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Lifestyle & Wellness

6 Chicago Fitness Studios I Love

It’s the end of the first month of 2020 and chances are you vowed to recommit to your workout routine this year. I truly believe that the key to creating and keeping a strong fitness routine starts with finding JOY in the type of workout you do and shifting your perspective from thinking of it like a dreadful chore to joyful movement that makes you feel good!

Diets are not one size fits all and neither are workouts

I believe that the kinds of workout classes you like to take are personal to YOU! It’s so easy to feel that whatever class so and so from Instagram is taking is one should take too. I’ve been there.

The truth is the workout class that everyone else is doing might not be the right workout class for you, and finding the workout class and format you like will ensure you’re not dreading working out and pushing yourself into something that’s not enjoyable for you.

That’s why I love that there are so many different fitness studios, and gyms here in Chicago! The minute I feel like I’m starting to get into a workout rut, I switch things up with one of these classes and reinvigorate my passion for fitness!

How I Motivate Myself To Workout

If getting to class is the hardest part for you enlist an accountability buddy who’s always down to workout or invest in workout clothes that you’re comfortable in (I’m not saying these have to be crazy expensive, but I do think it makes a difference in your confidence!).

Some weeks I’ll book all of my workout classes ahead of time and have my schedule set. As an entrepreneur this lets me plan things around my workout times and saves me time from having to think about it the day of. Paying for class ahead of time is another great built in accountability tool! 🙂

Switching it up on a daily or weekly basis is what keeps working out fun and I feel lucky to live in a city where it’s very easy to diversify your workout routine.

Showing up with no expectations is another tool I use to stay motivated to go to workout classes and the gym. Let’s be honest, some days you’re just not feeling it for whatever reason. Showing up for your self to simply walk on a treadmill for 20 minutes still counts and hey, maybe that permission to show up with no expectations will actually spur a little motivation when you get to the gym.

My Workout Life Balance

Towards the end of high school I spent a lot of time working out to work off the foods I ate. It was partly that and partly because I always wanted to be athletic in school, but I wasn’t. Working was something I could get really good at and on a positive note helped me cope with my anxiety.

These days I don’t work out to work anything off, but working out still helps me manage my anxiety and is something I love to do as “me time”, where I can zone out, chill out and feel good. It’s a proven mood booster and I know it definitely boosts mine and helps me set a positive tone for the whole day.

Now I enjoy taking classes at these studios, and I also enjoy my rest days! I typically work out 5-6 times a week while still listening to my body and resting when I need to. I now know one workout won’t make or break me, so I don’t freak out when I miss a day. If I don’t get a good nights sleep, I don’t like pushing myself in a HIIT class and I honor that as part of my workout journey.

My Favorite Studios in Chicago

Below I’m sharing a few of my favorite workout classes in Chicago and what you can expect when you go to one. I challenge you to take a class you’ve never tried before, if for nothing else for the fun of trying something new and seeing if you like it.

  • Barry’s
    • What it is: When I tell people I like Barry’s, I often get the response: “I could never do that class” or “I don’t fit in there”. I can’t speak for any other studios, but I know that all of the studios here in Chicago are extremely welcoming with a great community. In the red room you’ll find treadmills and benches for rounds of running and rounds of weight lifting on the floor. You can also skip the running altogether and opt for “double floor” which means you stay on the floor doing weight exercises the entire time. Yes, the first time I took a class I felt intimidated and like I wasn’t athletic enough to execute all the moves, but I quickly realized that everyone in there is just looking at themselves too, not you. Now I go in there with the purpose of coming out a stronger person. The music is bumping, the instructors are motivating as hell and you feed off the energy of the room to have an amazing workout.
    • Why I like it: Taking Barry’s classes has freed me from being a slave to long cardio sessions on the treadmill, made me a faster runner, and stronger both mentally and physically. It’s through the Barry’s community that I met Bret and Jason from Live Better Co. and went on an unforgettable wellness retreat to Tulum last spring. I met some amazing people and saw firsthand how working out together can create an unforgettable bond between people. Interested in taking a class? Send me a message and be my guest! The theme classes are my favorite!
  • Pure Barre
    • What it is: Light weights and tiny movements are the name of the game in a Pure Barre Class. Pure Barre features four group class formats that deliver an effective total body workout focused on low-impact, high-intensity movements that lift and tone muscles and improve strength, agility and flexibility for every body.
    • Why I like it: I started taking Pure Barre here about two years ago as just something fun to try and nearly 250 classes later, I can honestly say I love it. On days when I’m not craving high intensity, yet still want a challenging workout that hits all the major muscle groups, I put a Pure Barre class on my schedule! If you’re local to the west loop/fulton market area Pure Barre is offering new clients a free foundations class that breaks down how to get the most out of each class.
  • Train Moment
    • What it is: A HIIT class like no other, Train Moment’s choice of cardio is a versa climber which can only be described as doing a squat and pull up at the same time! You rotate through three stations — two strength based with weights and body weight exercises and one with the versa climber. Priding themselves on the experience being a mindset vs. just a workout class, the trainers at Train Moment will push you to make it your best workout in a fun way.
    • Why I like it: I’ve been enjoying pushing myself to pick up heavier weights and acclimate myself to the versa climber these last few weeks — the versa climber is so different and I’m up for the challenge! If you like doing weights and it will be your new “love hate”. New clients can use code ‘PUMPKIN‘ for one free class.
  • ShadowBox
    • What it is: New to Chicago this past year, ShadoxBox is a HIIT class that combines boxing technique, guided rounds on the heavy bag and head-to-toe conditioning with moves like squat jumps, jumping jacks and mountain climbers in between boxing rounds. If you’re thinking “I’m not a boxer”, let me tell you that I’m not one either! You learn and practice all 6 punches before gloving up and hitting the bag.
    • Why I like it: Taking these classes lately has felt more like I’m learning a new skill versus taking a workout class, which is why I’m loving it. When I mess up a punch sequence I just make up my own and have fun with it! And because it’s a total body workout, it’s more than just my arms that are sore the next day!
  • The Space Between
    • What it is: Led by Daryn Schwarz, taking classes at The Space Between is a revitalizing experience. You don’t have to bring a mat (they’re there for you already!), all you have to worry about is quieting your mind and leaving it all on the mat. Flow through thoughtfully choreographed classes that awaken your mind and body.
    • Why I like it: I ebb and flow out my yoga practice, but every winter I crave it in my life especially. Lately every week I’ve been looking forward to classes at TSB. The ambiance of of the studio instantly relaxes me!
  • Studio Three
    • What it is: Yoga, cycling and interval all under one roof. What more could you want?! Studio Three combines all three plus a smoothie I love it because if you’re not up for high-intensity you can take a yoga class (their high-def incorporates weights, the ultimate sculpt)
    • Why I like it: No matter what class format I’m in the mood for that day, I always leave with a great workout — the instructors are top notch and there’s plenty of class times all throughout the day for my crazy schedule!

Favorite Workout Clothes

Here’s a snapshot into some of my favorite workout gear! Like I mentioned above you don’t have to have the fanciest workout clothes, but you have to feel GOOD wearing them! These are some of my favorite fierce pieces to wear to workout classes in Chicago.

I’d love to hear from you — what fitness studios do you like taking in Chicago?! I’m always down to try them, and add to this list!

This post is not sponsored, however it does contain affiliate links.

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