The 15 Best Gyms in Chicago 

Whether you want an all-in-one athletic club or a niche boxing or cycling studio, we’ve got options

April 23, 2024 6:24 am
A yoga class at the East Bank Club, one of the best gyms in Chicago
A yoga class at the East Bank Club

There are a few things that there’s no shortage of in Chicago, like hot dog stands, summer festivals, hastily-built condos and — as you may be aware — places to work out. While finding the right gym for you may feel like a Herculean task, we’ve made the job a little easier by narrowing it down to our top 15 picks in the city. With a list that includes everything from athletic country clubs to boxing to rock climbing, we’ve got something for you, no matter your fitness goals.

man and woman at edge of pool, buildings and skylines
Outdoor pool at EBC

East Bank Club

With past members like former President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the East Bank Club is the place to see and be seen (working out). Spread across two city blocks and five levels (that’s a whopping 450,000 square feet for those counting), the club offers a truly mind-blowing selection of amenities like tennis courts, four pools, two full basketball gymnasiums, a boxing gym, boutique-style team training studio, brand new cycling studio and indoor golf center with five stations. Plus, with a co-working space, on-site dry cleaner, car wash, salon, spa and restaurants, you can practically move in. 

500 N Kingsbury St


Perhaps Chicago’s trendiest athletic club chain, Equinox offers four locations across the city: Gold Coast, Lincoln Common, Lincoln Park and the Loop. While each offers a different experience and unique amenities, they all include top-of-the-line equipment, eucalyptus steam rooms, spas and legitimately fun workout classes (Madonna vs. Gaga spin ride, anyone?). Plus, new members receive a fitness assessment, a complimentary personal training session and a free one-on-one studio pilates session. (If you want a specific recommendation, we’re partial to the Lincoln Commons location’s heated yoga studio and indoor saltwater lap pool.) 

Gold Coast: 900 Michigan Ave; Lincoln Common: 2355 N Lincoln Ave; Lincoln Park: 1750 N Clark St; The Loop: 200 W Monroe St

Cheetah Gym

This Andersonville-based studio’s beautiful, warm interior of exposed brick and wooden floors will make you feel more like you’re at a vacation lodge than a gym. Cheetah Gym offers cardio and strength training, alongside group exercise classes (including cycling, yoga, cardio and more) and personal training opportunities. Plus, with a prime location in the heart of Andersonville, you’ll have easy access to a post-workout happy hour treat (or two). 

5248 N Clark St

weights on machines on a wooden floor, tvs hanging, speakers, mirrors
Life Time

Life Time River North at One Chicago

Life Time River North bills itself as a high-end “athletic country club,” and for good reason. The club offers members a 126,000-square-foot space spread across two floors, with benefits like more than 150 weekly workout classes, state-of-the-art equipment, a basketball court, kids area with childcare, full-service salon and spa, co-working space, restaurant and much more. But the pools are the real star of the show at this Life Time location. In addition to an indoor sky-lit lap pool, the club offers an outdoor “beach club,” complete with a lap pool, leisure pools, whirlpools, a cabana, lounge seating and even curated nighttime events. There’s even a water slide and splash pad for kids. Summer in Chicago has never looked better. 

15 W Chicago Ave

Midtown Athletic Club

Midtown Athletic Club has a well-deserved reputation as the city’s go-to place for tennis. With 16 indoor tennis courts (not to mention the pickleball courts) and a unique Tennis in No Time training program, you’ll be feeling like Novak Djokovic before you know it (outbursts at the chair umpire aside). The resort-like club also includes golf simulators, a yoga sanctuary, immersive cycling studio, boxing gym, indoor and outdoor pools and even childcare available with certain memberships. Does it sound so nice you want to move in? You practically can, as the club also has an on-site hotel. 

2444 N Elston Ave

Studio Three

Can’t choose between joining a cycling gym, yoga studio or interval workout space? You don’t have to at Studio Three. The boutique fitness studio — which has three Chicago locations — offers classes in all three fields. The classes are open to all skill levels, and your towels, mats and cycling shoes are complimentary with a class. All locations have state-of-the-art technology, beautiful designs and luxurious locker rooms. Plus, with a welcoming community space that includes wifi, we won’t blame you if you try to take your next work call mid-class. 

Fulton Market: 333 N Green St Lobby Level; Lincoln Park: 2401 N Halsted St; River North: 648 N Clark St

Unanimous Boxing Gym

Unanimous Boxing Gym, which has two locations in Chicago, was opened in 2016 by Trinidad Garcia and his then-client Yuri Polyak and pays tribute to the 1950s golden age of boxing when community spaces for the sport were all the rage. Unanimous is a USA Boxing-sanctioned facility and an inviting space where people of all levels and abilities can come together to learn the sport, regardless ofm experience. Around eight classes are offered each day, and there’s a specific program available for those 50 and older.

Logan Square: 2764 N Milwaukee Ave; West Loop (Competition Hub): Lower Level, 1500 W Carroll Ave

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Chicago Athletic Clubs

With seven locations across the city, there’s a decent chance that from where you’re currently reading this you can see a Chicago Athletic Club outpost. Each gym has unique features, but all offer a range of equipment, supportive atmosphere and breadth of classes in strength, cardio and mind/body. Chicago Athletic Clubs also provide a more affordable option for folks who still want a full gym experience. 

See full list of locations here

Han Training

Regardless of your background — whether you’re a lifelong fitness enthusiast or new to the experience entirely — you’ll find a home at Han Training, a queer- and trans-affirming gym that offers each member individualized attention and informative coaching in a welcoming and judgment-free zone. With a maximum class size of just three people, the inclusive gym offers gender neutral bathrooms, wheelchair-accessible entrance ramps, benches designed so people with bigger bodies can use them and thicker mats for those with stressed joints. The trans-owned space offers multiple tiers of memberships, as well as scholarships, so you can find the price that works best for you. 

743 W Irving Park Rd


At Spynergy, a Chicago-headquartered spin studio, participants don’t just take a class, they also join a robust, close-knit community that aims to inspire positivity through fitness and music. The studio offers over 30 classes per week in a brightly-painted Wicker Park space that feels like you’re walking into a hip club, but virtual classes are also available. The classes are accessible to all fitness levels, with both membership and class packages available. 

1632b W Division St

woman in pink shirt and blue shorts rock climbing
Brooklyn Boulders
Brooklyn Boulders

Brooklyn Boulders West Loop

Don’t let the New York-specific name fool you, this rock climbing gym is one of the best in the Windy City. With 26,000 square feet of space, Brooklyn Boulders’ Chicago location is one of the largest indoor climbing facilities in the Midwest. It has everything you need to build your climbing skills, whether you’re already an expert or starting with your feet firmly on the ground, with over 300 routes and boulders, 50-foot roped walls, fitness equipment, yoga classes and even a co-working space. Both day passes and memberships are available, including a sliding scale membership option.

100 S Morgan St

Anthos Training Clubs

Anthos Training Club is an award-winning gym in the heart of Hyde Park. In addition to joining a robust personal training program (where you receive your own personal pod equipped with everything you need for a tailored workout), members also join a vibrant community and take part in a team-like environment. At Anthos, a whole crew of people — from trainers to other members — are rooting you on to feel your best.

1158 E 53rd St

Brush Park Gym

Brush Park Gym is advertised as Chicago’s “Gym for All,” a title it truly lives up to. The gym offers opportunities for both adults and kids to feel their best. The adult classes are focused on strength, cardio and mobility, with fun themes like “Reset” (a class that combines strength, core and cardio), “Achieve” (where you’ll take part in a longer warm-up, a smaller dose of strength and cardio, and a yoga cool down) and “Build” (focused on heavy lifting and strength exercises). The gym also offers kids classes at the same time as the adult ones, with 30 minutes of buffer time so you can actually shower before picking them up.

4646 N Rockwell St

Strong Hands Gym

Strong Hands founder Diego Cevallos-Garzon has more than 15 years of experience in boxing, and has even trained some big-name UFC stars like Jessica Penne, Jens Pulver and Robbie Lawler for competition. He’s now taken these talents to Lakeview, where he’s opened up an affordable LGBTQ gym and martial-arts facility, providing a place for anyone who has ever felt out of place at other gyms. The space offers daily classes and a weight room, as well as personal training. Bonus: the gym is open 24 hours a day. 

3924 N Broadway

Zen Yoga Garage

Whether you’re looking for vinyasa yoga, hot yoga, barre yoga or even a yoga class where you can bring your baby, Zen Yoga Garage has an option for you. The massive 12,000-square-foot Bucktown studio has four large studios, including two that have functioning garage doors, allowing nature to come in. The space also has a robust events calendar, including teacher trainings, gallery openings, concerts and community meet-ups. 

1845 N Milwaukee Ave

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