H-F Racquet Club adds space for ‘boot camp’ workouts

  The TRX training room at the Homewood-Flossmoor
  Racquet & Fitness Club allows participants to use
  specialty equipment.
(Provided photo)
If the idea of fitness boot camp makes you wary, you’re not alone. But if it gets your pulse racing, the new facility at the Homewood-Flossmoor Racquet and Fitness Club might be the perfect spot.
The racquet club is home to many of the area’s local athletes and fitness enthusiasts.  With the fitness world changing and expanding, the club is learning to adapt with its consumers.
For years the club provided multipurpose courts for basketball and racquetball players. Now space originally used for those and other miscellaneous activities has been turned into an exceptional customized exercise studio that hosts small group fitness classes. 
The room is decorated with multiple TRX bands hanging on the wall with an accompanying set of weights on the floor next to them.
Small group fitness classes were scheduled all summer and will continue to run through the rest of the year.  Each group fitness class is approximately $59 for members and $89 for nonmembers for a six-week program, with seven classes for the price of six.
Shelley Strasser, the club’s head of membership sales and marketing, said the former courts were gutted and then turned into top-of-the-line workout and stretching facilities.
Racquetball usage had dropped dramatically and the renovation started about three years ago, Strasser said.
“When we first renovated (the court) we still had the racquetball floors. It was all a different color. When we finally got the flooring and made some of the final changes, it all turned out to be really impressive,” Strasser said.
Racquet club officials found that most members were not interested in the more intense workout sessions “so we tried to find a way to infuse more intense classes into a smaller, more compact setting,” Strasser said. 

“We also learned that small group fitness has become sort of a trend.  So we created a cross between group fitness and personal training,” she explained.
The club has also added a barre studio in a former racquetball space. Barre is a total body workout. Participants use a traditional ballet bar with exercises that burn fat, sculpt muscle and create lean lines. The barre studio hosts many different types of classes.
“We have barre in here, a yoga basics class, a class called ‘candlelight chill’ and a number of others. We used to host a pilates class here. However, we now have a pilates training studio on the other side of the building where people can do pilates personal training,” Stasser said.
Strasser has worked at the club for almost two decades and now works with Club Manager Eileen Rohrer and others staff members to help better the club for now and the future.
“I am a group fitness junkie. I started taking classes in high school and teaching in 1989 and that is what got me here. I started in group fitness in 2000 and became the group fitness coordinator in 2014. Then I came into the position I’m in currently,” Strasser said.
The TRX boot camp meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 6:45 a.m., the yoga basics class is on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m., and the candlelight bliss class is on Mondays from 6 to 7 p.m.  Classes run through Sept. 7. 

For information on upcoming fitness programs, visit hfparks.com.

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