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Photograph: Allison Williams Chicago 8/8/12Students participate in a Shockwave fitness class at the Equinox at 900 N. Michigan Avenue downtown.

Free trial gym memberships

TOC has six weeks’ worth of free gym memberships for you to choose from.

By Macaela MacKenzie

You’ve made your New Year’s resolution to get fit. Congratulations. But getting healthy costs money, and you blew a lot on gifts this year, and you really need to get that leaky faucet fixed, and…. No more excuses! Consider the trial gym membership your waistline’s new best friend. Follow this six-week guide and take advantage of Chicago’s best athletic facilities for free.

Week 1 XSport Fitness
Good for 7 days
Start the year off strong with a seven-day pass to XSport Fitness, which includes club access for you and a friend, body-fat testing, a complimentary personal training session and a tanning session. Get your guest pass online and pick from eight Chicagoland locations. We love the State Street location for its full range of amenities, including a rock-climbing wall, sauna, pro shop and juice bar.

Week 2 Equinox Fitness
Good for 1 day
Visit a membership advisor at one of Equinox Fitness’s four locations to get a one-day pass. You can work out with consultants at the Loop location or break a sweat with tony and toned moms at the gym’s Lincoln Park venue.

Week 3 LA Fitness
Good for 3 days
Keep your resolution regime social with LA Fitness’s large network of clubs. Print off your three-day guest pass for you and a workout buddy and visit the South Loop location for personal training opportunities, racquetball, basketball courts, group classes, a hot tub spa, sauna, pool and Kids Klub. Plus you can grab a healthy post-workout snack from Whole Foods on your way out.

Week 4 Cheetah Gym
Good for 1 day
Go to Cheetah’s website and you can print a free one-day gym pass. Spend a day at one of Cheetah’s locations in Andersonville, Bucktown or Edgewater. While you’re there, enjoy the Internet café and free coffee for those early-morning workouts.

Week 5 Chicago Fitness Center
Good for 7 days
Get back into high gear this week with a seven-day pass to Chicago Fitness Center, which combines weight training and martial arts. With group classes like Body Attack, more than 50,000 pounds of free weights, a dojo and a mixed martial arts cage, you can learn some serious self-defense moves. Choose between a group trial pass that includes access to all group classes and weight facilities, or a martial arts pass that grants access to the dojo and the cage.

Week 6 The Trainer’s Gym at Symmetry
Good for 7 days
Meant for personal trainers and their clients, the Trainer’s Gym is packed with fitness experts. Use your seven-day pass to take advantage of their full-service gym and locker rooms. 


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