I have never been a member of a gym. The closest I got was the rec center in college, but I have never actually purchased a gym membership. I got lucky though in that my dad is a kinesiotherapist and has always worked in a gym like setting. I have been able to take advantage of that and used his gym to do some of my workouts. This past Saturday, I was able to participate in a demo day at my dad’s new gym, Chicago Fit Life. I was able to sample twenty minutes of a crossfit workout, a spinning class, and a yoga class. Having never taken part of a gym or group workout classes, I was excited to try something new.
The demo day was free to the public and was a great way to get a feel for all that Chicago Fit Life had to offer. The gym is located in Wheeling, Illinois and is fairly close to the train station. The facility is very modern, clean, and professional, which I feel is important for a gym. You don’t want to walk into a place that is dirty or doesn’t look well taken care of. The staff that was there that day were all very friendly and excited to work with our group. The people who participated in the demo day were from all different age groups and fitness levels and the trainers made sure to address each person’s fitness needs.
We started with the crossfit workout and were taught a few basic moves such as burpees, box jumps, and kettlebell swings. Once we learned all the movements we jumped right into the WOD or workout of the day. Now, I know a decent amount about crossfit and even incorporate some crossfit moves into my weekly routines so I didn’t have much trouble following along and completing the workout. There were a few other people in the class, who might not have really known all that much about crossfit and struggled a little bit, but there were at least three trainers who were able to go around and help those that needed a little extra help. We finished the workout with the rowing machine, and I have to say that was my favorite part of that workout. Now I just need to find the space and money for a rowing machine…..
Next, we moved onto the spinning class. I have never done a spin class and pretty much the only thing I knew was that I would be on a bike. This part of the demo day was probably my least favorite, you know that riding a bike isn’t my jam. After a quick tutorial on how to work the spin bike and the different positions we started in with the workout. I think the biggest problem for this portion of the workout was that it was hard to hear the instructor over the music, but the music is a crucial part of the workout. For the most part, I just tried to do exactly what the instructor was doing since I couldn’t quite hear her talking. I did like the music part of this workout and liked that we didn’t just stay in one position on the bike. It was a fairly good cardio workout and a few other participants said that they really enjoyed that portion.
Finally we ended with the yoga class. I was really looking forward to this part because while I do yoga regularly, I have never taken a yoga class. The yoga studio was really beautiful, nice and open with a lot of natural light. They do keep the room at 85 degrees, so after two workouts it was a little sweaty. But if I were to just go and do a yoga class I think it would be fine. The instructor for yoga was really great. She made sure that we had time to get into poses and went around and helped those that needed it. It was nice to have a real person be able to help me with some of my poses and adjust different parts of my body. It was a nice way to relax and recover after the previous two workouts. I would really like to come back and take an actual yoga class and get that experience.
Other than these three classes, Chicago Fit Life also offers personal training, nutrition plans, as well as regular workouts on your own. They have a variety of different weight lifting machines, treadmills, crossfit equipment, and free weights like kettlebells and medicine balls. They also offer sports performance training, which is my dad’s specialty. He trains athletes of all sports and ages and creates personalized workouts that focus on making the athlete stronger, faster, and better at their sport. Along with high school and college athletes, he has worked with professional athletes. He has done a lot of work with prospective NFL players and has a partnership with an agent, Cliff Brady, to help football players reach their goal of playing in the NFL. I’m a little biased because he’s my dad, but he is one of the best in the business at this and has over 25 years of experience working with and training athletes. In fact all of Chicago Fit Life’s staff are qualified and helpful and really seem interested in making sure that you reach your fitness goals. The facility is really a beautiful space. It’s big but not a mega gym where you are working out with a ton of other people and you feel like you can get personal attention from anyone on staff. If you are in the Wheeling area or have access to the train, I highly suggest going out and trying Chicago Fit Life. They offer different pricing options, including gym memberships or class packages. You can check out all their information at their website, chicagofitlife.com or on their facebook page. Go and check them out, I enjoyed my first experience taking classes at the gym and look forward to going back and trying some more!