Chicago Fitness Studio Reviews – Dec 2016

A little late (all my posts seem to be late this month), but these were the classes I checked out in December via ClassPass.

M3 Fusion at Studio Lagree – River North x 3

I was already a fan of Studio Lagree’s Lincoln Park location and would make the trek up there after work (even though I live as far away, but in the opposite direction). I’m super pumped that they have a River North location, since it’s slightly closer. The first couple classes I took there weren’t the usual butt-kicking I was used to, but maybe that’s because the studio was new and they didn’t want to scare off people who had never done megaformer, because the last few classes I’ve been too have been real butt-kickers.

If you go: Get ready for quivering muscles. Bring a pair of grip socks, or plan to buy a pair at the studio (I think they’re $10). They have two single-person bathrooms that double as changing rooms. No showers. Cubbies for your stuff. New members/visitors will get a quick run-through of how to use the megaformer.

Core Centered at Centered on North – Old Town

A pilates equipment class. The pace was pretty … approachable. We used the reformer, the pilates version of TRX bands and this other contraption which was like an ab-roller.

If you go: Good option if you’re new to pilates equipment. No need to bring a mat or grip socks or anything other than a water bottle. There are cubbies to store your things, and a single-person bathroom with shower that can be used for changing.

Total Body Strength at CrossTown Fitness – West Loop x 2

I’m really into strength-focused workouts these days, so I love when I can fit a Total Strength class at CrossTown on my calendar. Most of their classes are a mix of strength and cardio, and personally, I could do without the cardio. I do enough running. (Well, not right now … it’s cold.)  So I love that I can do a workout of just strength-building, and there is enough variety in the moves that I target pretty much anything. During my second Total Body Strength class last month, I lifted my heaviest weight – and 80-lb kettlebell, deadlifted 10x in 30 seconds.

If you go: Don’t be intimidated if you’re not “strong.” Everything is scalable and you can work at your own pace with the weights of your choosing. There are three single-person bathrooms that double as changing rooms and I think two have showers. There are cubbies for your belongings, and they sell (like energy bars, etc) and have a cafe counter for smoothies and individual-sized prepared meals from Go Grocer.


Arms & Abs at Shred415 – South Loop

My first workout date when BFF Vera was in town during the holidays.I haven’t been to Shred in awhile, because as I wrote above, I’ve been focused on strength, but I do appreciate that their running sets include intervals of hills and sprints. Although this workout reminded me that I haven’t been foam rolling enough, so I ended up doing a bit of walking.

If you go: One thing I love about Shred is that the workout is explained to you as you go along, so if you’re late, there’s no late-comer shaming or penalty like other studios might have. I have seen people show up late and they just jump in wherever there is an open treadmill or weight/step bench. As someone who heads to workouts straight to the office via public transit during rush hour, I appreciate that. They have men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers, bathrooms and keypad lockers, or you can store your things in cubbies directly in the workout studio. They also sell some fitness apparel and I think snack (like energy bars).

Total Body at CrossTown Fitness – West Loop

Workout date #2 with Vera. This is the first time I’ve been in a workout class where we had to buddy up and I had a buddy there! Although we didn’t actually do any workouts together, each station had two moves, so we each did one move and switched.

If you go: Workouts are scalable and you go at your own pace. If you’re dealing with injury, you can ask to subsitute and treadmill intervals with the rowing machines (or just walk). See above for additional info about the studio.


Shut Up and Flow at Bare Feet Power Yoga – West Loop

Heated yoga in the middle of winter is a great idea. This was one of the more crowded classes I’ve been to at Bare Feet (but not ever), but it worked. It was a good flow. I got good and sweaty. If you go: BYO mat and towel. (There’s a small fee to rent either.)

If you go: BYO mat and towel. (There’s a small fee to rent either.) YOU WILL NEED A TOWEL. And water. Blocks, straps, etc are provided. Also, classes can get a little crowded, you’ll still have enough room for your practice but sometimes there will only be a few inches between your mat and your neighbor’s.


So those were my December studios. I’m getting to the point where I have enough favorites that I don’t need to venture out and try new places, although whenever I’m in another neighborhood and have time for a workout, I try to see what I can sign up for.

Any other ClassPass studios I should check out? 

Do you ever schedule workout dates with friends? (If you’re on ClassPass, we can “friend” eachother.) 

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