Silent Killer

If you’re anything like me you think you need to leave a workout class drenched in sweat to know you ‘killed it’. I used to think Barre and Pilates classes were ‘easy’ and a ‘waste of time’. I needed to row 1000 meters, run uphill on an incline of 15, and slam a 25 lb slam ball to get a workout in that felt worth it.

Wellll, let me tell you, as of this past week I think I may just change my weekly workout schedule to mostly include Barre and Pilates classes.

Pure Barre

My friend from college, Lindsay Wolf, just opened a Pure Barre studio in the Loop about a month ago and I couldn’t wait to check it out. How cool, I have a friend that is a legit business owner at the age of 29. So so cool!

I was lucky enough to have Lindsay as my instructor for my first class, she was super peppy and kept the class going (no break for 55 minutes!). She also did a great job at correcting form, which I definitely needed (I’m new to the ‘tuck’).

The class is basically made up of low-impact, small, isometric movements that fatigue your muscles. The studio has all the equipment you will need, a ball, a band, weights, and a mat. I do suggest you wear leggings (not shorts) and purchase a pair of their ‘sticky’ socks (so you don’t slip!).

Each 55 minute class begins with a warm-up in the center of the room and then a toning section with weights. The weights are between 2-5lbs, but trust me that is all you need.

Next up is some barre work, here you will fatigue your thighs and your booty – this is also where you will utilize the ‘tuck’. For more deets on the tuck’ read this Blog on the Pure Barre website! I suggest you take the tuck workshop that is offered so you don’t go into the class totally lost on this one, I promise it will be worth it.

After the booty work, you’ll do a series of ab exercises on the floor (think planks, leg lifts, and sit-ups). Lastly, the class ends with a cool down and stretching.

I left shaking and craving more. There is no way you can’t go to this class everyday and not eventually have a 6 pack.

Checkout Pure Barre South Loop, first week is free!

 

Lagree

Lagree is a pilates class on a Reformer machine. The Reformer machine looks like a scary contraption that was used to punish people back in the 1800’s. Well, it is still punishing people, but in the best way.

I attended Katie Sido’s class during my lunch hour. I have so many awesome things to say about this class, so let me use bullet points:

  • Face paced, I was never bored and class flew
  • Awesome transitions, we always knew what was coming next so I didn’t miss a beat
  • Low Impact, safe on your joints
  • Challenging, some of the moves I had to give up on because I literally couldn’t hold pulse anymore
  • After class burn, I have never felt so sore

It is said that this class meets all elements of physical Fitness, which is defined by the following five basic foundations:

  1. Cardiorespiratory Endurance
  2. Muscular Strength
  3. Muscular Endurance
  4. Body Composition
  5. Flexibility

This is the type of class that you just want to master, which will keep you coming back for more. It is a bit pricey at $35 dollars a class, so I would recommend buying a package! See rates below.

Group Classes

Initial Class $15
New Client 10 Pack**(Expires 6 months from purchase date)

(Non-transferable or shareable)

$180 ($18/class)
Single Class $35
5 Classes $160 ($32/class)
10 Classes $290 ($29/class)
20 Classes $480 ($24/class)

Overall…

The best thing about both these workouts is that they are super challenging, but you can go during lunch and head back to work! No shower needed (encouraged, but not needed). Also, there are multiple locations, so no excuse to not attend!

Get after it,

Sweaty Reviews

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Is it possible to work out too much?

Yes.

It is very possible to workout too much. It is so awesome to be ‘addicted’ to the post high feeling of working out, but at some point we need to take a chill pill and let our body heal.

The funny thing about going to the gym too often is that it can actually make you less fit AND cause you to gain weight! Go figure!  “The benefits you want from working out—getting leaner, stronger, healthier—reverse when you don’t take breaks,” says Holly Parker, Ph.D., a lecturer in the psychology department at Harvard University and a certified personal trainer (SELF Magazine). We aren’t built to continually push our bodies to the max everyday, when we give ourselves time to recover THAT is when we really build muscle. AKA a rest day is actually needed to become stronger.

Some common things I hear…

‘I want to win my gym’s challenge’:

I get REALLY annoyed when studios have ‘challenges’ where you have to attend upwards of 30 classes a month, that means more than 1 a day! No one should be pushing for those kinds of goals. INSTEAD we should be pushing for 3-4 awesome workouts a week with a low key stretching class in between.  Don’t reward yourself for the number of times you workout, but instead the quality of your workout. Start your own rewards system and tell your gym’s ‘challenge’ to F off.

‘I get super guilty when I miss a workout’:

If you are anything like me you probably feel guilty when you miss a workout. I get super stressed when I know I can’t possibly fit a sweat session into my schedule. Recently, I have instead aimed to ACTUALLY eat healthy that day (instead of half a$$ing it) or skip that after work cocktail. Working out is so great when there is time, but most of us have full time jobs, family’s, friends, and other social activities and those should take precedence! Live life first!

‘I need to get moving at least once a day’:

If you need to ‘get moving’ at least once a day, try active recoveries. Go for a long walk, stretch, take a restorative yoga class. Being ‘active’ everyday is totally cool and healthy, just make sure you bring the notch down at least 1-2 times a week with active recoveries.

Food for thought… xx

#SweatyReviews

Bandier, That New New

In Chicago, we are all about that Lululemon game for athletic apparel. I see that little symbol on the back of every single girl (and guys) leggings, tank tops, shorts, headbands, etc. I’m totally just as basic as everyone else, but I’ve been looking for new athletic apparel that is both made of great material as well as ‘trendy’. I have found it, and it’s called Bandier. This store has already taken NYC by storm.

I have been interested in ordering from this store for awhile, so I took the leap and ordered a few pairs of leggings (they are a bit pricier than Lululemon, most over $100). I wore a pair to Elie Gottlieb’s Hi-Def yoga class last Thursday  at Studio 3, aka the ultimate test.

Here are my thoughts:

  • I felt cool in my new unique threads, which actually makes you want to go to class
  • The site it a little too pricey in my opinion, but worth the extra money for some cool pattern options, how many times can Lululemon use the SAME pattern, WHO is your fabric person for the love of g-d!
  • Pages and pages of options, with really dope leggings from tons of designers (It’s like falling into legging heaven). They basically created the site I would want to appear if I went to Google and typed in ‘Dope leggings.’
  • Fabric is awesome and definitely not see through like some leggings can be (of course this varies by designer and pattern)
  • Annoying to have to order online, I for one rarely send things back

Here are some of my favorites from $98-$196:

Click HERE for Star print and HERE for the white marble

stripe legging

JODY STRIPE LEGGING $98

Definitely check out the site, they have a lot to offer. They even sell shoes! Refer a friend and get $25 dollars + use eBates to make your purchase and you’ll get 3% case back! DO IT NOW, you won’t regret it.

#SweatyReviews

100 Days of Summer

I live in Chicago, where we only get about 100 days of summer. That is less than 30% of the year, whereas the other 70% we mostly stay indoors and hibernate. During those cold and dreary days most of us lack the desire to go to the gym or even go for a walk as we rather stay indoors where it is warm and cozy. We end up just drinking and eating the winter months away! So what do we do about those warm summer days that start appearing in late May, early June?…. WE TAKE ADVANTAGE!

Take advantage of the summer months to get outside and use the beach, the lakeshore, or the parks as your gym! Here are some great ideas to get yourself moving in the Summer:

  1. Walk to work, the grocery store, or to meet up with friends. Try stepping away from your Uber app and throwing on some tennis shoes, you might surprise yourself!
  2. Take a walk with a friend instead of a dinner date, or plan both! You might end up on a 10 mile walk just enjoying the weather as well as see some new sights around Chicago or wherever you live!
  3. Take an outdoor yoga or bootcamp, they even offer some of these at Wrigley Field. Check out this ‘Shred to Yoga’ workout that Shred415 is hosting on July 23rd at 9am.
  4. Join a volleyball, softball, or kickball league. I highly recommend going through Chicago Sport and Social Club! I promise you’ll have the best time and meet so many new people. I myself am in a League!
  5. Go kayaking or canoeing. Check out this link to signup
  6. Play frisbee or toss a ball around on the beach

Don’t waste one moment of our precious summer! It is the perfect time to get active, meet new people, and actually get that summer body (hey it’s never too late!). Save the indoor gym for when we need to wear our Canada Goose jackets and tall Uggs. Save yourself from year round menotiny. Your winter self will thank you!

#SweatyReviews

volleyball.jpg

One Studio, One Community

Hi all, I’m back!

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for awhile, but I took a hiatus from blogging. For awhile I thought no one would be interested in my site anymore because for the past year I have belonged to one gym, Studio 3, so I don’t have much variety to share anymore.

I used to run around the city (literally) trying every class and every teacher and telling all you readers about them (and I know you read and followed along!), but to be honest it got exhausting and time consuming. While I still dabble in Shred415, Lagree, and a few others, on most days you can find me at the corner of Clark and Erie.

So I stopped blogging….

Then it dawned on me the other day, I have gotten upwards of 20 of my friends to become members of ‘my’ gym (or at the very least purchase a class package). You could call me a ‘Studio 3 brand ambassador’, but all I did was show some of my friends what it is like to be part of ‘my’ community and they loved it as much as me!

This post isn’t about belonging to Studio 3, this post is about finding a community that makes you feel strong and empowered, that makes you feel like you are part of a team, that makes you feel welcome. This is what keeps you wanting/needing to come back!

In addition to those key bolded/italicized words above, this post is about encouraging all of you to find a gym that is easy, convenient, and genuinely makes you excited to attend, instead of chasing the things you are looking for in 10+ locations.

I call it a ‘one stop shop’.

I personally need the following in a gym:

  • Class options (not just running, or yoga, or spin, but a mixture to challenge myself in different ways)
  • Classes from 5:45 am to 8pm, including many weekend options
  • Location, Location, Location – needs to be close and easy to get to
  • Unlimited. Period.
  • Showers, toiletries, towels, and a clean place to change and get ready
  • Lockers with locks
  • Friendly & challenging staff
  • A community (nothing better than not having to ‘check in’, the staff just see your face and know you’ve arrived)

You need to find what is right for you. Some people just need a treadmill and weights, some just need a bike or a yoga mat, and some just need the lakefront. Try them all and figure out what works for you, just like I did. The best part is, when you find your niche, you will meet  like minded people. I’ve met some pretty cool kids at my gym and I love seeing their faces a few times a week!

Working out shouldn’t be a chore or a hassle, it should be fun and a place you truly want to be. Find ‘your’ gym, find ‘your’ community, I promise it will make you want to continue to chase your fitness goals and you might even make some lifelong friends.

#SweatyReviews