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

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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

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.
syre

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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GO Cycle Fitness Gilt City Deal

Another Sweaty Review #SkinnySteal is here!

GO Cycle Fitness is an awesome studio in Old Town that offers butt kicking workouts, from indoor cycling and rowing to TRX!

Buy 5 GO Cycle or GO Row classes for $59 OR 10 classes for $99! 

What we love

  • Judgement-free and accompanied by upbeat music, classes at this Old Town studio will take your fitness routine to the next level.
  • GO Cycle classes burn up to 500 calories in just 45 minutes, while GO Row sessions work up to 85 percent of your muscles at one time, helping to build strength and endurance.
  • Both workouts are high-intensity but low-impact, meaning your joints will stay healthy and happy.
  • Using GO’s calorie meters and cutting-edge MYZONE technology, you can get real-time feedback and track your progress over time.

What to know

  • Redeem by Tue 01/17/17
  • First class must be completed by January 17, 2017; remaining classes expire 60 days from initiation
  • Offer is final sale, nonrefundable and nontransferable
  • Valid for new clients and those who have not visited the studio since September 15, 2015
  • Classes are subject to availability; please book in advance of desired date
  • 24-hour cancellation policy applies or class will be forfeited
  • Limit one per member; one additional may be purchased as a gift
  • Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions
  • Promotional value expires on January 17, 2017; purchase value is valid for a minimum of five years, longer where provided by law; details will be displayed on your voucher

Location

  • 525 West North Ave Chicago, IL 60610
*Valid for new clients and those who have not visited the studio since September 15, 2015
From Gilt City website:

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

Free Soul Cycle for First Time Riders Through 9/26/16!

For those of you who have never been to Soul Cycle, well, your missing out! Some call it a cult, I call it pure party on a bike.

There are 3 locations in Chicago:

  • Loop (111 W. Wacker)
  • Southport (3423 N. Southport)
  • Old Town (1225 N. Wells)

While Soul Cycle is an awesome 45-60 minutes on a bike. it comes at a steep price. Just ONE class is $30, PLUS $3 for shoes. If you want water, through in another $2. = $35 a class.

BUT Sweaty Reviews is here to help you out. Click this Link for a FREE class if you are a first time rider.

#SweatyReviews

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Rowing 101 @ Studio Three

Rowing machines are popping up everywhere across the city and there’s really no secret why. When done correctly, rowing can be one of the most efficient total body workouts, exercising every major muscle of the body. Instructors are taking full advantage of this total body strength and endurance workout while integrating it into high intensity interval workouts. Encouraging students to take full advantage of the benefits. However, it only takes few bad strokes to derail the potential of this machine.

For this article, Sweaty Reviews teamed up with Studio Three instructors, Kiley Hearn and Dustin Hogue, to help get the low down on rowing form and safety. Below are the questions we asked the instructors.

What is proper rowing form/technique? 

Think about pressing first through your legs until they are almost straight, then slightly hinge back as you engage the core and then pull with the arms to finish the stroke. You want to reach as far forward with the oar as you can to reset for the next stroke.

What are the common errors people make?

Rowing too fast. This exercise is about power and efficiency rather than just speed. The quicker you make your stokes (higher strokes per minute) the more likely it is that your form will suffer. Also poor posture. We always want to sit up tall and keep the core strong and engaged.

Which area of the body should I be feeling it the most in? 

Rowing is 60% legs, 20% core and 20% arms/back. With proper form, you should feel a lot of glutes as well as abdominals, biceps, and scapular muscle.

***Kiley also recommends to set up the strap around the widest part of your foot and tighten it as much as you can before starting to row!**

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Bottom left displays race time; bottom right displays meters; upper left displays strokes per minute; lower right displays 500m pace

What should my average rowing pace be?

Aim to row at 250 meters per minute as an average athletic pace.

What do the numbers on the screen indicate, and which should I pay most attention to?

Your instructor will cue you to race either for time (bottom left corner) or meters (bottom right corner). You want to strive for 30 strokes per minute (in upper left) and under 2:00 for your 500m pace (on lower right).

Extras: Studio Three offers two classes (Torch & Amped) that incorporate rowing machines. These classes are offered around the clock and taught by top notch instructors in a state of the art studio using the latest equipment. The workout is designed to help you reach your ultimate fitness goals, by using a systematic approach with basic movements that are effective. Rowing intervals are combined with strength training and treadmill zones for a maximum burning workout.

Studio: Studio Three; Instructor: Kiley Hearn; Location: 648 N Clark St. Chicago, IL. 60654 (Corner of Erie and Clark St. in River North); Tel: (312)-944-3333

Click  HERE to reserve your class now! 

<3 SELF Event <3

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This past weekend we held our very first SELF event (Sharon Ellen Louis Foundation) at Kick@55 with the help of owner Rebecca Gahan.

25 fierce women rallied together (all in purple, my mom’s favorite color) to raise money for Cancer research through a fund at Glenbrook Hospital. We raised almost $700 in 1 hour! 

I am beyond lucky to have such amazing, loving people in my life. My mom will live on through all of you and she has enough beauty, light, and love to go around. 

If you haven’t been, checkout Kick@55 at 108 w Hubbard. I had a slew of texts from my friends that next morning about their inability to walk due to too many squats! Rebecca always kicks @ss and that is why I keep coming back!

Do yourself a solid and signup today!  

>> If you would like to donate to SELF please click this Link ❤  <<