The Leader’s guide to the gyms of Elmhurst

Photo by Cole Sheeks   Courts Plus’ large selection of cardio equipment surrounded by its indoor track. 

Photo by Cole Sheeks

Courts Plus’ large selection of cardio equipment surrounded by its indoor track. 

by Cole Sheeks, Sports Editor
Follow him at @ColeSheeks

So you are new to campus and want to know where to workout? Good news: The Leader has got you covered.

We have done the legwork for you and visited every gym within walking distance of our beautiful campus in order to examine them in four major categories - price, convenience, equipment, and atmosphere. 

Each category will receive a score on our 10 point scale and all of the categories will be added up to create an overall score out of 40 that will help make your decision easier.


So sit back, relax (but not for too long … Freshman 15 and all) and enjoy this guide to finding the gym that fits your needs during your time at Elmhurst College.


Tyrrell Fitness Center


Price: 10

Convenience: 7

Equipment: 8

Atmosphere: 7

Overall: 32


Attached to R.A. Faganel Hall, the Tyrrell Fitness Center is the on-campus option for students at EC. With a membership included in the cost of your tuition, the price stands out compared to any other gym in the area and makes this an attractive option for your workout needs.

As the home to all of the Bluejays NCAA sports teams, the Tyrrell Fitness Center has just about every piece of workout equipment you can imagine. Students also have access to the field house, where they can enjoy a game of basketball when court time is available.

As EC student and fitness center employee Kenny O’Leary puts it, “It’s a relaxed atmosphere with a variety of equipment that meets the standards of all students.”

That being said, the fact that this gym is home to every athletic team on campus can push that relaxed atmosphere to its limits, as a battle for space within the fitness center can make working out a hassle during busy hours. The EC gym also lacks an indoor track and an aquatics center.

All things considered, this is a fine athletic facility with a price and location that are hard to beat.

Courts Plus

Price: 6

Convenience: 6

Equipment: 10

Atmosphere: 9

Overall: 31


As part of the Elmhurst Park District, Courts Plus is a community leader when it comes to fitness.

With state-of-the-art facilities that include their indoor swimming pool and sauna, as well as their rock-climbing wall, Courts Plus has just about everything you can ask for out of a gym. Their indoor track allows you to stay active year-round and their variety of lifting equipment will serve most purposes.

This is definitely the luxury option among the gyms in the area and you will need to pay accordingly. From ages 18-22, a membership at Courts Plus will cost $30 up front, followed by a $29 monthly fee. 

That price places it at the higher end of local gyms and can be restrictive if you are on a tight budget; however, it is clear that you are getting what you pay for, as this is the cleanest gym in the area and the staff is very friendly and helpful.

One downside to Courts Plus is the distance from campus, as it is located 15-20 minutes away by foot. This may be a plus if your fitness goals include cardio; however, we assume that you would rather avoid that trip during the cold winter months.

Membership services specialist Dan Roelofs told The Leader that he enjoys the way his gym gets the entire community involved and that The best part about Courts Plus is that “it brings people of all ages together as they workout.”

XSport Fitness

Price: 8

Convenience: 7

Equipment: 6

Atmosphere: 10

Overall: 31


Photo by Marielle Decena   Xsport fitness near Route 83 and North Ave has a wide array of machines and free weights available for its customers.

Photo by Marielle Decena

Xsport fitness near Route 83 and North Ave has a wide array of machines and free weights available for its customers.

If you are looking for a social environment to workout in, XSport Fitness may be the gym for you. With music and television providing background entertainment, the crowd at this gym skews young and the mid-range pricing is more affordable than most competitors at $19 per month (along with a $64 payment up front). 

If you keep an eye out for promotions, you can save additional money and if you act fast you can take advantage of their $1 registration charge during the month of August.

Regional manager Hank Trinidad agrees that his gym provides a social atmosphere where members can meet new people and enjoy their time at the gym, saying that, “It’s a good atmosphere to train in. A lot of high school and college aged kids come in to train for sports.”

It is difficult to broadly judge the convenience of XSport Fitness and it will vary based upon your available modes of transportation. 

If you plan on walking to the gym, you will need to be ready for a half hour trip that crosses North Avenue (and like we said above, you need to plan for those winter months). 

However, if you will have a car on campus, XSport is only a few minutes down the street and is available to members 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 


Elmhurst YMCA

Price: 6

Convenience: 9

Equipment: 9

Atmosphere: 6

Overall: 30


Lastly, we have the Elmhurst YMCA. Located just across the train tracks, this gym is easily within walking distance from campus and includes an ice hockey rink during the winter months.

“I think the ice rink is what sets us apart from the school gym,” said Ricardo Rodriguez, an EC graduate and membership experience supervisor at the Elmhurst YMCA.

In addition to the ice rink, a membership at the Elmhurst YMCA gives you access to its indoor pool and basketball court, as well as its weight room and cardio equipment. If you are looking for the most diverse offering of training equipment, the Elmhurst YMCA will be able to offer it to you. 

That being said, you will need to cough up more money to train here than you will at most other gyms in the area. After paying a $29 joining fee, a membership at the Elmhurst YMCA costs $29 per month for young adults ages 19 to 26.

Furthermore, while the atmosphere at the gym is very friendly and inviting, it does not quite match the youthful environment seen at other area venues, so this may not be the gym for you if you are planning on socializing with other college students as you work out.