As you probably know, one of my favorite things to do when I travel is to workout local. I love it so much that I decided to take that simple concept and build on it within my own community. Thus, last November I set out to explore the fitness scene within Champaign-Urbana by visiting a new gym each month for one year.  During each visit, I'd experience the gym, take classes, meet the staff and members then write and share my experiences. It's hard to believe that it's been an entire year since I began this project! I've visited several great places, met so many amazing people, have been challenged in new ways, been taken way out of my comfort zone and have grown a lot over the last twelve months!

I thought it would be fun to share a post that links to all twelve featured gyms. So that being said, below you'll find links to all featured gym's in this series with an brief intro highlighting each gym.


November - Stephen's Family YMCA
December - Pursuit Fitness & Performance Institute
January - Hatha Yoga & Fitness
February - Refinery Gym
March - Unyoked CrossFit
April - Fit 4 Mom
May - No Limit Fitness
June - Infinite CU
July - Fitness Premier
August - Blended Balance Fitness
September - CU Women's Boxing
October - University Avenue CrossFit


November - Stephen's Family YMCA

The first gym in these series is my home away from home, The Stephens Family YMCA. I'm there at least five or six days a week and it is one of my favorite places to be in this community. Not only do they have amazing group fitness classes which I will share much more detail about, but they have a huge fitness floor with a ton of strength training and cardio equipment, an indoor track, multiple gymnasiums, wall climb, indoor pools, kids watch area and a ton of family friendly activities and offerings available throughout the entire year.

December - Pursuit Fitness & Performance Institute

Pursuit Institute is located inside of the newly opened Lodgic Workplace but they have been around for several years. One of the key differentiators of Pursuit Institute is their focus on the client. They truly tailor the experience to you as the individual client from your first introductory consultation meeting. After a brief tour around Pursuit, you quickly see that they have just a little bit of everything in terms of fitness, strength and cardio equipment. For a fitness enthusiast such as myself, I felt like a kid in a candy store with all the 'fitness things' available within arms reach to incorporate into my workout.

January - Hatha Yoga & Fitness

Hatha is located on South Neil in Champaign next to Hada Cosmetics. It is a fairly new studio to our community opening just last year. I've had the opportunity of visiting Hatha and I have to tell you, this place is amazing! The classes offered are awesome and the staff is so welcoming and friendly especially to a newcomer to the studio like me!

February - Refinery Gym

Refinery is located on John Street in west Champaign near Centennial Park. It's been in the community since 2004 and it's a bit of a hidden gem, or rather hidden gym. Literally, it's underneath apartment buildings on John St. and if you didn't pay attention to the sign indicating Refinery you might never know there is also a gym there! Refinery is a complete full-service gym with a variety of cardio equipment, several strength training machines, more weight space than I've seen in a gym, large dedicated spaces for group fitness and childcare which is always a bonus!

March - Unyoked CrossFit

Since I began this endeavor to visit a new-to-me gym in my community each month I hadn't yet been taken too far out of my comfort zone in the placed I'd visited. Despite trying new places with unique and different offerings I really hadn't done anything that I hadn't done before. That is until March's featured gym, Unyoked CrossFit. Over the years I have done 'CrossFit-like' workouts and exercises that were embedded into different classes but had never been to a straight-up CrossFit gym, or box as it's often referred, and done a complete CrossFit WOD (Workout of the Day) before.

April - Fit4Mom Champaign Urbana

Starting a workout routine can be challenging. Starting a workout routine as a new mom is infinitely more challenging. On top of caring for a new baby plus older kiddos if you have them, you are expected to manage the household, keep everything running smoothly while all you really want is a few minutes to yourself and the ability to be around and talk with other mommas that are in the exact situation as you. Oh, and on top of that that you are hoping the aforementioned workout routine will help you lose the baby weight and get back into shape so that you can keep up with those crazy kids of yours.

May - NO Limit Fitness

So far in my featured gym series, I've stayed pretty close to home proximity wise and only ventured out of my comfort zone once or twice. For May, I decided to mix it up, both getting out of town and my comfort zone for a visit to NO Limit Fitness in Mahomet, Illinois. I knew when I started this series, I would eventually expand my reach of featured gyms to include surrounding communities of Champaign-Urbana so when I saw a couple Facebook posts regarding NO Limit Fitness, I thought it would be the perfect addition.

June - Infinite CU

Gym families are like second families and that could not be more true than with the crew at Infinite CU. If you're looking for a gym that offers group fitness style classes with the full attention of a personal trainer, plus the ability to do one-on-one personal training and summer outdoor bootcamps all while feeling like you are working out with family, then you've got to check out Infinite CU!

July - Fitness Premier

Visiting a new-to-me gym is exciting, but visiting a brand new gym in the community...now that is super exciting!! And, I got to do just that for July's featured gym of the month, Fitness Premier Champaign! As for as local gyms go, Fitness Premier is the newest kid on the block, so to speak, having just opened its doors to our community in May of this year. When I first saw glimpses of this new place I knew it would be an excellent fit for my monthly series!

August - Blended Balance Fitness

August featured gym of the month is Blended Balance Fitness! That's right, shameless plug over here, because it's me! I figured this was as good of time as any to share a little more about my small personal training business, the services I offer, and an exciting new online service that is now available!

September - CU Women's Boxing

September's featured gym of the month, CU Women's Boxing, had me filled with mixed emotions leading up to my first day in the gym. I was nervous, unsure, intimidated yet excited as I entered the gym for the initial introduction session. Over my years of exercise, I'd taken a kickboxing class or two, but never wrapped my hands, put on gloves, and used a punching bag. Trying out boxing definitely put me on the outside of my comfort zone, but in the spirt of trying new things AND being brave, I thought it would be an excellent addition to my monthly featured gym series.

October - University Avenue CrossFit

You never know what you are capable of until you give it a try. That statement pretty much sums up my experience during my visit to University Ave (UAVE) CrossFit, October's featured gym of the month. I was taken out of my comfort zone once again but what's interesting is that little by little and new experience after new experience, I'm finding that my comfort zone is steadily shrinking. What do I mean by that? Well, a year ago, maybe even six months ago, I wouldn't have dared attempt CrossFit let alone try a never-before-visited CrossFit gym, however, now even though it is still a bit intimidating and always challenging, I was eager and willing to give UAVEa try. And, better yet, I actually found it fun!


As it turns out, there are still several more gyms to explore which has been thinking I'll continue this project into 2020. I'm going to pause for December and share a recap of the different gyms I've been to throughout my travels then resume the Champaign-Urbana featured gym series in January!

Are you a local gym that isn't on this list and would like a feature? Message me and let's chat!!! And, if you are just one of my readers and would like any additional information regarding the gyms in the series, don't hesistate to reach out! As always thank you for your support!!