One of my goals this year was to get stronger, and as luck would have it, Nicole from Brick Chicago reached out to see if I wanted to learn how to CrossFit.
I’ve always been intimidated by CrossFit. I’m not even going to pretend and be all “I’m too good for it” or “I don’t want to get injured” or whatever excuse I may have told myself. I was nervous that even in the basic/intro/101 classes, I wouldn’t know what I was doing and look like an idiot.
Brick Chicago opened in the Loop (Adams & Wabash) last fall and offers daily CrossFit classes as well as HIIT/circuit classes (B/X). They also offer a two-week Academy program that meets 3x per week to cover all of the basics you need to know for CrossFit. I was able to join an Academy program in January.
My classes were led by Nicole, who is very approachable and friendly and a little bit sassy (in a good way). On day one, you get a checklist of what you need to learn before you pass.
Some of the moves I’ve done before in HIIT classes, others were pretty new to me, especially most of the stuff requiring a barbell.
The format of each class was: warm-up/stretch; review and attempt the planned moves for that day; do a short WOD (workout of the day) or tabata workout using the new moves.
While the Academy classes themselves weren’t the intense workouts that I usually do these days (because we were spending a lot of time learning), breaking down the moves was interesting. I don’t have much experience with barbells – I mostly use kettlebells, dumbbells and bodyweight, so it was cool to actual use a barbell even if more times than not, I used the 10-lb “training” bar.
The class size for Academy was small, I think there were usually only 2 other students in class with me, so we got a ton of personal attention and spent a lot of time learning and reviewing proper form. Nicole was also willing to schedule 1:1 or 2:1 sessions if we needed to make up a missed class or further review certain moves.
After two weeks of Academy, I still feel a little intimidated by CrossFit, but, I feel more acclimated to the culture, and I know that CrossFitters and CrossFit teachers are nice, friendly, approachable people who are eager to help!
Overall, I really like the Brick Chicago space. It’s very clean and spacious with tons of new equipment, and the teachers are very friendly. In addition to CrossFit, they offer high-intensity interval training (HIIT) through their B/X classes, which are also available through ClassPass. The B/X classes are a tough mix of cardio on the TrueForm treadmills (OMG those are challenging), rowers and bikes, and strength exercises with weights and bodyweight.