Monday, May 4, 2015

Cross training, keep your body guessing!

I'm a strong believer that diversity is the spice of life! When it comes to training your body, its crucial to switch things up and challenge yourself. My favorite way to do this is try new gyms that specialize in a specific sport/training style/etc. Over the past couple of weeks I visited CrossTown Fitness, Shred415, and SOULCYCLE.

So let's start with CrossTown Fitness: I took the total body class with Kailee Martin. I didn't take really take a look at what I was getting into, I decided I wanted to just go in with an open mind and be surprised. I took this class only about a week after the Little Rock Marathon and let's face it, that was probably a poor life choice. Never the less I pushed myself as much as my body would allow to get a really great workout in. This class is an hour long of non stop interval training. There are 4 different stations that you rotate through a total of 4 times. During each rotation we did a combination of body weight exercises, treadmill intervals, kettle bell squats/swings/halos, and also some dumbbell  exercises. Our warm up and cool down consisted of some high knees and single jacks. I loved the variety and many of the intervals are easy to do at home as well. If you get a chance, they also offer a few free classes from time to time that are definitely worth checking out.

Next up was another high intensity interval training style gym, Shred415. I decided to also go with their version of the total body class taught by David Carson. This class only alternates between two stations, treadmills and floor. For the treadmill intervals here he had us not only switch up the incline but also the intensity. I was still recovering from the Spartan workout a few days before so I had to modify a few of the floor exercises but by the end of that hour I was most certainly feeling the burn. The idea is to alternate muscle groups to ensure you are working your entire body and not just spot training.

To round out the gym hopping I checked out Soulcycle. I've been telling myself that I need to do more bike training and this seemed like a good place to start. I know nothing will prepare me for tri season like getting outside on my actual bike but I'm a sissy when it comes to riding in the city so I have to take baby steps. I've done one other indoor cycling class and it totally kicked my ass. I was exited and nervous to try this place out. I took Anthony M.'s class and lawd hammercy did he work us for those 45 minutes. I'm not sure if I was positioned incorrectly or if the shoes didn't fit well or what the situation was but my right foot kept cramping which made it near impossible to actually keep up with the intervals. I tried my best but I left feeling like I punked out and will have to go back for redemption. The music was fantastic and his energy was electric. I've made a mental note to figure out how to actually position myself on an indoor bike.

Curious to try something new? Chicago is wonderful in the summertime and there are TONS of free opportunities to check things out. Here are a few ongoing free events in Chicago.

Tuesdays - 6:30pm - Lincoln Monument in Lincoln Park - The North Face 
Wednesdays - 6:28am - LFT near Addison - November Project Chicago 
Thursdays - 6:30pm - Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park - The North Face  
Thursdays - 6:30pm - Skokie - Dick Pond Speed Club   
Fridays - 6:28am - The Bean at Millennium Park - November Project Chicago   
Saturdays - Free community class at CrossTown Fitness
Free classes and/or group runs most days of the week at Nike Chicago 

Switch things up, try something new, challenge yourself. Your body will thank you!

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