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HGG has devised a unique kids’ and teens' development system

About Hot Ground Gym

Owned and operated by military veterans and former first responders, HGG has devised a unique kids’ and teens' development system inspired by military service and a deep commitment to character building that nurtures future success. Founded in 2013, HGG’s training concept utilizes obstacle-based fitness and challenging team-building activities to offer a holistic and fun approach to learning that complements the traditional educational system.

HGG works with kids ages five and up, including teenagers. Many children who pass through our program become assistant instructors, further developing their leadership skills, and some grow to be employed by the program the very program they grew up in. At HGG, we offer a safe and supportive place for both kids and teens to have fun, make friends, and learn essential life skills through rugged physical activity. You’ll find us in Arlington Heights, close to Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, and in Libertyville, near Vernon Hills, Grayslake, and Mundelein.
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Our Philosophy

School-grade years are fundamental to a child’s healthy development.smear
School-grade years are fundamental to a child’s healthy development.
Hot Ground Gym’s robust methodology, inspired by military training, equips kids to face life’s challenges. Our teen classes inspire the older kids to continue testing their physical abilities regardless of age. Inspired by the slogan, “Strengthen the Future,” our classes instill perseverance, foster resilience, and bolster self-confidence.
Our three-pronged development approach encompasses five core values, providing a holistic program focussing on nurturing mental and physical fortitude.
nurturing mental and physical fortitudesmear
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HGG Approach

Physical Development

HGG helps build healthier body composition, stronger bones, and muscles.

Mental Development

Improved problem-solving skills, perception, observation, and creative thinking increases cognitive aptitude.

Character Development

Understanding personal and group dynamics enhances emotional intelligence, preparing kids and teens for the real world, while socializing and getting fit.

Five Pillars of Confidence

We strive to provide a safe space that empowers and deepens self-knowledge - one exercise at a time! At Hot Ground Gym in Arlington Heights and Libertyville, we also lay firm foundations for anyone pursuing or planning to pursue a future military career through developing:


We empower our members to take charge, so they become leaders in all aspects of their lives.


Participants of Hot Ground Gym programs learn the value of boundaries and discipline in the quest for success.


At Hot Ground Gym, we believe in strengthening collaborative skills during each session through teamwork and group activities.
Obstacle Course Fitness

Obstacle Course Fitness

We make physical fitness fun with our unique obstacle course that’s safe and highly interactive.


Our sessions are designed to help program participants work through physical and psychological challenges regardless of obstacles.

Take a Look at Our Activities at Hot Ground Gym

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Hot Ground Gym® - Where Kids & Teens Grow Their Confidence!play
Day Camps that are an EPIC Alternative to the Ordinaryplay
Best Kid's Afterschool Classes EVER!play
Junior Boots™ After school classesplay
Summer Camp that builds confidenceplay
Obstacle course with a purposeplay
Kids birthday party with obstacles & teambuilding activitiesplay
The original children's obstacle course training concept - Hot Ground Gym®play
Hot Ground Gym®: Junior Boots™ Rank Advancement Testplay

Why Choose Hot Ground Gym for Physical Training Activities?

Our sessions are more than just fun and exhilarating. They empower people of all ages through exercise fundamentals and character-building challenges.
Boost Fitness
A great physical outlet for kids to direct their energy and increase fitness levels.
A great physical outlet for kids to direct their energy and increase fitness levels.
Improve Motor Planning
Hot Ground Gym’s obstacle course-based programs improve motor planning and core strength at all ages.
Problem Solving
Children develop their ability to problem-solve complex tasks through physical training.
Teambuilding activities nurture cooperation and positive peer relationships leading to lasting friendships.
Self-Paced Learning
A non-competitive and supportive environment allows each child to learn at their own pac
Positive Behaviour
Our group “missions” instill strong teamwork values that fortify positive behavior at home and school.
Older kids develop leadership skills as they help and lead younger ones during classes and camps.
"You Can Do It" Approach
Through trial and error, Hot Ground Gym's obstacle course program equips kids and teens to successfully manage challenging situations.
Future Instructors
As children age out of the classes, they can apply to become Assistant Instructors and continue their character-building journey.

Customer Reviews

This place was an amazing experience for my son. Sam & his team created a fantastic & fun atmosphere for kids.
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Kandy Getz
We are so happy to be part of Hot Ground Gym. The instructors truly care about the kids and their success, confidence, team building, and growth mindset. My son has a blast there, learning new skills, taking on challenges, and meeting great friends! He asked for more days there right when he started. I am thrilled he loves it so much!
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staci friedman
As a mom of three boys we have been in countless paid programs over the past few years. Things I appreciate HGG provide that are unique in children's programs from my experience: (1) Automated text message reminders of classes (2) The ability for blocking out classes a month at a time (3) No commitment of day of the week. Ie: One week want to go Tuesday and next week Wednesday, done. No special permission needed. We tend to go on the same day of the week, but the flexibility without the extra phone call is phenomenal. (4) There is a one time sign up fee and then a monthly automated payment. I appreciate this being done automatically and not having to pay per class. (5) Last but not least my kids really really like it. Every week the set up is completely different which helps negate boredom. I also like that it's run like a tabata class with different stations and then one "special" activity each week (like indoor zip-lining etc.) In summary, we love this place for our family. It's providing our boys with skills that will certainly help them in many aspects of physical activity in which I feel our society is lacking. If we could make it twice a week we would (and may try to do so in the summer).
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Erin Hase
This guys should also parenting lessons. Somehow they manage to keep strict discipline and at the same time making it super fun. Highly highly recommended
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Milos Marinkovic
Our kids just love it there. Sam and his staff are the best - they are so attentive and encouraging to get kids to do things they didn't think were possible. It's a great way kids to burn energy and gain confidence. Highly recommend it!
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Neil Weisman
Hot Ground Gym is an amazing program that offers tons of fun for the kids while instilling important life skills. The Hot Ground team builds confidence and helps establish discipline in a patient and respectful way. My son looks forward to going every week. I've seen him do things he was once very scared to do because he's believing in himself more and gets lots of encouragement from the team! I cannot say enough good things about Hot Ground!
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Maggie Andersen
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Contact us

Let your kid join in the fun at the recreation center located in Libertyville, Illinois!
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Hot Ground Gym® Libertyville, IL
1950 US-45, Libertyville, IL 60048
Hot Ground Gym® Arlington Heights
8 W College Dr, Arlington Heights, IL 60004, USA

We Are Located At

Hot Ground Gym® is located in Arlington Heights and Libertyville and serves areas close to Palatine, Wheeling, Buffalo Grove, Gurnee, Vernon Hills, Lake Zurich, Grayslake, and Mundelein.

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