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Computers, Not Weights, Run Lincoln Park Fitness Studio

By Paul Biasco | February 19, 2015 5:40am
 Founder and CEO of Exercise Coach Brian Cygan demonstrates a computerized machine in the Lincoln Park studio.
Founder and CEO of Exercise Coach Brian Cygan demonstrates a computerized machine in the Lincoln Park studio.
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DNAinfo/Paul Biasco

LINCOLN PARK — Ivan Drago would feel right at home inside Lincoln Park's newest gym.

The machines inside Exercise Coach resemble those that helped the Soviet antagonist from "Rocky IV" grow his muscles in preparation for Rocky Balboa.

There are no free weights at Exercise Coach.

Instead, the gym's workout machines operate on computer-controlled resistance that adapts to the strength of each user.

"Working out on our strength machines is like workout on five machines at once," said Brian Cygan, founder and CEO of the gym.

Cygan opened the city's first Exercise Coach at 1015 W. Webster Ave. this year and has plans to open two additional studios in the city.

The workout studio features a handful of the computerized machines ranging from leg presses to chest presses as well as a few cardio machines for high-intensity interval training.

Cygan, who played college baseball and was a strength and conditioning coach before launching his company, said the machines hope to fill a gap in fitness of people who haven't found their fit.

"It's a super effective and efficient approach," he said.

Because of the efficiency, the studio only recommends clients come in twice a week for 20-minute workouts.

The computers allow for customized resistance and real-time feedback that shows up on a screen in front of each machine.

The screens show users exactly how much force they are exerting.

The computerized systems allow for data tracking and progress reports.

The fitness franchise was started in Lake Zurich 15 years ago and has since expanded to 30 locations around the country.

Cygan is eyeing 125 locations in the next two or three years.

Cygan acquired the Exercise Coach's "smart-gym" technology from Exerbotics in late 2014.

"it's the perfect resistance every second of the set," Cygan said.

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