When we decided we were moving from the north side to the near west side, one of the first places I was excited to check out was CrossTown Fitness (CTF) in the West Loop near Madison & Morgan. Erin had posted about the studio, and it sounded like a great place to workout! I immediately purchased a Groupon.
You won’t do any crazy moves or use any crazy equipment at CTF. The workouts are made up of the “basics” – planks, plank rows, squats, lunges, push ups, pull ups, crunches, deadlifts, box jumps, sprints on the treadmill, etc. The only equipment I’ve used there are kettlebells, dumbbells, plates (either on a weight bar or just holding it alone), treadmill, rowing machine, step/weight bench, BOSU, and a giant resistance band on a pull-up bar (which made it possible for me to do a pull-up). The moves you do are pretty tried and true moves that fitness buffs have been doing for years.
However, every class is different. The format is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and the class is either formatted by number of reps, or time. Regardless, you go at your own pace, and you never do the same move for more than a minute or so before moving on to the next one. So the workouts never get boring, and whether you are a beginner or super buff, you can go at the pace and pick the weights that work for you.
CTF also offers personal training, and at one point, offered all members (including Groupon members), a free 30-minute session. I worked out with Kailee, who is adorable, and was shocked when I told her I was 32. She led me through a workout that left me good-sore the next day. CTF also has a small cafe for smoothies and salads. (Or, The Beer Bistro and Wishbone are nearby, I have found both to be excellent for refueling.) They also have on-site childcare and showers, but I haven’t used either of those services.
AND they do fun stuff as a studio, like stand-up paddleboarding, bouldering, and coming later this winter, a ski trip!
Pic from CrossTown Fitness Facebook page
There are lots of things I like about CTF…
I get a kickass workout every time I go, because I go at my own pace, and I pick my own weight. Right now, “my own pace” usually includes short breaks here and there during class. Never once has an instructor called me out for that. In fact, when I was feeling a bit light-headed during a class, the instructor encouraged me to sit outside and get some fresh air, and checked on me a few minutes later.
The class instructors are all very friendly and encouraging, as are the other people in class. I like that we do moves I can easily take home with me, and I love that every class is different, and goes at a quick pace so I never get bored.
I also love the location! I can easily get to CTF from my apartment or office (via bus, Divvy or walking), and it’s also on my way – I can leave the office at 5pm for the 5:30pm class and get home before 7pm. (If I was a morning workouter, I could probably do the 7am class, Divvy to the office, shower, and get to my desk by 9am.)
Recently, I used the last credit of my Groupon, and BFF Vera was home for Christmas, and as a ClassPass member, was able to join me for a class, which she really enjoyed! I should mention that I started using the Groupon during the summer, and had to take a break per my physical therapist, but CTF kindly reinstated my expired credits once my PT cleared me to workout there again.
However, I won a 30-day unlimited membership in my own raffle, which I plan to use as a New Years challenge to myself! How many times can I go in 30 days? What changes will I see? Regardless, I know I’m going to get in some great workouts!
CrossTown Fitness technically didn’t sponsor this post, but earlier in the summer, they offered a free class to the Chicago Running Bloggers, and they donated a 30-day membership to my raffle. Which, as I mentioned, I won. Plus I really enjoy working out there and hope you’ll join me for a class!