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Your Best Monday: Try a New Workout Class

February 22, 2016

Why do we hate on Mondays? If we start every week dreading the day on which it begins, we’re setting a tone for the rest of the days to follow. Mondays can be great! They’re a chance to start a new week with a fresh slate. If you still find yourself dreading them, this series offers ideas for weekly activities you can plan so that you have something to look forward to every Monday. 

I know it can be hard to drum up the motivation to work out on Mondays. 

If you’re a morning exerciser, you’re probably setting your alarm a couple hours earlier than you did over the weekend and have to deal with your body fighting the adjustment.

If you like to exercise at night, you either have to make sure you get up early enough to pack your gym bag or, if you plan to go home and change before heading out, make sure you’re not going to succumb to the lure of the couch!

But if you set a concrete plan to do something, it’s much harder to talk yourself out of it.

I’ve personally found that I rarely skip working out when I’ve planned to attend a group class rather than just doing my own thing. Bonus points if you can get a workout buddy to join you and hold you accountable for going!

If you already belong to a gym that offers group fitness classes, see if there’s a new one you’ve never tried before offered on Mondays. 

The idea here is to mix it up; if you typically do cardio, such as spinning, try a class focused more on weightlifting and resistance training. If you tend to get stuck in the same pattern of exercises, try something completely different that will use new muscles, like Zumba. 

If you don’t already belong to a gym or if your gym doesn’t offer group fitness classes, many studios around the country will let you try a workout class free or offer reasonable a la carte rates. 

Try a workout at one of the following studios to get you motivated to be active on Mondays.

 

SoulCycle

soulcycle chicago

This popular cycling studio has a cult-like following for a reason. Riders cycle in a dark room with pop music blaring, so even if spinning isn’t your favorite, you’re sure to get caught up in the class. 

Classes are offered in locations throughout New York City, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, San Francisco, Palo Alto, the Hamptons, Connecticut, New Jersey, Long Island, Boston, Washington DC, Miami, and Chicago.

While individual classes are typically $34, first-time riders can buy a class for $20 by calling the studio in their location of choice directly. 

You’ll need special, clip-in shoes for classes, but for first-timers, the shoe rental is complimentary. After that, it’s $3 per class. If you’re bringing your own shoes, SoulCycle recommends Look Delta clips

“SoulCycle doesn’t just change bodies, it changes lives,” the website promises. “With inspirational instructors, candlelight, epic spaces, and rocking music, riders can let loose, clear their heads and empower themselves with strength that lasts beyond the studio walls.”

 

The Bar Method

the bar method chicago

The Bar Method offers bar-based workouts in 26 states across the country, as well as in Canada. Classes work targeted muscle groups in order to create long, lean muscles in a ballet-inspired workout. 

“The Bar Method is famous for creating long, firm thighs, lifted seats and pulled-in abs,” the brochure proclaims. “The Bar Method combines yoga, isometrics and orthopedic back exercises into a rigorous one-hour routine at the bar and center floor on mats.”

As for pricing, contact your closest studio for specific details, but using the Chicago Gold Coast location as an example, new clients can purchase their first class for $25.

I walked into the studio to find out more about class packages and actually received a card for a complimentary first class, so it’s definitely worth walking into your local studio and seeing if you can get your hands on the same offer. 

There are also membership packages available. First-time clients can get 30 days of unlimited workouts for $100. 

Otherwise, a single class runs $29 and a monthly membership is $190. 

 

Flywheel 

flywheel chicago

Flywheel is another form of spinning, but it’s quite different from SoulCycle.

Flywheel puts more emphasis on competition, with a TorqBoard on which you can measure your progress against the other riders in the class so that it truly feels like a race. You can go at your own pace for the most part, with RPM and torque goals to hit. 

With studios in New York, Chicago, Florida, Atlanta, North Carolina, Seattle, Texas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Northern California, Washington DC, and Dubai, you may have Flywheel as an option where SoulCycle is not.

Or, you may live in a city with both and get to compare and contrast which style of spinning works better for you. 

Again, using Chicago as an example, Flywheel starts at $28 per ride but gets progressively cheaper when you buy a package; for instance, 20 rides comes out to $24 per ride. 

 

Pure Barre

pure barre chicago

Just as SoulCycle and Flywheel offer two different kinds of spinning workouts to their clients, Pure Bare features another barre-based workout that deviates somewhat from the workout you’d get at The Bar Method. 

“Pure Barre is a total body workout that utilizes the ballet barre to perform small, isometric movements, which burn fat, sculpt muscles and create long, lean physiques,” its website states.

But unlike The Bar Method, Pure Barre classes have a quicker pace and feature more cardiovascular work, which could be a plus or a negative depending on the kind of barre workout you’re looking for. 

Pure Barre has more than 325 studios throughout the country, including in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Park City, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, Richmond, Washington DC, New York, Long Island, Boston, and Burlington, among others. 

In Chicago, new clients could purchase a special of one month of unlimited classes for $100, or try their first class for $15. After that, single classes are $30 with package deals that allow you to save money by purchasing more classes. 

 

Chicago Residents: Formula Fitness Clubs

ffc chicago gold coast

If you’re also located in Chicago, you’ve probably walked or driven by an FFC club. This is the gym I belong to and I absolutely love it. 

I most often work out in the FFC Gold Coast and Old Town locations, and there are dozens of classes offered weekly.

One of my favorites is Chisel, which is 45 minutes of nonstop activity (um, yeah; no rest!) performed with lighter weights and higher reps.

I’ve also been enjoying a new class, #312, which is also nonstop (who needs rest?!) and involves a lot of numbers: four six-minute circuits consisting of 3 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of core, and 2 minutes of strength work. 

If you live in Chicago and are interested in trying FFC out, feel free to email me and I’d be happy to refer you!

 

Helpful Tips

  • Wherever you decide to go, be sure to call ahead to make sure there’s an opening for the Monday (or any day!) you want to attend. 
  • Call the customer service line of your insurance company to see if they offer incentives or discounts for gym memberships and fitness classes. 
  • Be sure to find out if you need to bring any of your own equipment (yoga mat, cycling shoes, etc.)
  • If you’re interested in trying a class at a gym a friend of yours belongs to, see if he or she has free guest passes or if the gym has a “bring a friend” policy. 

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