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Katie Anne Orr | Photo: Katrina Wittkamp | November 26, 2014
Chicago’s Shred415 cross-training phenomenon is poised to expand into other cities.
When fitness firecrackers Tracy Roemer and Bonnie Micheli coined the concept for Shred415—a fierce cocktail of high-intensity running, weights and hot beats (sometimes spun by live DJs)—in 2011, their benchmark for success was simply having packed classes at the flagship Lincoln Park location. Three years later, the ladies have expanded to five locations to accommodate the waiting-list overflow. Next up is St. Louis, with more on the horizon.
Roemer and Micheli met at their Hartland Park neighborhood Starbucks a few years back. The two bonded instantly over a shared passion for fitness. Micheli was the Midwestern personal trainer and barre class instructor who’d had a penchant for bright spandex and Richard Simmons aerobics as a teen. Roemer was the West Coast dietician and taekwondo instructor who had dragged her high school friends to Jazzercise. Together, Roemer and Micheli took the plunge and turned a joint dream into reality.
Meant to spike your heart rate and drop it back down during a 60-minute session, Shred415 has become a co-ed brand, locally akin to CrossFit. Walk into the dimly lit studio with Avicii’s music pumping overhead, and everything else fades: It’s just you and your workout. You might equate the 56-person army of instructors—experts in fitness, wellness, sports medicine, mixed martial arts and physical therapy—to really fun drill sergeants whipping recruits into shape. “I love the end of a class when everyone’s exhausted, and I’m screaming, ‘We’ve got one more, who’s with me?!’” says Roemer. “It’s really exhilarating to see everyone pushing past their limits and see change affected in their bodies—and they’re thrilled to be doing it.” Unlimited monthly memberships $205
The Mariano’s juice bar, anything Nike, cross-training, being comfortable in your own body
Processed foods, negative attitudes, skinny fat, not taking care of yourself