i.d. gym staff
Meet our talented, highly independent team of fitness professionals
Abby is an experienced yoga teacher with over 10 years of teaching. She feels a yoga practice should be a combination of joy, challenge, steadiness, stillness, humor and humility. She specializes in creating customized personal yoga practices. By taking into account one's individual needs, goals, and lifestyle, she can create a yoga program to fit your life.
Fly Yoga is one of her favorite classes. Not only is it fun, but it allows deep stretching, and test's one's ability in strength and endurance.
Her primary teacher is Rod Stryker of ParaYoga and she studies in the Himalayan tradition. She's also studied with Seane Corn, Dharma Mittra, Ana Forrest, Duncan Wong, Brent Holten and Dr, Brain Weiss, but she finds that these days her greatest teachers are partnership and parenthood.
She also teaches Pilates and water aerobics, She plays the bassoon, can beat box The Blue Danube, and loves cooking but hates doing dishes so endeavors to create a perfect meal using only one pot.
AJ Durand brings playfulness and humor to his alignment oriented Vinyasa class. He's completed over 700hrs of training since 2008 both at Yogaview and through various workshops with nationally recognized instructors. His training in therapeutics makes his class accessible for students working with injuries and special conditions. He may or may not have an unhealthy obsession with ceramic cats but he's happy to discuss it with you over a La Croix Pamplemousse. While he's not on the mat, you can catch AJ falling in love with kettlebells. In the words of Sheena Easton, "The hardest part of working out is showing up." So he's always happy to see you in class.
I graduated from DePaul University with a B.S. degree in Biology. I grew up swimming competitively but as I grew older my interests shifted to gymnastics and began competing in my main events which were tumbling and vault. I discovered Parkour when I was around 16 and instantly fell in love. I trained at any opportunity I could and to this day it is my greatest passion and the activity the gives me the most fulfillment. My favorite workout is definitely a good 4-5 hour Parkour session. You know its a good session when you wake up the next morning, every muscle in your body is sore, and you collapse trying to get out of bed. My favorite junk food is chocolate chip cookies and brownies; my version of hell is walking through the bakery section of Jewel and struggling not to pick up any cookies or brownies. My favorite quote is a short poem: "Life is mostly froth and bubble, Two things stand like stone, Kindness in another's trouble, Courage in your own". - Adam Lindsay Gordon
Barb brings more then a decade of experience to the gym with her challenging, energetic and fun Spin classes. Certified by Mad Dogg Athletics and Schwinn, Barb offers members intense workouts that are enhanced by her exclusive, motivating music playlists. When she's not in the Spin studio, you can find Barb running and working out with Kettlebells, in which she is HKC certified.
Favorite quote: "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you"
Favorite junk food: Rolos, crispy M&M's and margaritas
Favorite non-gym activities include listening to music, shopping, baking, watching football and sipping chai tea with fellow ID GYM superstar Marron Burke
Interesting fact: When she's not at the gym, Barb spends her days working as a paralegal at one of the city's finest law firms
Brent is one of the most recognized faces in the Chicago fitness scene, and has brought his personal style to fitness programs on the national level. Brent created i.d. gym as a place to cultivate and innovate the latest trends in fitness in a friendly neighborhood environment where everyone knows your name. i.d. gym was quickly named one of the "Best Gyms in Chicago" and has been growing ever since.
A former master chef, actor and dancer, Brent brings a unique energy and style to every format he teaches. Over the last 20 years he has been helping students sweat and stretch in almost every format you can think of, from kickboxing and step aerobics to dance and karaoke spin (for real!) As a life long yoga practitioner, he became one of the first wave of yoga teachers to bring the art to a health club setting. His classes are a unique blend of humor, motivation and non-critical awareness.
In 2009 Brent created Fly Yoga®, a one-of-a-kind fusion of classical yoga techniques with circus-style aerial arts. It was quickly recognized as one of the "Best of Chicago" and has been featured on CNN as well as almost every local media outlet. Students have traveled from all over the world to try this fun, uplifting and lighthearted class, and Brent's next challenge is bringing Fly Yoga® to gyms and yoga studios around the country.
Brent was commissioned by Bally Total Fitness to create Total Fitness Yoga, their first national yoga program. He has enjoyed traveling the country to oversee the program and help new yoga instructors in their journey to create the best possible environment for their students.
Dee Dee knoche has been practicing yoga for nearly 20 years and teaching nearly 10 in Chicago. She teaches the occasional spin class here and there as well in order to call things balanced.She considers herself a yoga cheerleader and the i d gym mascot, not only because she is upbeat and lovable, but because she loves it here, lives very close by, and can often be seen hanging around the gym for no apparent reason;)
Speaking of hanging around , as a fly yoga instructor and assistant to Brent , it is her job to keep the yogis hanging rather than falling and is proud to have not lost one yet. Her new work hobby is Yoga therapeutics for injuries and in her free time she writes creatively and dances regularly, usually alone at home in front of her mirror.
Favorite made up saying: Guilty pleasure is an oxymoron.
Hometown I was born and raised in Greece, and have been living in Chicago for 23 years.
Specialties Strength training and conditioning with an emphasis on dynamic functional workouts.
Achievements HS and college wrestler, conference champ, state and national qualifier. National Bodybuilding Federation competitor.
Where to find him Caveman Workout on Monday evenings, Caveman Workout on Monday mornings, or set up a one-on-one session.
Laurie earned her DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) from Midwestern University and is a currently practicing physical therapist in IL. She has worked with IP/OP settings with both kids and adults. Currently employed by RUSH University Medical Center, she rotates through all service areas of care, and has continued to engage in continuing education in a variety of orthopedic and neurological topics.
A competitive gymnast her entire life, Laurie earned her BA in exercise science while on a 4yr Division 1 athletic scholarship, Western Michigan University. Throughout her career she has coached kids of all ages and spent three summer seasons coaching at International Gymnastics Training center in Stroudsburg, PA.
In addition to being a PT, Laurie has been working in the fitness industry for the past 15 years. Laurie received mat and reformer pilates training from Polestar Education. Laurie has been teaching spinning since it’s inception in Chicago. Her favorite place to be has always been the gym! Once she stepped foot into ID Gym’s location in 1995…..it has been her “exercise” home. Laurie believes in ID Gym’s ability to reach out to EVERYONE and facilitate an effective, exciting gym experience.
Where to find her: Spinning Monday nights at 6:15, Friday mornings at 10 and Saturday mornings at 8:15
Dancer's Body Tuesday mornings at 6:30
James has worked at the 2727 N. Lincoln location for over 10 years, and is best known for his smile, style and legendary customer service behind the front desk.
Favorite workout: James loves fly yoga and spin classes, provided the instructor is playing a heavy dose of Pitbull.
Fun fact: James is a sales specialist for Guinness beer. Guinness, despite being a dark stout, only has 120 calories per serving. It's the ideal beer choice for athletes at i.d. gym and around the world!
Jennifer McGowan is a certified personal trainer. A graduate of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, she operates her own business, Fire Power Kettlebell. Jennifer was certified in 2003 by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as a personal trainer. In September of 2009, Jennifer trained with Pavel Tsatsouline and received her Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) certification. In 2011, Jennifer completed her RKC Level II Certification. In 2013, Jennifer joined the Strong First team as a SFG Level II.
Building on the importance of proper joint mobility and stability for creating injury-free training, Jennifer pursued a certification in movement assessment. Working with Brett Jones and Gray Cook, she received her Functional Movement Screening (FMS) Certification in November of 2011. She has also completed the Level II Advanced FMS training.
Jennifer has a broad range of clients ranging from experienced triathletes to those who are new to weight training. Using kettlebells, free weights, and body weight, she works with clients to build strong, lean, injury-free bodies.
Katya has been a student of yoga for the last fifteen years but really fell in love with the practice after an injury ended her dancing career. Her time on the mat started as a journey for physical exercise and evolved into a daily practice that healed her physically and mentally. She has a humbled approach to the classroom; challenging you to mindfully go to your edge. While her grounded, effervescent energy keeps you relaxed yet motivated. When Katya is not flying at i.d. gym she can be found teaching at CorePower Yoga and is is apart of their Management and Teacher Training Team. Katya is passionate about helping make the holistic lifestyle more accessible for everyone.
Hometown: I’ve lived in Chicago all of my life.
Favorite classes to teach: Body Sculpt, Latin Dance and anything not related to yoga!
Favorite Quote: "Do it for the health of it." And "You are as strong as you think."
Where to find her: Body Sculpt on Monday nights and Saturday mornings, Ab Blast on Saturday mornings.
Lisa is from Chicago, IL and graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance and a Communications Minor. In 2005 she performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. with Philadanco. Lisa has had the privilege to perform works of many world-renowned choreographers including Lou Conte, George Faison, Gus Giordano, and Helen Tamiris. Professional dance experiences include: Royal Caribbean Productions, Thodos Dance Chicago and Inaside Chicago Dance. Lisa choreographed for an Inaside Chicago Dance performance in 2009 and was honored to be named an Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica the following year. In addition to teaching at the Lou Conte Dance Studio, Lisa teaches for All About Dance, i.d. gym and at the Chicago Athletic Clubs in Chicago, IL. Lisa is certified in Zumba and recently received her Yoga Certification at Yogaview’s Teacher Training Program in Chicago. This was Lisa's first year teaching for Hubbard Street Dance's Education Outreach Programs. She looks forward to working in more CPS schools and being a part of such an enriched program.
Liz Johnson is a project manager for a boutique software company by day and a spin instructor by night. Born and raised in Chicago, she spent the better part of her 20's living in Nashville and then Washington, D.C. and has a B.S. from Vanderbilt University in Human and Organizational Development.
Liz grew up playing sports and was named to the all-state field hockey team her senior of high school. But her love of fitness fell to the wayside when she moved to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt University. Inspired by her best friend and with some coaxing from her parents (mostly her mother) she found her way back to the gym and onto a spin bike after college. Spinning became a passion, in part because of inspirational instructors like Brent Holten, so in 2009 she became a certified spin instructor through MaddDogg Fitness and taught classes at night in Washington D.C. until she moved back to Chicago in January, 2013. To Liz spinning is the ultimate stress reliever and the perfect way to unwind and re-energize after sitting at a desk all day. While spinning is her exercise of choice, she also enjoys taking other classes like Dancer's Body, cycling outdoors or just running on the elliptical.
While adjusting to Chicago's weather has been a challenge after being spoiled by the mild Nashville and D.C. winters, she loves being close to her family and rediscovering the city as an adult. If she isn't working or at the gym she is probably on her way to some random ethnic grocery store or in the kitchen making salsa or baking. Liz's favorite foods are HUGE (like the size of a football) egg white omelets... and Chicago definitely has the best...big salads, chocolate, sushi, anything with truffle salt, and foods that involve work (Korean BBQ, crab, lobster, shrimp). Her guilty pleasures are all you can eat buffets, Waffle House, Carol's Cookies, eBay and last but not least reality TV (Real Housewives of NYC, Beverly Hills and OC; Toddlers and Tiara's; Chopped; any travel show with Anthony Bourdain and Antique's Roadshow).
“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”
Marron's classes are light hearted, athletic and dynamic. Accessible and welcoming to all levels, classes encourage self exploration of potential and body awareness; whether its getting through a mile without walking for the first time, trying to beat your own 5k personal record, a set of pushups or taking a childs pose in yoga class on a day some extra relaxation is needed.
Marron is a yoga and fitness instructor, certified personal trainer, and licensed holistic health counselor. Her training and education includes:
-Institution of Integrative Nutrition Graduate Class of 2012
-NASM - certified personal trainer since 2009
-Ashtanga practice intensive with Lino Miele 2008
-Tim Miller Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training 2004, 2006, 2007
-Yogaview Hatha Yoga teacher certification 2006
-Richard Freeman Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training 2005
-Spinning certified 1998
-University of Montana - Varsity Division 1A Cross Country and Track & Field
-University of Montana - BA in Political Science and Philosophy 2003
Marron is a distance runner and races among Chicago's local elite as a sponsored athlete for Brooks Running. Personal motto "To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift" Steve Prefontaine
When she's not at the gym or the lakefront path, you can find her working at the run shop Universal Sole up the street or walking her Saint Bernard, Bear. Also, Marron is a sucker for friend and fellow ID GYM instructor Barb Fellars' creative desert baking experiments!
As a former professional ballet dancer who has worked extensively in many fitness disciplines, Molly is committed to and passionate about working out intelligently for better results. Molly's classes are known for their attention to detail and healthy alignment, as well as her energetic and encouraging style. She is Balanced Body certified and holds degrees from Harvard University and the University of Cambridge.
Where to find her: Power Pilates Fridays at 9am
I understand the need for lifestyle adaptation, for a lifelong commitment to fitness and health, because of my own history. After a boyhood spent training for, and excelling in, organized sports (football/baseball/hockey), I enlisted in the military, to become a product of my environment. In a five year career with the United State Navy, I served as an Aircrewman in SH-60B helicopters with duties as a rescue swimmer.
Two of those years were spent as the custodian of HSL-48's SAR (search and rescue) program where implementing a successful training program was the objective. While fully engaging in combat and lifesaving operations helps you develop the mental toughness to take on any new challenge, it is in the training program where you develop the physical toughness to set your mind at ease when it’s go time. It is with this same rigor that I impose this standard on my clients and students.
Once I made the career commitment to fitness, I used my naval background as the foundation of my training programs with great success. Jan 2013 marked the 9 year anniversary of the first time I trained with a kettlebell. I use the same drills in my own fitness program. In other words, I practice what I preach. I slowly began introducing it to my clients with great reception especially when the results were in. Step up and take control.
Whenever we give our all, we realize that we had more to give.
It seems I’m only relaxed when I’m using my body. My mind is clear and my instincts are sharp. For me it has never been about anything but finishing the job done whether the job is to tackle the ball carrier, split the pile of wood for winter, or swim 1000 meters in the Pacific Ocean to rescue a man. The body must perform when needed. As a Naval Search and Rescue Swimmer I was taught to be ready “SO OTHERS MAY LIVE.” I was, and still am, ready and I still serve my fellow man. Preparation is the key to freedom.
HSL-48 Vipers Naval Search and Rescue Swimmer (1997-2002)
ACE Certified Personal Trainer (2000-present)
Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) Certified (April 2009)
RKC II (June 2009)
Kettlebell Challenge Monday nights at 7 and Thursday nights at 6:30
Intro to Kettlebells Thursday nights at 5:30
With over 30 years of wellness and fitness experience, Suzanne's unique blend of athletics and creative methods of teaching classes defines her style. As an avid runner and triathlete in the 80's and 90's, Suzanne searched for a balanced sense of fitness where she could learn to honor her body. Suzanne longed for a more holistic and light-hearted approach to teaching her students. Discovering yoga brought a balance between spirituality, body awareness, flexibility and strength with a heavy dash of fun, playfulness and groovy music!
Suzanne's knowledge of the body comes from years of experience in adjusting and healing bodies as well as being an "anatomy junkie. " Specializing in a more athletic style of yoga, Suzanne brings a sense of confidence and power as well as serenity to her students. Think "Vibrant Glow" and you'll get an idea of how her students feel after each class.
Suzanne's newest favorite workout, "Buff Yoga," is a personal venture of hers. It combines multi-level weight intervals for bone density and muscle strength with bursts of cardio for heart health. Add in the serenity and lengthening effects of yoga and you can understand how students become addicted.
- Suzanne is nationally certified with the National Commission for the Certification of Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) with a degree in acupuncture.
- Suzanne is certified in massage therapy through the San Francisco School of Massage Therapy.
- Suzanne has completed the Yogaview 200 hour teacher training in Chicago.
- Suzanne is American Sports and Fitness (ASFA) certified.
Fitness background- I began as a distance runner but moved into weightlifting when I got into college. I've always played basketball and enjoy it as my main source of cardio. I'm a huge fan of circuit training and maximizing my time in the gym.
Favorite workout- I love workouts and exercises that encompass the whole body, like the Clean & Jerk, as well as body weight exercises like pullups and dips. I'm also an avid fan of yoga and try to do it at least once or twice a week to maintain flexibility.
Favorite food- I love steak and brown rice but I definitely have a soft spot for Skittles.
Hobbies- I'm a huge sports fan, especially college football and college basketball, so I'm a huge fan of watching games with my friends. I also love working out (obviously) and going out on the weekends with my friends.