BUCKTOWN — Soon you can do a high-intensity Pilates-like workout — on the same type of machine reportedly favored by Kim Kardashian and Michelle Obama — and eat pizza before hopping on the nearby Bloomingdale Trail.
"Who doesn't want pizza after a killer workout?" said Cheri Byrd, a former Lululemon manager and Bucktown resident who owns CHI50, a fitness studio at 1814 N. Milwaukee Ave. that combines Pilates, cardio and strength training into a 50-minute workout performed on machines called Megaformers.
CHI50, which plans to open on May 2, has signed on to be one of three shops in a converted manufacturing building at 1812-16 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The second tenant is a pizza parlor, according to Realtor Nikki Dumas, who is trying to rent out the third space at 1816 N. Milwaukee Ave.
According to rates published on the CHI50 website, a single class costs $35; there are also special packages offered to brides-to-be and new moms. Byrd said she plans to offer free classes to the community during the last week of April.
The "CHI" stands for "Core, High and Intensity and not Chicago, according to the studio's logo.
Byrd described CHI50's concept as a high-intensity Pilates studio that uses the Lagree method, started by Sebastien Lagree, who manufactures his Megaformer machines out of a Burbank, Calif., warehouse.
In addition to herself, Byrd has hired seven other trainers to teach in the studio. She said she selected the spot because she already lives in Bucktown and wanted to find a space where she could create a community and make all of CHI50's clients feel welcome and supported.
"I searched around looking for the right space and when I found this building back in June I knew it would be perfect. I love that it is right off of the 606 and in an area that is really starting to grow," Byrd said.
Byrd and Dumas declined to share the name of the pizza spot signed on for the building, which is located a few steps north of an entry and exit ramp to the elevated Bloomingdale Trail, part of The 606 network of parks that opened last June.
"I have met the owner and I am very excited to have them as a neighbor and partner on future events," Byrd said.
Byrd described CHI50 classes as "an extremely effective workout in a supportive environment" and says the Lagree method can be modified to make it approachable to someone who is new to the class or just starting to work out. To stay updated, visit CHI50's Facebook page.
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