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    Request a private preview of our clubs and spend a day getting fit and having fun.

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    Thai Steak Salad

    ThaiSaladFood and Beverage Director LeAnn Rosado from Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago has developed an amazing Thai Salad that offers the one-two punch of healthy and delicious.

    And it doesn’t get much better than that.

    Marinade and Salad Dressing

    1 lb skirt steak

    3 TBSP lime juice, divided

    3 TBSP soy sauce

    3 TBSP  canola oil

    2  TBSP brown sugar

    1 tsp minced garlic

    1 ½ tsp  minced ginger

    1 ¼ tsp red curry paste or chili-garlic sauce

    Per Serving

    Mixed greens

    1 shallot, thinly sliced

    1/8 cup thinly sliced cucumber

    1/8 cup red bell peppers thinly sliced

    1 TBSP  cilantro, basil, and fresh mint, roughly chopped

    Place meat in a sealable plastic bag or small glass dish. In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, soy sauce, canola oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and red curry paste.

    Pour half the mixture into the bag with the meat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice to the bag. Seal tightly, and marinate meat in refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Reserve the rest of the mixture refrigerated, to dress the salad.

    Grill steak as desired. Let rest until room temperature; then slice thinly against the grain.

    Combine lettuce, sliced shallot, red peppers, cucumber, fresh herbs, and steak in a salad bowl, reserving a few shallots for garnish. Add the reserved dressing and toss to coat.

    5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

    christmas cookies

    Version française

    Registered Dietitian Jenny Maloney from Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago shares her tips for staving off the seemingly inevitable holiday weight gain.

    The holiday season is here, and if you’re among the millions of people traveling to visit friends and family, the challenge of sticking to your healthy lifestyle can begin before you even set foot inside Aunt Nancy’s door.

    Follow these tips to eat well both on the road and as you navigate the cookie-laden holiday party scene.

    1.    Plan Ahead

    When possible, find out what’s being served at each holiday gathering. If you’re eating out, look for the restaurant’s menu online.

    If you can make good decisions on food choices before you go, you are more likely to stick with your plan.

    2.   Bring Meals with You

    Before you catch your flight or set out on your road trip home for the holidays, pack at least the first meal you’ll need to eat with you, to resist the temptation of grabbing unhealthy airport fare or pulling off the highway for a fast food run. It takes just a few minutes to assemble a healthy sandwich, or stash some fruit, nuts, real food granola bars, or other good-for-you, non-perishable snacks in your bag. And don’t forget to pack water.

    3.    Exercise

    Burn the extra calories you will be eating during the holidays by ensuring that you continue to work out. If there’s a gym where you’re going, plan to squeeze in a few sessions (and remember that Midtown members have reciprocal club privileges at each of our eight clubs across the United States and Canada). Pack resistance bands in your suitcase, or use your own body weight, and research some online workouts you can do in your hotel room or in your 10 x 10 childhood bedroom in mom and dad’s house.

    4.     Lose a Few Pounds Before You Go

    If your travel plans aren’t until next month, amp up your workouts now and you can drop several pounds before the end of the year. Eat clean and less processed foods, but don’t go on a crash diet; you run the risk gaining back any weight you lost and then some.

    5.     Keep Splurges to a Minimum

    The holidays are for drinking and eating delicious food, but every meal should not be a cheat meal.  The average American adult gains two pounds during the holidays each year, and over the course of five years, if you don’t lose that weight, you’re carrying around an extra 10 pounds.

    Plan your splurges to include Uncle Andy’s pecan pie with homemade whipped cream on Thanksgiving Day, but skip the four cocktails at the bar on Thanksgiving night when you’re out with your cousins.

    The #LiveLikeRoo Project

    roo4We are incredibly proud to have as members inspiring, philanthropic, and community-minded individuals who give of themselves to make our world a better place.

    Midtown Athletic Club in Palatine, IL member Kelly Michael works at a no-kill pit bull shelter in Illinois. Kelly fell in love with and adopted one of their dogs, who was named Roo (short for Roosevelt).  Soon after adopting him, Kelly was devastated to learn that he had cancer and would only live another six months.

    Determined to give Roo the wonderful life he had never had, she created a bucket list of fun activities to do with Roo in the time he had left, and she documented his adventures on the popular Facebook page Live Like Roo. She also created the #LiveLikeRoo hashtag to inspire people to treat their dogs more like members of their families and to help other families who have dogs with untreatable medical conditions.

    She had another project idea in mind too.

    Kelly and her sister-in-law Amanda Michael approached one of the tennis coaches at Midtown Palatine to ask for some tennis balls. They asked for 100 balls, but we gave them nearly 1,000!

    On each ball, they wrote the hashtag #LiveLikeRoo and took them to dog parks in the Chicago area.  They asked the dog owners to let their pups play with the balls and then leave them at the park for the next dogs to play with.

    roo1We’re thrilled to offer #LiveLikeRoo tennis balls at the front desk of our Palatine club for members to take for their own dogs. Snap a photo of your pooch playing with the ball, and post it to the club’s Facebook page. We would love to see them.

    Sadly, Roo passed away on September 8, but his legacy of love lives on in the work Kelly continues to do for other pit bulls in need. Kelly works with the Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation, founded by Chicago Blackhawks left-winger Bryan Bickell, his wife Amanda, and their good friend Alicia.

    Kelly continues to foster and rescue dogs, and works tirelessly to place them in their forever homes.




    No More Excuses: Add Strength Training to Your Routine and See Results

    kettlePersonal Trainer Jenny Maloney from Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago is back to talk about the benefits of strength training and to dispute the myth that strength training is something only men should pursue.

    Many people do not strength train consistently.

    Perhaps it’s because they don’t experience that an immediate sweat right afterward, so they might not feel that the workout was effective.

    But it is, especially when you complete a high-intensity strength-training workout.

    Or maybe it’s because you’re a woman who thinks strength training involves heavy weights and therefore the workout is only for men.

    But really, you don’t have to use any weight at all, unless you choose to. You can use your own body weight and ladies, you aren’t going to get “bulky.” Women’s hormones are different than men’s and your genetic makeup plays a big role in how your muscles develop.

    Or maybe you think it’s too time-consuming, and ain’t nobody got time for that.

    But you can get a whole-body workout done in about 20 minutes. Or you can break up your workout into 10-minute increments twice a day.

    There really is no excuse for avoiding strength training.

    Here are some benefits of strength training that you stand to reap:

    • Stronger bones, ligaments, and tendons
    • Improved balance and coordination
    • Injury prevention
    • Weight loss and weight management (more muscles means more calories burned)
    • Lower risk of chronic diseases
    • Body change that you might achieve from doing only cardio exercise
    • Boosted energy
    • Better mood
    • Increased sports performance

    So how do you get started? 

    At the club, start with the machines. Many include pictures of how to do specific strength training exercises. Or, try taking a strength training class to get motivated.

    At home, try using resistance bands, free weights, or your own body weight. Check out YouTube for workout ideas, or ask a personal trainer for a workout plan.

    The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends working all your major muscle groups 2-3 times per week, giving at least 48 hours of rest in between. Aim for 2-3 sets, 10-15 repetitions, 2-3times per week. To see a true change in your body, leave your comfort zone behind. You’ll be able to feel the muscle burn during the last 4-5 reps. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights; you need some resistance to get results!

    So, if you’re not currently incorporating strength training into your workouts, start now.

    Club Renovation Update August 2015

    WIN_Outdoor_PoolAugust is a busy month for renovation progress at the club, and we couldn’t be more excited.

    Here is the latest information.

    Front Doors

    We are installing new front doors during the week of August 16. This may impact your entrance and exit from the building.

    Pressure Washing and Glass Repair

    We will continue to pressure wash the building and to repair the outside and inside glass over the next several weeks. We expect this project to be completed by the end of August.

    Tennis Courts

    Courts 1, 8, and 9 will be closed through August 7 for repair and resurfacing. Courts 2, 6, and 7 will close from August 10 – 14 for repair and resurfacing.

    Fitness Floors

    We will begin our second and third floor renovation the week of August 10.  This will result in a significant impact on your usage of these floors.

    During a four-day period, much of the equipment will not be available for use. Our personal trainers will be available to take you through a personalized workout. Please see the schedules at the Hospitality Desk.

    Beginning Monday, August 10, you will notice the presence of construction workers and moving companies on the second and third floors. We will provide a pathway for you to access the gymnasium and squash courts.

    Please note that the Weight Room, Studio A, Studio B, the Cycling Room, the Pilates Room, and the Multipurpose Room will be closed on Monday, August 10 and Thursday, August 13, so that we can remove and replace equipment. There will be limited space available in these rooms on Tuesday, August 11 and Wednesday, August 12.

    The track can be used for walking and running.

    First Floor Workouts

    You can enjoy a workout on the first floor during the renovation week:

    • Pilates Reformers and Chairs as well as Power Plates will be placed in the lobby.
    • Cycling classes will take place on the café patio (weather permitting).
    • Yoga and Pilates Mat classes will take place in the café conference room.
    • Dance classes will take place in the lounge area of the café.
    • Other group fitness classes and training programs will take place in the indoor pool area, the area near the tennis courts, and on the sand volleyball courts.

    Pick up a special Group Fitness schedule at the Hospitality Desk.

    Thank you for your patience during this exciting renovation period at the club.

    Head here for our previous update, which includes floor plans for the four new zones: Wellness, Strength Training, Performance, and Mind Body.

    We can’t wait to celebrate the renovation project and its associated new fitness programming with you.

    Recognize the 9 Signs of Overtraining

    post MXTPhysical activity is always beneficial for your body.

    Or is it?

    While the idea of working out too often seems implausible, it is possible.

    Whether you’re squeezing in multiple workouts over the weekend or trying to reach your goal too quickly, exercise is only beneficial when you’ve had the proper recovery and rest.

    Here are some signs you might be overdoing it from Personal Trainer and Registered Dietitian Jenny Maloney from Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago, IL:

    • You are always injured or in pain; rest may be what your injury needs, but you aren’t giving it that time to heal.
    • You are so sore 24-48 hours after you exercise that you can’t perform everyday functional activities, such as sitting down, without pain.
    • You don’t take at least one day off a week from exercise. On rest days, you can stretch or do light cardio, but your workout should be low-impact.
    • You are too tired to perform exercise properly. This could be a sign that you are using poor form or that the weight is too heavy. Working out using proper form is crucial to avoiding injury and getting results.
    • You are seeing results too quickly. Weight gain from muscle should not exceed 5 pounds a week and weight loss from cardio should not exceed 2-5 pounds per week (weight loss might be a little more if a sedentary person starts a new exercise program and/or needs to lose a significant amount of weight).
    • You are constantly dehydrated and thirsty; your body may not be able to keep up with your workouts, which means you haven’t recovered enough.
    • You are getting sick often. Your immune system gets worn down if you are over-exercising and not fueling with the right foods.
    • You’re having problems sleeping. Overtraining can throw off your body’s nervous system and hormonal balance, which can affect sleeping patterns.
    • You are not achieving desired results anymore. Muscle needs a chance to repair, so if you keep going without recovery, you are stopping this process and your body reacts negatively.

    If any of these sound familiar, try shorter, more frequent workouts, with at least one day of rest each week.  You can make your workouts intense, but recognize the difference between “good” exercise burn versus muscle and joint pain.

    Weight train 2-3 times per week and give your muscles 48 hours to repair and recover between these workouts.  If you are injured or sore past 48 hours, give your body rest, ice if needed, and stretch tight muscles. Lastly, hydrate and fuel with healthy foods before, during if needed, and after exercise.

    Club Renovation Update
    Thank you for your patience as we finish up the first floor renovations.
    We’re continuing to work on improvements and upgrades to the air conditioning units that service the executive locker rooms. We hope this work will be completed shortly.  
    We have elected to postpone our second and third floor fitness renovations to accommodate our summer camps and the high usage of the club during the summer. These renovations will now begin the week of August 10.
    This work will include upgrades to our fitness equipment, the construction of a dedicated Mind Body studio, a new Pilates room, a dedicated weight room, and new performance and wellness areas.  

    We appreciate your patience during this exciting renovation period at the club. We can’t wait to celebrate the renovation project and its associated new fitness programming with you.

    6 Dieting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

    carbsTips and techniques on losing weight flood your Facebook and Twitter feeds daily, but which are really effective, long-term solutions to weight loss?

    Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer Jenny Maloney from Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago separates fact from fiction and offers common-sense ideas on how to lose weight and keep the pounds off for good.

    Dieting Myth: Eat a minimal amount of calories and you’ll lose weight quickly.

    Reality: While it’s true that if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight. However, when you don’t eat enough calories, your body and metabolism slow down and go into shut down mode. Taking in fewer than 1,200 calories per day is not recommended.

    Dieting Myth: Don’t eat carbs.

    Reality: I can’t count how many times someone has told me, “I’m trying to lose weight so I’m cutting out carbs.” In reality, the person isn’t cutting out all carbs, because vegetables, fruit, grains, beans, milk, and yogurt all have carbohydrates (and these foods are good for you). 40-50% of your total nutritional intake should come from carbohydrates. Watch your portions and choose whole grain, whole food carbohydrates.

    Dieting Myth: Choose calorie-, sugar-, and fat-controlled foods.

    Reality: Highly processed ”food” marketed as sugar-free, fat-free, or portioned into 100- calorie packages are not real food and they are not satiating. Have a real food dessert like a small piece of dark chocolate or a real food snack, such an apple and some almonds to feel satisfied without ingesting chemical additives and preservatives.

    Dieting Myth: Splurge days are diet-killers.

    Reality: Eating healthy and balanced meals are an excellent way to lose weight, but eating some not-so-healthy foods once or twice a week will help you feel like you’re not depriving yourself. Plan your splurges ahead of time and don’t overdo it; this will help you stick to your nutrition plan for the long term.

    healthy bfastDieting Myth: Skip breakfast

    Reality: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You’ve gone 6-8 hours or more since you last ate, so you should be hungry for breakfast if your metabolism is working correctly. Skipping meals and snacks can set you up  to overeat later in the day. Try to eat every 4-6 hours to keep your blood sugar stable and your metabolism working.

    Dieting Myth: Weekdays are for dieting, weekends are for overindulging.

    Reality: While it’s okay to enjoy “splurge” foods over the weekend, keep in mind that eating (or drinking) too many of these foods can and will negate all the hard work you put in during the week. Figure out what meals you want to eat out or splurge on and again, don’t overdo it.

    The 10-Minute Workout
    10 minute workout1

    Bicycle abs

    Personal Trainer and Registered Dietitian Jenny Maloney from Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago is back to offer a short, yet highly effective workout for those days when you struggle to find time to eat lunch, let along squeeze in your daily exercise.

    We’re busier and more pressed for time than ever before, and our workouts are often the first thing to fall off the to-do list.

    What would you say if I told you that all you need is 10 minutes to get in a good workout?

    It’s true.

    The secret is to work out at a higher feeling of intensity. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most intense, perform the following exercises at an intensity of 8-to-10. This higher level of intensity is the key to an effective, yet short, workout.

    10 minute workout2

    Floor dips

    Perform two sets of these seven exercises for 30 seconds, with a 10-second rest in between each exercise:

    1. Planks on your elbows with toe taps out and in
    2. Squat jumps (modification is squats with 8 pulses)
    3. Push-ups  (modification is on your knees)
    4. Bicycle abs
    5. Side lunges both ways
    6. Dips on the floor or on a chair
    7. Skater jumps (side toe taps staying low)


    And your workout for the day is done.


    Member-Led Go Forth International Helps Those in Need

    Go Forth3Our members are among the most philanthropic people in their respective communities, and we love hearing about the good works they do for others.

    Angie DeLeon and her family, longtime members of Midtown Athletic Club in Willowbrook, IL, are true stewards of hope and charity.

    When Angie retired from Cook County Hospital as a registered nurse in 2004, she and a few other retired healthcare workers founded Go Forth International, a non-profit organization that provides healthcare services to global communities in need.

    The missions each run about three months at a time and are staffed by a team of volunteers. Most recently, the group went to the Philippines and provided health screenings, eye checkups, and dental hygiene to over 10,000 patients.

    Go Forth2

    Go Forth4

    We are truly inspired by Angie and her dedication to the global community.

    The world needs more people like her in it.

    Go Forth6

    Go Forth9

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