Chicago Fitness Studio Review: Brick Chicago

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Brutal 

 

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