It's a good sign when a gym's second location is unique enough to garner a mention and its own description. That's the case with Cheetah's sister gym in Wicker Park. Retaining much of the feng shui vibe of the original, this locale has a slightly more urban feel, thanks to the narrowness of its building. The endlessly airiness is tempered, but oversize windows keep it sunny enough. Expect the same amenities as the Northside location, such as Internet access, tons of yoga classes and the tasty Energia Juice Bar, with a few new ones thrown into the mix.
The Classes: A bevy of spin classes get your rear in gear, though the teaching method tends to (thankfully) be centered more on understanding your pulse than your poundage. It's reflective of a larger mindset: Cheetah seems to put more emphasis on health and wellness than Bally-esque rock hard bods (that's just the pleasant side effect). The work-your-core Bosu Bootcamp is an incredibly popular class, and newer additions like Tread Train reflect Cheetah's ever-evolving programming.
The Extras: Supreme friendliness, for one. The Energia Juice Bar, a boon for gymgoers and Wicker Park residents alike, offers a wide array of heart-healthy smoothies. Small pocket rooms allow for solo stretching and abs work; washing machines let you take care of a load while you sweat it out on the Precor elliptical trainers; and red- and white-striped mints and Q-tips in the locker rooms make for a slightly sweeter exit.
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Schwartz