LOGAN SQUARE — There's no skipping class at Logan Square's newest gym.
"[Your coach] will call you. They will show up at your front door. They will drag you here," said Lance Farrell to the newest enrollees in his fitness program Saturday.
Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping, a gym based on an intense, 10-week-long kickboxing, strength-training and nutrition program, opened the doors of its second Chicago location at 3201 N. Fullerton Ave.
The franchise has more than 50 locations in nine states, and Logan Square was chosen because of a "fitness need" in the neighborhood, said owner Jason Hedden.
"This neighborhood was hungry for something like this," Farrell said. "We hear people talk about it [and] they're just super excited.”
Logan Square resident Joelle Allonce, 30, found out about the gym just by happening upon it, like more than half of the 120 people at orientation Saturday.
Allonce said she hasn't worked out regularly since she moved to Chicago in May because there isn't a gym close to her in Logan Square. She doesn't want to brave traffic before work to drive far, and she doesn't have the motivation to work out after a long day.
"The idea of having to go do a workout after work? Nine times out of 10, I probably won't do it," she said. "How accountable am I going to hold myself, really? I don’t know that I would push myself."
Now, Allonce will have about 60 new friends to make sure she sweats it out six days a week.
Coaches don't actually show up at students' doors, but they will text or call them. And classmates will, too, said Bret Sharp, the owner of the Lincoln Park Farrell's location at 821 W. Blackhawk St.
"It isn’t segregated like a normal gym, where you walk in and you don’t talk to anybody, you go do your own thing," Sharp said. "You get to know the people in your class. You become friends. You want to come see that person in the morning and work out with them. You don’t want to not come to class and let your friend down."
The $465 program consists of 45-minute classes six days per week, with food logs, a no-alcohol-no-coffee policy, and $1,000 prize for the man and woman who improve the most. About 20 spots are left to sign up for the current 10-week class. After that, the next round begins in January.
Sharp said a opening day turnout of about 60 to 80 students is good for the franchise. So, the 120 students on Saturday was "amazing," Hedden said.
He and Sharp hope to open up eight to 10 locations in Chicago in coming years.
"The reason why we’re growing fast is because we are a program," Sharp said. "It's not just a gym, it’s really community-based. Everybody's welcome no matter what size [or] shape. It's really supportive and non-judgmental, and that word of mouth travels fast."