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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Strive Village fitness facility: 'Unapologetically intense'
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-02-15

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Walking into the Strive Village fitness facility, a person cannot claim a lack of warning.

In large letters on one of the walls is the mantra "Hard Work. Integrity. Juice." ( This writer would be the first to admit that he had to look twice, especially because of the last word—but more on that later. ) Focused and intense coaches do more than put their subjects through their paces; the clients grind, pant and sweat through a 45-minute regimen that coach Nik Rodriguez described to Windy City Times as "unapologetically intense."

When asked what sets Strive apart from private strength/conditioning facilities, Rodriguez said, "We're a team. Each of the coaches trains the same way; we share clients. We train people really hard.

"We know we're not for everyone—we are for people who want to train hard and train [safely]." Regarding the safety aspect, Rodriguez added, "The movements we use are very simple—pushing and pulling, and we don't let momentum get involved. Momentum might be easier, but it is also more dangerous. We make sure you do things correctly." ( Strive also does assessments, asking about their clients' goals and even medical histories. )

As for who can work out at Strive Village, the clients range from the ages in their sixties to those who are as young as 15. As for that lower limit, Rodriguez said, "It was a business decision. Around 15, kids—with their parents' permission—can start training aggressively. And 15 can look a lot different; some look 18 and some look 11. Usually, though, puberty starts to set in at that age, and we can tailor our program for them."

And as for that aforementioned mantra, Rodriguez said that the words "represent our core values. And 'juice' does not refer to steroids or even a juice bar—people come in knowing that the coaches are intense and are not in a bad mood."

Deciding to put his money where his mouth is, this writer went through a session ( although it was mercifully abbreviated to 30 minutes for this first-timer ). While I've never been in the military, I got an idea of what privates have to endure—it was almost like boot-camp class, except it's one-on-one time.

Rodriguez told me that I'd probably be sore for a few days. I didn't initially believe him, as I work out regularly—but his words rang true. It was a good kind of soreness, though—one that indicates accomplishment.

See StriveVillage.com .


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