Personal Trainer Chicago | Strength Training Chicago | Hard Pressed

Meet The Team

We take a team approach to personal strength training. All of our coaches run the same philosophical program. Your personalized workouts are kept track of on Hardpressed’s own custom app so every coach is up to date on your progress. This gives you the freedom to schedule at a time that is most convenient for you.

Dan Geraci
Dan Geraci
Founder
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  • MS Exercise Physiology at Eastern Michigan ’05
  • BS Kinesiology at University of Michigan ’02
  • University of Michigan Football Assistant Strength Coach ’03-’05
  • University of Michigan Athletics Student Strength Coach ’01-’03
  • University of Illinois-Chicago Assistant Strength Coach ’05-’06
 
    GET TO KNOW DAN
    When I'm not at Hardpressed you can find me: watching college football, Netflixing, or liking things on Facebook. I also read as much as I can. I like books that are science based, like Slavery by Another Name, Collapse, or blogs like Deadspin.
    My biggest guilty pleasure is: the TV Show UnReal….It is on Lifetime. It is such a good show, seriously. Also, I love Christmas like a 6-year-old.
    My favorite food is: coffee. It makes up 50% of my diet. Steaks would make up the rest if it were more economically viable.
    My favorite part about being a Hardpressed coach is: teaching people who never thought they could strength train on any level to do so in a way that is incredibly challenging. I believe that most people want to work hard, they just need the tools and instruction to truly do so, which is what we at Hardpressed provide.
      Do you have any pets?
Does my 50-inch Plasma count?
      Where did you grow up?
On Long Island (NY) in town called Syosset. It is not too far from where the Lohan’s and Gotti’s are from. Have you ever seen Old School where the party house is? Syosset is nowhere near there.
      What made you choose this profession?
I watched my brother right out of college struggle finding time to lift. He would leave the house catch a train to work early and not be back until super late. I thought there had to be a better way. I landed in Michigan’s Football weightroom in college and eventually that experience led to creating Hardpressed.
      What's the best compliment a client has ever given you?
The very best is that someone once told me that she decided not to by new shoes so she could continue training. The second best one is that my new glasses are sweet as heck.
      What motivates you every day?
To me strength training is the fountain of youth and vital to physical and mental health. Our service dramatically improves our clients’ quality of life. Knowing this makes it easy to get out of bed each day at 3am. I just want people to realize there are more options when it comes to strength training than what is commonly written about. How we train is truly the most efficient, challenging, and productive way to train.
      What is your favorite music to listen to while working out?
Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone, Linkin Park, Guns and Rose, or Luke Bryan.
      Tell us one random fact about yourself.
I am not related to Peter Francis.
Collin Schlosser
Collin Schlosser
Director of Exercise Programming
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  • MS Kinesiology at Bowling Green ’02
  • BS Exercise Science at Miami University ’00
  • University of Tennessee:
  • Associate Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, Womens’ Athletics ’08-’12
  • Associate Strength & Conditioning Coach, Womens’ Athletics ’06-’08
  • Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, Womens’ Athletics ’03-’06
  • Bowling Green State University:
  • Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach ’02-’03
  • Graduate Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach ’01-’02
  • Southeast Missouri State University:
  • Graduate Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach ’00-’01
GET TO KNOW COLLIN
      When I'm not at Hardpressed you can find me: hanging with my beautiful wife and our dog. Given our equally hectic schedules, we value every minute that we get to share some downtime together. Some of our favorite things to do are: listening to all types of live music, watching sports, trying new restaurants, traveling, and basically anything outdoors. We're always looking to travel to new places and have different experiences.
Definitely let us know if you have any suggestions!
    My biggest guilty pleasure is: well, that is definitely a loaded question, but I have to say that my biggest guilty pleasure is ice cream. I'll eat any type of ice cream at any time...day or night. There is no bad time for a big bowl of ice cream. I've even discovered a new way to eat it here in Chicago, with a handful of Garrett's caramel corn on top!
    My favorite food is: that's an easy one...BBQ. I've lived in and visited several different BBQ hot-spots, so I consider myself quite the connoisseur. While living in Tennessee and visiting my wife when she lived in Mississippi, I have definitely become accustomed to high-quality smoked meats and delicious sauces. There's no other type of food that's more a comfort food than BBQ.
    My favorite part about being a Hardpressed coach is: one of my favorite parts about being a Hardpressed coach is the clients. To me, they are more than just clients. They are people whose lives I get an opportunity to make an impact on in such a positive way. Even if only for a small moment, working with someone to achieve fitness goals and do things that they never even considered possible is such a gratifying experience. To get to share in the joy of both physical and mental successes is what keeps me coming back every morning at 5:30.
      Do you have any pets?
Yes - We have a boxer/lab mix (aka: Mutt), named TK. She is about 60lbs and looks like she is wearing a tuxedo.
      Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town in Northwest Ohio, called Napoleon. The population was about 8,000, when I was growing up there. While I was excited to get out of there, I wouldn't trade growing up in a small town for anything. It's quite the contrast from the big city living that we enjoy now, but it was nice to know your neighbors.
      What made you choose this profession?
I love the balance between getting to interact with people and coach them up to achieve their goals and the science behind how to get them there. While there is a definite human motivation element to this role, the physiological principles I use to train the body are deeply rooted in science. Given that I am such an analytical person, this profession is such a great fit for me.
      What's the best compliment a client has ever given you?
To be honest, recognition of the hard work that goes into making each workout individualized and challenging goes a long way with me. The daily grind can be taxing both on the body and the mind. People don't often get to see what goes on behind closed doors or up on the 6th floor after their session is over. With that being said, a client offering a simple "thank you" at the end of a session truly means the world to me. That is the only compliment I ever need.
      What motivates you every day?
When I consider that the work I'm doing each day is building and strengthening a business whose sole mission is based on the betterment of others, I am confident that my best effort each day is imperative. I am motivated to bring my best self each day for Hardpressed and what it stands for, and that is the clients.
      What is your favorite music to listen to while working out?
Metallica is my first choice, but any type of metal will do.
      Tell us one random fact about yourself.
Given that I plan/analyze and have an excel sheet for just about everything, I'd have to say there's not too much that is "random" in my life.
Josh Siroko
Josh Siroko
Head Coach
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  • BS Kinesiology University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • CPT, USAW-Sports Performance coach, NASM- PES
  • Intern Strength/Conditioning Coach, University of Illinois
  • Assistant Strength/Conditioning Coach, Niles West High school
    GET TO KNOW JOSH
    When I'm not at Hardpressed you can find me: enjoying the greatest city in the world.
    My biggest guilty pleasure is: ice cream
    My favorite food is: tacos
    My favorite part about being a Hardpressed coach is: being able to push people to their limits in such a short period of time.
    Do you have any pets?
    2 Weiner Dogs
    Where did you grow up?
    Lincolnwood, IL
    What made you choose this profession?
    I was a gym rat with an exercise science degree. Seemed like a logical choice.
    What's the best compliment a client has ever given you?
    That I am the hardest coach they’ve worked with.
    What is your favorite music to listen to while working out?
    EDM
    Tell us one random fact about yourself.
    I speak 3 languages: English, Russian, Spanish
Max Ford
Max Ford
Head Coach
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  • MA Recreational and Leisure Studies at University of Toledo ’14
  • B.S. Exercise Physiology at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater ’10
  • University of Illinois Football Assistant Strength Coach ’14
  • University of Toledo Football Graduate Strength Coach ’12-’14
  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Football (Starting Linebacker) 07-10
  • Three time Division III National Champion
GET TO KNOW MAX
    When I'm not at Hardpressed you can find me: out with friends
    My biggest guilty pleasure is: mid-day naps
    My favorite food is: Peanut Butter
    My favorite part about being a Hardpressed coach is: pushing people to and past their mental and physical threshold
      Where did you grow up?
Oak Park, IL
      What made you choose this profession?
I enjoy setting a goal and training to achieve that goal. This profession allows that to happen in a very tangible way.
      What's the best compliment a client has ever given you?
I get a lot of good compliments from clients seeing body composition changes and aesthetic compliments. My favorite compliment is when I see a client that has an improved attitude, ambition and confidence in and outside of the weight room.
      What motivates you every day?
Breaking down people to build them back up
      What is your favorite music to listen to while working out?
Metal
      Tell us one random fact about yourself.
I sing karaoke
Kyle Slaven
Kyle Slaven
Head Coach
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  • B.S. Exercise Science Ball State University
    GET TO KNOW KYLE
    When I'm not at Hardpressed you can find me: on the couch with my dog, cat, and girlfriend.
    My biggest guilty pleasure is: watching one tree hill
    My favorite part about being a Hardpressed coach is: being able to push each client as far as they can go. Maybe not on each and every exercise, but I will get you at least once.
    Where did you grow up?
    Muncie, Indiana
    What made you choose this profession?
    I have always been around weightlifting and sports, so I stuck with that in college.
    What's the best compliment a client has ever given you?
    I am the best :)
    What motivates you every day?
    Knowing that I will hopefully push at least one person beyond what they thought they could do
    What is your favorite music to listen to while working out?
    Metal or rap
    Tell us one random fact about yourself.
    Worst Swimmer ever
Brandon Groth
Brandon Groth
Assistant Coach
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  • MS Kinesiology, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • BS Kinesiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Intern Strength & Conditioning Coach, UIC
  • Intern EFT Sports Performance
  • NSCA - CSCS
  • NASM - CPT
GET TO KNOW BRANDON
    When I'm not at Hardpressed you can find me: just relaxing at home or hanging out with friends
    My biggest guilty pleasure is: finding a new show and binge watching all the seasons.
    My favorite food is: Chinese food
    My favorite part about being a Hardpressed coach is: the Hardpressed community. Everyone, from all of our clients, to the coaches, and staff make being a coach here a very rewarding experience.
      Where did you grow up?
Northwest side of Chicago, in Edison Park
      What made you choose this profession?
I have always been active and involved in sports growing up, so learning about the body, training, and how it can impact your life was an interest of mine. I also believe working out can be very empowering both mentally and physically and love helping people reach their goals.
      What's the best compliment a client has ever given you?
Thanking me for making them feel more confident about themselves, not only in the weight room, but in their everyday life.
      What motivates you every day?
To improve on the day before. Whether it is helping clients get STRONGER in the gym or working on my own coaching and training. Constant small improvements overtime lead to big changes down the road.
      What is your favorite music to listen to while working out
I typically listen to rap when I’m working out.
      Tell us one random fact about yourself.
I hate seafood
Rich Wagner
Rich Wagner
Assistant Strength Coach
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  • BS Kinesiology, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Coursework in Exercise Programming, Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Personal Trainer
  • Personal Trainer at LA Fitness 2014 - 2015
GET TO KNOW RICH
    When I'm not at Hardpressed you can find me: either playing Xbox or binge watching Netflix
    My biggest guilty pleasure is: Reese’s peanut butter cups
    My favorite food is: Pasta, just about any kind really
    My favorite part about being a Hardpressed coach is: being able to coach clients at such a high level
      Do you have any pets?
An American Bulldog (tattoo on my shoulder)
      Where did you grow up?
In Chicago, Irving Park area
      What made you choose this profession?
I wanted to help people and I’ve always been conscious of my health so this was the best way for me
      What's the best compliment a client has ever given you?
“If it wasn’t for you I would not have kept coming in and lost all this weight”
      What motivates you every day?
Being able to train hard, train my clients hard, and seeing them improve
      What is your favorite music to listen to while working out?
Rock and rap, like Lincoln park and Eminem
      Tell us one random fact about yourself.
I have been playing volleyball since I was 12
Patrick O’Connor
Patrick O’Connor
Conditioning Coach - Michigan Ave.
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GET TO KNOW PATRICK
    When I'm not at Hardpressed you can find me: reading, watching the Office, or going to our place in Saugatuck Mi.
    My biggest guilty pleasure is: The Real Housewives NYC, Beverly Hill, and Orange County
    My favorite food is: Mexican
    My favorite part about being a Hardpressed coach is: getting to know the clients and having them see the changes in their bodies.
      Do you have any pets?
Yes.. Two French Bulldogs
      Where did you grow up?
Ann Arbor
      What made you choose this profession?
I love working out doing the HIIT classes and it was a natural progression to coaching.
      What's the best compliment a client has ever given you?
It was the hardest class ever!!
      What motivates you every day?
Working out trying to be in the best shape I can be.
      What is your favorite music to listen to while working out?
EDM
      Tell us one random fact about yourself.
I played Junior National Tennis for 10 years
Faith Perrin
Faith Perrin
Customer Service Representative
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  • Nutritional Therapy Association
    When I'm not at Hardpressed you can find me: with a glass of red wine, cooking/experimenting with new recipes, spending time with friends and loved ones, reading a book, and traveling as much as possible.
    My biggest guilty pleasure is: I could eat an endless amount of Hot Cheetos with no care in the world
    My favorite food is: Spanish/Mexican recipes
    Do you have any pets?
    I have a Pitbull and a cat. I found my cat under a truck in the middle of winter during college and have had my Pitbull for 6 years now.
    Where did you grow up?
    I grew up in a very, very small town in Indiana. My grandparents provided us with a lot of our food from their farm and then I slowly migrated to the city.
    What made you choose this profession?
    I have always been involved in fitness/health and have made it a top priority in my day-to-day life. Exercise has helped me in many more ways than just the aesthetic benefits and I love being able to help encourage others to see just how important it is for them to incorporate into their lives as well.
    What's the best compliment a client has ever given you?
    I would say that a client once told me that if they know I am taking care of/handling a situation it will get done correctly and fairly.
    What motivates you every day?
    I like being able to help others and being a part of their progress they are making even if it is just for emotional support. Getting to work in an Industry that can be very rewarding is motivation in itself. Knowing that you can make a positive impact on their life and help them reach an overall happier and healthier life is what motivates me and keeps me inspired.
    What is your favorite music to listen to while working out?
    I like old school Hip-Hop or Heavy metal when I work out. Music for sure plays a big role in my focus during the workout.
    Tell us one random fact about yourself.
    I am currently studying to be a Nutritional Therapy Consultant. The big picture of my studies is to focus on the biochemistry of each individual and to help prevent degenerative disease by focusing on the cause of the symptoms
Mike McClain
Mike McClain
Assistant Coach
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    • MS Sports Performance, Ball State University - 2016
    • BS Exercise Science, Ball State University - 2012 Minor in Coaching
    • Intern Ball State Football Team & Ball State Olympic Weight Room
    • Intern with Acceleration Indiana Sports Performance plus 1 year of employment
    • Sports Performance/Personal Training at SPARTA Indy for 2 years
    • Coached Middle School and High School Football for 5 years
    • Coached Middle School and High School Track for 2 years
GET TO KNOW MIKE
        My biggest guilty pleasure is: Game of Thrones
        My favorite food is: Anything protein
        My favorite part about being a Hardpressed coach is: getting people big!
        Do you have any pets?
An adopted nephew dog Apollo, and niece Hovart
        Where did you grow up?
Yorktown, Indiana
        What made you choose this profession?
Worked a deskjob for one day.... never going back!
        What's the best compliment a client has ever given you?
I'm family and the best mentor coach and friend that he has ever had
        What motivates you every day?
The people around me
        What is your favorite music to listen to while working out?
Anything, usually depends on my mood, but there is not a specific workout jam
        Tell us one random fact about yourself.
I played professional Ultimate "Frisbee" for the Indianapolis Alleycats

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