Today’s Wellness Wednesday revolves around moving your body! My assistant Rose and I embarked on a month-long fitness journey back in November. Our goal: To find the BEST workouts around Chicago via Classpass. We conquered studios, planned our workouts meticulously, and found new favorites to share with all of you!
Before we get into the studios that stood out the most, I want to introduce you to Classpass!
So, what is Classpass?
Classpass is the largest network of fitness studios. A monthly membership allows you to create workout routines that work for you at various studios, whether it’s yoga and barre or cycling and bootcamp. Classpass allows you to take as many classes per month as you’d like, with up to 4x per month at the same studio. It’s like basically creating your own group fitness schedule!
Classpass is currently available in various major metropolitan cities and prices range per city. Right now I pay around $120 in Chicago, which is about the average of a gym here, however in some cities it may be less expensive.
Why I love it + why you should sign up!
Classpass has challenged me to explore different types of workouts, step outside my comfort zone, meet new people and discover which studios I love the most. Once I sign up for a class, I’m less likely to skip a workout and I enjoy being able to sign up for a few classes at a time.
Another great perk is that they have an excellent app where you can book classes on the go! I really can’t describe how much I love it. I never have an excuse not to go, because I always book that classes that I truly want to go to.
Our favorite Chicago Classpass studios:
Each studio is ranked on a scale from 1-5, with 5 being the most difficult. (Ranked in no particular order.)
Rank: 3, Intermediate
Description: Unrivaled Fitness is a small-group and personal training studio designed to create individualized workouts for each person. Each class focuses on targeting the entire body with a variety of full-body and targeted-strength training workouts. Classes are easily modified for fitness level and age.
Structure: The class consists of four to five rounds, which consist of three different workouts done for 45 seconds each. Each 60-minute class changes based on the group or individual in the class. The class we took involved both arm, leg, and core work in a variety of exercises.
Monique’s review: The classes are mostly strength based with minimal cardio. Typically you’ll do 4 rounds of with each round having 3-4 exercises lasting around 60-90 seconds each. Each and every workout is never the same and they have various exercise equipment. Another great perk is that they always leave plenty of time for stretching at the end of class, which your muscles will thank you for.
Rose’s review: This class was great because there was not a lot of cardio involved. It was a nice change of pace. We did a variety of strength-training exercises with small to medium weights, exercise balls, and ropes. It’s not a class that will leave you dripping in sweat, but it will certainly make you sore the next day.
Rank: 5, Advanced
Description: The Barre Code offers a variety of classes with locations around the country. We took the HIIT class, which was one of their most advanced classes. All classes work with the ballet bar, which acts as an exercise tool for both cardio and strength-training classes. Light weights, balls and bands are also used occasionally.
Structure: The HIIT class had four rounds of cardio intervals with strength-based recovery sections scattered throughout. The exercises were both with the bar and on the floor and included burpees, squats, high knees and mountain climbers. The studio has of other options including bootcamp-style classes, cardio dance classes, and strength classes in heated rooms.
Monique’s review: I’ve taken a variety of classes at The Barre Code and HIIT is probably my favorite because of the high-intensity calorie-torching rounds of cardio! The class Rose and I took was INTENSE and we probably burned close to 800 calories. It was challenging, yet fun. Another class I would recommend is the TBC, which is one of their signature classes and includes a mixture of strength and cardio.
Rose’s review: This class kicked my ass. It was VERY fast-paced, with an insane amount of jumping around. I think we did close to 100 burpees in the 50-minute class. I was dripping with sweat after five minutes, and almost wanted to leave after 10 minutes. I’m glad I stayed because it was easily one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.
Rank: 3, Intermediate
Description: DHF Lakeview Fitness is a small studio that offers high intensity training (HIT) for a full-body workout. Most exercises are bodyweight only, as the studio does not house ellipticals, treadmills, or any standard weight machines. In addition to bodyweight exercises, dumbbells and weight machines are used. Classes are small with the option for personal training.
Structure: There were six people in our class, and we each had a designated area. We stayed in the same spot but rotated through different bodyweight and weight-training exercises. Some of the exercises included weighted lunges, burpees, and ball slams. Each exercise lasted for around a minute or two.
Monique’s review: I frequent this studio quite often because the workouts are FUN and both Dan (the owner) and James (one of the instructors) are pretty entertaining. Every class is different and you’ll always start and end each workout with a good stretch. They also have a variety of workout equipment including TRX bands, free weights, slam balls, and more. You will end up doing a variety of body weight exercises and feel the burn!
Rose’s review: This class was a great workout. I liked that you could modify it to your skill level, and the exercises were straightforward but effective. I loved the small class size as well. Finally, the owner, Dan, was more than willing to provide modifications for any exercise and was very motivating and energetic.
Rank: 5, Advanced
Description: Fun Fitness Studio is a cross training circuit gym that specializes in strength training. Classes options include Insanity, which is a high intensity cardio-based workout, and Hardcore, which focuses more on weights and strength training equipment.
Structure: The class is set up in different stations with various exercises. You stay at each station for 45 seconds and three rounds. There are normally three to four different stations set up, as the class is limited to small groups.
Monique’s review: Fun Fitness is such an amazing strength-based workout with various exercises. I love that each class is small with usually only 4 people. This is probably one of my favorite strength-based workouts and the owner, Marcus is incredibly nice and funny. A class may consist of boxing, rowing, squats, hula-hooping, jump roping and various strength exercises. You will sweat, get stronger and burn plenty of calories!
Rose’s review: This class was very difficult! As someone who primarily runs, I was doing strength exercises I had never done before. One of the stations involved doing a burpee up against a brick wall, which was as confusing and difficult as it sounds. We also did kickboxing, which I loved. The owner, Marcus, is absolutely wonderful.
Rank: 5, Advanced
Description: Shred415 is a full-body fitness class dedicated to torching calories through interval training. The class can be modified for all fitness levels and ages. There are two class options: Shredded Abs, which has an emphasis on core work, and Total Body, which alternates between different muscle groups.
Structure: The 60-minute class is structured as an inverted pyramid. The class is broken up into running and strength-training intervals. The intervals are 15, 10, and 5 minutes. We did 15 minutes of strength-training, 15 minutes of running, 10 minutes of strength training, and so on. It’s very fast-paced!
Monique’s review: At first I was SCARED to try Shred415 because I had always heard that it was a tough workout. Then one day, I decided that I was just going to do it and signed up for a class. Immediately I was addicted. The facilities are beautiful, clean and welcoming. And the workout? Simply amazing and frankly addicting. If you love to run or cross-train, you’ll LOVE this workout and I cannot recommend it enough. Each class varies but typically you’ll do interval running with sprints and hills, followed by periods of rest which include strength training.
Rose’s review: My typical workout involves interval running, so I loved that aspect of this class. It was, however, much more difficult with the addition of strength-training scattered between each running period. The instructor of the class played great music and the room is pretty dark so it was a cool experience. I also couldn’t walk the next day, which is the sign of an excellent workout.
We hope you enjoy our review of Classpass and our favorite Chicago studios. We’d love to hear your favorite workouts and if you use Classpass below.
Huge thank you to my assistant Rose (pictured above on the right) for helping with this workout series! This post is not sponsored, however it does contain affiliate links. xoxo.