Last week I had the opportunity to meet with two personal trainers who are very well networked in the Chicago fitness industry. A friend introduced me to them and I wanted to pick their brains about fitness and talk to them about some of the struggles I’ve been having in my own personal workouts. I have a bad habit of getting addicted to one workout and doing it over and over until I get burnt out or stop seeing results…what can I say, I’m a creature of habit and it works against me sometimes.
Most recently, I decided to switch up my workouts because I felt like I stopped seeing results and wanted to incorporate something more cardio intensive. I found Shred415, a workout similar to Barry’s Bootcamp in Los Angeles, and was hooked immediately. However, it’s a lot more cardio intensive and as a result my hips and IT bands have been extremely tight and sore. I had a feeling the pain was due to being overworked but I wanted to talk to someone more experienced and find out what I can do to not let myself burn out on Shred like I have with other workouts in the past.
The two trainers were extremely helpful. Long story short, my hip/IT band issue isn’t uncommon and I need to make sure I’m foam rolling for 15 minutes a day, especially after I run. They recommended I take stretching/yoga classes a couple times a week, continue to go to Shred 3-5 times per week, and try different studios around the city for a couple months to see what type of workouts I like supplementing with Shred best.
Along with their recommendations, I searched around and found a few studios I have/am going to try over the next few weeks. I thought I’d share a few of them with you guys in case you are looking for new studios as well!
Sko-Fit Yoga: One of the trainers I met with, Suzanne Ko, teaches a Sivananda yoga class on Saturdays and since I know nothing about yoga, I thought this would be a great place to start. From the tiny bit of research I did, Sivananda seems to be less vigorous than other types of yoga and focuses more on breathing and relaxation while incorporating different asanas into the workout.
Reform Chicago is a pilates reformer studio so all of the exercises are done on the reformer machine as opposed to a mat. I tried this class last week with some friends and loved it! It definitely challenges your balance and stability and all of us were worn out at the end. My inner thighs and abs were a bit sore the next day but I really felt stretched out and can picture myself taking this class once a month. My boyfriend liked it so much that he wanted to buy a package but reformer classes run anywhere from $25-45 per class so given our current bank account situation it’s not something we can do on a regular basis.
Power Sculpt Fitness: I’m trying this studio tomorrow and am reallyyy excited about it. Two of the instructors at Shred415 also work here and there’s a variety of different workouts to choose from. Strength training, core work, TRX bands (!!!), barre, kickboxing, bootcamp….you name it, it seems like they offer it here. Also, it’s reasonably priced and I’ve heard great things about it from a couple of friends who work out there!
Exhale MindBody Spa: I heard about Exhale through a Shred instructor that also works here. Exhale offers Yoga and Core Fusion classes, which apparently are a blend of dance, barre, pilates and ballet. In addition to the regular Core Fusion, they also offer Core Fusion Bootcamp, Core Fusion Cardio, Core Fusion Barre, and Core Fusion Yoga…AND they have showers which is a huge plus for me if I need to get ready for work in the mornings! I’m going here next Thursday so I will be sure to report back 🙂
Flex Pilates Chicago: I really want to try a reformer bootcamp here! I think it would be a perfect workout to supplement my Shred classes but unfortunately my schedule is packed through September so I won’t be able to commit until at least October. It’s $40/class so it’s not cheap but I know someone who swears by this place and it’s $10 for your first class! I’m interested to see the differences between the exercises at this studio and Reform.
I have a few others on my calendar to try as well but I figured I’d start with the first 5 on my list, review which ones I enjoyed most, and then move on to other studios in the next couple weeks!