Steele Training & Fitness: Fit For Success

Personal trainer Linda Steele, owner and operator of Steel Training & Fitness in Elk Grove Village, teaches clients how to balance cardio, resistance training, and nutrition for optimal health and fitness. (Photo by Victor Broden)

Everyone can come up with an excuse to skip working out at the gym. Fitness and nutrition expert Linda Steele has heard them all. She also knows that people are motivated to work out for their own reasons: the money they spent on a membership, a health scare they don’t want to repeat, the desire to remain agile in old age or return to everyday activities after an accident or medical emergency. Irrefutably, the one motivation that never fails to get them to the gym is a personal trainer.

“If you have an appointment with a trainer, you’re more likely to stay with it,” said Steele, owner and operator of Steele Training & Fitness, 1102 Nerge Rd., Elk Grove Village. She opened the health club, formerly Elite Training & Fitness, in 2010 with a business partner. They parted ways a year and a half ago, and she changed the name to Steele. The 7,000 square-foot, full-service gym has the latest exercise equipment and a staff of certified trainers, giving members the option of working out alone or being guided by an expert and held accountable to someone.

“You train one to three times a week and then come in on your own to workout,” Steele said. “Ideally, I train my clients to work out independently. If they say, ‘Wow, I learned so much, I can do it on my own,’ I’m happy because I know they’ll tell their friends.”

The gym is open Mondays through Fridays from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All memberships include one complimentary session with a trainer, who gears the workout to each client. “We make nutrition part of the program,” Steele said. “Most clubs separate nutrition from the workout and charge separately for it, not us. You need nutrition to become healthy, along with working out.”

Steele has more than 14 years of experience in the industry and shares her knowledge of fitness and nutrition with fans online, during radio shows, and at corporate events. A career in fitness is not something she planned. In 2003, Steele was a newly divorced mother of three children who wanted to become fit.

“I knew if I took better care of myself, I could be better for the kids,” she said. She worked out alone and failed. A year after hiring a personal trainer, a strategy that worked for her, she became a certified personal trainer herself, teaching clients the routine that made her healthy and strong. “It’s a balance of cardio, resistance training and nutrition,” she said. “We work with the math and biology of the human body. It’s never failed because math and biology don’t change.”

At one point, Steele and her trainer became the top trainers at Bally’s. Soon after, they went into business together, working from a gym in Schaumburg training clients, and then, training trainers to place them in health clubs.

“After two years, we decided to bring it all under one roof here,” she said. A few years later, they opened a second location in Des Plaines. But they closed it in 2017 because the building had maintenance issues.

“It’s social,” Steele said of the comraderie among members. “They’ll come here to exercise and watch the Cubs game, and say, “I’m glad I’m here and not watching it at a bar and drinking.’ They’re happy to be doing something healthy.”