Sayre Masters – Master of Indoor Cycling

I sat down with Lead Cyclist Instructor Sayre Masters at Studio Three to get some insight into how she became a spin instructor (one of my favorites by the way) as well as get the deets on how much the #’s really matter / how much I should be spinning. (Picture at the bottom is after a double we did earlier this week!)

Read the interview below, then grab a bike in her class before they sell out (which they do every time!).

How did you become a spin instructor?

After college, I moved to NYC to pursue a career as a professional dancer/choreographer. While auditioning and performing, I was also working part-time behind the desk at a popular cycling studio. At first I was absolutely terrified of the bike, but I started taking classes (it was free – and in NYC if it’s free, you take advantage). One or two classes a week quickly turned into taking class every day, sometimes twice a day. I completely fell in love with indoor cycling.
After saying “no” a lot, I eventually decided to say “yes” to myself, and the thought of being the one leading class on the podium. I auditioned and was accepted into the training program for the company I was working for. After an intensive 10 week training program, I was teaching classes in New York City and in Brooklyn. Fast forward about two years, and I’ve found a lovely home with Peloton and Studio Three in Chicago! 

Is it exhausting to teach 2 classes in a row? Where do you find the energy?
It’s definitely physically exhausting, but even more than that, it’s mentally exhausting. Teaching one class, let alone 3+ classes a day requires a lot of brain power and mental strength. I can honestly say that I get my energy from teaching class. When you put 65 people in a room together and have them sprinting and climbing, there’s a lot of energy that can be harnessed. I use it, and encourage my riders to do the same. I get excited for my riders, their achievements, their breakthroughs… that’s what keeps me going. Also coffee. I love coffee.
What workouts do you do outside of spin?
 
I try to incorporate a yoga class at least once a week, and some form of strength training at least 3 times a week. I also love a good boxing class! 

 
How many times a week should we spin?
 
If Indoor Cycling or “Spinning” is your only form of cardiovascular exercise, I would say 2-3 times a week is a great number for the majority of people. It’s going to be different for everyone based on your fitness goals.
Is it expected that our scores should gradually increase as we continue to take class?.
 
Scores are always going to fluctuate, but generally speaking… yes! Your score (or your total output) is the result of a mathematical equation which measures how much work you’ve done over the whole ride. If you’re pushing yourself the same amount every time you ride, you should, and will maintain the same output. Continually challenging yourself, and pushing your limits with each class will absolutely cause your average total output to go up!
Should we be focusing on our #’s? Sometimes I kill it in class and sometimes I don’t do as well, but my body feels just as tired….
Numbers are a wonderful way to track progress, but your bike doesn’t know you, YOU know you! There are so many variables that go into how you perform during a ride, and how you feel afterwards. Things like what you had to eat that day, how much sleep you’ve gotten, the bike you’re on, the instructor, the music that’s playing, etc. Above everything – always listen to your body, and if your numbers aren’t as high as they usually are that doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t get as great of a workout.
 
Is it good / safe to do doubles or even triples?
 
In my opinion, if you are really giving 100%… one cycling class is enough. Doubles aren’t bad, or unsafe if you’re smart about it. Again, listen to your body. When it comes to tripling, that’s when things can get excessive. Taking a cycling class three times a day means you’re fatiguing the same muscles, in the same way, over and over… and over. If you want to sweat three times in a day, vary your workouts so you can crush it every time and give your muscles time to repair themselves. For example, try doing cardio, strength training, and some sort of active recovery like yoga.
How should we nourish ourselves post spin class?
 
Diet and exercise have a symbiotic relationship. If you want to get the most out of your workouts, it means making sure you’ve fueled your body with the best nutrients. After a cycle class, it’s fluids and protein within 30min. I’m terrible at drinking enough water, so I always make myself finish a full water bottle before I leave the studio. Protein shakes/smoothies/bowls are easy to digest, and are usually my grab + go protein source of choice. If I’m teaching/taking my last class of the day, I’ll have more of a meal with lean protein, and complex carbohydrates. My personal favorite being grilled fish tacos!
 
What do you like to do for fun when you aren’t spinning?
 
Cooking, dancing, or writing… If it’s nice outside, I’m by the water, or on a rooftop.
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A review by an out-of-shape guy who hasn’t worked out since 2015

Just because you haven’t worked out in a year (or 3) doesn’t mean today isn’t the day to start! The story below is a must read. Get ready to laugh and then grab your Peleton shoes!

As I stood in a quickly moving line of cyclists-to-be, I mumbled under my breath, “what did I get myself into this time”.  A fortuitous gift from Ms. Sweaty herself landed me at Studio III, a River North gym of the future.  The counter clerk briefly showed me a map of bicycle 17, though I had to speak up to obtain edification of a few other basics like where the actual studio was.

I took the stairs to the locker room.  Another woman had pity on me and pointed me to the men’s room.  I still do not know how the bathroom locks work, but I realized that aimless wandering would eventually get me through this adventure.  No instructions for the shoes, either.  While I’ve been expert in Velcro since my grade school Kanga-ROOS, I’m fairly certain I broke the mechanized tightening system on my shoes.

Finally, I entered the room about a minute after start time.  Do you remember that confused look when you first saw someone of the opposite sex naked?  That look that says, “Woah, I’m not sure how any of these parts work… think can I just fake it?”  I clearly was not able to conceal that helpless out-of-my-league look, as Sayre, the instructor, picked me out of the darkness within four seconds to send over a helper.  He asked a few basic questions about my hip height, and next thing you know, I was off for a ride.

Ms. Sweaty had already broken a sweat in the bicycle next to me, but with a superhero’s reach, she somehow managed to start my monitor without breaking stride.   All in a day’s work for a superblogger, I suppose.

I started out slowly.  I hadn’t worked out since 2015, and I was determined to finish the class.  I might not ride fast or hard, but I didn’t want to get embarrassed.  Sayre had virtually unlimited energy, and she was exceedingly motivating.  The songs were mostly unfamiliar, but they were perfect for the ride.  Within minutes, I was sweating enough that Sayre’s words blended together.  Luckily, at no time did she say “hey you, on bike 17, you’re making us all look bad”.  Be happy for small victories.

As a first time Studio III rider, I thought the process to get here and on the bike was a bit intimidating.  The room was crowded with pros, and I felt like the guy playing “Simon says” who is perpetually a step behind Simon.  Regardless, within a few minutes of riding, I was in the zone and thought of nothing else besides surviving.  I also appreciated the relative darkness of the room.  I was pretty self-conscious, and I don’t see anyone visibly laughing and pointing at me.

I soon hit the 15 minute mark.  One-third done, and I still hadn’t passed out.  I don’t know if my experience is unusual, but I found it easier to cycle with lower cadence and higher tension than visa-versa.  I don’t think my legs go 120 rotations per minute, which seemed to be Sayre’s minimum in a few segments.  The ‘climbs’ gave my legs a nice burn while also taking my breath—not in the way your breath goes when you run too hard and need to stop—rather, in a ‘boy, I’m really working hard’ kind of way.

The bicycle was of high quality, and the varied stats on the monitor kept me going.  I found myself making deals like “okay, if you do this climb for five minutes, you can chill a little more afterwards”.  Turns out, the bicycle had weights on the back, and Sayre asked us to use them about two-thirds of the way through the ride.  Do you remember your uncle Howie at your bar mitzvah?  How he’d clap and dance on the downbeats instead of the upbeats?  That’s how my lifting activities were.  The weight was very light for me, but people were moving so fast that I was unable to keep up.

With five minutes left, I decided to let it all out.  At this point, I was tired, drenched, and absolutely positive I’d be sore for days.  So I turned the tension up past 60 and gave it my all.  My output surpassed 200 briefly, and I was happy I had that much in the tank at the end.

The ride ended, and the room entered into what could best be called a synchronized stretching.  I can’t touch my knees, let along contort myself around a bicycle, but I had an out.  I used this time to sign myself up for a Studio III account.  Yes, they sucked me in, and I’m going to try it again.

I got off my bike, and tried in vain to compose a sentence or two to Ms. Sweaty.  I’m a lawyer by trade, and I’m usually somewhat charming and persuasive.  Yet not only am I fairly certain I wasn’t speaking English, but I actually have little memory of the conversation or, for that matter, getting home.

As I write this review about 5 hours later, I’m confined to a couch.  I’m going to be one very sore puppy tomorrow.  Studio III was a great workout, though I probably should have read an instruction manual first and/or got there far earlier.  While I have no basis of comparison, Sayre was a great instructor for a first timer.  And every nervous newbie should be accompanied by Ms. Sweaty.

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FREE Yoga @ Wrigley Field

FREE Class at Wrigley Field!

Is this real life?! Studio Three is offering you a chance to take a yoga class at Wrigley Field! Step on to the field and get your flow with instructor Gina Marciano this Sunday, September 25th @ 8:30 AM!

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Other event details are below:
Participants can enter at Gate F near the Wrigley Field Marquee at the corner of Clark and Addison streets.
This class will take place rain or shine.
Registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants will be required to sign a waiver onsite.
Sign up like you would for any of our classes via our online schedule. And hurry. Space is limited…because it’s Wrigley Field!

#StudioThree #SweatyReviews #Yoga@ThePark

Torch @ Studio Three w/ Wes and Dustin

Studio: Studio Three

Class Name: Torch

Address:  648 N Clark

Location: River North

Sweaty Reviews Fitness Level: All

Instructor: Wes S / Dustin H

Reviewer: Lindsey

Studio/Class Review: 

The studio is in a prime location (heart of River North), is multiple levels, and is overall definitely impressive. The studio offers everything from awesome high-end skincare products by E.O to a cold-pressed juice bar, by Real Good Juice Co. After your workout there is no need to go home and shower/change for work or go find the perfect, healthy breakfast… Studio Three has it all!

The HIIT classes are located in the basement of the building. The room is equipped with treadmills, rowers, and a center weights section. There are plenty of different weights so you aren’t confined to the typical 8lb, 12lb, & 15lb dumbbells. The class also features movements with sandbags which make for some interesting new workout moves.

The class is not broken up into the typical 3 sections (20 minutes each) of work. You are  rotated through the 3 sections (treadmill, weight training, and rowing) multiple times. The best part is the constant movement between the activities, which keeps your heart rate up and your sweat constant! I found this class to be extremely challenging and definitely left me feeling exhausted.

There is enough locker space, a men and women restroom, and a water fountain on the HIIT floor. You also check-in on the lower level, so when you walk in just head on down the stairs!

Instructor Review:

I took this class twice last week with both Wes and Dustin. Both instructors have awesome energy and really care about pushing the ‘athletes’ in the room (as Dustin called us) to the limit. They don’t push certain MPHs on the treadmill; instead they describe a certain percentage of your max (which takes a lot of pressure off those of us who can’t run at 12.0). I found both instructors to be engaged and interested and I never felt like I was ‘wasting time’ waiting to learn what the next move was.

Attire: This is a brand new studio in River North (upscale and trendy are some descriptive words I would use) so you might as well look the part!

Extras: This studio also offers Cycling and Yoga classes; memberships are available for all 3 or each individually. The classes are also available on ClassPass.

Deals:  Use PROMO CODE: HappyHolidays for an additional 30% off all monthly unlimited and series/packages (only good until the end of January!)

Would I recommend?:  Yes

Website: http://studiothree.com/ 

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Peloton Cycle w/ Katie Sido @ Studio III

Studio III PelotonStudio: Studio Three

Class Name: Peloton Cycle

Address:  648 N Clark

Location: River North

Sweaty Reviews Fitness Level: Beginner – Beast Mode

Instructor: Katie Sido

Reviewer: Lindsey

 

Studio/Class Review: 

The studio is in an amazing location, multiple levels, and is overall definitely impressive. They offer awesome high-end skincare products by E.O and a cold-pressed juice bar, by Real Good Juice Co. After your workout there is no need to go home and change for work or go find a great, refreshing breakfast… Studio Three has it all!

The cycle studio is spacious and is equipped with high-tech iPad type devices which show you your torq, calories burned, RPMs, as well as time elapsed. There is also a leader board for the ultimate competition, which is linked with riders from AROUND THE WORLD! This is the ONLY live Peloton broadcast studio in the US outside of NYC.

The innovative idea of integrating Yoga, Indoor cycling, and HIIT all in one gym is genius. This studio will definitely give ClassPass a run for their money. I would move into Studio Three if I had my choice!

Instructor Review:

Being as this was my first class EVER on a Peloton bike as well as my first class at Studio Three, it would have been helpful for the instructor to take a few minutes to explain the bike and the different stats on the screen. After I had a chance to acclimate to the technology I was able to settle in a bit more. Katie had great energy and lead the class well. I wouldn’t say I left class breathless, but I definitely got a good workout in! Overall, it felt like a typical indoor cycling class on a fancy bike.

Additionally, it would be helpful for the studio to give a heads up to new Peloton riders about starting an  online account (vs. riding as ‘guest’). An online account allows you to see your rank on the screen during class, and will help save/track your progress.

Attire: This is a brand new studio in River North (upscale and trendy are some descriptive words I would use) so you might as well look the part! Try the hot new athletic line Bandier (Sign up for their email list for early access to their Black Friday sale and 10% off your first order!)

Extras: This studio also offers HIIT and Yoga classes, memberships are available for all 3 or individually

Deals:  Use PROMO CODE: GRANDOPEN2015 for an additional 20% off all monthly unlimited and series/packages (only good for a short time!)

Would I recommend?:  Yes

Website: http://studiothree.com/ 

F.L.EX! T3 w/ Jenn Hogg and Wes S @ Studio III

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Studio: Studio Three/HIIT (downstairs studio)

Class Name: F.L.E.X!

Address: 648 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL (River North)

Sweaty Reviews Fitness Level: All levels

Instructor(s): Jenn Hogg and Wes S.

Reviewer: Erica K

Class/Studio Review: F.L.E.X! takes place in the lower level of Studio Three and is high intensity interval training (HIIT) working at it’s finest. F.L.E.X! (the signature HIIT workout of Studio Three) is described as a “systematic approach to multi-planar, dynamic movement.” The sequenced intervals blend functional warm-ups, loaded explosive patterns with active rest and full recoveries. The class is a designed to rev up your heart rate then bring it back down (w/ an active recovery) in order to shock your body into change. The result is increased athletic performance, higher-quality movement and a raised metabolic rate that maximizes fat burning potential.

When you sign up for F.LE.X! you’re given a spot (number) that corresponds to a treadmill and subsequent spots at each interval (i.e., spot 4 @ treadmill, spot 14 @ interval 2 and spot 24 @ interval 3). During each interval you will follow the instructor’s cues to work through a sequence of movements including sprints/hills on the treadmill section. There are 3 rounds at each interval station (practice, perfect and push) where you will repeat the entire sequence until you have reached your maximum. Following each interval you recover with an active stretch movement.

Instructor Review: Instruction for Saturday morning’s F.L.E.X! class was led by Jenn Hogg (personal trainer, co-founder @ H.E.R.O. fitness and lululemon ambassader) and Wes S. (trainer and instructor). The two led and motivated the class through each interval. Interval 1 consisted of treadmill runs, interval 2 was a set of 3 exercises using TRX bands and interval 3 was lunges and lifts using a weighted sandbag. Each section was designed to exhaust you by the end. Just when I thought class was over, Jenn announced a group bonus round (3 minutes long) where we squatted and burpeed to the finish.

Would I Recommend? Yes. I would recommend adding F.L.E.X! to any workout regimen. I definitely enjoyed most of the workout and found it to be exhausting. My muscles felt worked and sore the next day. However, I felt the TRX section could have been a little more challenging, either by adding another exercise or quickening the pace.

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Extras: This studio also offers Peloton cycling and Yoga classes, memberships are available for all 3 or individually

Deals:  Use PROMO CODE: GRANDOPEN2015 for an additional 20% off all monthly unlimited and series/packages (only good for a short time!)

Website: http://studiothree.com/ 

 

HI-VIBE Superfood Juicery

Who Are They? Hi-Vibe Superfood Juicery is a progressive juice company that offers cold pressed juices, cleanses and so much more! The urban style shop, located in River North, guarantees high quality products and ingredients for a unique juicing experience. Their quality guarantee comes from the ‘intimate selection of suppliers and produce,’ ensuring some of the best hand-picked ingredients aground with no middle man in the process.

What To Choose? From juice fast to juice cleanse to everyday juicing there is really a lot of controversy surrounding the topic of juicing posing a surreal question; is juicing really good for you? Just like anything else, moderation is key. That is why I asked Nick (Hi-Vibe owner) to help direct me in selecting a juice that fit with my lifestyle; high in protein, low in sugar! 

Mood Mylk~ This savory drink sips like a shake and is exceptionally high in protein (about 30 g). It is comprised of healthy fats (hemp hearts, thai coconut, chia seeds, maca) and superfoods (maca, lucuma, mucuna, mesquite, hemp, spirulina, chlorella, ashwaganda), and is perfect for refueling your body after a workout. The drink was absolutely delicious and filling, keeping me satisfied for about 2 hours after my workout. Pricing: $12.00

G8~  The other drink Nick recommended was a low-sugar/low-carb mix of; kale, cucumber, celery, zucchini, fennel, cilantro, parsley and swiss chard (how about them greens!). The juice helps neutralize your body’s pH level and is a perfect ‘after coffee’ balance to start the day. The drink is roughly 100 calories and nutrient packed. Taste is a bit tangy, but refreshing. Pricing: $11.00  

Extras: The Hi-Vibe cafe is one of few juices shops in the area that sells cold pressed juices, cleanses, acai and pitaya bowls, superfood smoothies and Bulletproof coffee. Juice cleanses can be picked up or delivered with a $60 minimum. Samples of juices are available upon request. The staff are some of the friendliest people around and you’re likely to run into the owner on most days.

Would I recommend? I would absolutely recommend working in a nutrient dense juice or protein packed smoothie after any workout on a daily basis. My only issue with Hi-Vibe is that the pricing can get a little steep. However, the quality of the products and the customer service of the team is nothing but excellent (you get what you pay for!). On that note, I can honestly say that Hi-Vibe is more of what this city needs.

Sweaty Reviews Raffle:

We are raffling a $20 gift card (valid for any juice or item) away on our Sweaty Reviews Instagram (@sweatyreviews). To enter raffle, FOLLOW our page and LIKE the most recent photo of Hi-Vibe Superfood Juicery! 🙂

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(Photo: Mood Mylk on Left; G8 on Right, Reviewer: Erica K)

Contact Info: 160 W Kinzie St. Chicago, IL 60654, (P) 312-7724-8423

SCULPT w/ ADRIE FIT @ LATERAL FITNESS

Studio: Lateral Fitnesslateral instructor

Class Name: Sculpt

Address:  314 W Superior St, Lower Level

Location: River North

Sweaty Reviews Fitness Level: Intermediate-Beast Mode

Instructor: Adrie Fit

Reviewer: Lindsey

Class Review: If you need to rev up on your weight training, this is the class to come to! I am personally intimidated by the weight room at the gym and have been looking for a way to get in some heavy weight lifting. This class did just that. It is a total body toning class using free weights and resistance bands. We each had a set of heavy and medium weights and performed a series of exercises that hit every muscle group to exhaustion. I was literally shaking when I left the hour long class. It is also perfect for those who need a lower impact exercise class, but still want to burn some serious calories.

Instructor: Adrienne or “AdrieFit” as they call her at Lateral Fitness has been personal training since 1995 and teaching group fitness since 2006. She is super motivating and has you constantly moving. She will have you working until the very last minute of class. It also helps that she looks the part, she has guns for days!

Attire: Nothing special needed here. Just gym shoes and your game face.

Extras:  $33 for 3 classes for new clients or unlimited classes are $180 a month. They also offer a “lunch time” membership from 10am – 2pm Monday through Friday. This membership includes: full access to cardio, strength equipment, and full amenity showers. Email them for more details info@trainlateral.com !!

Would I recommend?:  Yes

Website: http://trainlateral.com/

Lateral lockers    Lateral studio

BUTTER MY COFFEE PLEASE

Butter My Coffee?… Butter is not a carb, but is it really the new cream and sugar? Although I may be knew to the game in discovering Bulletproof coffee, I cannot really say I’ve heard of many people blending butter with their coffee. However, with extremely attractive health claims this drink had my immediate attention.

What Is It?: Bulletproof coffee (branded by Dave Asprey) is a special recipe that blends upgraded coffee beans (low in mycotoxins), un-salted grass-fed butter and “Brain Octane” (something like coconut oil from my understanding) for a smooth buttery tasting cup that sips much like a latte. The combination apparently triggers your body to burn more fat than it normally would throughout the day. It is also said to have better effects on sustaining energy, eliminating the ‘crashing effect,’ and improving cognitive function by helping you think more clearly.

The thought behind blending fats with coffee is that if you’re kickstarting your metabolism to burn fat first thing in the morning, much like a morning workout. The claim that you will have greater energy and improved thinking comes from the idea that mycotoxins are difficult to break down and can make you sluggish.

Does it work? The controversy behind this concoction is that there is no concrete evidence to support the claims of this drink. However, drinking buttered coffee is a phenomenon practiced in various parts of the world, and is really not of any great health risk (aside from additional calories). After drinking a cup, I felt extremely awake and alert. I also felt satisfied, as my hunger levels were sustained from the fat content.

Extras: Bulletproof coffee requires special preparation and is sold in select shops (Trader Joes) and restaurants (Beatrix). I tried my first cup at Hi-Vibe Superfood Juicery in River North (http://www.hi-vibe.com). The owner of Hi-Vibe is Nick Boskovich who is extremely knowledgeable about health products and ingredients. All of the ingredients used at Hi-Vibe are completely organic. Aside from Bulletproof coffee, they sell cold-pressed juices, acai & pitaya bowls and superfood smoothies. In addition to coffee, I will definitely be returning to Hi-Vibe for more great vibes and protein packed juices/smoothies.

Would I recommend? Yes, as a regular coffee drinker, I see no great risk in trying Bulletproof coffee over regular. In fact, I felt much less jittery and more alert than my ‘venti’ Starbucks.’ Sure there are additional calories, but you will also feel slightly more full.

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(Reviewer: Erica K)

PURE BARRE W/ MARY AZAR @ PURE BARRE RIVER NORTH

Studio:  Pure Barre River North

Image from Purebarre.com

Class Name: Pure Barre

Address:  1 East Huron, 2nd Floor (right next to Blowtique on Huron and State)

Sweaty Reviews Fitness Level: Intermediate

Instructor: Mary Azar

Reviewer: Alex

Class Review: I’ve been going to Pure Barre River North for almost 1.5 years now and cannot seem to find another workout that keeps me coming back like this one.
I was skeptical to try it as I was not a fan of some of the competitive workouts in the area but after signing up for my first class, I was hooked.

The 55 minute class follows the same routine each time

  • You start with a warm-up, which is comprised of a 90-second plank series, Pilates-like ab work, a brief push-up set and tricep moves using your own body weight.
  • You’ll then move into arm work with light weights to work your triceps, biceps, shoulders and chest.
  • Immediately following the arm series, you move into thigh (3 moves) and “seat”  (2 moves) work on the barre using either your own body weight, a resistance band and a ball.
  • Next is the extended abs series. This will start under the barre, doing moves unique to Pure Barre, and then move towards the center of the room for more traditional ab work.
  • To finish out the routine, you’ll then move into a very brief spine series to balance out all of the ab work and a 2 minute seat series ( a last chance to “burn out your seat”)

What’s unique about this low-impact, intense workout is that while you may not sweat like you would in a cardio workout, your body literally shakes. At first its almost a scary feeling, because its likely you’ve not experienced something like this before. But fear not, this is a sign that results are on their way! I saw results from Pure Barre after attending just 10 classes. I haven’t found a workout that tones and shapes me the way that I have with Pure Barre. Another added bonus is that I used to have horrible back pain in my lower back, which has dramatically improved since I’ve been attending Pure Barre.

Instructor: I love all the ladies at Pure Barre, they do an exceptional job of keeping the classes refreshing by switching out moves daily, to ensure you’re not getting the exact same workout, and correcting your form so that you won’t get injured. I haven’t been to Mary’s class in a while and forgot that she’s someone who ALWAYS brings it–you’ll never leave without being fatigued!

Extras: The instructors and owners (Emily Henson and Shelbye Ortale) are all super friendly and always available to help with any question you might have. They are also incredible encouraging as you fight through this challenging workout.

Would I recommend?:  Absolutely!

Website:
purebarre.com/il-chicago

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Image from Purebarre.com