

Punch cards: each card has 5 punches. Earn 1 punch for each completed Pilates experience including bonus sessions, Pilates Mat classes, Group Apparatus Sessions, Private and Partner Pilates training sessions, workshops and demos.

Turn in each completed card for the reward specified below:

5 sessions: Earn $15 FFC Bucks
10 sessions: Earn $15 FFC Bucks and 2 FFC Guest Passes
15 sessions: Earn $15 FFC Bucks and 1 Group Apparatus Class
20 sessions: Earn $15 FFC Bucks and 1 Grand Prize raffle entry!

Program Perks:

• Participate in special Pilates offerings May 1 – 31
• Keep track of your goals and progress with a punch card
• Earn fun prizes by participating in sessions
• See and feel the results of the Pilates exercises in your body
in just 31 days!

How to register & cost: see a Pilates trainer or manager for complete details and calendar of special Pilates offerings. The program is $59 for the entire month.

Should we fear fats? Should we love fats? Should we consume all types of fats? Should we buy low-fat? As a registered dietitian, I hear these questions all the time, and for a good reason. Yes, the media is always putting out conflicting information about nutrition, which makes it hard to understand the truth. However, this isn’t just the media’s fault – it’s also due to changing research.

Here’s a quick history lesson:

For many years, we were told that fat was the problem with the growing obesity epidemic and poor heart health. All fats – saturated and unsaturated – were looked down upon and the “low-fat” craze started, despite its important role in hormone production, temperature regulation, and protection of organs. Everyone turned in their eggs and bacon for breakfast cereal, red meat for processed “low-fat” TV dinners. The problem with that? These new “healthier foods” were full of sugar and processed carbohydrates. We later learned that these aren’t so great for our waistlines or hearts either.

So now – fats are back. Diets such as the Atkins diet and ketogenic diet brought back fat, not limiting the type or amount, claiming to help with weight loss. While they certainly do help with weight loss (these diets are based on low-carbohydrate intake, and when there’s no carbohydrates to burn, our body turns to fat burn), the research on saturated fat is still ongoing, so we want to be weary. These low-carbohydrate and high-fat diets are also hard to stick to, which goes against my main qualification for any lifestyle change. This roller coaster of information leaves everyone a little confused as to which fats to choose, if any at all.

Here’s a breakdown of which fats are which and what to choose:

Artificial trans fats: man-made by adding an extra hydrogen molecule to vegetable oil to make it more shelf-stable. Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. This increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke, and is associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.* Avoid any foods that have “partially hydrogenated oils” in the ingredients label.

Saturated fats: typically solid at room temperature and found in animal sources such as meat and dairy. They are also found in many baked and fried foods. These don’t need to be avoided at all costs, but I recommend keeping them in small doses, under 10-13 grams per day. Saturated fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke.*

Unsaturated fats: typically liquid at room temperature and found mostly in plant sources such as nuts, seeds, oil, and avocado. They are also found in fish. Replacing saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats raises your good (HDL) cholesterol.* I recommend to consume these with each meal and snack to help with satiety and give your body the benefits discussed above, but in small portion sizes because of dense calorie content of fats. Fat doesn’t make you fat, as once thought, however, too many calories of anything can cause weight gain, so it’s important to keep fat portions in check.

All in all, it comes down to the basics: “Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” -Michael Pollen. This quote is especially important when it comes to dietary fats — consume the ones that haven’t been processed, keep portion sizes small, and surround them with a lot more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — this will keep your heart and your waistline happy!

*Source: American Heart Association

Have more questions or want to set up a complimentary consultation with Amy? Email her at asilver@ffc.com!