Home / featured / Featured Client-Allison Vandenberg


You have four kids ages under the age of five, work full-time, and always make time for a workout. How is this possible?
A lot of wine! Just kidding (kind of). Honestly, the studio helps keep me sane. I try really hard to make the studio a part of my everyday routine. I work from home so I’m fortunate to have the flexibility to go to a class during the day. I wish I could say I was one of those people who could just leave their worries for the day at the door, but for me, I think through everything during the workout. I think about the meetings that I have later in the day, the emails that I need to respond to when I get back into my car, the birthday gifts that I need to buy, the grocery shopping that needs to be done, what I’m going to cook for dinner, the park district sign up (God help me with that park district sign up), childcare and all other things that come with being a working mom. It’s an hour of my day where I can organize everything in my head, all while getting in a workout, and I absolutely love that.
I have the best and most supportive husband (Kees – pronounced like Case – like a case of beer). We have a super hero for a nanny (if you see her around town, give her a high five or a hug – she deserves it!). Kees and I are both from Elmhurst so we have amazing family and friends that lives nearby. A lot of people have their own opinions about me having four kids, or me being a working mom with four kids, or me being a working mom with four kids who takes an hour out of her day to go to the gym. Some people may not get it, but for the people who do, I feel so incredibly lucky to have them in my life.  

You always walk into the studio with a smile and leave with a bigger grin. HOW? WHY? Share your secrets!! 
Ha! I have to laugh at this one because I am legit late almost every day, so it’s probably a mix of a happy to see you all/happy to be working out/please don’t be annoyed that I’m late kind of smile.
Everyone is so nice and supportive, and we challenge each other to get stronger every day. I remember being pregnant with my 3rd and Becky Ryan was due a week before me. We were about 33/34 weeks along doing push-ups, and I figured I had an excuse to start out with kneeling push-ups. I looked at Becky thinking, “we’re kneeling, right?” and there she was, basically doing one armed push-ups like some super human pregnant person. That sure as hell pushed me to get in at least one non-kneeling push-up! Since I’ve been coming for a few years, many of the instructors now call me out if they think I am using too light of a weight, or I dropped to my knees too soon on a plank. That personalized training in a class setting is exactly what I’m looking for when I come to the gym.

I’ve been coming to FITT since 2016, and through my 3rd and 4th pregnancies. For both, I worked out up until the day I went into labor, so this crew has seen me through it all. Everyone has been so incredibly supportive, both leading up to the pregnancy and post baby. I remember Bridget sending me a Facebook message after I returned to the studio post baby #3. She asked how I was doing after returning, and if there were any exercises that I wanted to see more of to help make my workouts better. There is clearly a certain level of care and attention, and accountability that comes with being a part of FITT-RX, and that’s why I leave with a smile. That, and the mints.  

What is your favorite aspect of the studio?  Not to sound corny, but I really love everything about it. My husband made fun of me when we first moved back here from the city, and said that I had tried every gym in Elmhurst. Honestly, he wasn’t totally wrong. I had gone to the same studio in the city for 3 years so it was important for me to find something similar. I knew I liked small classes with a lot of variety. I had tried a lot of places in Elmhurst, but never found anything that compared to the gym I went to in the city. That was until I stumbled upon FITT-RX. I really liked how hard the classes were, the variety of the workouts, the people, and the music (I get so happy every time a Justin Bieber song comes on).

A few other aspects of the studio I enjoy:
The people – Everyone is just so great. Just to give some examples: one snowy day during my most recent maternity leave, I took all four kids to the gym for a much needed workout. I wore snow boots, but didn’t realize until I got to the gym that I had forgotten my gym shoes. Diane Rosenthal was in Katie Kare and saw me packing everyone back up, and out of nowhere, she took off her shoes and told me to wear hers for my workout. There was another day when I was “threading the needle” with a weight. I accidentally hit my mouth with the weight and proceeded to gush blood (it’s okay, you can laugh). Laura Minarich and Jen Knuth stayed with me in the bathroom and made sure I was okay. Laura insisted on driving behind me to make sure I got home safely. Jen called and emailed me that weekend to make sure I was okay. Most recently, Natalie Podboy, who I met through FITT, spent a ton of time helping me sort through kid stuff on the phone, over text, and via email. Those random acts of kindness are seen throughout the gym, and are just some of the many reasons I keep coming back for more.
The daycare – Ya’ll know I roll 4 kids deep, so having the daycare when I don’t have childcare is clutch. The women and men who run Katie Kare are seriously saints. When I was on maternity leave, and I’d come with all four kids, I’m sure there was a little bit of panic when the Katie Kare workers saw us walking in, but they never made me feel that way. If I was running late (which was daily) they would say “Just go! We’ve got this.” They really did, which was so comforting, especially when I returned with a 4 week old in tow.  My kids now have friends in Katie Kare, so it’s like a fun playdate for them.
The Spring Challenge Event–Who knew coming in last place 2 years in a row during the FITT-RX Spring Challenge could be such a great bonding experience? My teammates, Karlee Hauert, Laura Minarich and Regan Gentile even threw me a baby “sprinkle” for my 4th baby. 

Since the birth of your last kiddo, what changes have you seen in your body?  
I feel like I did 9 months of resistance training and I finally took off the weighted belt. I feel quicker and stronger. Funny enough, I get less sleep than I ever have, but I find that I have more energy, which could probably be directly correlated to the amount of coffee that I now drink. ?The running, the weights, the burpees…. they’ve all helped me become a more active parent. I can keep up with the older two kids while they ride their bikes and I run with the double stroller behind them. I have better endurance which helps me do things like play soccer with the kids, or tread water while helping my 2 year old get comfortable jumping off the diving board.

Any fun facts people might not know about you?
– I could easily live off of Stans Donuts and tacos. Every. Damn. Day.

– Target and Costco make me happy – I go for toothpaste and leave with patio furniture, a new wardrobe and a 50 pound watermelon.  

– I sleepwalk on a regular basis. I’ve been to the hospital for it twice. Yes, I have gone to see a doctor for it. Know what they did? Googled it. Yep, Googled “adults who sleepwalk” right in front of me.  So that was helpful! –

-My husband and I both grew up in Elmhurst but we didn’t really know each other in high school (same grade and everything). When we officially met, we were wearing almost identical shirts (picture attached for proof)

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