This round of ClassPass was a bit rough. I went to Yoga Loft the day after the debacle that was Sweat on State and CrossTown Fitness the day after that, and my triceps, you guys. SO MUCH SORENESS. I guess that’s what happens when you take three straight days of classes focus on strength training. I actually think that’s something important to keep in mind when doing ClassPass: making sure you mix things up enough to prevent burnout. But more on that in a future post. For now, four more studio reviews!
Yoga Loft (15 W. Hubbard St.)
Class: FIT LOFT BOOTCAMP
Time: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Normal drop-in rate: $19, I think? That’s the cost of a regular class — I’m not sure if pricing is different for Fit Loft classes.
Odds and Ends: Yoga Loft has a relatively dark cubby area for storing your things during class. If you happen to wear your favorite pair of black sweatpants and tuck them into the cubby for storage because you only wore them for CTA traveling purposes, then after class grab your bag you brought to change into jeans because you’re going to Target and the library to kill time before breakdance and want to look halfway put together, you may not notice your sweatpants in the dark cubby and leave without them. Not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything…
Summary: I had heard lots and lots of great things about Tim’s FIT LOFT classes, so I wanted to give one a whirl for myself. Using a combination of bodyweight and light-dumbbell exercises, Tim took us through two rounds of a fast paced circuit that had me sweating my FACE off. (Though the studio itself was also pretty toasty, so that could’ve had contributed to things. Here’s your obligatory reminder that there’s no correlation between the amount of sweat you produce and the effectiveness of your workout. You sweat because you’re hot, and you could be hot because you’re working hard, or you could be hot because it’s, you know, 90 degrees. Sometimes I sweat more standing outside waiting for the train in July than I do on a 10 mile run in January, but that doesn’t mean I’m getting a better “workout” by waiting for the train. It means I’m hot. *dismounts soap box*) A lot of our movements were very “defensive,” if you will — punching, kicking, etc. I really liked it! I don’t think we did any exercise for more than a minute, and the constant variety made class fly by. Tim was an awesome teacher, too (and dude is JACKED. Holy smokes. I think his arms were thicker than my neck.), and if there’s anything I’ve learned through ClassPass, it’s that a good teacher makes ALL the difference.
Would I go back?: I mean, theoretically, yes. If we’re looking at this from a would-I-recommend-it standpoint, yes, I’d absolutely recommend this class. Will I personally go back? Eh, probably not, but that’s been the case with most of these classes that are nearly $20 a pop.
CrossTown Fitness (1031 W. Madison)
Class: Total Body
Time: Sunday, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Normal drop-in rate: $25
Odds and Ends: Soo I thought the teacher looked vaguely familiar, which naturally led to me Googling her, because I am That Person. I don’t know why she looked familiar, but I did find out that she ran a marathon THAT MORNING, making her officially the most badass person I’ve ever encountered. The only thing I’ve ever done after running a marathon is eat, at best.
Summary: Erin had given CrossTown Fitness many glowing reviews earlier this year, so when I saw CTF in ClassPass’s network, I knew I should make an effort to check it out. In my class, we did two rounds of three circuits. Each circuit involved four stations (one on a treadmill, one using a deck, one using dumbbells, and one using TRX), and we spent one minute at each station with 10 seconds of rest in between. We also closed out the workout with two tabatas. I LOVED this workout style. If I thought class at Yoga Loft went fast on Saturday, it was nothing compared to how fast time flew by at CTF. It felt like the shortest hour-long workout of my life. It was great!
Would I go back?: Definitely (in those same Yoga Loft parameters)! I thought CTF was great, and I really enjoyed my workout there.
Flirty Girl Fitness (2215 N. Halsted)
Class: Vertical Barre Fit
Time: Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Normal drop-in rate: $25
Odds and Ends: This a female-only studio, and WHOA BABY do they drive that point home. From the mani/pedi stations to the studio names (Fawcett and Fonda) to the OMGPINK decor, this place is very, VERY girly. My inner feminist experienced all sorts of cognitive dissonance as a result. On the one hand, I found the studio to be rather empowering, but I also found all the pink and butterflies to be quite patronizing — because it’s pink, get it? And girls only like pink. Also, only girls like pink. GENDER ROLES. This is the not the place for an academia-influenced rant (thank you, English department), so I’ll stop here.
Summary: You guys! The diversity! Oh my gosh, I was beside myself. I expected a place like Flirty Girl to be overrun with the basics I’ve encountered in so many of these fitness classes, but that wasn’t the case at all! There were people of all colors and body sizes and it just made me so, so happy.
Flirty Girl’s Fawcett studio is equipped with poles (as in, pole dancing poles), which we used for Vertical Barre Fit, but more as something to hold onto rather than something to, you know, dance with. Haha. Flirty Girl offers pole dancing classes, but Vertical Barre Fit isn’t a pole dancing class. It’s a little barre-esque, with pulsing and holds and all that, but not at all in a misery-inducing way. Jaydin gave Ryan at exhale a solid run for his money in the enthusiastic-teacher department, which I mean as the highest compliment.
Would I go back?: If price were not an object, yes. I feel like I got a great workout and enjoyed myself (even if the place was too pink).
The Dailey Method – Bucktown (1714 N. Damen)
Time: Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Normal drop-in rate: $23
Odds and Ends: To get into the Dailey Method’s Bucktown location, you need to be buzzed in at the doors immediately south (left, if you’re facing the building) of Marc by Marc Jacobs. I didn’t know this the first time I went to Dailey Method and wandered around like a confused puppy for quite some time 😛
Summary: You know, I don’t hate the Dailey Method. I took a preview class here when ClassPass launched in Chicago back in September, and it surprised me how much I didn’t hate it at the time, but I figured they must have just dumbed down the class for all of us n00bs. Some barre classes seem to all about pushing an entire area of your body to failure before moving on to a different area, and that’s not really the way I’d normally choose to work out. This doesn’t seem to be the Dailey Method’s modus operandi, which is a-ok by me. My quads were definitely on fire by the end of class, but the rest of me could still function, and personally I like being able to function after a workout. The teacher also didn’t seem hellbent on pushing us beyond what we could handle, but instead offered more than enough modifications and options to fit everyone’s abilities.
Would I go back?: Surprisingly, yes! This is now the third barre-style class in a row I haven’t hated, which is making me question if I really hate barre, or if I just hate particular studios’ ways of teaching barre.